Archive for February, 2022

My mother has long been far more popular on the internet than I am despite her being dead.

I got used to that eventually, but now she’s also getting better junk mail, and that stings.

My mother had a massive heart attack in late 2008 that pushed her from a mild, early dementia that no one who knew her recognized to clearly obvious dementia. I had to place her in assisted living, and I had all of her mail redirected to my house. Naturally, that included junk mail.

She died in May 2012. (Just two days before the big corporate business transaction that I predicted, correctly, would eventually cost me my job – but that’s a story for another day.)

After she died, I started sorting through a box of her things that I had put aside. She had been a newspaper features writer in her youth before I came along, and again from middle age to her retirement, and some of the writing she was most proud of was in the box.

I wrote about a few of the things she wrote and posted them on my personal blog. That’s when her internet following began.

One post reproduced a column she wrote about making Buckeye Balls, a type of peanut butter candy that is popular with fans of the Ohio State Buckeyes because the candy ends up looking like an Ohio buckeye nut. That post has been, by far, the most popular post on my blog, seen by thousands of people. A week does not go by without it getting multiple views. Around the time of the Ohio State-Michigan game and the Christmas holidays, it can get dozens of views per day.

I’ve had people (yes, plural) who were writing books about candy contact me about that post.

Like my mother’s internet traffic, her junk mail also has persisted. Each of the two times I have moved since she died, the junk mail followed, even the ones misaddressed to a man named “Lucas Tabor” (a transposition of her married last name and her maiden name).

I know for a fact that my mother has not donated to the ASPCA since at least 2008, but the group still spends postage to solicit money from her.

The mail has become a testament to how much paper our society wastes.

Since moving to High Point, I have gotten a few pieces of mail addressed to either Mom or Mr. Tabor inviting her/him to come see a local retirement home, and one of those came just this past week, but it stood out in one critical detail:

It offered wine and Girl Scout cookies to those who would visit.

My first reaction was that my mother would have been sorely tempted to make that visit.

My second reaction was to wonder why no one ever offers me wine and cookies.

I’m nowhere near needing to find a retirement home, but why isn’t anyone else making that pairing to lure foot traffic? Or if anyone else is, why am I not in the demographic to get that offer?

If my mother is going to get all the internet readers, the least I deserve is some free Thin Mints and cabernet.

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