Nancy Roman

Expiration Date

Well, it only took two days after I wrote about my mother’s vanity (Not Quite Fourteen) to find out I was wrong.  I don’t need a full retraction, but a slight modification is certainly in order.

Last night I discovered that there may actually be an expiration date on Vanity.

It just might be that Vanity has a shelf life of eighty-eight years.

My mother got her driver’s license renewed yesterday, just in time for her 88th birthday.

In Connecticut, a driver’s license usually renews for six years. But after a certain age, you can renew for shorter period if you wish. It costs a little less. Mom decided to go for the two-year renewal. “I’ll decide again when I’m ninety if I still want to drive,” she said…which is a bit disconcerting.

Mom only drives now to the supermarket, the hairdresser, and the senior center. But those destinations are extremely important, so she needed that license. (Two years ago she helped my father renew his license, even though he couldn’t drive anymore. She wanted him to have it in his wallet. For his own self-esteem. You can see why I adore her.) So my brother-in-law drove her to the DMV. She didn’t see any irony in needing a ride to get her driver’s license.

She still has enough pride to make sure her makeup was perfect. Especially her eyebrows.  In these later years, her eyebrows have all but disappeared. This troubles her, and so if nothing else, she’s always careful to add some eyebrows. She still has a pretty steady hand.

And although she intended to get her hair done, she’s got a bit of a cold, and just wasn’t up to a trip to the beauty parlor. But she took out her curling iron, and made sure the front of her hair looked ‘done’. She has a difficult time reaching around in the back, but she knew it wasn’t going to be a panoramic shot.

I brought her a pizza last night, and while we were munching away, I asked her how the big photo shoot went. And she laughed. She took out her new driver’s license to show me.

Evidently, the lady who took her picture felt so bad about my mother’s photograph that she apologized. This doesn’t sound like the DMV, but my mother assured me it was true.

“It doesn’t look very good,” the lady said. “Let me take it again.”

And I guess Vanity has an expiration date.

Because my mother answered her,

“You can take it again if you want,” she said. “BUT HOW AM I GOING TO CHANGE?”

My beautiful mom and me on my first Christmas

Mom on her 87th birthday with her youngest great-grandchild.


  1. She looks amazing, in both photos. Lucky you. There are obviously some great genes floating around in your gene pool.


  2. Sentimental Asylum

    Your mother sounds lovely. And I agree with the above commenter, she looks amazing in both photos. Guess the vanity paid off given how good she looks at 87!


  3. I’m also a little disconcerted by the idea of 90 year olds behind the wheel.
    Your mother sounds delightful and is clearly an attractive woman-both in appearance and that ‘undefinable’ essence that comes across in her photos.


  4. Lovely post – I hope i’m like that when i’m 90. And lovely new theme! I love it so much I might have to steal it …


  5. Your Mom sounds like a real sweetheart! How beautiful she is – in both pictures.


    • She’s gorgeous. Unfortunately, I take after my dad.


  6. You are so lucky to have her. I would kill to have my mother alive today.


  7. What a great line – I love it!


  8. Aw, how sweet! I’m so glad you’ve still got your feisty, funny, fabulous mom around.


  9. What a wonderful post!


  10. pharphelonus

    You mom is awesome. She’s just like you. You should get her blogging, or let her do a guest blog. That would rock, too.


    • My mom won’t write more than a sentence… but you’ve given me a great blog idea for her dislike of writing. So stay tuned.


  11. Love this!


  12. I love your mom. What a tigress. I can’t wait to not worry about my eyebrows.


  13. RVingGirl

    Wonderful! Yesterday my mother in law turned 96. She doesn’t go anywhere without her comb and she has the MOST beautiful thick wavy hair ever which is not even completely gray!
    Moms are terrific. Mine died at 83. I miss her……………………


    • It must be hard to be without Mom for the Holidays. Your MIL sounds fanstastic! I miss my mine. What a character she was!


  14. This is so so sweet. Still driving? Your mom must be a dynamo.


  15. I know you cherish the time you have with your mom. And it’s great that she takes care of herself and wants to look her best. If I make it that far, I hope I look as good as her.


  16. I love this post! Your mom is hysterical, and your writing is fabulous, as always!


  17. Sharp as a tack! Wonderful story. I sense the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. 🙂


  18. Nancy, please e-mail me at dianna(at)thesedaysofmine(dot)com I have a question about your comment on my Orlando sunset post! Thanks.


  19. Is your Mom interested in adopting any more adult children? Cause I am available. Cheap!


  20. I am STILL laughing at the fact that she got a ride to the DMV to renew her license! I love your Mom.



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