"Alexander's Conquest" (Portrait of Susan Schwarcz & Her Grandson, Alexander) "Alexander's Conquest"
pastel, pencil, and watercolor

One of my favorite memories of my mother over the past five years is of the day when I telephoned her, only to hear her frantically declare "I can't talk right now....call back later this afternoon...I've got to to drive Mikey down to McDonalds for his chicken McNuggets....!!!!.".

Michael is my youngest nephew, who was 8 or so at the time.

I thought "What the hell? This is the woman who wouldn't let us have ANY fast food or 'snacks' and wouldn't let us watch 'too much' television and who certainly didn't DRIVE us places to satisfy our whims when we were growing up" (there were three of us boys).  Having thought that, what I said was "Why are you driving Michael to get Chicken McNuggets?"

Her response (in an unmistakable tone of "What an idiotic question") was "Mikey's here for the day, and all I've got in the refrigerator is some baked chicken from last night and some pork chops I could cook for him.  He doesn't WANT those....he wants McDonalds for lunch!!!".

Who am I to argue with Indulgent Grandmaw logic?

My fine and very-funny friend, Susan Schwarcz, is also a formidably bright and formerly disciplined woman who's obviously been undone by the charms of a grandson.  My crotchety, middle-aged-man impression is that both she and my mother would, if asked by their middle-skool grandsons, wear a bikini, sport clown shoes, and stand on their heads in the mall while swallowing goldfish.....anything to amuse the grandson.  Of course, I expect that both women (neither of whom is a fool, in the end) also bear in mind that, the moment they tire of the business, they can always send the boys back to their actual  mothers.

In any case, this will be good Susan's birthday present tomorrow evening, and it's for all the happy grannies out there......

And, yes, there's an obvious, lovely (if a bit overplayed in the early '80's) song for this picture of Susan and Alexander.  go to: