For her 85th birthday I decided to take Aunt Dee to the theater instead of giving her one of the silk scarves she always hinted for. Accordingly, I ordered tickets for the latest Broadway smash. But when I told her about it, her response was less than enthusiastic.
''First of all, why do I have to leave my nice apartment, with air conditioning, and travel all the way to Manhattan, where I could get mugged, when I could sit in my living room and watch the good shows on television?'' she demanded. ''And secondly, if I want to see a show out of my home I could go to the movies. Movies are better than plays because when the actors make mistakes or have a bad day the director yells, 'Cut!' and they do it over. When we see it, it's perfect.
''And thirdly,'' she went on, ''in movies the actors can travel all over the world, but in plays they have to stay on the stage for the whole time, with no volcanoes or title waves, or whatever you call them. I see enough furniture without going to the theater.''
''But don't you enjoy seeing a live performance?'' I said.
''Only when my grandchildren are in it,'' she answered. ''Otherwise, what for? Can I talk to the actors? If I could have a conversation with them, and explain what they did wrong, it would be different. But I just have to sit there like a lump. They don 't care what I think as long as my ticket is paid for. If I want alive, I'll go to my club meeting, where I can argue with Sidonia-whose-real-name-is-Sadie.''
''Do you ever change her mind about anything?''
''No, she's too stubborn. But I like to see how she gets mixed up.'' Aunt Dee waved her hand, palm forward, to imitate Sidonia's reaction to a difference of opinion.
''Do you ever change your mind as a result of a discussion?'' I couldn't resist saying.
''Of course not. If I were wrong I wouldn't argue in the first place,'' Aunt Dee explained.
Of course. I canceled the theater tickets and got Aunt Dee a silk scarf for her birthday. She loved it.