In honor of the holiday, I thought I'd share an excerpt of one of the stories from my first book, Green Shoes Mean I Love You. It's about my mother, Linda, and her long held belief that if she went to Hollywood, she'd become Elizabeth Taylor.
The Disappearing Liz Taylor
I asked my mother about the whole Making Liz Taylor Disappear theory. It was probably foolish of me to ask and yet I couldn't resist. At first I thought she meant if she went to Hollywood she would be an actress LIKE Liz Taylor or as famous AS Liz Taylor. This frustrated my mother who explained she wouldn't be LIKE Liz Taylor or ANOTHER Liz Taylor--she would be THE Liz Taylor.
"There's only ONE Liz Taylor!" my mother scolded me. "There's never going to be ANOTHER Liz Taylor!" (tone of voice: My God, who raised you)
"So you would be her, the one and only HER?"
"How would that work exactly?" I asked her.
"What do you mean, how would it work? She'd disappear. I'd be her."
"OK so Liz Taylor would just be gone?"
"No she wouldn't be GONE, she'd be right THERE. I'd be HER. I swear, sometimes it's like you just don't pay attention."
I tried a different angle. "But the first Liz Taylor, Liz Taylor Number One, she would be gone. And you would be there, you would be Liz Two."
"Yes!" (smiling happily at the thought)
"But what happens to Linda?"
"What do you mean?"
"Well Linda becomes Liz Two so who takes the place of the original Linda, up here in Seattle?"
"I'm not sure. That part is a mystery."
"OK so as long as you stay up here, as long as you don't go near Hollywood, Liz Taylor Number One gets to stay Liz Taylor."
"So that's awfully nice of you to stay here so she gets to stay her."
"Yes that's true."
"But if you went there tomorrow--"
"Is she aware of this?"
"I don't think so."
It was one of the most pleasant conversations I ever had with my mother.
Amie Ryan is the author of essay collections GREEN SHOES MEAN I LOVE YOU and STARFISH ON THURSDAY and the Marilyn Monroe biography MARILYN: LOVED BY YOU. To learn more, visit https://www.amieryan.com