So, I’m sitting there minding my own business yesterday, just crankin’ away, when I get this email from my sister-in-law. My brother and one of my sisters was also copied on it and there’s a URL attached to it. So I click on the link, and this is what I see:
That delightful woman rocking the ice tea on the right? None other than my mom, the ever lovely Dr. Martha Lee Osborne. Looks like the retired-professor has moved on to another career — that of Internet model. Quite exciting, indeed.
The ensuing email chain wasn’t a terribly long one because, to be perfectly frank, my mom’s kinda random, not to mention the fact that she loves to eat out — I mean, she’d travel to Shanghai and back if a meal were part of the deal — so to see her pop up on the Aubrey’s banner kinda made sense in a weird way. Still, my brother did throw a reasonable question into the mix.
“Do you think she signed a release?”
My knee-jerk answer was NO. She did not sign a release. This is the same woman who can’t throw away junk mail without having an in-depth conversation.
“Toss it, Mom. It was probably junk mail intended for Dad.”
“Well, sure, but you never know. Who am I to throw away your mail?”
“That’s just it, Mom. It’s not my mail.”
“Well, it’s got your name on it.”
“Which is Dad’s name, too.”
“Well, how am I to know they didn’t mean you?”
“Um, because I’ve not lived at that address since the Reagan administration, maybe?”
“Well, better safe than sorry. I wanted to make sure wasn’t doing anything wrong.”
And she means that last part — the last thing she wants to do is accidentally mess something up. Which is exactly why we would have heard all about her Aubrey’s photo shoot had they sought her permission. Because she’d wanna make sure that doing something like that wasn’t unknowingly not okay. (There were like six negatives in that last sentence. I’m keeping it.)
So given all that, my stance was that there was no way they’d asked her permission (I WAS WRONG, but more on that in a bit), and I was totally gonna run with it via a post I pretty much had written in my head by the time I finished working out this evening.
I was gonna say “My mom’s an Internet model for Aubrey’s, y’all, only they never really asked her. But, still, as part of the deal, they’re giving away free entrees to anyone who prints off this blog post and brings it in to any of their Knoxville locations. Did I clear this free-entree business with them? Well, no, of course not. I’m not associated with them. Besides, given their deal with mom, I don’t really think they’re into clearing things with people. Plus, I’m sure it’ll be fine, you know, since my mom works for them and all.”
This is the part where I readily admit that I may not have actually gone through with this meta, eye-for-an-eye joke mainly because I really, really like Aubrey’s. So if I were to have done it, I’m sure I would have gone over the top to make sure everyone knew I was totally kidding. Either way, I obviously had to call Mom to get the skinny.
“So, you’re famous.”
“Oh, indeed,” she said.
“You know what I”m talking about?”
She did. My brother had called her and told her all about it.
“So, did they ask you if they could use your likeness?”
“Well of course,” she said. “I got a free lunch out of the deal.”
Of course she did.
“I believe they used the picture on TV once, but I never saw it,” my mom continued, seemingly enthused about (a) her newfound celebrity and (b) a chance to show me just how incorrect my assumption had been.”
That’s when I told her all about the post I was thinking about writing, but how it’d obviously be pointless given that my entire premise was totally incorrect. We had a good laugh about the entire affair before talk turned back to the photo. Believe it or not, she’d never seen it, and she’s not exactly an Internet person, so I offered to show it to her on my phone the next time I saw her.
“Oh, that’d be great. I understand I’m sipping ice tea.”
“You sure are.”
“Well, I’d probably be more identifiable if I were sipping a martini, but I don’t believe they were serving alcohol at that particular hour.”
First, that’s a classic line, y’all. Because it’s funny AND true. But, second, surely they were serving alcohol when that picture was taken, right? I mean, can’t you order booze at a restaurant anytime?
Even if they weren’t serving alcohol for whatever reason, all she would have had to do was explain to her server that she worked in their Internet modeling department and I’m sure she could have gotten whatever she wanted. No questions asked. People love models.