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  • Samm

Tough F*cking Cookies

Only a one-of-a-kind mother would challenge her daughter to a fully-gowned plank-off at her daughter’s wedding reception, but there she was. In the middle of the crowded dance circle, in a magical foreign country--the mother daughter duo smiling at one another--sweating, pushing each other while laughing at the absurdity of their actions, but unwilling to give up. That’s Patti--polished and beautiful, down for anything, ready to party, and willing to kick some ass.

Elisabeth's wedding, moments before the plank-off

Liz (Patti’s youngest daughter) is one of my closest friends. We met in college where we lived together, and I ended up marrying a guy she grew up with. They tell me they are distant cousins and although I can’t really follow the lineage, I guess that makes us related now so I am going with it. Basically, Patti is my aunt. Okay?!


I actually have a bone to pick with Patti--that’s why I am here. This is a space to air my grievances, right? So--Patti is the kind of mom who is amazing to have as the mom of one of your friends but less than ideal when you become a mom yourself. She actually kind of screws you. Hear me out. It is incredible to be on the receiving end of a Patti Drinkwater college care package or a guest at an impromptu post-dinner girls night on Everett Street. Patti’s house is always decorated for each season--equipped with fresh flowers and appropriate decorations. She makes a wide variety of delicious baked goods and packages them each as their own individual work of art. I remember thinking I would be that way when I had kids--the super fun, high-energy mom with the perfectly-decorated house, awesomely thick hair, and killer baked goods. Well, four kids later and I am realizing that Patti forgot to teach me how to do all the perfectly coordinated, yummy, crafty mom shit (she didn’t teach Lizzy either, just sayin’). Turns out that stuff actually doesn’t just come naturally and I am more of an UberEats kinda mom who is balding and can’t even keep succulents alive. She set the bar too high!


Thankfully Liz and I can rely on Patti to supply our children with immaculately packaged treats. Two weeks ago in the middle of a pandemic snow storm, amidst one of her treatment sessions, there was a knock on my door--Patti had shuffled her way up my icy steps in the freezing cold to hand deliver my kids and I some special cookies. While she was trying to get some exercise and spread a little joy, she unknowingly provided me with so much more. She gave me the opportunity to open up a conversation with my kids about making the best of things and pushing through when shit gets hard. We sat on the kitchen floor for twenty minutes, eating frosted snowflake-shaped treats, talking about Mrs. Drinkwater and her decision to spend her time doing kind things for others even when she is going through something hard herself. What a gift.

Rex's gift to Patti

So whether you are my icy front steps, ALS, or a plank challenge in a fancy gown--you are no match for Patti Drinkwater. She will be fearless, positive, and strong because, just like Liz, she is one tough fucking cookie.

Patti wearing Pete's pin, gifted by Rex

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