This year, we had a Mother’s Day Extravaganza.
We rounded up all the usual suspects:
Starting with the Two Head Mamas: Nannie and Mom
Next, the newest of the Mom club, my little sister Emi
Then, my baby sister St. Molly
Of course, the Baby Brother of the family:
Next, the real Baby of the family, my Nephew, Boo-Boo
Finally, Yours Truly
You might not guess it to look at us, but we’re a crazy bunch. We yell, we laugh, and we always cry – usually all three at the same time, especially when board games are involved. Emi once tackled Nannie while playing a heated game of Spoons. We don’t believe in mercy – not when our pride is on the line.
Mother’s Day this year did not pass without equal shares of nagging, gossip, laughter and yelling, all of which I reflected upon as I held a paper towel full of ice cubes to my mother’s pinkie toe after she stubbed it.
“Do you think it’s broken?”
“No, Ma, it just feels like it is, but it’s not.”
“Oh, I think it’s broken”
“No, Ma. It’s not. And even if it was, we couldn’t do anything about it anyway.”
As the conversation continued, the Little Brother and St. Molly were unable to hide their fits of laughter. Why is it so funny when Mom stubs her toe? Probably because she props herself up in a chair and acts like her foot is being amputated without any kind of painkiller. Be strong, Mother. Just like Melanie Wilks on Gone With The Wind when she so bravely gave birth that baby without anything to take the pain away and the Yankees a-comin’!
I love my Mom. She told me that I wasn’t allowed to blog about her anymore after I wrote my Guide to Mother-Daughter Relationships. I know she doesn’t mean that. She kinda likes me writing about her. If I’m on my way to being a small-town celebrity, I know Mom loves her little slice of limelight – she’ll deny that though.
In honor of My Mom, I’d like to share a few gems from the past 26 years:
2000 – I was 15, learning to drive a car, which was incredibly stressful because every time I stalled out, Mom would scream, “Oh, Shit. You’re going to drop the transmission right out of this car if you keep doing that!” I didn’t exactly know what a transmission was (not sure my mom did either), but I was too busy trying to reach that beautiful equilibrium between letting off the clutch and putting on the gas. After a particularly stressful drive down Union Blvd, we stopped for gas. Pumping gas – something else I had to learn. It seemed intuitive. How hard could it be? I jumped out of the driver’s seat and eagerly unscrewed the gas cap. I ran in and handed the attendant $10 (because in 2000, that was enough to buy a decent amount of gasoline in Colorado). When I came back to the car, Mom was waiting by the pump, wearing her critical face. I rolled my eyes and then abruptly grabbed the nozzle to show her I was confidant that I could pump gas. She said something, loud, sudden. I was startled and turned to reply, pushing the trigger on the gas pump. I sprayed 85 octane gasoline all over her. She was mad. Really mad. “Goddamnit, Honey!” She was pissed. I giggled. That made things worse. She told me to pump the damn gas and then get in the car and stormed off to the passenger side. When I got back into the car, it smelled. Bad. As I started the ignition, and stalled out twice pulling away from the pump, I knew she was going to lose it. Was she crying? I was afraid to look. She was crying. I tried to say sorry. I was still inappropiately laughing. She sobbed, “Just take me home.” Then, she started yelling at me again. She couldn’t believe I had done that. When she started sobbing and said, “It’s burning,” I lost my cool. I turned to her and said, “I AM TRYING TO DRIVE YOU HOME! NOW, STOP YELLING AT ME, OR I AM GOING TO LIGHT A MATCH!” We drove home in silence. We laugh about it today.
1999 – I was 14. I was very sensitive about feminine hygiene products. I tended to look like a young shoplifter, hiding boxes of Kotex under my coat until the last possible moment in the checkout line. At the grocery store, I would stuff the boxes of *unmentionables* under bags of frozen veggies and walk 3 steps ahead of the cart. Sure, it was a little neurotic. I blame my hypersensitivity on the first time I went with Mom to buy these products for myself. She made me go to the store with her. She asked me to be her “special helper” (which translates to “coupon holder” and “cart pusher”). We bought about a million groceries. Finally, it was time to leave. I stood cringing in the checkout line – Mom had chosen the lane with the cutest checker at Safeway. I picked up an Archie Comic and pretended to be completely oblivious to the bulk supply of tampons and pads my mom was buying. There were enough for about 5 months. They were on sale. My mom had a coupon. It was double coupon day. Do you see the perfect storm forming here? The checker was not much older than me. He looked mortified as the mountain of feminine hygiene inched it’s way along the conveyor belt towards him. I saw it coming and started to blush. I pretended to really care about whether Archie was in love with Veronica or Betty. The cute checker reached for the first box of Tampax. I couldn’t watch. It didn’t ring up on sale. “Excuse me, those are on sale.” She really said that. He blushed. He fumbled with the register. It felt like forever. He had to call a price check and flick on the blinking light. A manager came over. My mom insisted that they were on sale. Override on the register and they rang up on sale. I closed my eyes. I just wanted it to be over. Almost done. He was about to give her the total. Mom busted out (and when I say that, I mean, SHE TALKS LOUD), “Oh, wait, I have a coupon for the tampons.” I threw the coupon at her and ran out to the car, thoroughly convinced that all of Safeway had paused to witness my humiliation.
2010 – The whole fam-dam-ly came out to visit and spend Christmas in Connecticut. I took them all to see the Rockettes Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall. Mom asked if she needed to wear a fanny-pack since we were going to New York City and she didn’t want her purse to get snatched. My Mom still wears fanny-packs. The show was, well, spectacular. I had to listen to every single moment over and over again on the train ride back, normally 2 hours, but because of technical difficulties, 4 hours. She was a kid on Christmas. I couldn’t stop her. We finally got home around 4:30 a.m. She was still talking, “Oh, and the scene with the nutcrackers….” We crawled into bed around 5:00 a.m. Due to limited sleeping arrangements in my miniature house and a popped air mattress, Mom, St. Molly and I had to share my queen-sized bed with my beagle Huckleberry. She was still talking about it. She was still so excited. I told her I was never taking her to a show in New York again. I didn’t really mean it – I still want to go see Wicked and I bet she’d love it!
1991 – My Mom cut my bangs. She put a piece of scotch tape across my forehead and cut them about an inch above my eyebrows so that they could grow for a long time before she would have to cut them again. Then, she put a pony tail up on the side of my head, dressed me in an orange jump suit, and sent me to school on Picture Day. She would become a repeat offender six years later when she had a friend come over and perm my hair in our kitchen. I went to picture day in tears, with my father’s taunts of looking like the “cowardly lion” echoing in my ears.
2005 – My Mom won at the game “Blockus.” It’s the only time in history she’s won. I still hear about it every time I come home.
2011 – Present Day, I’m 26. My Mom routinely brings up skeletons in my closet; her favorite being the field trips of 1994 and 1995. I was in Elementary School. Mom begins, “Sweetie, do you remember when you were in 5th grade and your class would go on field trips and none of those kids would let you sit with them on the bus?” Before I get the chance to roll my eyes, she continues, “And they were so MEAN to you! Do you remember how they would put their hand on the seat and say that anyone but you could sit there? And no one would let you sit down! And those teachers did NOTHING about it!? So, I said that I was going to go on the field trip and you could drive with me, and I would stop and get you a McDonalds?” I can barely squeeze in a, “Yes, Ma” before she rambles on, “I was so mad at those kids and the way they treated you. No one would let you sit down, you just didn’t have any friends.” Thanks, Mom. *Eats Ice Cream*
These are just a few of the many stories in which my Mom steals the show. And these stories are mine only – I have three younger siblings.
Dear Mom – watch out for our combined memoirs.