Tuesday, May 15, 2007

My Mother

I know it’s a couple of days past Mother’s Day, but I don’t care – I’m posting about my mommy anyway. (I would have written something on Sunday, but I was a little distracted by the fact that my mother never returned my ‘Happy Mother’s Day’ phone call – apparently she was ‘busy until 11at night’ and she ‘didn’t call my sister back either.’ If she wasn’t so cute, she wouldn’t get away with this shit.)

Anyway, after you read this I suspect you’ll have the typical reaction: How did a woman who sounds so sweet and likable raise someone like Redhead? Well, it’s a mystery – one we’ve wondered about in my family for quite some time. But anyway, here goes – 11 things that make my mom unique in all the world:

*She lies indiscriminately. Seriously, she does. It’s gotten to the point where after she says things that don’t sound right, I’ll just ask: Did you just lie to me? More than likely, the answer will be yes. The plus side to this is she always admits readily to her lies. In fact, a lot of the time she doesn’t even notice she’s doing it. Quick story: A few years ago my mom, my sister, and I went to Disneyworld – I had never been so we made a girls weekend out of it. Anyway, we were waiting in line for one of those 3D movie things, and the woman standing in line behind us asked if we knew how long the movie was. Without batting an eye my mother said, ‘an hour.’ So the woman decided that was too long for her daughter to sit through, and she left. After she’d walked away, my sister and I turned to my mother with questioning (and trusting) eyes. This is the conversation that followed:
Redhead and Sister: Really? Where did you hear that? We don’t want to sit through an hour movie either.
Mom: (Thinking…then shrugging)
Redhead and Sister: Mom, did you make that up?
Mom: (Sheepish look)
Redhead and Sister: Why did you lie to that poor woman?
Mom: I don’t know – she seemed like she wanted an answer.
Redhead and Sister: But you didn’t have the answer!
Mom: (Another sheepish look)
Let me be clear here – she is not being malicious when she lies. SHE JUST DOES IT. There is no thought process behind this. When you look like you want an answer, she just gives you one – truth be damned. The main problem is she sells the lies very well, so if you don’t know her you can be swindled. (FYI – the 3D movie was about 10 minutes long.) Yup, that’s my mom. My moral compass.

*She’s prone to hyperbole. Like if she enjoys something, it’s immediately the ‘best ever.’ She does this with everything, and it’s kind of a running joke in my family. At this point we feel the need to remind her of the time she declared Taco Bell ‘the best ever’ – this was after they gave her a toy in her kid’s meal.

*She doesn’t cook. I was literally raised on takeout (except on Sundays when my father cooked). But she does cook one meal a year – Thanksgiving. And she reminds us of this every time we complain. Only cooking stresses her out, so over the years I’ve started helping her with Thanksgiving. And at this point I basically make everything but the turkey. Still, Thanksgiving is her meal, and she gets credit for it. (Oh, and she rubs off on people. All of my friends’ moms cooked when they were growing up – until they met my mom. From then on their moms stopped cooking too. I’m not sure what she said to them, but she became kind of famous for this amongst my classmates.)

*She’ll cry at the drop of a hat. She cries when she’s happy, when she’s sad, at a particularly good commercial. It’s so ridiculous that no one even really notices anymore. Even I don’t respond – and generally speaking crying freaks me out. But not my mom; not only am I used to it, but I think it’s kind of cute. She doesn’t cry to manipulate, she just wears her heart on her sleeve. You have to like that.

*She can’t fight. Even when I was going through my difficult teenage years, my mother and I probably fought once every year or two. And it wasn’t for lack of trying on my part. On the extremely rare occasions when she would yell back (and I always deserved it), she would burst into tears and immediately apologize (even when it was my fault – which was always), because she ‘couldn’t stand being in a fight with me.’ It made acting like a little shit so much harder.

*Her tastebuds are fucked. I’m not kidding – the woman can’t tell the difference between vodka and gin. They taste exactly the same to her. This drives me and my father (both foodies) nuts.

*She hates sports, but knows more about them than most people. This is thanks to everyone else in the family. My dad, sister, and I all love sports, and my brother actually works in the industry. So she reads the paper every day and always pays attention to people who are talking about our teams. This translates into her being able to quote obscure numbers to us. The breadth of her knowledge is staggering at times. Yet whenever a Yankee game is on, the only thing she really seems interested in is how cute Derek Jeter is. Go figure.

*She has the attention span of a 10 year old. (This is in spite of the fact that she has her doctorate and is a graduate school professor.) My mom regularly admits to not listening to me because she’s doing something else when we’re on the phone, I’ve never seen her sit through a movie without picking up a magazine or book halfway through, and she often stops talking in the middle of sentences because she has moved on already and forgotten what she was talking about. Actually, that last one deserves its own point…

*If she ever goes senile, we won’t notice. I can’t tell you how many times a week my phone will ring, and when I answer it she’ll open with ‘I was calling to tell you something – it was profound – but I can’t remember what it is now.’ She’ll also forget conversations that we had the day before (probably because she wasn’t paying attention), and she has been known to walk into rooms and get confused because she can’t remember what she was coming to do (and she’s always been like this). On the plus side, it does make things interesting.

*She’s spoiled rotten. In a good way. Let me say this much – she’s a special woman who is very much appreciated by her family and friends. Everyone loves her. My father adores her, my siblings and I worship her, and the dogs look at her like she created heaven and earth (although that may be because she feeds them). Hell, even when she tells me the dogs are cuter than I am, I accept it – she’s right after all. So I don’t begrudge her those two walk-in closets (although she needs to stop shopping) and the regular vacations she goes on. If anyone deserves it, she does. Which leads to my last point for the day…

*She’s the strongest woman I know. She’s the best woman I know. OK, time to get a bit more serious than I usually prefer: Although she’s got it pretty good, life has kicked my mother in the ass more times than I can count. Yet she has undoubtedly the most positive outlook of anyone I know. She’s flaky yet sharp. She’s mushy as a marshmallow yet tough as nails. And she NEVER complains. I don’t doubt for a second that she would take on the world and win if need be. I mean hell, she’s taken on me (and continues to keep me around). So to my mom, who doesn’t even know about about this blog and will never read this: I love you. You are my hero and my best friend. And you can blow me off on Mother’s Day any time you want.


onthevirg said...

Awwww...that was nice. Are you sick or something?

Redhead said...

Bite me - I love my mommy and there's nothing wrong with that. (So don't make me kick you ass.)