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Sunday, May 14, 2006

M is for the Many Things She Gave Me

It's Mom’s Day. My mother is the person I know least likely to operate with an agenda. She is overwhelmingly nice. Sometimes TOO nice. A telemarketer calls and she says she’s not interested, and doesn't understand why he doesn't then hang up. (Because he still things he can still sell to her as long as she still on the phone.)

My father was the disciplinarian when I was growing up. My mom actually tried to spank me once, but it was a half-hearted effort.

She had a lot of guilt about being a working mom; the correct verbiage now is "a mother working outside the home", but we’re talking the late 1950s and the 1960s. We would go to her mother's house at lunch and after school. My grandmother was a strange, paranoid woman who told us about bogeymen, "bad people" and the like in such terrifying detail that both sister Leslie and I tended to believe her, whereas baby sister Marcia saw through the BS.

So, my mom was upset that her children’s minds were being filled with so much rubbish, even a decade after the fact. We tried to assure her not worry, that we were OK, that none of us ended up as mass murders or committed other felonies.

We could really tease my mom. She was not a great cook, and in fact, my father was much better in the kitchen. But she tried. Once, she made something from a recipe she found. It had weird green specks in it that we thought were awful. There was a detergent at the time called Oxydol, which advertised having "green bleaching crystals", and for years we made reference to this disastrous meal with "green bleaching crystals."

I think one of my favorite times with my mother was when I was 12 and Leslie was 11. My father smoked at the time, but my mother never has. So we sat at the kitchen table and we all lit up. Then we all coughed our brains out. Neither Leslie nor I ever were smokers.

So, there are some random thoughts about Mom. Happy Mother’s Day.
Happy birthday, Rocco.

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