Across America, and perhaps a few other parts of the world, thousands and thousands of families are gathering today to pay homage to the shining light they grew up around. One that always provided comfort and advice, taught them about the world, sent them love and laughter, heartbreak and tears.
Uh…….no, it’s not the family TV……….now get away from that thing and put down the remote!
As drivers everywhere try to remember just exactly where she lives nowadays, after fighting through the line at the flower stand, they look at their watch and wonder how long this is going to take. Then they remember…….they forgot the card!…….Damn,…..back to the store…….
Next, it’s time to bundle dear old Mom up into the car and take her to a overpriced, not so good Mother’s Day Lunch or Dinner, at a jammed restaurant full of other people with THEIR mothers.
As the offspring disgorge their gifts, Mom smiles and says thank you.
Underneath, she’s gritting her teeth. You know what she’s really thinking?
“I want my 20 something vagina back, along with a Chippendale with a hard-on the size of Manhattan.
“I can’t believe I gave birth this person. Is it too late to send them back?”
“I wonder if I can try and trade with one of these other families?”
“Did I remember the teeny bottle of brandy in my purse?”
“Uh, oh, is that spilled water or are my Depends leaking?”
“Wonder when I should tell them I blew their inheritance in Vegas?”
“I should have forgotten about having kids and just had a few more dogs.”
“At least if I have to visit them I can steal some extra Xanax from their medicine cabinet.”
“To hell with flowers, I need a good set of earplugs for this bunch.”
If I think back on dear old Mom, one incident stands out. My sister was fully into her headstrong teenager years, and in a full blown argument with Mom. At one point, dear sweet Mom got so mad she picked up a pound of hamburger and threw it at my sister. Now, being the athlete that she was, her arm sent that hamburger about two feet from her before skipping across the kitchen counter toward Sis. My brother and I, usually the troublemakers, watched in amazement. “Wow, Mom’s never done THAT before!” Years later, none of us remember what the argument was about, but all of us remember that hamburger skipping across the counter. Forever embedded in the family lore.
She was also quite Don Quixote-like in her eternal optimism that our family could have a “nice, quiet, peaceful family dinner”. With two teenage boys at the table……..oh yes, a monumental challenge. For us, at times, it was not dinner, but instead an opportunity to work on our class clown routines. My Dad was a relatively easy mark, as he had a good sense of humor and could easily start laughing. My Mom,…….well, that was a tougher nut to crack. First there was usually a polite plea from her to “settle down and let’s have a nice dinner”.
Now, for us, that was like waving a red flag in front of a bull. Game On! The next level was to force her up to a Level 2 response, which consisted of her trying to keep a straight face and remain a stern disciplinarian. As the seconds went by, you could see her straining as you increased your rapid fire delivery of jokes and remarks. Sometimes you went down in a ball of flame, but other times you saw the veneer cracking and falling away, then the smile and laugh, and you zoomed off into the stratosphere, another notch on your wings.
One other thing I remember from those high school years is the time I was involved in a school fundraiser. There were about 30 kids in the room, kicking ideas about what food to offer at a benefit dinner. Spaghetti came up at one point, and the amazing thing was that almost every single kid in that room said something to the effect of “My mom makes the BEST spaghetti”. Almost EVERY kid. I still feel that response is maybe less indicative of how well the moms cooked, and more indicative of the love that was served along with that spaghetti over the years.
So Mom, Happy Mother’s Day, and you too, make the BEST spaghetti!