I was sitting on the couch reading last night and I could actually feel my mother’s reading expression on my face.
Well, that’s it. I have finally made the complete transformation into my mother.
I look like her, talk like her, act like her, I find her words coming out of my mouth when I’m talking to the kids, and now I read like her.
It’s the little things that I do that remind me of her.
⦁ I read signs out loud. Not as much as my mother and perhaps not like her mother before her, but I do it. This was one of the things that annoyed me about my mom and here I am driving in the car, pointing and shouting, “Ha! Look! Jack’s Pizza!” I don’t know how other people do it, just driving by not commenting on the van that says “Puppies Sharpening.”
⦁ I get too excited when the phone rings. I’m definitely not one of those people who can just listen to the phone ring and let the answering machine get it. I jump up from wherever I am, blankets get thrown down, knitting needles go flying, chairs overturn, just so I can say, “HELLO!” in a panicked voice. And my cell phone? Fugetaboutit. When my cell phone rings, I’ve been known to let out a little shriek, even after the kids changed my ring tone to a hypnotic Brahms’ Lullaby played on cotton balls by baby angels. I act as though I’ve never had a phone call that wasn’t from the sheriff’s department or a ransom demand.
⦁ I dig around in my purse. I’ve had big purses with many compartments, small purses that only hold a lipstick and a social security card folded in half, oversized diaper bags and everything in between. No matter, when I’m looking for my car keys or a Lifesaver, I shove my fist down into my purse and wiggle it around and it makes that crunching, muffled grinding sound until eventually you hear a little tinkle and there are my keys. My keys, by the way, look like I’m a janitor with two jobs and some rental properties and am a night shift guard at the Gates of Hell. My key ring only holds four actual keys, but I’ve added 27 frequent buyer cards, two auto door openers and a lime green rubber, figure-8 ring, something I keep on my key ring because Rudy Pishkur gave it to me.
⦁ I don’t think that anything bad is ever going to happen to me. While this is exactly my mom’s philosophy, we carry it out differently. I don’t go as far as my mom. I lock my doors. When I was growing up, we never locked anything. In our house on Stewart Avenue, there were no keys for the doors. We once went to bed with the doors so wide open that our boxer dog Betsy brought another dog home. One of my sisters woke up during the night and was staring into the eyes of a stray mutt, Betsy beside him, like she was showing him around, introducing him to her owners. When my mom was older and living alone, she not only left her car unlocked in her driveway, right near a main state road (not to mention less than 2 miles from a prison), she left the keys in it. When I expressed my exasperation over this issue, she said, “Well, it’s not like I leave the keys right in the ignition or anything!” (Yes, they were in the glove box.)
Anyone who knew my mom knows that my turning into her is reason for celebration. My mom was awesome. So now so am I. :-)