Perhaps this will become a semi-regular thing - for now, I am just looking to store and share great stories about my often hilarious, always awesome mother before my memory loses them to time and space. My mother is amazing… she is maybe super cursed.
Story #3: That Time My Mother was Super Cursed
So, a little background info on my mother. She is short and just kind of small in general, to the point that everything she does is kind of adorable, in the way that small things are adorable. I mean, she has to order her shoes online because she wears a 4.5 and most stores don’t carry those. That’s how I taught her to use the internet - her tiny, tiny shoes.
She’s also incredibly nice. She never expects anything in return for her niceness, like all truly nice people. As you’ll see in two of these curse-attacks, if she were a mean old crone who hated people, they might not have gone down this way!
CURSE 1: The Never-Healing Spider Bite (Fall 2005)
Shortly after moving into their new house, my mother was bitten by a spider on her shin. Since it didn’t look like any omgdeathspider!!!1! she knew of, she didn’t think too much of it. It refused to heal for over a year. She went to the doctor regularly to be all, “Dude, wtf?!” and the doctor had no answers for her. She got it biopsied, nothing was negatively affected anywhere else, it didn’t really hurt… it was just a wound that wouldn’t heal. The biopsies (multiple) must have eventually gotten rid of whatever was being spider-venomed, because now, ma just has a big scar on her shin from all the biopsies instead of a gross spider wound.
CURSE 2: Pool Umbrella to the Face (Summer 2007)
Casualty of Being Nice #1. A few of the neighborhood kids came by and asked if my mom would take them to the pool, since they needed adult supervision to go. My mother, retired and fond of these kids, said okay. The wind must’ve been nearly gale-force or something, because upon arrival, a gust picked up a non-secured pool umbrella and drove it into my tiny mother’s face. It smashed a good deal of her front teeth and she needed emergency oral surgery. Part of her recovery involved her getting braces as a woman in her sixties. She was NOT PLEASED(tm).
CURSE 3: Suburban Avalanche (Summer 2008)
Casualty of Being Nice #2. My parents moved into a new development, and as such, for years after they moved in, there was various construction around the neighborhood. Being the last house on a row, they ended up with extra stone slabs piled in their garage - these are huge, hundred-pounds-or-so slate slabs that are used as stepping stones in paths. My parents nicely kept these stones in case anyone wanted them for their own back yard (some neighbors had emailed that yes, they would one day want these stones, so in the garage they stayed). One day, my mother went out into the garage to get a carpet cleaner, and its cord was stuck behind this stack of stone slabs. Mom tried to move the slabs forward just enough to untrap the cord… and three of them fell on her. My tiny mother, maybe 100 lbs total, was trapped under a pile of rock that she could not get out from under.
One of the stones had cut into her shin, so she was trapped and bleeding. The garage, thankfully, was open, so my mom started shouting for help and waving her arms around. At one point, a minivan drove by and WAVED BACK AT HER. (I will, one day, track down and murder this person in the face.) Eventually, a neighbor several houses down went outside to mow his lawn and heard her, freed her, and took her to the hospital for stitches and to see if anything was broken. Here’s how I found out about this:
[A phone call.]
K: Hey, ma.
K: How was your day.
M: Oh, you know. Actually, kind of stressful. I just got back from the hospital - I had to get some stitches.
I had brunch with my mom yesterday. This happened:
M: That woman over there just ordered a chocolate martini.
M: You can tell, because there’s chocolate syrup on the glass.
K: Alright, Nosy McGee.
M: [affronted] I’m not nosy! I’m a detective.
K: [promptly chokes on coffee] HAHAHAHA
M: I could tell you all about this person and her life. I detect.
Later, I was driving us over to my new apartment and I was trying to remember something my dad told me, about how there’s a park in DC where this one corner of it is the most surveilled in the country and/or world because of all the government buildings and embassies around it.
M: Oh! Lafayette Park. That’s from my Baldacci book. [super serious face] But it’s true.
Perhaps this will become a semi-regular thing - for now, I am just looking to store and share great stories about my often hilarious, always awesome mother before my memory loses them to time and space. My mother is amazing… she is maybe just not the greatest with technology.
Story #1: That Time My Mother Accidentally Ordered Porn
I think I was in high school when this happened… it was definitely back when “Star Power” used to exist as a cable provider. Pre-flat screen TVs. Anyway.
My mother really, really loved The Sopranos. It was always appointment television for her. Some of this is because it was actually a very good show. Some is because anything geographically close to New York makes her remind me she grew up in New York. So imagine her surprise when she’s scrolling through the TV menu and she sees they made a Sopranos movie! How did she miss this?
My brother and I were both in our rooms when we hear her shout, “KIDS! HELP!”
Naturally, we both spring into action. Our tiny, accident-prone mother was in need of assistance! We arrive on the scene, in her studio, where she is staring at the screen in horror, as the Spice Channel is asking her to confirm her order.
She has ordered The Sopornos, Part 2.
"Fix it!" she says, handing my brother the remote.
Brett and I are reading the screen to figure it out, and then my poor brother was laughing too hard to do much. It was easy enough to cancel the order, and now we had jokes for weeks. “Oh, Mom’s too busy watching porn to make us dinner.” “So did Dick Soporno whack that dude? Or whack off that dude?” “Mom? Did you wash my soccer uniform or were you too busy watching porn?”
I recently made this cake for a friend of mine’s birthday. My only constraints were “yellow cake with chocolate frosting,” so obviously, I defaulted to a Ron Swanson joke.
The “egg yolks” are make of cake - I butchered a couple of cupcakes and held them in place with toothpicks. This is besides the point, though. The point is my family is not a typical family and I think we’re occasionally hilarious.
Whenever I need to bake something, I make an excuse to go visit my parents. They have a really nice kitchen, tons of kitchen gadgets and baking accoutrements, and - most importantly - my mother. My mother is a great cook and baker, and I like having her nearby when I attempt a new project so I can whine for help if I need it. That and she used to decorate cakes for a living, so she’s clearly a good resource for when you want to create believable icing bacon.
With the cooled cakes out and ready to be iced, I explained the concept of the cake to my mom and asked her to go through her old decorating stuff and tell me which tips, dyes, etc. to use. While I was trying to get the right yellow-orange for the yolks and the red for the bacon, she took care of the chocolate frosting base.
The yolk yellow was pretty easy to get, but the bacon red was harder to achieve. Here is an actual argument we had:
K: Mom, is this red okay?
M: I guess?
K: It needs to look like cartoon bacon.
M: I don’t know what that means.
K: CARTOON BACON, MOM.
M: WHAT DOES CARTOON BACON LOOK LIKE?
K: LIKE RAW BACON, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?
My father had no idea what we were doing and came to investigate. He was sorely disappointed there was no actual bacon to steal.
Once we’d decided the red was okay, I stopped my brother as he walked by and told him to be my icing bacon consultant. We had serious talks about how wavy the piece should be, how thick each white “fat” line should be, what icing tip would give the red part a good texture. All in all, a fun family project. Dad helped “clean up” the extra icing, so he gets credit too.