Thursday, January 20, 2011

Sometimes Crazy Can Be a Little Bit Charming

When I was a little girl I hate, hate, hated that my mom was different.  I hated that she slept all the time, I hated that she wore her hair funny, I hated the time we went to Vons and she bought $200 worth of canned goods because she was worried about some random disaster happening, I hated how slowly she drove (seriously, everyone teased us about this), I hated that she always drove OVER those concrete parking-spot markers, I hated that she always had to check the oven again and again (and again) before leaving the house…followed by checking that the door was locked again and again (and again).  It really is a wonder we ever got anywhere at all! 

Now that I’m all grown up, though I wouldn’t mind having a nice, normal mom, I can see that sometimes her craziness can actually be quite charming. 

She called the other day to ask about my aunt, her sister.  My aunt is one of those wonderfully amazing people who you just feel better having known.  Though we’ve always lived on different coasts, and though we haven’t really spent all that much time together,  when I was growing up I definitely felt a special connection to her (still do, in fact).  She was the one person who totally understood what I was going through with my mom.  I didn’t have to explain anything to her, I didn’t have to feel embarrassed or ashamed around her; she just “got it” in a way very few people can.

From about the time my parents divorced to a few years ago, my aunt was the one to send my mom “fun” money.  You know - a few dollars here and there so that my mom always had a little something in her wallet to do something fun.  My aunt was, very sadly and tragically, diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s a few years ago, so needless to say, life as she knew it came to a screeching halt.  As a result she was no longer able to send my mom money. 

Not wanting to upset my mom, and, more truthfully, not knowing how she would react to the news, I decided not to tell her about my aunt’s illness.  I just didn’t know how she would take it, and the last thing she needed was to be sent into a tailspin over something she could do absolutely nothing about.  (If my mom worries about me starting grease fires while cooking, imagine what this kind of news would do to her.  I wasn't taking any chances!) 

So, she doesn’t know anything’s wrong with my aunt, and only very rarely does she ask about her.  But she did the other day.  She said she needed a few extra dollars; she wanted to buy a new pair of shoes and a few odds and ends.  “And you know, Jane,” she said, “I do like to have an orange soda every now and then because I’m worried about keeping my weight up.” 

That’s right, she said UP!  Though she was much thinner when she was younger (weren’t we all?!), she has been in the plus sizes for many years, and in all honesty, she should be worried about keeping her weight down, not up!

I couldn’t help but smile to myself.  I just found it so charming that while most women are worried about losing weight, here’s my plus-size mom worried about getting her orange soda so that she can keep her weight up.  “I don’t like to get too thin, you know, Jane.”  You just can't help loving someone like that, now can you?

I tell her I’ll send her a check.  I mean, who am I to deny her the simple pleasure of an orange soda every now and then so that she can keep her weight up?  Not me, that’s for sure!


  1. I think you are at your best when you write about your mom.

  2. How sweet, thank you. And thank you for taking the time to comment. Getting comments is so much fun!