My mother is a wonderful woman.
A wonderful woman who has the habit of latching onto phrases and repeating them ad naseum. Here’s just a few examples.
1. That’s too much soap. -My sister and I joke that we are going to put this on her tombstone thanks to the thousands of times she’s told us this as we start up the dishwasher.
2. How ladylike. -I keep thinking that after 32 years she would give up on this one but alas, it still makes an occasional appearance. She’s nothing if not persistent.
3. I didn’t have that fancy education. -My mother is plenty smart but likes to remind me (don’t know if she does it to my siblings) often of my good education. I have a feeling it somehow relates to my idiotic statement of being “free” for two years as I went to public school- outside of the “you don’t love me” fiasco that ended up with the dinner table in my lap, this was the worst don’t think before you speak moment of my childhood.
Anyways, #3 ties directly into #4 which is.
4. You weren’t raised that way.
I am the oldest of four children. All four of us have a sense of humor.
Some might say, all four of us have a strong smartass streak.
Some of us are a wee bit more of a smartass than the others.
My mother tries to make no claim to any of this. So much so that 90% of the time that this personality trait is displayed she proclaims “you weren’t raised this way”.
I’d like to proffer the arguement that she might be correct. It may just be a nature vs. nurture thing.
To do so I have the following anecdotal evidence from my mother’s childhood as told to me by her, mind you.
Exhibit A: My mother and her mother are cleaning up after dinner. My grandmother says, “Mahthuh, wrap those tomatoes and onions separately.” Not one to disobey her mother, my mother went ahead and wrapped each and every one of those tomato and onion slices separately.
Exhibit B: My mother and her mother are in the kitchen. My grandmother says, “Mahthuh, throw a can of biscuits in the oven.” I think we all know where this is going… Mahthuh takes can of biscuits, opens oven, throws in biscuit can to a resounding THUD!
I was (obviously) not there for this exchange but I can see my grandmother’s reaction as if she were standing in front of me. Not a look (as I imagine it) that one would want to be on the receiving end of very often.
Exhibit C: My mother and her family go camping. They have a camper with an awning. It rains. My grandmother is sitting on a chair smoking a cigarette. She says “Mahthuh (Martha in her southern drawl), get the broom and get the water off the awning.”
So my mom grabs a broom, proceeds to hit the awning in a very thorough upright fashion and turns to see her mother sitting in the chair drenched with the slightest wisp of smoke arising from her extinguished cigarette.
Of course she finds this to be hysterical. Who wouldn’t?
So what can we conclude from this?
Did my mother somehow go wrong in the upbringing of her brood? Or was she doomed from the moment her sarcastic spawn came into the world (especially with the DNA input from my loves to be silly father)?
Either way, the next time she proclaims “son of a bitch!” and my brother pops up and says “yes?”, I think we can all agree that she has no one to blame but herself.