I really did. My mother is the shit. She’s a Jersey-born, Long Island-raised, totally gangster package. I always knew she was “different” from my friends’ moms. You know when you’re growing up and there’s that house where everyone gravitates, even when (especially when) the parents are home? That was my house. My house was always super chill and very liberal. My parents did not listen to oldies or classic rock. They listened to Bob Marley (peppered with some Doo Wop on occasion). A portion of the Marley family (including Bob’s mother), were actually guests at my brother’s bar mitzvah, and my family walked (danced) into the reception to “Jammin”.
My mom is a complete creature of habit. Don’t believe me?
- She travels within a 5 mile radius of Aventura, where she lives – and it’s shocking really that Target does not have a reserved parking spot for her.
- My parents have a short list of restaurants they rotate between during the week including – Piola, Barrio Latina, Christine Lee’s and Mateo’s.
- My mother has been wearing the exact shade and brand (wet and wild?) lipstick and liner (both excruciatingly pink) since I have known her. She’ll drop coin on a new LV but refuses to buy non-drug store makeup.
- She has a “uniform” which consists of a black beater, skinny jeans (or a variation of denim bottoms) and some sort of bedazzled flip-flop.
- Her nails are manicured black 99%of the time (so are mine BTDubs). On the one percent chance she does another color, she has mani-remorse and is back to her regular manicurist (Lisa) to change it within days.
Do you see a pattern?
She is also the world’s biggest germaphobe. She grew my brother and I in her uterus and birthed us both but will not share a straw or fork or any other eating utensil with us. All it takes is for some old broad to expel a really phlegmy cough in a restaurant within earshot, and she can no longer finish her meal. She puts her plastic fork down and throws in the towel. The woman will ONLY use plastic silverware. She actually has a ziploc bag full of it in her purse at all times. It doesn’t matter if she’s at a local pizza joint or Morton’s – she whips it out. The best thing to ever happen to my mother’s plastic utensil neurosis was the introduction of the plastic silverware that is actual SILVER. To the naked eye of a waiter or fellow diner, it looks like the real deal. And as always, with my luck, every so often when she offers me some of her supply (in fact, she offers it to everyone she’s eating with. I’m surprised she doesn’t have a kiosk set up in the middle of the restaurant), just as I roll my eyes in disdain, I lift my restaurant-owned fork to my mouth to find a big hunk of someone’s left over meal mocking me on one of the tines. And my mother just looks at me and smiles,like only she can, and doesn’t have to say a word. It’s a short unspoken conversation that starts with her saying, “see?” and ends with me saying, “son of a bitch!”
She is also my biggest fan. Regardless of what I do, she shares, brags and kvells with everyone she knows. To her, I am the smartest, most beautiful, best cook, best mother, all around most incredible person on the planet. Just today, she told me how proud she was of me because of a work blog I wrote that she actually understood. Let me be more specific. Her exact words were, “I was like, how did those words come out of someone who can move their ass like that?” Direct quote – FYI she also thinks I am the best dancer on the earth and to this day often says the phrase to me, “Rach, shake what your mama gave ya.”
She feels the same way about my brother. This was a text I got from her just the other day.
And then I got one from my brother almost simultaneously.
A little over a year ago, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, and it shook us to our core. Thank god, with surgery and some treatment, she is just fine and still nagging the shit out of all of us. As a matter of fact, during her surgery, the doctor came out and said, “The amount of drugs it took to knock her out was ridiculous, she would not shut up!” That statement, as mundane as it sounds, sums up my mother to a T. She is a fighter, a total ball-buster, stubborn as hell, and the strongest, most amazing woman I know.
Just like every mother/daughter relationship, we can certainly push each other’s buttons, but never is there any question that we have each other’s backs 100%. And on this upcoming Mother’s Day (and every other day on the calendar), I could never ask for a better woman in my corner. I hope Ava and I have the bond you and I have when she grows up. And one more thing Ma, Shake what your daughter gave ya!