Tag Archives: mom

Uncle June Dreams the Dream

For purposes of this post, I’m going to request that you pronounce the word “theatre” as “THE-a-tah” so that we can sound fancy and class.

Let’s sip our tea with our pinkies in the air and begin.

Christmas morning will be lame in the gift department this year, as I’ve pretty much given my mom her gifts already. Along with the book, I bought us tickets to see Les Miserables last week—our absolute favorite show of all time.

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(If you’ll remember, I’ve had the songs memorized since I was a mini-Lovely Lady.)

So last week we geared up to go see the show, and I’ll tell you right now that it was phenomenal. There really are no words. We’ve both seen it a couple times before, but this production was amazing. That’s the end of my review, as this post is not about the show itself. 

Plus, you know, there are no words.

While I was excited to go, I was also slightly dreading it for a couple of reasons. One being the fact it was a weeknight and interrupting my normal routine in which I do nothing of significant importance except maybe work out, possibly write some drivel, run errands and bond with my couch before going to bed at 10 so I can get up at 5. 

In other words, OCD.

But the main reason was that it’s a THREE HOUR show. 

Three hours, people! I can sit for about 1 1/2 in one spot without having to get up and move, so three hours in the cramped quarters of the theatre (pronunciation!) was a task comparable to breaking through the barricades myself.

However, ‘tis the season for sacrifice and culture—and using the word “tis”—so I anxiously went, sat and thoroughly enjoyed my experience, an experience that almost didn’t happen due to my mom’s insistence on the addition of one thing—Uncle June.

june

It’s an old picture, but you get the idea. 

It started with a text message from my mom about how she had nothing to wear. I had no sympathy, seeing as she still has a gift card to Kohl’s — we know how that went. The text came while I was eating, something she knows is strike one (do not interrupt my meals), but I know she was excited so this behavior was excused.

I texted her back about how no one cares what we wear to the theatre (pronunciation!), that I was eating and that I would see her in 30 minutes. Approximately 2.3 seconds later I heard the “ting” of my phone once again and this text exchange began:

Mom: Uncle June wants to go to the show! Bring Uncle June so he can “Hear the People Sing!”

Me: Ha! (Thinking she was kidding and trying to be polite, seeing as I was eating. See rule above.)

Mom: No, I’m serious. Bring Uncle June. I want to take his picture at the show.

Me, realizing she was entering crazy mode: Mom, I’m not bringing a pocket gnome to the theatre. Or my camera, since they’re not allowed. I’ll see you in a bit.

Mom: If he doesn’t go, I’m not going. I’m not kidding either. Bring Uncle June.

Me, realizing she was progressing into stubborn bitch mode, and leaning that way myself: No gnome. Zip it. I’ll see you in a bit.

Then my phone rang, the sound of which filled every cell of my being with the urge to fling the damn phone out into my backyard, a yard several small woodland creatures are currently “occupying” with small picket signs in a show of solidarity again my bird seed of choice.

The details of said phone conversation are not important, as she hung up on me. So I called again, and to avoid another tantrum I relented and told her Uncle June could go if she would a) shut up about it b) take responsibility for him and c) promise to be on her best behavior.

Summary: I am a 30 year old woman who had to bribe her mom with a gnome.

So we  left, her bouncing in the passenger’s seat with excitement, gnome securely placed in her purse. All was going well until I went to use the bathroom before they started seating, leaving my mom in the crowded lobby.

Upon my return I found her propping Uncle June up on a lobby chair, artfully arranging him with the program and ticket stub for his impromptu photo shoot. She had no camera, but she had her phone, a phone that doesn’t have Internet to transfer the photo for others to see.

But she also had a group of elderly patrons gathered around watching this woman take a picture of a gnome with the camera on her phone.

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This was taken at home, not at the theatre.

Like I said, there are no words.

This post was partly based of the Studio 30 Plus prompt this week:

The Gift

It was also partly based on the fact that I took my mom to Les Miserables as part of her Christmas gift and she refused to go unless I brought a gnome—mostly that.

Speaking of gifts: Buy the Book. Save a Kitten.

Purses and Pillows and Pumpkins, Oh My!

If there’s one person who hates shopping for clothes more than me, it’s my mom. The woman will spend hours in Home Depot or a greenhouse, but trying to get her to try on a pair of jeans is like pulling infected teeth out of a rabid badger. I’ve only been marginally successful in one of those activities, and I still have the scar to prove it.

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Damn badger.

But the fact is both her purse and her favorite sweatshirt jacket looked as if they had been attacked by a badger. She had a gift card for Kohl’s—a gift card she’s had for a year—so with the promise of a beer afterwards if she was good, I was able to convince her to go look around.

Considering I need new winter clothes anyway, I figured I could hunt while she sought out the elusive and exotic items on her list that she claimed were impossible to find—jeans, a black purse and a sweatshirt. 

We split up, and it took me .8 seconds to remember that I still hate shopping. Clothes in the juniors department said “slutty schoolgirl” while those in the women’s department screamed “stodgy schoolmarm.”

Considering I wasn’t really going for either of those looks (at that given time, mind you) I was done looking at clothes five minutes and one stuck-in-this-shirt dressing room experience later.

Don’t pretend you’ve never gotten stuck in an article of clothing in a dressing room.

Anyway, after wandering around the store and reassuring multiple sales associates that the only thing they could help me find was my mom—they declined, by the way—I texted her to ask her location.

It seems no matter what we do, I always lose her in a store, which is why I do slightly sympathize with parents who take their kids shopping. However, my mom would never agree to be pushed around in a cart or hooked up to one of those leashes, so I’m forced to hunt and seek.

When I did finally find her, I realized she didn’t answer my text because she was too busy trying on a sweatshirt jacket over her sweatshirt jacket before claiming it was too small. I tried to convince her to take off her sweatshirt, but I could tell she was also nearing the point where that suggestion was as appealing as badger molar extraction.

You pick your battles.

The good news was that despite not trying on any jeans—they don’t carry the one size and style she bought 10 years ago and hasn’t been able to find since—she did find a purse. Thank god for small miracles and big bags.

As we went to the checkout, we passed the first sweatshirt jacket we looked at upon entering the store, one dismissed due to some flaw that was now rendered invisible as it was thrown into her cart to take home.

I asked no questions.

Once we checked out and headed for the door, she remembered she wanted to look at pillows, so I agreed to go put our purchases in the truck while she sat on the bench and waited for me to come back.

When I came back approximately 2.3 minutes later, she was not on the bench. I was not surprised.

After wandering around the store and reassuring multiple sales associates that the only thing they could help me find was my mom—they declined, again, a bit more suspiciously—I looked down an aisle and found her lying on the ground trying out a pillow.

The next 10 minutes were spent with her lying on the ground, trying out pillows—unsuccessfully.

So we left and went to buy pumpkins, something much more enjoyable for all involved. 

pumpkin1

I like small pumpkins.

As I was putting them out on my front steps later that night, I got this text from my mom:

“Just said a quick prayer over my old purse and buried it while wearing my new sweatshirt and cradling a pumpkin. I kind of feel like a rock star.”

And that, my friends, is considered shopping success.

Chipping Away at Change

It’s said you have to hit rock bottom in order for something to change.

But just when I thought I might have been close, I would get out my chisel and start chipping away at the ground, refusing to believe I had hit a new low. So even though the chisel felt heavy and my body felt tired, I ignored it. I continued to chip, chip away, always pushing myself just a little bit more, always challenging my body to keep up with my mind.

I was my birthday seven years ago. I had finally came home for a visit, the first after moving away for a six-month internship across the state. There was cake I didn’t eat, concerned looks I didn’t see, things said I don’t remember.

Any pleasure I’d once found in food had been lost, yet it still felt like a drug, one I literally tried to run away from as I ran myself into the ground. I needed it, I wanted it, I hated it, I loved it, I was bored, I was stubborn, I was stuck.

Instead my thoughts were consumed as they usually were with the next chance I’d have to destruct, to push my broken body a little bit more in an effort to calm down my mind, to use my body to show a pain I couldn’t put into words. It was a pain I had chose to ignore.

But what I couldn’t ignore was the pain in her eyes when my mom broke down sobbing that day.

We were sitting on the deck talking about nothing of note, or at least nothing I can recall now. What I can recall is the hard wooden chair digging into my back and the scent of the freshly cut grass, a smell I had missed living in a concrete city for the past few months.

I rested my eyes on the view from the deck, but the weight of her gaze drew me back.  She was crying, and then she was sobbing.

She let it all out, a flood of emotion, a mother both scared and confused. I had no clue what I had done, what had caused this sudden outburst of words and tears, concerns and fears. Not sure what to do I just kind of stood by, still numb to the fact I was sick.

But I listened.

I acknowledged the fact that things weren’t quite right, that my pain was no longer just mine. I acknowledged that something was wrong. My 5’ 8” frame suddenly held more than just my double-digit weight; it held the weight of the worry she felt, the gravity of a situation I had tried to ignore.

That chisel I used to keep digging the hole was put away just for that night. It wasn’t a fix and it wasn’t the end, but it would be the start of a very long journey.

It would be the start of some change.

This post was in response to this week’s RemebeRED prompt:

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This week we’d like you to write about a moment in your life when you knew something had to change drastically. Really explore the moment.

Even though I’m not ashamed of where I’ve been, this post was still hard to publish. I feel weird, like it’s something I just want to forget, but it’s the first thing that came to my mind.

However, my next post will be day one of the 30 Days of Shamelessness. Let the freak flag fly!

Word to Your Mother

Although my mom often advised me NOT to go with the crowd (unless they were going somewhere cool), I am going to join the rest of the world in wishing my mom a Happy Mother’s Dayelectronically and through food.

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Two generations of trouble and a whole lot of love.

I’ve written about my mom on here before, so if you are late to the game, please take a minute to read it. I’ve also written about my grandma numerous times, so if you are late to the game, she’ll probably kick your ass.

At any rate, my mom doesn’t want to do anything today but relax in the sunshine, watch the game and enjoy some beer and cupcakes. More people should go with that crowd.

annemom

Word to my mother, indeed.

Our scars

This week’s assignment from The Red Dress Club was to write a short piece, either fiction or non-fiction, about something ugly – and find the beauty in it.

Sometimes I rhyme things, and apparently this is one of those times.


In rare times of frustration and brief self-despair,

She claims she is broken and beyond repair.

From surgeries more numerous than fingers to count,

She has her scars on the inside and out.

A neck and a spinal cord basically fused,

Excuses to dwell on this always refused.

Body casts, braces were part of her life,

Part of her role as a mother and wife.

For me I thought surgery was part of the norm,

Something all moms did in one shape or form.

Hiding her scars on the inside and out,

With clothes that concealed and no signs of self-doubt.

In fact, she was always the fun one to see,

The mom on the block you wish your mom could be.

Baseball in summer and raking in fall,

Snowmen in winter and trips to the mall.

Even if she couldn’t do it herself,

(Limited as she was in her own health,)

She made sure all the kids had more fun than they should,

Doing the things that she wished that she could.

I never quite realized the struggles she had,

Physically, mentally, feeling so bad.

As time has gone by I see more of her pain,

Taking it on as my own, yet in vain.

She thinks they are ugly, these scars that she wears,

Constant reminders of what she must bear.

A physical flaw isn’t what comes to mind,

When I see her scars or a mark of that kind.

The scars tell a story of one woman’s life,

As a mother, a daughter, a sister, a wife.

It’s flawed and not perfect, with times of self-doubt,

But beautiful still, on the inside and out.