Monthly Archives: June 2015

“Interesting …”

My mom has high standards for attractiveness, and is not afraid to share them.
My mom has high standards for attractiveness, and is not afraid to share them.

My husband John, my son Greg, my mom and I were watching my mom’s favorite show, Jeopardy, when she made a comment about a contestant. “He’s interesting-looking, don’t you think?”

Eyebrows raised, she waited for a response.

Greg, who was a bit confused by what she meant,  said nothing.

John, who was also a bit confused by what she meant, said nothing.

I said nothing, because I was beginning to sweat and my brain was screaming “DON’T GO THERE!”

Finally I spoke up, only because Greg and John were getting more perplexed by the second.

“What Grammy means to say is that she finds him unattractive.”

“Ooooh,” said Greg, laughing and blushing a bit. After a childhood filled with many comments from my mom like “How did they pick her as the TV lottery girl, look at her legs,” or “She’s trying for Miss America with THAT nose?,” I had always tried to teach my kids not to judge a book by its cover. But since my mom has moved in, they have been privy to her comments — and although they find them funny  coming from an otherwise complacent and forgetful 88-year-old, it puts them (and me) on edge a bit.

“Oh my gosh,” John exclaimed. “I had totally forgotten that “He is interesting-looking” is Josephine-speak for “I find him unattractive.”

My mother simply smiled and looked once again toward the TV screen, as if by saying this out loud we were agreeing with her assessment. She seemed pleased that her powers of observation were still intact, and she was still able to point out the unattractive members of society. Part of me wanted to give her a hearty pat on the back for retaining at least some of her “spark,” and part of me wanted to shake her and yell “Snap out of it!” Somehow I managed to maintain a neutral expression and focus on the game.

Later on as we did the dishes, Greg and I shared a laugh and shook our heads at my mom’s comment.

“I grew up with that stuff, you know.”

“Explains a lot, mom,” said my son of few words.

 

 

Say What?

Due to her confusion and accompanying anxiety, my mother asks numerous questions in the course of a day.

“Is this my pancake?”

“Yes!”

“Do I put syrup on it?”

“Yes!”

“Do I usually put syrup on it?”

“Yes!”

“Should I cut it up?”

“Yes!”

“Do I usually cut it up?”

“Yes!”

“Should I eat the pancake?”

“Yes!”

(Peace in the valley for five minutes.)

“Should I keep eating the pancake?”

“Yes!”

“Should I finish it?”

“Yes!”

“Do I usually finish it?”

“Yes!”

I have to admit that I sometimes find myself extremely tempted to answer in the same manner as the hilarious Roger Bart as Carmen Ghia in the movie “The Producers.”

Yessssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss….sss.

Roger Bart as Carmen Ghia in "The Producers."
Roger Bart as Carmen Ghia in “The Producers.”

 

Horse of a Different Color

I may have appeared disinterested last week when an acquaintance described a “hellish” visit by his mother, who disrupted his household for a brief period with a recent visit. “She is a sweet lady but she can be sort of critical, and man is she a presence,” he said. “We are all exhausted.”

“Mmm,” I said noncommittally.

“So, what is your mom like?” he asked.

“A lot like yours,” I answered. “Except mine lives with us.”

“Oh,” he said. “End of discussion.”

My mom -- known as the "Mighty Mite" to my husband -- stands five feet tall. Here she is with her even more "peteek" Grandma Josephine Mastrangelo and Mom Anna D'Annunzio.
My mom — known as the “Mighty Mite” to my husband — stands five feet tall. Here she is with her even more “peteek” Grandma Josephine Mastrangelo and Mom Anna D’Annunzio.