Shit My Mom Says
I, too, am 29. My name also starts with “J.” And I just spent about 20 hours holed up in an SUV with my mother during a grueling drive from Cleveland to Asheville, N.C., for a weeklong vacation, during which I diligently exploited her peculiar brand of momisms and unintentional comedic gold on Twitter. My first book comes out … never.
The universe simply won’t throw me a damn bone. Probably because I’m a cat lady and the universe favors dogs. Or the universe is out of bones, because it gave them all to Justin Halpern. Way to hog the bones, asshole. Also, releasing a book about your father a few days before Mother’s Day? Not cool, Justin Halpern. Not cool.
Before traveling, I’d been debating whether or not to confess to my mom that I have a blog. Despite readers’ ominous warnings, for better or worse – my money’s on the latter – I came out of the closet. Mom and I were sharing sorbet and chocolate-raspberry mousse cake at Chocolate Bar in downtown Cleveland, and when she was sufficiently sugared up to soften the blow, I took a deep breath and nervously said, “There’s something I have to tell you. I’ve been blogging for almost three months.” She replied, “Why didn’t you tell me sooner?” I explained, “Because I write about icky stuff, such as my sex life.” And she shot back, “But you don’t have one.” Yep. My mother, the comedian.
After the weight of my secret had been lifted, from then on I spent our time together openly taking notes and tweeting about all the insanity that flows freely from her lips. Now “blog” appears to be her new favorite word. I have doubts on whether she actually knows what it means, seeing as how most days her iMac is a formidable foe. Case in point, she was tucked into bed in our hotel room, poring over travel guides and triptiks while planning the next day’s adventures, when she started to laugh hysterically. “What’s so funny?” I asked suspiciously. “I’M BLOGGING … IN THE BLOGOSPHERE!” she shrieked between howls.
All things considered, our trip to North Carolina was pretty great, if you prefer to spend getaways in a constant state of mortification and embarrassment at the hands of a parent. I know I do.
Without further ado, even though my book dreams continue to elude me and I have yet to become an overnight Twitter sensation thanks to the feline-loathing universe’s love of greedy, mom-snubbing Justin Halpern, I present Shit My Mom Says, a smattering of my favorite quotes and conversations from our travels, some of which I never tweeted because of length or low battery:
Mom: Remind me to buy film tomorrow. Me: It isn’t called film anymore. Mom: Fine. Remind me to buy memories.
Mom, on saying “Ta-ta!” to a West Virginia toll taker: I would have said “au revoir” but I didn’t think she’d understand. She had no teeth, poor thing.
Mom: What does that license plate say? Me: “Choose life.” Don’t wave at them. Mom: I waved when you weren’t looking.
Mom, while I tweeted about her: Write it down, honey. I’ll podcast you!
Mom: Why are you walking around with a shroud over your face? Me: (pulling shirt over my head) I’m getting dressed.
Mom, upon seeing people walking in a field near Chimney Rock: They’re probably looking for peyote. (begins humming Sting’s “Fields of Gold”)
Mom, about my back pain: Maybe it’s a gas pocket.
Mom, sneaking truffled almonds while standing next to no-eating sign and policing other tourists at Biltmore mansion: He isn’t supposed to be taking pictures. The sign says no photography.
Mom, somewhere in Ohio: Look in the mirror. There’s a car up my hemorrhoids.
Mom, being passed by a speedy driver in West Virginia: Asshole. I hope you get a fucking ticket. Bitch. What? I can call her a bitch because she’s a woman.
Mom, upon learning I’ve talked about being Jewish on the blog: Not smart, Jessica. You could be infiltrated by the PLO.
Mom, while driving past a house on a hill in Virginia: Would you want to live in a house on a cliff? I wouldn’t. If the Earth shifts, you’d get swallowed up. Why are you laughing? I’m serious.
Mom, after abandoning her car in the middle of a rest area in a mad dash to the bathroom: Can you see anything on my pants? Good. Then I don’t want to talk about it.
Mom, after dropping her eye wear in a rest stop toilet: I don’t know what was in that toilet, but my sunglasses have never been cleaner.
Mom, imploring me to move back to Cleveland: Please don’t go back to Boston. You can have my bedroom, and I’ll share a room and bed with your father again. I’ll just put up a partition.
The most memorable discourse of all that captured the essence of her kookiness came when Mom, apropos of nothing, started singing the Andrea Bocelli songbook while we were walking through the hotel parking lot. “Please stop,” I begged in vain while avoiding eye contact with passers-by, which prompted her to pump up her volume. As we headed for the entrance, she remotely locked the car twice, causing the horn to honk multiple times. She knows I hate that with a passion, so she began to giggle. Then she inadvertently let loose a series of audible farts. I lost my composure and dribbled Diet Coke down my chin. “I could be worse,” she said, unable to curb her cackling as we both stumbled into the hotel. “How?” I asked. “I don’t know.”
I don’t know, either.
But Mom, if you’ve figured out how to find my blog and are reading this now, Happy Mother’s Day.