I’m Just Like My Mother

My mother sent me a letter. On paper. In her own handwriting.

Here’s part of what she wrote:

“Send me photos PLEASE. The paper kind. Trying to stick that computer in my purse is just difficult and my phone is not smart so I’m up a creek.”


“Went into Hallmark two weeks ago and they have all their Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas items on display. Augh. I was perturbed as you might imagine. Bought a birthday card and wished the cashier a Merry Christmas on the way out. She thanked me. I wanted to ask where the Valentines were, but was afraid she would think I was being sarcastic.”

And I realized I’ve met my life’s goal.

My mother and I used to sit at the dining room table on the nights my dad worked the night shift while I ate my ramen noodles for dessert. For hours, we would talk about nothing, tell each other goofy stories and laugh.

Sometimes we laughed at ourselves.  I’ve told you in the past how all winter long, in the comfort of our home, we’d make plans to plant a garden in the spring. But on the first humid day of summer, in the middle of merry complaints to each other about how sweaty and gross we were and how much we hated summer, one of us would say, with a straight face, “How ‘bout we get started on that garden?” and we’d both fall over in fits of snorty laughter.

And sometimes we laughed at the expense of others.

We lived in a townhouse. I was probably about 14 years old when the 17 year old boy who lived two doors down bought an old car.  His name was Steve. Steve would work on the car for hours, coax it to life and drive it to the end of the block, where it would promptly splutter and die.  It was light blue.  What do you expect from a light blue car?

It was a hot summer afternoon and my mother and I were sitting by the open front window, not in the garden, trying to catch a stray breeze. A few of the eight pet cats were scattered on the couch with us, their hair shedding off and sticking to the sweat on our legs.

As we looked out the window, Steve came thumping down his front porch steps with a box of tools in his hand to work on his car. For some reason, as we sat there sweating, this hit us both as unbelievably funny–all his hours of work and how the car would splutter and die every single time. We started making comments to each other about how Steve was probably sure that “this time it will work”, but it never did.  We made fun of the soaring hope we imagined he felt whenever the engine grudgingly started, and his bitter disappointment when it  promptly died 2 minutes later. The more we talked about it, the funnier it got. “Every time! It dies every single time!” Finally, we were hardly able to breathe and were cackling like witches.

And then, right at the peak of all the laughter and cackling and making fun, Steve put his hands on his hips, turned to our window and glared at us.


Whoops. Turns out that sound can travel both ways through open windows.

I always loved my mother’s sense of humor and wished I could have one just like hers.

After reading her letter, I think I’ve met that goal.

The thing is, she hates technology and hasn’t read a single one of my blog posts.  It’s a shame because she would love them more than anyone else who reads them, because we finally have the exact same sense of humor.

I’m going to start printing these out and sending them to her. Along with some pictures–the paper kind.


Picture of the Day:

Living it up at Hungry Parrot, pizza buffet, where not only do you get to eat with a plastic fork, but you get to eat off of Styrofoam.

All kidding aside, I like their pasta.


6 thoughts on “I’m Just Like My Mother

  1. I love this post – it’s so heart warming! I think that will be nice for your mom to get printed out blog posts, it will be sort of like a news letter! That also cracked me up that she said her computer wouldn’t fit in her purse and that her phone is not smart (neither is mine) you two sound like quite the pair 😉

    • Thank you. I always got along really great with my mom. We sound a lot alike on the phone, too. When I lived at home, her friends would call and I’d see how long I could make them think I was her.

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