Okay, so as Doug mentions, Friday marked our mom's 60th birthday. It's an impressive accomplishment, considering the crap we've put her through for the past three decades that would have laid a weaker woman flat. But she's still here, she's still kicking, she's cooler than ever, and she's got the legs of a 20-year-old, dammit to hell.
Doug recounts some of his favorite moments from life with Mom, and I was there for all of them and remember them with great fondness. She's just a cool person and has gotten, if possible, cooler as time goes on. I thought I might take a page from his book (i.e., blatantly steal from him) and share some of my own:
1. This was something we discussed in the car just the other day. I was a heinous bitch as a young teen (no, no, don't argue; and Mom, stop nodding like that), and I gave the parents a lot more trouble than they deserved. At one point, I got myself grounded ("Rehearsal ran late," I said, when in fact I was going out after rehearsal with the cast), and my punishment was that I had to take the bus to school. I, of course, left the house on foot, walked to Kacie's house, and got a ride with her. When the parents found out, they were understandably enraged, and for the next two weeks my mom stood with me at the bus stop, waiting for the bus to high school.
2. Not that hanging out with Mom was bad. When we first moved to Columbus, I was within walking distance from my elementary school, and she and I would walk together in the morning, enjoying the weather and the chance for some good conversation. Of course, if you're 11, walking to school with your mom is the dorkiest thing evar, and as the new kid I was taking all kinds of torment on top of that, so I stopped. I still regret not having the balls to tell those kids to fuck off, because honestly, I really enjoyed walking with my mom.
3. We took a family road trip up to my grandparents' house in West Virginia to scatter my great grandmother's ashes (sounds kind of grim, but really, ashes-scattering is something that can easily be made into a party if you're up for it). After dinner on the road, we rearranged cars so that Doug and Dad were in Dad's car and Mom and I were in Mom's Miata for the duration of the evening. I can't even tell you what made that portion of the trip so specifically memorable, but we just had a great time singing along with the radio and bitching about stuff.
(Bonus memory: After my grandparents' house, Mom went to see her family in Woodford and Doug, Dad, and I drove back down together. Moving south through Virginia, we, with some trepidation, put on the soundtrack to Avenue Q and were gratified to find that Dad was nearly peeing himself with laughter at songs like "The Internet is for Porn" and "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist." Dad, too, has deeper, cooler depths.)
4. Every time I come to visit, when I first get home, we sit down at the kitchen table with a bottle of white wine and talk until we're sleepy. It's usually a matter of two hours or so and at least two glasses of wine each. It doesn't matter if we've talked on the phone that morning or if I've only been gone a couple of weeks; that's the ritual. This weekend, of course, we couldn't do it because I gave up alcohol for Lent, and I feel unfulfilled and lacking.
5. This one I can't tell you about. But trust me, it's a good one.
So here's to my mom, by far the coolest one around. I know I've mentioned this before, but I had so many friends growing up who hated, or at least purported to hate, their parents, and I never even pretended. I've been blessed with good ones, and I'd love to see Mom's current 60 matched by another 60, should medical science allow. (And at 120, she'd still have better legs than me, dammit.)
And now, a Not-Even-Random Ten of songs that Mom likes:
1. The Beatles, "I Want to Hold Your Hand"
2. Iz, "Over the Rainbow"
3. The Cranberries, "Dreams"
4. Was (Not Was), "Baby I Need Your Loving"
5. Fountains of Wayne, "... Baby, One More Time"
6. Pet Shop Boys, "I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind of Thing"
7. Andy Gibb, "I Just Want to Be Your Everything"
8. Original Broadway cast of Avenue Q, "You Can Be as Loud as the Hell You Want (When You're Making Love)"
9. Nancy Griffith, "Spin on a Red Brick Floor"
10. Jeff Buckley, "Halleluja"
11. CB4, "Sweat From My Balls" (Just kidding, Mom.)