You know, I’ve been thinking, I’ve already kind of incorporated my mom in a few posts now… but no one has seemed to mention if they could relate to her. Maybe I’m the only one who has experienced her type of mom-ing. My bad, mothering. But I’m not so convinced. I’m pretty sure your moms have done some similar stuff, you just haven’t told me yet. Granted, my mother is Cuban, so she obviously doesn’t represent all the moms out there. But, she’s the best and all your moms suck, dayuuuuuuuum. I’m just kidding, I’m sure your mothers are lovely women. Either way, I wanted to share some things that my mom does (or did), because I’m not convinced that she’s the only person that does these things.
Things my mom says.
(1) People are looking.
My mom likes to remind me when we are out in public that we are out in public. What I mean is, she constantly points out that anything I do in public is seen by other people. The phrase she likes to use is “people are looking.”
Example: “Dios Mio, you are not going to wear that in public, people will be looking.”
(2) Ticky ticky.
I’m not sure where this slang came from, but my mom refers to any auditory stimuli that she finds to be annoying as “ticky ticky.” This can be loud music, someone complaining, someone nagging, you get the idea. “What is that ticky ticky music?” “Ticky ticky, ticky ticky, simpres estas ticky ticking!” “I told your dad we should start exercising and he just starting going ticky ticky ticky ticky”
(3) Look at them! / Stop looking at them (no te miras)!
So, my mom has this habit of pointing people out out to me. Her eyes will get big and then she’ll purse her lips and she’ll look directly at me, “Oh my goodness, look at that person.” I think anyone’s natural reaction would be to turn around and look at the person that she just pointed out. …I mean, she said “look” after all. But the second I turn my head, she gives a little slap on the hand. Clearly I wasn’t supposed to actually look at them.
(4) Spring chicken / Old bag.
My mom always refers to people’s age with regards to the phrase “spring chicken” – it doesn’t matter what the scenario. If they’re old, they’re not a spring chicken. If they’re young, they’re a spring chicken. When my mom refers to herself, she always calls herself an old bag. If she’s got some white hair roots coming in, she’ll say “Oh man, I need to dye my hair again, I look like an old bag.” When holding my hand, she’ll say “Look at my wrinkly hand, I look like an old bag!” And when I tell my mom to not slouch because she’s making her upper spine hunch, she’ll say “It’s too late, I’m already an old bag.”
(5) Hablan me en Espaniol.
So, whenever I’m out with my mom and I say something she thinks others will find offensive, she tells me (in Spanish) “tell me in Spanish.” The logic behind these statements is that she’s possibly avoiding being embarrassed by me by forcing me to not say my embarrassing words in English. When we moved back to America, this strategy did not help…because we lived in South Florida…and a lot of people speak Spanish. But she would still say it, as if the Spanish language were some secret code no one else understood – like Klingon or Elvish. Sorry mom, people know Spanish. And I’m an embarrassing daughter. That’s just how the dice landed.
(6) No le dices eso.
So, at home, my mom curses up a storm. I do as well, but I tone it down in front of my mom because she apparently doesn’t like to hear me say curse words. In public, my mom never curses. So anytime I say something she doesn’t approve of, she says “no le dices eso” which translates to “don’t say that.” I learned a few years ago that this is not just limited to curse words, my mother hates it when I say the word “vagina”. Why vagina? I have no clue. I can scream penis at the top of my lungs and she’ll probably remind me that we’re in public and people are looking… but if I say the word vagina, all I get is “NO LE DICES ESO!!!!”
(7) Shit / Mierda / Caca.
My mom’s favorite curse word is shit. She’ll use it liberally in Spanish and English in a variety of phrases. I know where she gets this from, if you were lucky enough to have met my grandmother (her mother) while she was alive, you would have learned a slew of Spanish verbiage that you should probably not use in friendly conversation. My mother is also a fan of the non-profane version of the word shit, which is caca. I think most people know what caca is, if not, I’ll explain it as the equivalent to the English “poop” or “poo poo.”
Example 1: “It smells like caca in here.”
Example 2: “I’m your mother, you can tell me anything, I cleaned your caca when you were a baby.”
Translation, “Not sure if I smell crap or bad body odor“
(8) But it’s not as good as my cooking.
My mom is an AMAZING cook. She’s learned recipes from all over the world thanks to her bank of global friends that she has accumulated. She can make food, from any culture, so well that you wouldn’t have been able to tell that a Cuban lady made it. So, naturally, she takes great pride in her cooking. Anytime we eat out at some restaurant, after we have eaten our meal, she will always ask us how we thought the food was…and then say “Yeah, I think mines is much better, right?” – granted, she’s always right. So, really, this is more of a statement than a question.
This also happens when we eat home cooked food of someone else, she will always ask us “You think my version is better, no?” I think the food she brings up the most, with regards to saying this phrase, are her rice and beans. There has been, nor will there ever be, a chef on this earth that can make rice and beans better than my mother’s rice and beans. It’s just not possible.
(9) Random Pop Culture references.
Whenever I’m talking to my mom she’ll randomly bring up something that is related to celebrities. We’ll be talking about something and then she’ll be like “did you hear that Angelina and Brad had twins?” or “La Kardashian muchacha is pregnant” or “Hanna Montana is always so naked now.” She especially likes to mention hairstyles of celebrities. “Did you see what Halle Berry did with her hair? It looks good.” Oh, mother… we were talking about your job, how did Halle Berry enter our conversation?
My mom likes to causally drop phrases like “when you have grandchildren,” or “I want grandchildren.” I don’t think I need to explain this one, it’s pretty straight forward.
(11) Pointing out men to me.
Whenever my sees an attractive male in the wild, my mom feels the need to point them out to me. Possibly the most embarrassing time my mom pointed out a male suitor was when we were in the emergency room of a hospital. I was waiting to be examined by a physician and when he stepped into the room my mom lit up like a Christmas three. He did his business, examining my naked body, and then left to go do doctor-ish things. The second he left my mom asked me if I was attracted to him, if I would consider dating him, if I noticed that he wasn’t wearing a ring – because she did. She went on, pointed out that he’s a doctor so he’s smart and bla bla bla. I just kind of stared at her and said “that guy just non-sexually examined my vagina.” “Hija, no le dices eso!”
My mom engaged in an embarrassing dialogue with him when he returned. “Are you single?” …
(12) Soap Operas and Singing Competitions.
When I was growing up, I remember my mother was an avid fan of 60 minutes. She loved that, and Star Trek. But when we moved back to the States, she was spending more time with my grandmother (her mother) and alllllll they would watch were telanovelas. Telanovelas are Hispanic soap operas. Fun fact, my grandmother learned how to understand English by watching day-time soaps like All my Children and General Hospital. A few years later, Spanish channels became accessible to Americans and my grandmother never looked back – it was all telanovals from there on out. My mom was easily sucked into this as well.
Now a days my mom and dad are HUGE on singing competition shows, you know – American Idol, The Voice, X-factor, America’s Got Talent – that kind of stuff. I have to be rather conscious of the time of day that I choose to call her, because if its during one of her singing competitions, she reschedules my call to a later date. The same applies to my father.
(13) I wiped your butt and bathed you.
My mom used to give me gratuitous amounts of kisses, that was the best. I loved it when my mom would smother me with kisses. Except when she did this in front of other people. Somehow she’d always be able to turn the embarrassment issue into a lack of love…I never quite understood it. The phrase she loved to use was “I wiped your butt when you were in diapers” – which is a great phrase to inflict even more embarrassment when in front of people.
Dialogue of an incident that occurred when I was a little kid:
- My mom: “Dame un besito”
- Me as a kid: “Mom, People are looking!”
- My mom: “Oh, so now you can’t kiss your mother? What will people think. A daughter that won’t give her mother kisses…”
- Me as a kid: “BUT MAH”
- My mom: “Give your mother a kiss, she wiped your butt when you were in diapers”
- Me as a kid: *reluctantly kisses mother*
My mother was also always quick to remind me that she bathed me as a child, and thus has seen me naked. Thanks mom. This comes up most often when we went shopping. Whenever I went to a changing room, my mother insisted that she join me. She would turn around when she saw that I didn’t approve of her on-looking, but she just HAD to mention how it was no big deal, cause she gave me baby baths.
- My mom: “Okay, I’ll turn around, but just remember, I washed you when you were a little baby! I’ve seen your boyo and everything!”
- Teenage me: “OMG MAH, STAHP!”
So, when I was younger, my parents were big on’ teaching me the idea of repercussions. Nothing could strike fear into our hearts than the threat of la chancleta. “Chancleta” in Spanish just means shoe or sandle. According to Urban Dictionary, other mothers have also used la chancleta for disciplinary purposes. Really, we were so afraid of the threat of la Chancleta that just the SIGHT of it being held by our mother was enough to make us regurgitate a thousand apologies for whatever we did or run for the nearest hiding spot.
(15) People are dying in X country.
My mom, despite all that I have listed, is a saint. I swear, she is the nicest woman you will ever meet. Her dream, which she is living out today, was to be a teacher because she loves children and treats each one like her own (minus the whole chancleta thing). When I see my mother teaching children, it’s like everything in the world makes sense. It’s just meant to be. Which is probably why she took it upon herself to remind my brother and I, every chance she got, that there were people or children dying in X, Y or Z country.
This was most often was brought up during meal time. My mother watched us like a hawk at the kitchen table, waiting patiently to witness our last spoon full of food enter our mouth holes. And if we didn’t finish, she would be quick to remind us of the poor, starving children in Africa who are dying because they don’t have food – so those rice and beans better make their way to our gastric juices. Or the thirsty people from India who have limited access to clean water – so we better drink all of our milk. We watched a “60 minutes” news piece (Holy Neptune’s Daughters, my mother loved the shit out of 60 minutes…) where women in central African countries weren’t receiving any education. “See? You better study, because there are people in the middle of Africa who can’t even go to school!” You get the idea.
I was a very considerate little kid, so this kind of thing sort of spiraled out of control for me. I remember watching an environmental awareness video in school one time, where a little fishie was literally gasping for oxygen and it was all because some asshole kid kept the faucet on while he was brushing his teeth. From then on, I’d remind anyone during sleep overs, birthday parties, or even strangers who were washing their hands “You better conserve water, you could be killing fishies in the sea!”
So, thank you mom, for instilling in me a fear of wasting ANYTHING and an inescapable guilt when I do.
I didn’t proof read this post very much, cause I’m sleepy. So I hope it doesn’t suck. To all the grammar Nazis out there, my bad.
Happy new year by the way. Fuck you 2013! 2014, where have you been all my life?