Thursday, August 19, 2010

My Mommom Is Cooler Than...

I remember saying that so often in elementary school.  "My Mommom is cooler than..." insert cool thing.  She was so cool that she would only be called "Mommom".  She always said, "I'm too young to be a grandmother, a grammy, and nobody better ever call me nana or nanny."  Duly noted, Mommom...duly noted.

She never takes crap.  Ever.  Back in her younger days, she put her stiletto shoe to the head of an ornery customer who just wouldn't get the hint.  She won several "best bartender" awards.  She held down 3 jobs in fine dining bartending to support a family consisting of her, my mother, and my aunt (God rest her soul).  She was also a clothing model.  She always has cool cars.  When I was little, she drove a white Vette with t-tops.  My elementary school classmates would be in awe to see a woman calling out, "Tina!  Over here, honey!"...I would yell out, "MOMMOM!"...nearly dropping my books to the ground.  It was always a pleasant surprise.  Tops out, off to McDonalds for after school milkshakes.  We went to all the Corvette shows.  She bought me a t-shirt to wear that said "Wrap Your @$$ In Fiberglass".  I think I was 10?  Yeah, about 10 or so...

Then there was the time a man was following her too closely and happened to be pulling into our same parking lot.  She advised me to stay in the car, she'd be right back.  She said something to him, he gave her an attitude, and she tore off after him yelling, "I will slap the $^!# out of you!"  That was the first time I saw a man run from a woman. 

Going anywhere with Mommom was an adventure.  We used to have season tix to Eagles games.  She once removed the hat of a Redskins fan and threw it over the balcony of the 2nd level.  Remember hearing about the snowball game vs Dallas?  We were there and yes, Mommom threw a snowball.  Beach travels were hysterical.  We approached one of those circle intersections?  She didn't know what to do, so she put her hands over her face, screamed, and went...straight across.  My Mom was trying to steer from the passenger's seat.  One night in Atlantic City, we noticed a few brisk walking security guards heading to a particular area of the floor.  I looked over at Mom, who had a very familiar look about her.  The thing with Mom is...when Mommom's acting up, she gets real quiet and her eyes get real large?  I asked what was going on.  She said, "Mom is over there."  'Nuff said.

My dating days were interesting.  Mommom was loaded with wisdom.  Don't date this type, they cheat.  Don't date that type, they start out nice but always end up nasty.  I then recall a very painful break up with a particular boyfriend.  One of those things where it was simply the end of the world as you know it?  I talked to her about it and she said, "I never wanted to tell you this, but I always thought he was too stupid to be with you.  You're smart.  They make t-shirts that say 'I'm with Stupid'.  You don't want to have to wear that.  Plus, he's built funny.  He's not going to look very nice when he's a grown man."  To which I said, "you've said all that before, Mommom."  To which she said, "I did, didn't I..."  

When I was in college, her husband purchased a bar.  It wasn't a nice bar.  In fact, it defined "dive".  You walked downstairs from the sidewalk level?  Yeah.  And certain things occurred there that shouldn't be discussed.  It wasn't her choice in locations, but what did she do?  Brought a pressure washer in, rolled up her sleeves, and scrubbed the place top to bottom.  She tore up the zebra print tile floor and carried it out for trash.  The neighborhood drunks came by to take pieces of it home as souvenirs.  It became somewhat of an upscale establishment in a short time.  We served the best chili in town and were more known for her incredible recipes than what was served from behind the bar.  I was in charge of choosing the beer flavors, and I had better get it right:-)   

Watching my kids with her is perhaps the most joyous thing ever.  They still aren't quite used to expecting the unexpected with her, be it actions or words.  But once they realize that yes, she really just said that, they crack up laughing just as I always did.

All this to've got to get better, Mommom.  There are literally hundreds of people praying you through.  Rest in the Lord and know how much you are loved.  But this time when you come home, because I know you will, we're grabbing that Mexican dinner we talked about.  Don't worry, I won't go without you...

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