Mom’s Christmas Present

Dec 30

Mom’s Christmas Present

Christmas has come and gone. My mom, as promised, sent me a Christmas card with a check enclosed (because I disappointed her by not banking through Bank of America). Before it arrived, she called me a couple times to remind me that the check was for me and Jason, not just me. Mom: “I send you card and check.” Me: “Great, thanks. I’ll let you know when it arrives.” Mom: “Check for you AND Jason.” Me: “Okay.” Mom: “Half the half.” (She meant half and half, like split it evenly.) Me: “Yep, I will.” The check arrived and I called Mom to thank her again. Me: “Thanks so much for the Christmas money! It was really generous of you.” Mom: “You welcome, bayyyyy-beeee! Merry Christmas!” Me: “Thanks, Merry Christmas to you too!” Mom: “…..you understand what I mean, right?” Me: “…uh, mean by what?” Mom: “You and Jason. Share. Half the half.” Me, laughing: “Yes, I remember! I’ll share with him, I promise.” Mom: “Good. You better.” Previously I had asked her what she wanted for Christmas and she mentioned “navigation,” as in a GPS. I was doubtful about getting her one for Christmas but my brother John pointed out that we didn’t exactly have any other ideas, so I buckled and ordered a pretty decent Tom Tom for Mom. My siblings and I all went in on it together and I shipped it to John’s house so he could give it to her. Over Christmas weekend John texted me this photo: I called him to get the details of what Mom thought of her fancy new gift. Me: “So what’d Mom think of the GPS? Did she like it?” John: “Yeah, she seemed to like it alright. I set it up for her so it should be good to go.” Me: “Cool.” John: “…although out of nowhere she exclaimed, ‘How I charge? I plug into car?’ I told her yeah, to plug it into her car charger and she got all worried and said, ‘But I use car charger for butt warmer!'” Apparently my mom has some seat warmers that she is incredibly fond of, so the Sophie’s Choice dilemma of choosing either knowing where she was going...

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Mom Explains What a GPS Is

Dec 12

I was working one chilly Monday morning when my phone rang. I looked down. The caller ID said “Mom” so I picked up, wondering where this call would rank on the “amusing/terrifying” meter. Me: “Hello?” Mom: “Hi honey, you still sleeping?” Me: “What? No, I’m working.” It’s 11:15 am on a weekday. Really, Mom? Mom: “What you and Jason want for Christmas?” Me: “Well–” Mom, interrupting: “I just send money. Is too hard send you gifts! Expensive. Post office pain in the ass.” Nice of her to ask what I wanted before immediately throwing in the towel and basically saying “Eff it, you get cash.” Me: “That’s okay, I understand. Thanks!” Mom: “You have Bank of America?” Me: “As a bank? No.” Mom: “Oh. If you have Bank of America I can put in you account instead of sending check. I do that for Mia and Gene. They have Bank of America.” Her tone suggested that I may have failed her as a child for not having an account through Bank of America. Me: “Sorry.” Mom: “”It’s okay, I mail to you.” Me: “What do you and Kurt want for Christmas?” Mom: “Oh, I don’t know. Nothing. John say get…navigation?” Me: “What?” Mom: “Navigation. For driving.” Me: “A GPS?” Mom: “Yeah.” Me: “That’s what you want for Christmas?” I had a hard time believing that Mom would want something that technologically complex (and yes, I realize a GPS system isn’t technologically complex, but we’re talking about my mother here). Mom: “Well one time I try to get to Ann Arbor and ask John, and John say it’s too hard to tell me. He say I should get gee-pee-ess. He say he buy one for me but never did.” Me: “Oh…” I really couldn’t picture my mom using a navigational system properly without getting frustrated and uttering several “Oh my gahhhhhh, this thing so stu-pud!” Mom: “Kuhrt have old one.” Me: “You guys already have one?” Mom: “Is old one. Newer one they talk to you, tell you. I think. I’m not sure. I don’t know.” At this point I was picturing the inevitable car crash immediately following Mom testing out her new GPS for the first time. I’m thinking a gift...

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Teaching Mom About the Ironman (Again)

Dec 08

While we were in Michigan in October, one day my brother and his wife and kids were planning to come over for dinner, so my mom said she’d come over at about 3 pm to get started on everything. Naturally, at 10:30 my phone rang. Me: “Hello?” Mom: “Hi honey, it’s Mom. Okay if I come over now?” So of course Mom ended up coming over 4 hours earlier than she initially said. She prepped a bunch of food while Jason and I got some work done in the other room. After a while, the kitchen grew silent. I walked down the hallway and found my mom laying on the couch, staring at the wall. Me: “Uh, you okay?” Mom: “Yeah, all done.” Me: “…you, uh, need anything?” Mom: “No.” Me: “You can leave and come back if you want. You don’t have to just sit here with nothing to do.” Mom: “Is okay! I might take a nap! Mommy tired.” Me: “Okay…well, Jas and I are gonna go for a run.” Since Jason was training for the Seattle marathon and I was planning on doing the half, we were trying to get a lot of runs in while we were out of town. We both changed and took off along a nearby trail. For the most part the run went well, but on the way back the weather turned and it got cold and windy and started to rain really hard. By the time we got back to the condo, we were soaking wet and shivering. I buzzed the condo so Mom could let us in. She opened the door and exclaimed “Oh my gahhh, you soaked!” Me: “Yeah, it started to rain really hard.” Mom: “How far you run?” Me: “About eight miles.” Mom: “Whaaaaa?! Eight miles! Wowwww, no wonder you butt smaller now!” Me, laughing: “Thanks.” We got cleaned up as Mom started to cook. I sat down at the kitchen table. Me: “We’re losing weight and training for another Ironman. You remember when I did one last year?” Mom: “Yeah. What’s I-uhrn-race again? You run and bike?” Me: “You swim 2.4 miles–” Mom: “Whaaaa?? That far?!” Me: “Yeah.” Mom: “What happens you drown?” Me, confused:...

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My Morbidly Obese Mom

Dec 07

My Morbidly Obese Mom

In October I visited Michigan and saw my mom for the first time in a couple years. She kept threatening to visit Seattle but one thing after another came up and postponed her trip, so it was up to me to fly over to the mitten and see how my lil’ Korean mom was doing. One of my mom’s friends very graciously allowed me and Jason to use a spare condo she owned in Rochester Hills so we’d be about equal distance to my brother’s place and my mom’ s place instead of having to stay at one person’s house and make a huge trek to the other’s. We left Chicago at around 1 pm, taking a rickety-ass plane that Jason was too tall for. One hour and one time change later, we arrived to gloriously awful Detroit weather. While taking a shuttle ride to the Enterprise lot, my phone rang. Me: “Hello?” Mom: “Where are you.” (It was more of a statement than a question.) Me: “I’m on a shuttle bus heading to pick up our rental car.” Mom: “Oh, okay. Weather really bad! You be careful.” Me: “I will.” Mom: “You know how to get to apaht-ment?” Me: “Yeah, I can just use my phone.” Mom: “Is really easy.” She started rattling off about 28 steps’ worth of directions. My mom does this all the time–she’ll give me step-by-step directions for something, whether it’s to a destination or for a recipe, without warning as I’m sitting there with no pen or paper, wondering if she just expects me to commit it all to memory. She repeats the lengthy directions again for good measure. I thanked her to be polite and said we’d see her in a little bit. Fifteen minutes later, as I was driving on the freeway slowly making my way to Rochester, my phone rang again. Me: “Hello?” Mom: “Where are you.” Me: “I’m still on the freeway, it’s only been like 15 minutes.” Mom: “Okay…call when you get off freeway and I’ll get the mandu started. I don’t want to cook too soon!” This cycle repeated a couple more times: Mom would wait roughly five minutes before calling me and asking where I was, then...

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