Mom Reacts to Kim Jong-il’s Death and His Son’s Rise to Power

Jan 11

Mom Reacts to Kim Jong-il’s Death and His Son’s Rise to Power

Recently I called Mom to wish her a happy new year. During our call, I brought up North Korean leader Kim Jong-il’s death to see what she thought about it. Me: “What do you think about Kim Jong-il dying?” Mom: “Good. I happy.” Me: “Yeah?” Mom: “Yeah, he terrible. Good that he’s dead.” Me: “What do you think’s going to happen to North Korea now?” Mom: “His son in charge now.” Me: “Yeah, Kim Jong-un.” Mom, disgusted: “His son’s smart aleck. He think he’s tough, he knows it all, he think he got power.” Me, laughing: “What?” Mom, defiant: “I could kick his ass.” Me, laughing even harder: “WHAT?!” Mom: “Smart mouth. He think he knows it all. He think he’s smarter than his father. Without experience, he try to be hot shot. South Korea afraid he’s gonna do something just for the heck of it, young kid’s mind. You know how you kids do when you younger.” Me: “I never thought to start a war with another country!” Mom, scowling: “You know what I...

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No Time for Skype

Jan 03

No Time for Skype

Unsurprisingly, my mom is incredibly technologically inept. Every so often I’ll browse My Mom is a FOB and alternately feel pangs of jealousy and waves of relief that these submitters’ mothers know how to text and send email (jealousy because I’d have so much more blog material if my mom were more technologically savvy, relief because I’d fear my mom scrutinizing everything I post on Facebook, Twitter, email, text, or hell, even this blog). When I was visiting Mom in October, I tested the waters and brought up the idea of her learning how to use a computer and having an email address. Me: “Do you use a computer at all?” Mom: “Yeah, I play games sometimes.” Me: “Would you want to learn how to use it better so you could have email and do some other stuff?” Mom: “Yeah, that’d be nice.” Me: “We could email each other. I could send you pictures and stuff. It’d be a good thing for you to learn!” Mom: “Mmm hmm. It’d be nice. I learn.” How promising! I felt pretty good about Mom’s willingness to learn how to use email and develop a basic understanding of how the Internet and various websites work. Me: “We could even use Skype!” Mom: “What’s that?” Me: “It’s a program where you can call each other on the computer and video chat. So we’d be able to see each other while we talked.” Mom, waving her hand dismissively: “No.” Me, confused: “Whuh?” Mom, indignant: “I don’t have time for that.” Me, bewildered: “What? You don’t have time for video chat?” Mom: “No. It’s too much. No time for that.” Me: “I don’t–why–it’s the exact same as talking on the phone, only we’d be able to see each other. That’s it! That’s the only difference!” I tried to explain to Mom how Skype worked but she wouldn’t have it, stubbornly insisting that she had no time in her jam-packed schedule to learn how to video chat. How the hell does she justify being free to make phone calls but not having time for Skype?! They take the exact same amount of time! This is how I felt during the conversation: Mom: “I told you, Rebecca, no...

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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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My Mom Gives Dr. House a Run for His Money

Dec 14

My Mom Gives Dr. House a Run for His Money

When I was 16 years old, my mom bought me a new Ford Contour sedan. It was blue with a little pink stripe along the sides that I made the dealership remove because I thought it looked stupid (it was). I was so excited to have my first car and the freedom that came with it. Three weeks after she handed the keys over to me, I was driving to a friend’s house for a sleepover when I came across an intersection that had a blinking red for those driving east-west (which was me) and a blinking yellow for north-south. I mistakenly thought the intersection was a four-way stop. Not realizing that the car heading towards me from the right had a blinking yellow and was under no obligation to yield to me, I stopped at the intersection, then started to go again and was promptly t-boned by another sedan. My car skidded about 50 feet off the road and slid between two telephone poles. Aside from a few cuts and bruises, I was actually okay. The Contour, on the other hand, was not — I succeeded in totaling a brand-new car after having driven it for only 21 days. Needless to say, my mom was less than thrilled with my carelessness and inexperience.

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