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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Mom’s Celebrity Knowledge

Nov 04

Mom’s Celebrity Knowledge

While I was in Michigan, I had a chance to get a taste of Mom’s celebrity knowledge. It’s easy to overlook mom’s pop culture knowledge because, honestly, it is pretty slim. She probably thinks Richard Gere is a huge box office draw and feels like “My Heart Will Go On” is the top song of the year. However, on occasion her limited grasp of various famous people and what’s happening to them is pretty amusing. A few examples: On Chaz Bono: Me: “Mom, do you watch Dancing with the Stars?” Mom: “Yeah.” Me: “Who’s left?” Mom: “Oh, I don’t know.” Me: “What did you think of Chaz Bono’s dancing?” Mom: “Ugh, disgusting.” I brace myself, preparing for my mom to talk negatively about Chaz’s sexual reassignment surgery and how he used to be female. Seeing as how Mom appears grossed out, I figure that’s the logical direction she’s going. Me: “What do you mean?” Mom: “He sooooo fat! Spinnin’ on dance floor with belly jiggling. He shake one buttcheek 150 lbs, other buttcheek 150 lbs. Nasty.” Me, laughing: “So you don’t like him because he’s fat?” Not where I thought she’d go, but I’m nonetheless not surprised, just slightly relieved. On the Kardashians: Me: “Mom, do you know who the Kardashians are?” Mom: “Yeah, they models or something. Sisters and brother? They think they so sheck-shee!” Me, chuckling: “Sheck-shee?” Mom: “Yeah, they strut around, think they so sheck-shee and hot.” Me: “Do you know how they became famous?” Mom: “Model, right?” Me: “No, one of them had a sex tape. That’s how she became famous.” Mom: “Oh…how come this washing machine no work right?!” It wasn’t an awkward attempt to change the subject; Mom truly thought the malfunctioning washing machine was more interesting than the Kardashians. If only the rest of America agreed with her. On Pat Sajak: Mom’s making tea while Wheel of Fortune is on in the kitchen. My boyfriend and I are half watching, half stuffing our faces with food. Mom: “That Pat Sajak, he a smart-mouth.” I stop shoveling and look up, perplexed. Me: “What?” Mom, matter-of-factly: “He smart-mouth!” Me: “What do you mean, ‘smart-mouth’?” Mom, indignant: “He smart-mouth!” [mimicking Pat Sajak] “Whut’re yuh gonna...

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Appreciating Mom

Mar 28

My cousin recently posted one of those “Repost this if you herp your derp!” messages on Facebook. You know the type — it always starts off with a schmaltzy intro and then concludes with “Post this if you love and appreciate your mailman/the troops/Count Chocula/etc.!” This particular status update went as follows: “3yrs old: “Mommy, I Love you” @10 yrs old: “Mom whatever!”@16 yrs old:”My Mom is so annoying!”@18 yrs old: “I wanna leave this house.”@25yrs old: “Mom, you were right.” @30 yrs old: “I wanna go back to my Mom’s house.” @50 yrs old: “I don’t wanna lose my Mom.” @70 yrs old:…”I would give up EVERYTHING for my Mom to be here with me.” U ONLY HAVE 1 MOM! Post this on your wall if you Appreciate your Mom!!” My brother Gene saw this message and posted an all-too-accurate response from my mother’s point of view: “Uhhhhhhh, my mom was different. 3 yrs old: “Gene, stop that!” 10 yrs old: “I wanna cut open you head and see what’s wrong with you.” 16 yrs old: “You drive like retard! You gonna die!” 18 yrs old: “No make baby. I’m serious, I kick you out.” 25 yrs old: I see you on TV with Lindsey Lohan, you look so damn mean.” [My brother works in Los Angeles] 30 yrs old:  “You’re too damn crazy, no one wanna marry you.” Yes, we only have one mom, and yes, we appreciate her despite (or maybe because of) all the strange stuff she...

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Mom’s Bedside Manner

Mar 14

My little niece recently got her tonsils taken out, which made me think of when I got mine removed when I was 16. My mom took care of me in her usual juxtaposed caring/acerbic manner, which was standard protocol whenever I had to stay at home for whatever reason (I was sick, we had a snow day, etc). I thought I’d share a few random stories about dealing with Mom’s unique bedside manner throughout my childhood.

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Mom’s Opinion of My First Boyfriend

Feb 23

Mom’s Opinion of My First Boyfriend

My mom never had conversations with me about puberty or dating or any of that stuff that mothers and daughters usually talk about (I guess, anyway; maybe all moms have relationships with their daughters that are as weird as mine — I can dream, can’t I?). I never talked to her about the boys I had crushes on or asked her questions about dating, how to apply makeup, etc. I think she just hoped I’d figure it out on my own and be smart enough to not get knocked up while in high school (I did manage to stay fetus free, so take that, 16 and Pregnant alumni).

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My Mother the Gift Giver

Jan 05

My Mother the Gift Giver

Shopping for my mom is extremely difficult. One year I gave her some Julia Roberts movies on VHS, and she scowled and said, “Why I wanna watch these?” Another time I bought her a nice light blue sweater from the Gap, and the following year she flew out to Seattle for a visit and brought a bunch of clothes for me, one of which was the same sweater I gave her for Christmas. Lately, though, my siblings and I have had success pooling together for a big gift that makes Mom happy. Even if the Great Big Present from the Kids doesn’t work out, there’s always Estee Lauder or Clinique to fall back on — she goes apepoop for cosmetics and perfume.

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