Friday, April 8, 2011

The Friday 4: I Am My Mother's Daughter

Sure, my mom and I differ in not a few ways - her house, for example, is spotless whereas mine is, well, very spotted - but I think that's to be expected given a 30+ year age difference. She was a skirt-wearing child of the '50s after all, and I was flipping over the handles of my ten speed wearing '90s neon. 

But my mom and I do share a lot of characteristics in common, and the number of these characteristics only seems to be increasing as I age. I'm okay with that, though, b/c my mom's pretty cool, and as long as I don't start saying "foward" instead of "forward" (like she does), I'm happy to say we're pretty similar. 

4.  We've got a lot of the same eating habits/preferences. 

Neither of us is an adventurous eater. At all. I won't get involved with run-of-the-mill things like tuna or gravy; she would never touch a piece of salmon and balks at the idea of trying any Chinese food that isn't General Tso's chicken. 

We're both obsessed with flavor. Very few things are complete without gobs of sauce, dressing (no non-fat or low-cal for these ladies), or other condiments (she likes mayo way too much). And, unless we're eating out at a restaurant, we both gravitate toward snacks - as meals - rather than, well, actual meals. My mom's idea of dinner? Cheese sticks heated up in the toaster oven. My idea of dinner? Potato chips dumped in a bowl. (I'm at least civilized about it!) See the family resemblance? 

Yum yum, love that dressing 

And for everyone who thinks it's weird that I get up at 6:30 in the morning and don't eat anything until 3 or 4 in the afternoon, let me tell you, my mom takes the cake here: she usually eats her first "meal" at 7 p.m. or so. In fact, Brad mock-gasps when we see her eating while the sun is still out. 

3.  Like her, I take the word "literal" to the next level. 

A literal crown for the Literal Queen 
My mom didn't earn the nickname "Literal Claire" for nothing. 4/5 jokes must be followed with, "That was a joke."

Well, I'm in hot pursuit of her title as Literal Queen, it seems, which is funny given that I love figurative language like nobody's business. In conversations, I just can't seem to understand what people mean when it's not exactly what they say. Is it possible I'm just tired? 

Note: while Brad finds humorous my inability to see the humor in half of the headlines/articles he shows me from The Onion, I don't think that's due to my "literal-ness." I think it's just because I actually don't get what the heck they're saying. 

2.  We both jump immediately to the worst possible conclusions. 

My mother claims to be an optimist, and maybe she is an optimist, b/c to see herself as such despite the fact that she automatically leaps to the worst possible conclusion does require an immense amount of optimism. As I've said before, I'm a realist, and I'm sticking to it. But my so-called pessimism does come out from time to time . . . 

Brad laughingly recalls a recent incident that was clearly no laughing matter

For a few days, he'd been suffering jaw pain. Like most men (oh, yes I did!), he verbalized his agony rather frequently, so it was in my head. Then, all of a sudden one day, I called him at work in a panic and said, "You don't have meningitis, do you?!" I was truly in an uproar. Now that I'm thinking about it, I can't remember what connection I was making b/t meningitis and sore jaws (is this a common symptom?), but it seemed like a very real possibility to me at the time. Clenching during the night had actually just made his jaw sore, so it turned out to be no biggie - easy to say after the fact

*A notable addition to my mother's assumption of the worst, is her physical inability to sugar-coat just to make you feel better. Conversations often go more or less like this: 

Me:  My arms hurts a little. 
Mom:  Where? 
Me:  Below my shoulder. You don't think a rare, poisonous Australian bug bit me, and this pain is a precursor to my arm turning purple and falling off, do you? 
Mom (very seriously):  I sure hope not. 

1.  Supposedly (that is, so my husband says), I tell stories increasingly more and more like she does as time passes. 

This turkey has nothing at all to do with
this post, but I like him, and Brad and
I saw a turkey the other day
Am I a little digressive in my tales? Sure - but who, I ask, is not? 

Have I been known, now and again, to include every last detail about a situation in order to paint a full, proper picture? Yes - so sue me for thoroughness. 

Do I, perhaps, at times make clear that I have something very important to share and then take 10 minutes to tell the story that gets to that important point, thereby inducing feelings of stress and worry in the listener? I will not comment on this issue, beyond stating that such a claim is slanderous! Or libelous! Or whatever-ous!

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