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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

On becoming your parents

I was reading a post from one of my favorite blogs the other day. And yes, I realize that most of my posts start this way. Yada, yada, yada.... the other day. There is a reason for that and it's called I'm behind and I can't catch up. If I wrote about today then I'd never get around to what happened yesterday. I like to think of it as running to stand still.

Anyway, in her blog post she basically concludes that she has turned into a geezer. I'd say she's turned into her parents. And I'm reading this and thinking, "Oh well. Another one bites the dust." No matter how hard you try, it's inevitable. Because eventually, sooner or later, in spite of the promises that you made to yourself in your youth you will become your parents. I guarantee it.

For me, the realization that I had made this disturbing transformation came while sitting at a ridiculously long traffic light with my mom and sister. We had been there so long that I was in that zoned out sort of half aware state of consciousness. It was a looong light. Through my haze, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed the car next to me was jumping. Seriously? I instantly snapped out of my comatose state and watched in fascination as the car continued to jump higher and higher. And then POOF! it happened. Without thinking twice, I started belting out an enthusiastic rendition of Low Rider.
The song complete with jumping car video can be heard/seen below. .. Just in case you aren't as fabulously hip as I am.

My mother has a long history of singing commercial jingles, and oldies songs. Usually it's in response to something someone has said. For example, if you ask her if she'd like another cup of tea she might start singing, "Have a nutter, nutter butter, peanut butter sandwich cook-ieeee." Or she'll see one of the kids do something silly and do, "Sometimes you feel like a nut -- sometimes you don't. Allllmond Joy's got nuts..." Or you're talking about dinner (not necessarily a hamburger - just dinner in general) and she might go with, "I like mine with lettuce and tomato, Heinz 57 and french fried potatoes... (Jimmy Buffet, of course). When I was a kid I thought this was great fun. As I got into the teenage years it got annoying. As an adult it drives me bananas. She has been singing the same jingles for pretty much my entire life without adding anything new to her repertoire. Enough with the Nutter Butter jingles already.

So the fact that I burst spontaneously into song, and an oldie to boot, was the death knell. I had officially become my mother. The light turned green as I sat staring in fascination at the jumping car and belting out Low Rider for all I was worth. The car behind me honked, so I stepped on the gas and looked over at my mom and sister. I had a big, stupid grin on my face and I was mentally congratulating myself for nailing all the fun musical effects in the song as I turned to glance over at my passengers. Mom and Julie were staring at me with bulging eyes and mouths gaping open. For decades I've been pleading with my mother to stop singing jingles. The fact that I was sitting there and behaving exactly like my mother had them literally frozen in their tracks.

And then the dawn of realization. Oh crap. And as my face fell my mom burst into laughter. "Oh Kathy!" she said, "You are just like me!"


:) said...

Too cute! It happens to the best of us!

debrae64 said...

Do you think I could make the mini-van do that?! I've told my husband that we are keeping it forever, and I have plans! I see the purple lights under the frame, low-rider effects, flames painted down the side, with those huge tail pipes that the street racers have....they sound like they would actually go somewhere, but when the mini-van goes off and leaves them in the dust....well, it's just a little sad.... LOL!

andrea said...

ALWAYS assume sarcasm with me.

Minxy Mimi said...

You had me laughing! I could see as a person who has heard hte jingles your whole life, it might be annoying... but to me it sounds really fun of your mom!

Kathy B! said...

Don't get me wrong -- my mom is a HOOT! But if you are going to do the jingle thing you have to update your play list every couple of decades :) Mom reads the blog, and knows I wouldn't have her any other way!

Anonymous said...

OMG, you are so right! It does happen to all of us, and it is becoming more and more apparent to me. Whenever I mention this to my mom, she always asks, "what's so wrong with becoming me?" and my answer is "well, nothing, but..."

I wonder why that happens. I see my daughters who are so different from me in some ways and I wonder will they turn into me as well? And if they do, gosh, do I feel sorry for them!! LOL!! Great post!

Zeemaid said...

that was a hoot.