Saturday, May 16, 2009

Family Reunion

Not a full family reunion today, but close enough for rock'n'roll -- my sister and brother-in-law, who hosted, my aunt and uncle from Yonkers, my cousin and his wife from up in Albany, my cousin and his wife from California, my mom, and me. It's a good family of kind people, your pretty standard east coast Jew story overflowing both ends of the 20th century: Lower East Side → Bronx → Yonkers → Westchester and beyond, less Woody Allen than Neil Simon with an E.L. Doctorow backstory. Some of us, of course, have gotten stuck between the Bronx and Yonkers after lingering way too long on the Lower East Side, but hey -- someone's gotta be the black sheep. Baaa. I love them all dearly.

The afternoon was enhanced by a flat tire half a mile out of my mom's door -- I was driving my her car because it is fun and zippy and mine is a rattly behemoth with wall-eyed headlights and smells like dog. And -- have you guys been waiting this whole month for something confessional? OK, here you go: I have never changed a flat. Not because I'm any kind of shrinking violet -- I've never had a flat. I've seen them changed, I've had it demonstrated for me, I know what page it's on in my owner's manual, but I've never actually done the deed myself. So for a number of reasons that seemed good at the time -- wearing somewhat nice clothes, didn't want to screw it up and have the wheel fall off my mom's car in the middle of Rte. 119 -- I called AAA to come put the donut on so we could limp back to her place and get my car and proceed. Which was all well and good, except it took them a good hour and a half to show up, and time wasted makes me cranky. If I'm not working and I'm not reading and I'm not cooking and I'm not getting some form of exercise and I'm not sleeping, I'd better be doing something fun -- not sitting in an office park in lower Westchester on an overcast, windy day. It was what you might call an Exercise in Letting Go. And hey, extra time with mom, even though the she wanted to talk about picking out the accessories she wore that day and I wanted to pace.

But OK, we were only two hours later than planned, and the party was fun. It's always good to see everyone. And extra time with mom! Who, by the way, outdid herself on the Overprotective Mom Comment of the Day -- I like to privately time it and see how long, from the moment I step into her house, it takes her to say something ridiculously over-the-top motherish. Today was about ten minutes from point of entry. I had helped her transfer the weird bean dip she'd made to a serving bowl and had put the original container, as directed, into the sink, when she told me, "Just fill it up with water. The hot water is the faucet on the left."

And you all wonder why I can't change a tire! I was raised to have servants. Something didn't work out, though.

[The photo is of my mom, my brother, my sister, and me in 1965. If my sister ever sees that I posted this she will disown me immediately and there will be no more family reunions, ever. So don't tell her.]

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Blogger heddy said...

All this time I thought my mother was the unique freak who made comments like "The hot water is the one on the left."

My theory is that these are weak attempts to make conversation.

I was trying on a coat last year when my mother helpfully pointed out "That one has a zipper."

At first I thought "Does she think I'm blind?" And then I realized that this was her way of trying to be involved.

12:21 PM  

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