A Mother Of A Mother

I’m always taking cheap shots (she so deserves) at me mother, so I’ve decided to write about her assets for Mother’s Day of which she had many, starting with her marinara sauce to this day is unrivaled.

I have the recipe, but it never tastes quite like hers, so I’m thinking she purposely left something out.  Would be just like her, but there I go again criticizing.

She was a fabulous cook, enchanting all who sat at her table happy to serve them.  I’ve always said she should have owned a restaurant and can see her flirting from table to table sending over cheesecake to a good-looking fella ignoring his wife (I did it again).

Style never eluded her from the time I was a kid.  She was my first fashion influence watching her slink into a little black dress, black stockings and heels, big gold clips swaying from her ears.

I had no idea she wore dark stockings to hide her veins she claimed were from having me.  I assumed they were sexy, and they were, regardless of why she wore them.

I remember sitting on the floor of her bedroom watching her wiggle into a panty girdle and long line brassiere.   She’d add a little toilet paper in the days before push-up bras making me wonder if that was in case they’d run out wherever she was going.

She scolded me when I tried stuffing Barbie’s evening gown in case of an emergency.

Hey, a little girl’s logic lacks lust remember, never thinking it was to entice the male population.

My mother also had impeccable manners almost to a fault drilling them into me.  She’d make me write a thank you card before opening the gift.

“But Ma, what am I thanking them for?”

“Doesn’t matter, just write how nice it was and you love it.”

“But Ma.”


To this day if I get a piece of gum you get a note and come to realize, there are worse things than neurotic manners.

She also loved animals I’d say more than people, unless it was a man tickling her fancy. Even then Fluffy, Mugsey and Al, three of our cats, would have been preferable.

Mugsey was a huge tiger my mother adopted from a trashcan who used to make a mess trolling for food.  And did he love her following her around like a puppy.  She’d say things like, “What is it Mugs, does my boy need somethin..tell mama?”  He’d meow as if they had their own special language.

We lived across the street from a firehouse so he would perch on the steps waiting for her to drive up.  One day he got clipped crossing the street.  I never saw my mother cry like that.  She was inconsolable.  My father wrapped him up in one of her aprons and buried him next to Fluffy in the backyard.  I remember we had take-out that night, a sure sign my mom was in mourning when she couldn’t even cook.

That story reminds me despite all her demonic tendencies, she had a heart that could fly open when you least expected it.  I always say I got mine from my grandfather, but then again he sired her so she must have gotten a little too.

I’ve inherited much from her good and bad.  A temper that needs to be monitored, unlike hers, at all times.  My love of creatures, slinky black dresses and topnotch spaghetti sauce.

But what I really got was her strength…she was one tough Biscotti she was.  I never think of myself that way, but I too as I get older no matter what, persevere.

Right foot, left foot.

So Ma, whomever you’re haunting just so you know, it wasn’t all bad.  Will you please excuse me?  There’s a thank you note I need to write.

With love,


get-attachment My mother circa 1945



About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Amazon.com. Thanks.
This entry was posted in animals, dessert, Family, Fashion, food, Home, kids, Love, parents, Women and men and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to A Mother Of A Mother

  1. We are a very complex species, and it sounds like your mom was like most of us, a mix of good and bad. Well maybe a little more bad… okay so she was flawed! But, not all bad. :O)


  2. I have a soft spot for people who love animals. Sounds like she may have liked animals better than people and I am sure she is proud of your style and compassion wherever she is.


  3. AF says:

    What a beautiful tribute.


  4. Elle Knowles says:

    Wonderful story Susannah. And from the looks of that picture your mother had great style. Beautiful tribute for Mothers Day. ~Elle


  5. micklively says:

    She’s certainly “a looker”. I can see where you get it from.
    How cathartic is your strength and ability to forgive her.


  6. Rubenstein, Hal says:

    A very caustic tribute to your favorite mom ! Actually the kindest you’ve ever been !


  7. I have a photo of my mother that resembles your mother so much. The thick curly black hair and long legs.
    Sadly children don’t come with instruction booklets, because it would scare the shit out of even the most loving new mothers.
    No doubt your momma is haunting up a storm and having a blast!
    Happy Mother’s Day to you Susannah! You are always out mothering the streets of NYC with your kindness, whether it’s an animal or a broken soul. Keep up the good work Momma S!


    • I love that essay about your mom written three years ago? Two? She’s one of my favorite mothers because she gave birth to you. You’re such a nice girl, a mom yourself, animal lover….pasta maker…could go on and on. Sigh


  8. AZMike says:

    I saw no recrimination(caustatiousness-is that a word?) in your tribute.
    My mom was probably very close to your mother’s age, I think growing up post depression years and around WW2 made most girls tough.
    My sisters, I have 4, all grew up with the mom that did not offer “I love you!” but after they said it to her she would say, “I love you, too.” Being the baby of the family I got the mom they all had wanted. She may have done the same as with them to me but I never doubted my mother’s love.
    Today is her birthday, May 8th. I had wanted to call them all to see if they remembered but even though it’s been 12 years since she died the whole left in their hearts with her passing will never be filled.
    Thanks Susannah. 🙂


    • A Taurus, like my mother. She was 17 when she married my dad who shortly after went overseas. By the time he returned, she was all grown up hardly remembering the initial lust she felt. Tack on 25 years of not being in love with the man you cooked and cleaned for and you’ll then know my mother.

      I’m glad your recollections are pure and sweet. Mine are fragmented at best, but like they say in 12 step…take what you like and leave the rest. Happy Birthday to your mom.


  9. Beautiful. Mothers are complex creatures. But, in truth, we are all just daughters trying to please someone somehow… I loved this. Mother’s day is always a mixed bag for me..


  10. skinnyuz2b says:

    What a great piece and photo. There certainly is good in everyone and what an appropriate time to stop and dwell on all the pluses.


  11. That’s a beautiful tribute, Susannah and great for its honesty too.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.