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.”
“JUST WRITE IT!”
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.