Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Next episode: how Jesus helped my mom quit smoking

On my first date with Spooney, I did an impression of my mom that cracked him up. He loved that I could imitate my mom's voice and unique midwestern idioms, and I loved that he loved it, of course. First, because I think my mom is a hoot, and second, nothing's better than an appreciative audience!

My mom is a funny character. She is, like many of her generation, very set in certain ways and ideas.

And she lives in Sodtown, Nebraska. I am not making that name up.

Once, when I was visiting, she decided that we were going to drive around to various yard sales and look for a cake carrier. A cake carrier is really an essential bit of equipment if you are in the habit of attending any "covered dish" events, which my mother is. So, after a couple of hours of browsing various yard sales, I find a really awesome cake carrier. It was white enameled tin with a tiny painted floral pattern, and a sturdy handle, and in perfect shape, and, well, so - mission accomplished, right?

Not so fast.

The price on the cake carrier? Two dollars.

My mom looks at the price and she can not believe it. Two dollars! Two whole dollars for a yard sale cake carrier. She puts the cake carrier down and walks away.

"Mom," I say, running after her. "what is wrong with this one? It's cute!"

"Well, I don't know what they're thinking, trying to charge two dollars at a yard sale.

"What do you mean? Two dollars is cheap."

"If it was a quarter, maybe I'd buy it."

"A quarter? You're trying to find one for a quarter? Mom, come on, get this one. Look what great shape it's in!"

"I am not spending two dollars on a yard sale cake carrier."

"Well, I'm buying it for you." I turn away and walk toward the owner, digging for money in my purse.

"You are not!" Mom counters, trotting after me and trying to pull my hand out of my purse. "Two dollars is just ridiculous!" she hisses.

At that point I stop, face my mother and look her dead in the eye. "Mom," I said, "I live in Chicago. Sometimes I take two dollars, and I just throw it in the street."

"Well, for Pete's sake." was my mother's only response.

Today, that cake carrier sits on top of the coverall locker in the mud room, gathering dust. But I've got my eye on it. Someday, it will be mine.

After all, I did pay two whole dollars for it.


For more on mom and for an excellent deconstruction of Momspeak, visit my sister's blog today.

8 comments:

Spooney said...

My question is:
When are you gonna take me to Sodtown!!

RandyLuvsPaiste said...

What a great story.
Even better than my dad insisting I take a gallon of milk back with me to Philadelphia, just in case I wasn't able to find a store that sold milk in the big city.

vikkitikkitavi said...

My uncles in Nebraska once tried to taunt me that because I was a fancy big city girl, I must not want one of their cheap Old Milwaukee beers. The said I probably never even heard of it.

I said, "You're right, I only live a hour FROM MILWAUKKE, and yet I've never heard of it."

vikkitikkitavi said...

Oh, and Spooney - don't dare me or I WILL take you.

AND I'll make you visit every last damn one of my relatives.

Megan said...

You'd think after buying her such an extravagant cake carrier she'd be using the HELL out of it.

Spooney said...

"Oh, and Spooney - don't dare me or I WILL take you.
AND I'll make you visit every last damn one of my relatives."

Ok, I'll be good, I promise,

GETkristiLOVE said...

There is still a sign off of the quote, un-quote highway that reads "Sodtown Mall" with an arrow pointing towards mom's house on Sodtown road. That still cracks me up, because you know... there is no mall, or anything but rows of corn down that road. I wonder if any tourist has ever taken it and then says, "what the fuck???"

michael said...

Your mother is right, you know. Whar are you doing, putting down folding money at a yard sale in Nebraska? Are you trying to kickstart inflation?

Damn bleeding hearts. Take a ecomonomics class or something.