Thursday, April 17, 2008

Not remotely food related: on why my mom and I are like night and day

One of my great-aunts on my mother’s side passed away a couple of days ago. It was not unexpected; she was 100 and had been gravely ill for some time. The French side of my family is very, very close; but due to several issues, I’m unable to go to the funeral (which is tomorrow somewhere in the vastness of Los Angeles, a place I happily and purposely haven’t been to in 21 years).

I am glad that a cousin of mine spent a few hours a couple of years ago taping an interview with my great aunt, asking her about our ancestry (her Tuscan-born mother emigrated to France with her family at a young age and settled in Provence), and about life in France during the war. She owned a café on the port in Marseille, lost her husband very early into their marriage (and never remarried). During the war, she sent her kids to live on a farm, hoping that farm life would be best for their environment (and later found out that the farmers sons were part of the Résistance). She eventually followed her daughter to California, as her sister (my grandmother) did when all of their children moved out here in the early ‘60s. The woman was full of stories, and I’m glad my cousin made that recording.

I just got off the phone with my mom, who flew in from France day before yesterday and is headed down to LA in a bit. Even though my aunt’s passing was not a great shock, mom is still in need of consoling. At the end of our conversation, she tells me that she can’t talk much longer because she needs to run out and get a manicure and pedicure, as her family just cannot see her hands and feet the way that they are right now. And the thing she’s most excited about? due to all the trauma, she’s lost enough weight to fit into one of her St. John knit outfits that she hadn’t been able to fit into in over 10 years, and she can’t wait to show that to her sisters.

Sometimes I wonder if we really are related.

3 comments:

Ashley said...

One day, not today or tomorrow, you're going to go back and read these entries. They are a time stamp of your feelings and thoughts and will help you to not become what you dislike in your mom.

FYI, last week I went back home (first time since Thanksgiving) and she convinced me to go to water aerobics with her. She even got my sister to go. I was all against it and then ended up enjoying it. In fact I'm considering finding a similar program around here.

My mom and I are also very different, but sometimes she's right.

french tart said...

yeah yeah, i know that sometimes she's right. she has a knack of knowing exactly when i'm sick too, even if she's on the other side of the world. must be a mom thing.

it's true though that she does some stuff that is good. but her more humorous or irritating moments are the ones that irk me enough to vent about.

for example, she can't wrap her head around what it is i do for a living (even though i've tried to explain it to her countless times), so she just tells her friends that i'm a cocktail waitress.

i do love her, but she's a nutjob.

emily1274 said...

HAHA! Seriously - cocktail waitress? I'd think she'd love to tell her friends about new big corporate.

Your mom just says outloud what we all think in our heads. Irritating, isn't it?

:)