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Roundtable Discussion: Mom Stories

mothers day

Sunday you learned something and you probably didn’t even realize it. You now know what all your facebook friends’ moms look like. In our own version of honoring of those women who helped us survive to adulthood, we asked the PorchDrinking staffers for their favorite mom stories for this week’s roundtable discussion. The results ranged from hilarious to heartfelt. 

Tristan: When I was about four or five I asked my mom whether I had to marry a Chinese girl when I grew up. A bit perplexed, she answered no, you can marry whoever you want to marry.  I responded with great relief, good I dont like Chinese girls.  First and foremost apparently I was racist against my own race, but more importantly unlike most Asian parents, my mom always allowed me to make my own decisions and always supported my decisions.

Justin: My favorite story about my mom I involves a couple birds. Let me start by saying that my mother HATES birds and is deathly afraid of them. So one spring day, my mom was cleaning the house and had all the windows open with all the screens off. At this time, all of us kids had moved out and were working and/or going to college. We all receive a frantic voicemail from Mom saying to come over quickly and no other details. We each race over there thinking the absolute worst case scenario. When my brothers and I arrive, we find my mom in her bedroom crying. We ask what is wrong and what happened. She says, in between sobs, that there were 2 birds that got into the house and she freaked. My siblings and I erupt with laughter. We chase the birds out and close all the windows so the birds won’t return, all while laughing hysterically at mom. This story gets brought up at most family gatherings, still causing belly-aching laughter to us kids.

Erin: My mom and are international travel buddies; there are very few places we won’t venture. One particular year, we found ourselves in Uganda and Rwanda hiking through the jungles tracking Mountain Gorillas. We made the crossing into Rwanda by car and despite our earnest efforts to arrive at the border crossing before sunset (the roads in central Africa are not the most efficient, as they tend to get washed away, are wrought with rocks, and are very steep), we arrived at the border crossing right as the sun began to dip below the horizon. The reason we were trying to beat the sun is because the man who issues visas at the border returns home once the sun sets. As our tan 1997 Land Cruiser pulls up to the crossing, we are greeted by a dozen camo-clad, machine-gun-toting Rwandan military. Our wonderful guide jumps out of the car, explains to us that he must walk into the village (this must have been miles away), and encourage the visa issuer to return to the office to allow us two blonde, white, American ladies to legally cross into Rwanda.

So there we are: two very out of place women in the middle of the road in the middle of nowhere Rwanda surrounded by soldiers armed with machine guns. My mom and I sit quietly in the back of the Land Cruiser, when I suddenly heard a “tap tap” on my window. Apparently, one of the soldiers decided to garner my attention by rapping the glass with the snout of his weapon. I hesitantly roll down the window, and the man begins speaking to me in French (which between my mom and I, we can adeptly order breakfast and that’s about it). I surmise he is trying to sell me something, and I just say “no no, merci.” After a solid half hour in the car, we begin to feel restless and very cautiously exit the vehicle to stretch our legs. There we are now standing in the road on the edge of the jungle, surrounded by heavily armed African soldiers who continue to speak at me in French. My mom and I keep our cool, continuing our limited niceties in broken  French, until finally (after what seemed like an eon) our guide returns, the reluctant border official in tow, and we are finally (after some serious palm greasing) are allowed safe, legal passage into the darkness of Rwanda. This is one of my absolute favorite stories, as it perfectly describes the sort of misadventures my mom and I get ourselves into. Plus, who can say they were stranded in the middle of Africa with their mom? I can!

Kate: I have always been perpetually late, and I get that from my mom. One morning, when I was about 7 I was running late on picture day. I heard the bus coming down the street, grabbed my book bag, and flew out the door in my new dress, new tights, complete with a giant bow on my head. And tripped about halfway to the bus stop. The bus went on without me, and I trudged back to my house with bloody, ripped tights. My mom sweetly fixed me up, fuming the whole time that the bus driver would just leave me there like that, and dropped me off at school just in time. What I didn’t know is that she followed my bus driver around his route the rest of the morning, biding her time and getting more and more angry, until they at last arrived at the bus garage. Then she lit into him with a fury only known to mother bears.

Phil: I refer to my mom as the cookie monster. Not because of her ability to eat cookies or a weird raspy voice, but because she is the creator of all things cookies. She approaches cookies and baking very seriously.
She takes excessive notes, scours unreal quantities of cooking books, magazines and the like from the public library and is always creating something new. She is the cookie monster because her passion for making cookies is slightly obsessive.
It started out as a tradition when I was in college that she would send me boxes of cookies in the mail the week before finals and for holidays throughout the year like St. Patties Day, Valentines Day etc… Whenever I brought a box up from the mail room it was like everyone on my floor freshman year or my roommates the following years, knew what was inside of the magical box. One of the boxes mysteriously went missing in my dorm mail room… the tracking number stated that it had been delivered and signed for but it never showed up in the mail room. These boxes are obviously marked… every piece of mail my mom ever sends me has brightly colored smiley face stickers on them. The box of missing cookies was never found, but its not too difficult to imagine the contents ending up in the stomachs of the mailroom staff. Word traveled fast through my dorm when cookies arrived and they were a huge bargaining tool. To this day my mom still sends me cookie care packages about 6 times a year. She makes unreal cookies, and yes, I’m still very popular with my roommates when smiley face clad boxes show up on the front porch.

Caitlin: My sister and I have mocked our mother for years for her love of Sci Fi Fridays on SciFi (now SyFy, which I still think is stupid). As we would leave on Friday nights in high school— my sister to go drink at a friend’s who had very laid back parents who didn’t care about these things and me to play an Amish card game with my Mormon and Catholic friends— we would scoff at poor Laurie as she settled in for a night of Stargate. But I have to admit that while my mom does not delve into any of her shows as deeply as I am known to do, the doors to many were opened by her. I watched my first episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer with my mom— mostly because I was too scared to watch it alone. I spook easily. I admittedly didn’t watch Firefly from the start— but she watched every episode while it was still on TV AND took me to see Serenity, though like Star Trek, I had no idea what was going on and wondered what Johnny from Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place was doing in space.  I only wish I knew then how hip my mom was to nerd culture before nerd culture was hip.

So I’d like to thank my mom for steering me in the right pop culture direction. Or shame her for making me think some of these things were awful, only to rediscover them on my own, years later and realize that they’re actually pretty cool. Either way, at least she didn’t beat me.

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