A phone call with my mom.

4 10 2007

It’s always nice to talk with my mom. For a while a few weeks ago we were talking practically every other day. Recently, because she’s busy being a hooker and I’m busy working, really slaving away, grinding my fingers to the bone, practically wearing myself down to nothing, we don’t talk that often, so I called to say hello and talk to her about some upcoming plans, one of which includes being in New York City at some point in time.

It’s always an adventure talking with my mom, too. Most of the time I’m silent while she chatters away mindlessly about the comings and goings of life in northern Vermont. In five minutes of my silence, I can expect no fewer than seventeen completely different topics of conversation, all begun and ended by my mother. I don’t have to say a word.

She begins, let’s say, by talking about who she saw at the post office that morning, usually one of my old teachers from elementary school. She’ll tell me she’s run into another person she knows I know, but, oh, gosh, she can’t remember his name, she is getting old you know, which reminds her that the pain in her legs at night is getting better thanks to that great medicine her doctor’s given her, but wouldn’t you know, she might have to go back in for some scans just to make sure there’s nothing more serious because the last time this happened–and it happened to a friend of hers, you remember that friend, the one from the secretaries’ group from years ago, don’t you? the short one with the curly hair? Marie? She says hello, by the way. She was asking all about you. Saw her at the Firefighter’s Dinner the other night, there with her husband. Frank was chatting like he always does with the other firefighters and then there she was! Told her about what you’ve been up to, and told her about your blog! I showed her pictures of the rug I hooked for Lynne and she loved it! Oh, she just! loved! it! Anyway, her son is doing just the most fantastic things, you wouldn’t believe what he’s been up to, traveling the world working in China, or maybe it’s Pakistan. Doing something with teaching, oh she’ll have to pass on his e-mail address because wouldn’t it be great just to touch base with another traveler?

It’s kind of like that children’s book, “If You Give A Moose A Muffin,” except it’s like, “If You Give My Mom A Phone Call.”

So, in my silence of today’s conversation, in addition to telling me about our neighbor, Farmer Dave, who my step-father Frank loves to spend time with talking about farm machines and going out to breakfast, she waxed poetic about the light filtering in through the trees that line our driveway that she could see from our library’s windows. (We don’t really have a library. It just happens to be a room with a lot of books and affectionately called a library.)

“It’s a real Vermont Life kind of day,” she told me, referencing, of course, the beautiful photography that graces the pages of that magazine. (Not the photo of the two old folks on the cover of this month’s edition, although it’s not far from reality.) She went on to describe how warm it is, how nice and relaxing and beautiful it is there in our little town of Jericho, and how she wished so much I were there.

Just as I was about to tell her I wished the same thing, her memory farted and suddenly she brought up New York again.

“Oh, just imagine if you’ll be in New York!” Her voice brought down to an excited whisper, the kind of voice you’d use if you were talking to a five year old about Santa Claus.

“I know…” I tried to say.

“Where will you live?” Still with that same voice, building up the excitement kind of like, “Whose feet do I hear on the roof right now? Are those reindeer? Is that Santa? Aren’t you excited?!”

And, not that I expected to be able to get in a word at all about a possible living situation, my mother then completed her own thought:

“In an alley!”

If you felt any kind of tremor today, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was caused by the reverberations coming from the roll of my eyes.


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25 responses

4 10 2007
Nilsa S.

Glad to hear there are others experiencing one-sided conversations with their mothers. Only difference with mine is it lasts about 15-20 minutes longer. And about 10 minutes into it, my dad tells me he’s hanging up because he’s already heard everything she has to say and has better things to do (or something like that). Shall you add that to the list of “other reasons not to embark on motherhood?”

4 10 2007
ginacoggio

I usually just let her run out of breath and wait a few more seconds before I tell her, “Do you realize I didn’t say anything for those minutes?” And, like your mom, I already knew half the stuff she’s just told me.
I also know she’s reading this and thinking, “Gina, I’m gonna kill you.” I know that because I read this to her over the phone and that’s all she could say in between laughs.

4 10 2007
Tina (aka Mom)

Oh, where do I start? trying to explain/defend myself? What your readers must think of your “poor old Mom” ! Oh well….. But while I’m here, I realized I’d forgotten to tell you that Frank had his first tractor-driving lesson the other day with Farmer Dave – and that Joyce’s 2 daughters are rooming together down in Philadelphia now – and I’ve just learned some more computer skills which I will teach to Lynne (who arrives Sat. night from Florida – she’ll be bringing her laptop, so we can have a session of “dueling computers”) – and… ha ha ha… I guess I’ll stop now, but I’ll probably have one of those DELICIOUS mint brownies on my way through the kitchen – you know, the ones I just baked that are sooooo chocolatey and have York Peppermint Patties baked in the middle. Got to run – yum yum yum …..

4 10 2007
ginacoggio

CASE. IN. POINT.

4 10 2007
Tina (aka Mom)

duhhhh… I did that on purpose!!!

4 10 2007
ginacoggio

Did you just “duh” me, mother?

4 10 2007
Tina (aka Mom)

🙂

4 10 2007
nicolemarie

I’m totally delurking myself on this one. Gina, you and your mom have such an awesome relationship. It’s so darn fun to read this post and your comments back and forth (i liked the one about the grandkids as well). Oh, and while I probably missed it somewhere since I just started reading your blog, why NYC?

4 10 2007
ginacoggio

HA! MOM! LOOK! LOOK! NICOLEMARIE SAYS WE HAVE “SUCH AN AWESOME RELATIONSHIP”!!!! LOOK!

Thank you, Nicolemarie, for proving me absolutely and undeniably RIGHT. My mom has a big fear that the Big Bad Internet thinks she’s a terrible person and really mean, but you tonight have served as PROOF of what I’ve been telling her all along, which is that our relationship is GREAT and that as her daughter I have every right to make fun of her and everything she does.

Thank you.
The Defense rests.

(Oh, and NYC? I can’t really talk about that yet, but I will. I really really promise I will.)

4 10 2007
Tina (aka Mom)

Hi Nicolemarie – You are my new best friend – I will have to make you some of those mint brownies….

4 10 2007
ginacoggio

Nicolemarie, if you are a smart woman which I am sure you are since you came to this blog, you will stay out of this because it could get ugly.

Mother, do not rope this poor yet clearly intelligent woman into your world of threats and bribery. I’ve already written about how you invented a make-believe sister for me, so don’t make me pull out any of the other stories you have asked me never to pull out in public.

(Oh. Wait. Looks like the Blackmail apple doesn’t fall far from the Threat & Bribery Tree.)

And seriously Mother. Are you like 7 years old or something? (“you are my new best friend”? I’m telling.)

4 10 2007
Tina (aka Mom)

Okay, okay, I’ll quit now – but just tell me one final thing: where is the emoticon that sticks its tongue out at you?

4 10 2007
ginacoggio

Right next to the one flipping the bird. WHICH I WOULD NEVER USE ON YOU.
I’m just kidding. (I mean, not about the not flipping you off, because I wouldn’t. But I’m just kidding. There’s not really one that flips the bird. Don’t look for it, Mom. It’s not there.)

4 10 2007
nicolemarie

mint brownies…hmmm…can you send those to argentina? okay, forget that. i’m staying out of this mess. but one last thing…gina, your mom actually posts comments on your blog…do you know how lucky you are? my mom reads it then calls me and gives me a guilt complex for not calling her before posting something important – like when her grandson gets a big gash near his eye and doesn’t need stitches – and letting her find out via the blog. you’re mom doesn’t do that, or does she? anyhow…this is me, staying out of your playful banter🙂

5 10 2007
Jennie

“Because she’s busy being a hooker…”

Ha! My favorite line of this post.

5 10 2007
ginacoggio

When I read that to my mom on the phone, she was all, “Busy being a hooker?! Gina…!” And then I had to explain what I meant, and about the link, and then she wasn’t so offended. But she uses that term all the time and laughs about it, so I didn’t see why she was so confused.

5 10 2007
Tina (aka Mom)

No, no, I was just goofing with you, Gina … we hookers get that stuff all the time. I was kind of amazed that it went as far as comment #16 until someone made mention of that line ! Anyway, I’m very proud to be the subject of someone’s favorite line of one of your posts !

5 10 2007
Baker

Hey Gina! I swear I saw your mom at Hannafords at the other day but I was shy and didn’t say anything we had one of those eye contacts that we were supposed to know each other but quickly went about our business. Baby Sarah is doing great! She like to sit in her bouncy seat and listen to the shower run. So after our water bill was higher then our mortgage payment, we bought a white noise CD. Which sounds like a TV on Static.

This song has cracked me up a bit lately. thought it would of you too.

It takes trust.
It takes just
A bit more
And we’re done.
We want four,
We had none.
We’ve got three.
We need one.
It takes two.

DIE!

5 10 2007
ginacoggio

It must not have been my mom, because she is SO not shy. She’d come up to you and say, “I know you from somewhere,” and she’d point her finger at you while she’d say it so that you wouldn’t be able to escape talking to her and then subsequently filling her in on the last ten years of your life, just so she could relate it back to me in a long distance phone conversation in which she wouldn’t be able to remember much of anything, especially your name.

5 10 2007
ginacoggio

(Oh, and also? Thanks for getting that song in my head. What in God’s name was it doing in yours?!) Yay for high school musicals! Yay for “Into the Woods”! Yay for inside jokes!

5 10 2007
Baker

It popped in when I saw your picture. Talk about picture word association. CRAZY. Then I started having High School Flash backs and I began to shudder. Now I think I need a drink. HAHAHAHAAHAHAAHAHAHAHAAHA
But seriously, Glad you are doing AWESOME! Hopefully baby will be in musicals. You never e-mailed me back by the way!!!!

6 10 2007
ginacoggio

Should I be offended (and therefore not write you back) that I’m making you shudder by way of the memory of a high school musical–WHICH WAS AWESOME, IF YOU HAVE FORGOTTEN OVER THESE PAST THIRTEEN YEARS?

6 10 2007
Baker

I was thinking other idiotic things. NO, I would have to say dear old first wifey that whether we be simple bakers or rulers of Bagdad, Theatre time rocked. MY MOST FONDEST MEMORIES OF FRIENDS! Which by the way, Where is Cinderella? Where are the Princes? The Ugly Step Sisters! Where’s Jack’s Mom? (I think she now has two kids!) Where are the people that we shared the stage with!!!! Alas, I cry into my soup. I’m still at work.😦 I cry.

10 10 2007
ginacoggio

Update:
Cinderella–in Oregon.
The Princes–In Philadelphia and Boston. And the one in Philadelphia (who I saw this summer, by the way) has two daughters and is a cabinetmaker. So much for royalty.
Ugly Step Sisters–no clue. And honestly, I can only remember one of them. Who was the other?
Jack’s Mom is in Vermont, I think, and I think it’s also true that she has two kids. But remember Jack’s Mom’s boyfriend in high school? I got in touch with his little brother, you remember my first love. Ahh, it was SO nice to hear from him again!

But what about Jack himself?! What about Rapunzel? And the Witch? Where are they?

3 06 2008
ladybughugs

You two are hysterical! I was in tears reading this.

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