Since we’re coming up on Father’s Day, I’m thinking about the things that used to anger Mom that amuses me now. It’s a short list, but each of these earned a sharp word, snapped fingers, threats, or warnings, all delivered with “the evil eye.”
Mom’s threats were usually about giving us away, sending us to an orphanage, or putting her in the nut house. We weren’t a very P.C. household in the fifties and sixties.
Here’s the list:
- Fighting, arguing, swearing and talking back. Her idea of talking back and our idea didn’t always align. We would protest, “What was I doing?” That is talking back. Don’t do it.
- You’d better come when called…or else.
- Cracking your gum, blowing bubbles with your gum, or clicking you spoon against your teeth.
- No slurping! Do not slurp your soup or your cereal. Don’t you dare suck up the final fluids of a soda or milkshake through a straw, either.
- Don’t sneeze too many times, definitely a peculiar irritation. You can see that Mom had a thing about noises. More than three sneezes would irritate her. Sneezing too loud would also annoy her. All that exasperated us. How are we supposed to control the number of times we sneeze, or how loudly?
- Eat all your food. That was rarely a problem for me but one sister had issues. Food items couldn’t be touching one another. That just sickened her. But Mom would order her to eat her food; she would refuse, and would sit in the darkening room, refusing to eat, until Mom relented and took her plate away. That was a battle of wills.
A short list, and nothing too terrible. As children, we’d forget, and absently do these things until Mom voiced her irritation. As adults, we find it funny, and laugh about it. We’re also aware of these matters that irk Mom. If someone starts sneezing and goes more than three times — or loudly — in Mom’s presence, one of us is certain to say, “Here we go.”
What about you? Anything that your Mom did that amuses you in memory?