Mom’s Dislikes

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?


Today’s Bumper Sticker

“I have the right clothes for the season, but the wrong clothes for the weather.”


Window-floof (Definition) A cat or cat(s) who enjoy sitting in windows, or outside windows, spying on whatever is on the other side, and sometimes, discussing world affairs with whatever’s on the other side.

In Use: “A classic window-floof, Quinn sat on the covered grill on the patio outside the window, silent, until Michael noticed his presence. Then Quinn commenced an interrogation about what Michael had been doing, even though Quinn had witnessed these things over a thousand times before. Quinn knew that it was better not to assume.”

One of Those Web Days

Facebook doesn’t load.

Videos won’t play.

I turn to other webpages. Nope, they’re not opening, either. Gmail via Inbox begins taking so long to open, I forget something was being opened. WordPress fails to save. Several minutes pass as I wait for blogs to open and display. It feels like I’ve drifted back in techno-time, and my machine is using MS DOS three point one, running on a four point seven-seven machine.

But no, that’s not it. It’s not just Chrome and Windows eight point one. The Mac displays similar issues, and so does the iPad mini.

Is it my connections or computers? Have I suffered a virus or is there a problem with the Internet?

No, the calendar reveals the answer. This is Patch Tuesday, when Microsoft, SAP, Adobe, and others release updates. Systems everywhere get busy populating updates, or dealing with conflicts caused when one is updated, and another isn’t. So there’s some fuming and gnashing of teeth as updates are applied, latency suffers, lags become extended, and bandwidth is consumed.

Hang in there, I tell myself. Go eat, take a walk, or read a book. It’ll all be over in a few days.

It depends upon the patches.

Today’s Theme Music

“Time Won’t Let Me” is a song by a group called The Outsiders.

In nineteen sixty-six, I was ten years old, part of a small group of neighborhood children on McNary Boulevard in Wilkinsburg that included Tracy and Carolann, and Mike and Richard. The group fluctuated as people moved, went on vacation, or attended Bible School. Technically, I’d moved away to Penn Hills, but I came back to visit friends.

I don’t know who, exactly, bought this record, or the rest. We listened to them on a little portable turntable. The record was part of a stack of forty-five R.P.M. singles. Setting up in someone’s basement during the summer months, we listened and danced to these records while pretending to sing the songs and play the instruments. The Monkees began dominating the stack, although Johnny Rivers had a strong presence. Others included Herman and the Hermits, Paul Revere and the Raiders, and Nancy Sinatra. As the summer passed, our interests and musical tastes shifted. But for a while, we had our forty-fives.

Now, watching this video, I laugh.

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