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“All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” –Abe Lincoln

“All mothers are slightly insane.” –J.D. Salinger

Yeah, I know Salinger and Lincoln generally aren’t used in the same breath, but I think the above 2 quotes have some applicable tautology here.

I think tautologies were roughly about the time in math class that I stopped understanding what was going on. It’s not too surprising, too, since that was the last time that math was devoid of numbers. I do better with letters.

Anyways, so if p, then q, etc. And if all mothers are slightly insane, and all that I hope to be, I owe my mother…then I can thank my mother for being insane.

Among many, many other things.

Today, January 19th, is my best friend’s birthday. And in honor of that, I present to you a list—by no means exhaustive, of course—of 19 reasons that I love my mom beyond the telling of it.

19. She remembers EVERYTHING I tell her. If I told her in June about a presentation I have to give in November, it’s like she has some internal Outlook program in her mind that prompts her to call the morning of to remind me to “wear something nice” and then immediately after, wanting to know EVERY detail.

18. She buys the most bizarre brick-a-brack from TJ Maxx. (A few weeks ago, in the middle of the Giants/Cowboys game, she announced “Does anyone have an interest in a pink whale that opens bottles?”)

17. She does nothing, NOTHING, in moderation. The West End Beautification Association is perhaps the greatest evidence of this. What started as a volunteer group that cleans up the weeds on Long Beach streets…has now reached non-profit status, complete with legal proceedings and everything.

16. Everything is dramatic to her. Everything. If I told her I ran out of toilet paper, her overwhelming gasps would be soon followed by NY Times articles emailed to me, about how toilet paper deficiency has been shown to impact job prospects.

15. I can’t imagine that she has any remote interest in half of the things I talk to her about, but I’ll never know, since if it matters to me, it matters to her. (My sister does this, too. For the longest time, I had no idea she hated football. She just did her best every week to try to feign interest in the Giants. Contrastly, phone conversations with my dad are more like, “What’d you do this weekend?” “Well, I went over to Strange’s place, and—“ “Ok, I get the gist of it. I’m gonna take a nap now.”)

14. She coined the maxim, ‘Life’s too short to do the things you don’t want to do, if you don’t have to do them.”

13. Her emails sometimes read like something off this website, but yet somehow when I see something like this from Mom, I think it’s wildly endearing more than anything.

12. She’s only other person in the family who shares my complete illiteracy when it comes to math. She’s also the only other person who understands what it’s like to have bad hearing. We’re quite a pair at restaurants. (“THIS CHICKEN IS DELICIOUS!” “I KNOW! IT’S AMAZING WHAT THEY CAN DO WITH A WINE SAUCE!” “WHAT?” “YOU NEED A HAIRCUT.”)

11. Her and my dad will be awesome for the rest of their lives. Like, no matter what age they are, they never let any grass grow under their feet. (My Christmas card from them was a picture of my mom riding a camel in Egypt, and in the inside my mom provided her own holiday caption: “It was actually 3 wise guys and a lost woman looking for TJ Maxx.” I have no idea what this means, but I know it was hysterical.)

10. Face Time. I don’t think there are a lot of things that bring me more joy than both us marveling at how we can see each other when we're so far away.

9. I don’t care how old I get, NOTHING in the world makes me feel better after a rough day at work (and I’ve had upwards of 300 of them in the past year and a half) then venting it all out to my mom. She always knows how to make it all better.

8. She’s the most beautiful woman in the whole world, and I really don’t think she knows it.

7. She has ZERO reverence for rules. Which is a foreign concept to someone like me with a palpable fear of authority. She really should have gone into advertising, I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who has actually strayed so far from the proverbial “box,” that she’d need a GPS system to even try to think inside it.

6. She was nominated for Long Beach’s Person of the Year because she hasn’t stopped working for the town’s beautification at any point in the last year.

5. Every conversation with her is like that game “Two Truths and a Lie.” There’s always one slightly fabricated detail in every story, but not a deliberate one. (“So-and-so went out with her boyfriend’s best friend, and it turns out he’s actually an astronaut!” “Wait, what? He’s an astronaut?” “Oh. Ok, maybe I made that part up, I don’t remember what he does for a living, actually.”)

4. I don’t know HOW she does everything she does all day and still cooks dinner. I know, it sounds like a cliché, but whenever I go home for the weekend and see an actual meal on the table, I’m thinking, “that would take me at least 4 days to make, and my parents do this every night.” I don’t understand it. It’s like my mom has discovered the secrets of time management.

3. She’s put up with me for 30 years. That can’t be easy. Like, not even a little bit.

2. She’s completely nuts, and I don’t think she knows and/or cares.

1. She’s also completely perfect. She’s brilliant, funny, generous, exciting, patient, and wonderful. I don’t know how I got so lucky, but my mom is more amazing than she’ll ever know. I aspire to one day be even half the woman she is.

Maybe this quotes really captures it best:

“A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.” –Washington Irving

Happy Birthday, Mom! May you, as always, stay forever young….

1 Comment:

  1. Krista Lindsey Willim said...
    Two things (once I wipe away the tears):

    (1) I might not have believed all these things, except that I had the marvelously good fortune of meeting your mom, of her welcoming me into her gorgeous home, with a generous spirit and delicious food, and I can say with conviction that you don't tell a single lie here.

    (2) If any of my kids feels even 1/10th the way about me as you feel about your mother when they're 30, I'll feel like I won an Oscar, a Pulitzer, and the Nobel Prize all on the same day.

    Happy Birthday, Mrs. Pollina!

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