Mom and Dad Who Are You?

Growing up, I always thought I knew my parents to a tee. Their personality traits, likes, dislikes, and pet peeves. After all, I lived with them for a whole 18 years before I went away to college. But now that my four prodigal siblings have moved out and it’s just the three of us, I’ve learned that I didn’t really know them as well as I thought. Living with my parents has allowed me to discover so much more about them, and I’m sure they have discovered a lot more about me. Here are a few very important things I’ve observed about Mike and Mo:

  1. Mike Sr. loves to take out the trash
    Where we live, garbage pick-up day is on Tuesday morning, and it has been this day for as long as I can remember. Growing up, one of us kids was always assigned the chore of “emptying the wastebaskets” in all the bathrooms and bedrooms so it could go in Tuesday morning’s trash pick-up. As you can imagine, this caused a lot of fights between the five of us kids as to whose turn it was to take on this horrific and exhausting task. If my Mom accidentally assigned the same kid to “emptying the wastebaskets” two weeks in a row, she was dead to that child.
    When I moved back home after college, I started to notice that my dad took on this Monday night chore, which was fine with me because I didn’t want to do it. But then I started to notice he became more aggressive with emptying the waste baskets, going through and emptying them a couple times a week. Then it got to the point where if I threw a single Q-Tip in the bathroom wastebasket I felt my father was going to sneak up behind me and empty that wastebasket so there wasn’t a single piece of trash in it. I finally had to confront him about his addiction to emptying the wastebaskets, to which he adamantly denied.
    Since my father travels on business a lot during the week, he can’t always be there to empty the wastebaskets, so I would have to cover for him. I decided to use the information of knowing he loves emptying the waste baskets to my advantage, so I decided to start texting him pictures of myself in the act of emptying the wastebaskets to taunt him while he was away making enough money to continue to feed his 25 year old deadbeat daughter.

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The selfie stick is the gift that just keeps on giving.

My Dad’s love of emptying the wastebaskets has become a running joke between the two of us. As you can see, it’s the main thing we text about. He still claims that he doesn’t LOVE emptying the wastebaskets, that it’s just something that needs to be done, but I know the real truth.

2.  Mo is sick of pretzel rods
My dad does the grocery shopping every Saturday morning, so he keeps inventory of what’s in the fridge and what everyone likes to eat. One Saturday morning, as my mom and I were lounging on the couch with our coffee, watching a juicy Dateline episode that she recorded the night before, my Dad came up from the basement and said to me, “Kathleen, I noticed you haven’t been eating your yogurt that’s in the basement fridge. Do you not like yogurt anymore?” I paused the Dateline episode because I needed my parents’ full attention when I responded to this question. “Ah yea,” I said. “I’ve been meaning to  make an announcement about that. I’m pretty sick of yogurt these days. So if you could stop getting it from the store, that would be great.” And before anyone had time to process my big news my mom chimed in and said, “Well, while, we’re making announcements, I have one too. I just wanted everyone to know, and I know this is shocking, that I’m burned out on pretzel rods.” “Whoa, whoa, whoa, excuse me?” I immediately said. “You can’t just piggy back off my announcement with your own big announcement! You totally just stole my thunder.” Wow, I thought, talk about rude. I felt like Taylor Swift when Kanye West jumped on stage when she was accepting her award at the VMA’s. My own MOTHER “Kanye West’ed” me.
I have to admit though, this did come as a big shock to me. My mom has loved pretzel rods for as long as I can remember. When we were growing up, each day after school she’d boot us from the tv room so she could watch Jeopardy with her Diet Coke and pretzel rods. It took my father and me a few minutes to get over the initial shock of what my mother just said. Did we even know this women at all anymore? While it did take us awhile to come to terms with it, we finally accepted it and said we’d support her in whatever food she decided to replace the pretzel rods with. And that food turned out to be Famous Amos cookies.

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Mo and her two youngest watching Jeopardy back in the day. (I’m the one on the left) It got pretty tight on that couch with five kids, a mom, bags, book bags and all the other junk we threw on that couch. (looks like Girl Scout Cookies and grocery bags in this photo)

3. My Dad has trust issues with Tupperware
A couple of weeks ago, while the three of us were sitting down to a nice dinner of leftovers, my Dad brought up something that I could tell had been bothering him for a while:

Dad: You know, Mo, I put these pineapple chucks in this Tupperware container and the lid doesn’t seem to fit quite right.
Mom: I’ve noticed that too, I think this new dishwasher has been shrinking the lids. Dishwashers these days are way too powerful, I think it’s done some damage to my nice plates too.
Me: You guys always blame stuff on the dishwasher! Dad, the lid doesn’t fit because the top is Betty Crocker brand and the bottom is Rubbermaid brand so they don’t go together.
Dad: Where does it say that?! No, I’m sure these two fit together. (At this point my dad proceeds to try to jam the lid on top of the Tupperware container.)
Me: Would you like me to get a hammer from your tool box so you can better jam that lid onto the bottom? Look right here, the bottom says Rubbermaid and the top says Betty Crocker.
(Now Mike and Mo both take out their reading glasses and begin to inspect the Tupperware for several minutes, discovering that, in fact, the top and the bottom are two different brands.)
Dad: Oh Hell! You practically need an electron microscope to see the damn names on there!
Mom: (said with disgust) I don’t think it’s right that the two companies both make Tupperware containers with red lids. Each company should have a different color lid. They shouldn’t both be allowed to make Tupperware with red lids!

I got a good laugh out of how heated our Tupperware container conversation continued to get. Our dinner conversations always seem to come back to Tupperware. Ever since then my dad has been very cautious about the containers he uses. And he always takes out his glasses to inspect the top and the bottom, usually while making a sarcastic comment. “Do I need to get my PhD to be able to find a top and bottom to put away this pineapple?”

4. Mo hates to toss food.
My mom is a great cook. But these days, she has grown pretty tired of cooking, and I don’t blame her, she cooked meals for her husband and five kids every night when we were little. So the times when she cooks dinner have grown few and far between. But when she does, she cooks in mass quantities as if she is still cooking for five growing children. I also suspect it is so she can be sure there are a lot of leftovers. My mom loves leftover nights because this means she doesn’t have to cook. She is very skilled at making a meal and then stretching it to serve us the next four or five nights. And she’s not picky, she’ll take other people’s leftovers too. Have food you don’t want to finish? Send it Mo’s way, she’ll take it. All these leftovers can sometime be a burden for me because the task of finishing them seems to always fall on me since my parents both eat like birds. If we can’t finish all the leftovers and some food needs to be tossed, my parents make me feel guilty. “It’s a shame we have to waste this” my mom will say as she dumps the food in the garbage while her accusing eyes stare directly into mine, piercing my soul. “I can’t finish all the leftovers!” I say, “I’m only one person! That dinner you made on Monday is like the loaves and the fishes! The food just keeps multiplying in the fridge! I can only eat so much!” “Oh no, I’m not blaming you.” She’ll say even though she is 100% blaming me.
Her biggest pet peeve though is if she gets lunch meat from the store and you don’t finish it. For anyone that has read the book The Little Match Girl they know it’s a story about a little girl who is sent out to sell matches but doesn’t sell any. She is afraid to come home because her father will beat her for not selling any matches. So she stays outside in the cold and ends up dying. Pretty depressing for a children’s book if you ask me. Well, in this reoccurring lunch meat situation at our house I am like the little match girl. If I don’t finish the lunch meat I feel like I shouldn’t even bother coming home for fear of what my mom will do. “Oh my God, oh my God!” I say to myself in a panic as I see the “best if used by” date approaching on the turkey. “I have to find a way to finish this!” I frantically try to come up with a plan and see when I can fit a turkey sandwich into my week’s schedule. Sometimes I don’t meet the deadline and disappoint my mother. Just like the Little Match Girl feared disappointing her father by not selling any matches.”You know I’m going to stop getting lunch meat if you and Dad aren’t eating it.” She says angrily. She always says this, but doesn’t really mean it. And the vicious lunch meat cycle continues.

There are many other things I’ve learned about Mike and Mo, but these are just the important things. Maybe I never noticed these personality traits of theirs growing up because I used to only see them as my parents, but now they are my buddies. It’s been fun getting to know them better. They are pretty great roommates/landlords!

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This photo of me and the roomies was taken on the worst day of my entire life-my college graduation day. 

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Well That’s Annoying

A while back, my sister Jane and I had a conversation about what really bothers us, what our biggest pet peeves are. It served as an awakening for both of us for I was unaware that there should probably be a limit to how many pet peeves you have and she realized how weird I am. Jane had one pet peeve she shared with me-When people pretend to be dumb when they are not, which is funny because my whole life I’ve been pretending to be smart when I’m not-Whereas if I were to write down the pet peeves I shared with her, I would need a scroll. Here are just a few of the ones I shared with her:

1. The Wind- I am not talking about a nice summer breeze, I mean the gusty, obnoxious wind that is blowing your hair around and drying out your eyes. It’s terrible. Have you ever tried to eat outside when there is wind? You have to keep one hand on your paper plate to prevent it from blowing away, drinks get knocked over, the bag of chips gets blown off the table, debris like leaves and sticks get in your food, it’s literally my nightmare. Then you’re trying to eat and the wind keeps blowing your hair everywhere, tickling your face and getting in your food. Not sanitary at all really.

Picture taken on a windy day. It's remarkable how I can pull off literally any hairstyle.

Picture taken on a windy day. It’s truly remarkable how I can pull off literally any hairstyle.

Two of my sisters on the other hand absolutely love the wind. Whenever we are riding in the car on a nice day I plead for the A/C to be turned on and they want all the windows down. They love riding in the car with the wind in their face and hair like a bunch of dogs while I’m just sitting there putting Visine in my eyes every three minutes to prevent them from drying out. In no way do I enjoy wind. And I don’t find the sound of wind chimes relaxing either. They just accentuate the annoying qualities of the wind.

Helping my sister fix her hair on a windy day. She was looking awful, I did the best I could.

Helping my sister fix her hair on a windy day before we pose for a picture. Not everyone’s hair is as great as mine, I did the best I could with hers.

Being sexy with the wind blowing through my hair.  Be on the look out for my 2016 calendar.

Being sexy and not awkward at all on the beach with the wind blowing through my hair. Be on the look out for my 2016 calendar.

2. When they sing the Our Father at church-I HATE this. The Our Father Prayer was not meant to be sung. Really I think the music director at our church is on a power trip in doing this. Why does she have to steal the show from God? Not only is the tune dreary and depressing, it also lengthens the mass time. If God wanted the Our Father to be song, he would have already put it to a catchy tune. I usually spend the first half of the mass leading up to the Our Father praying that we do not sing the Our Father. Each time it is sung I can’t help but let out a disgusted sigh. I refuse to sing it. Not because I don’t have a good voice, my voice is amazing, just like all the other qualities about me, it’s just the principle of the thing.It takes everything in me not to walk out right then and there.

That's me in the purple. Probably upset because they sang the Our Father at my sister's communion. Or because my mom dressed me like Laura Ingalls Wilder from Little House on the Prairie.

That’s me in the purple. Probably upset because they sang the Our Father at my sister’s communion. Or because my mom dressed me like Laura Ingalls from Little House on the Prairie. I don’t quite remember which one was the reason for me being upset.

3. Waiting for things-I am the most impatient person in the world so I cannot stand to wait, it is the biggest waste of time. It is boring and inefficient.

4. When someone knocks on the door when I am in the bathroom-Did you see how the bathroom door was closed? That means someone is in there. I get it if someone is taking a long time, knock away. It bugs me when I am not even in there for a minute and someone knocks. Is it too much to ask to have 3 minutes of privacy? Also when someone is trying to talk to me while I’m in the bathroom. I have terrible hearing so a closed door doesn’t help matters. It’s not exactly enjoyable when you’re on the toilet saying, “What?! Huh?? I can’t hear you! Just wait a second I’ll be out in a minute! Sheesh!!”

Duke has no shame and leave the door open while he does his business. This way he avoids the annoyance of someone knocking.

Duke has no shame and just leaves the door open while he does his business. This way he avoids the annoyance of someone knocking.

5. Bushes that take up half the sidewalk-There is this bush a couple blocks away from my house and the owners of the home planted this bush pretty much right on the edge of their lawn where the sidewalk begins. I’m sure when it was first planted it didn’t take up half the sidewalk but those homeowners should have thought about the future. Bushes grow up! And they get bigger. These people must be the most irresponsible bush planters I have ever met. Now this bush takes up so much of the sidewalk that people walking by have to walk around it on the grass. Isn’t the point of having sidewalks so people don’t have to walk in the street or on other people’s grass? That’s what I thought.

Is this bush serious right now?!

Is this bush serious right now?! Get out of my way.

6. Having to do things after work-This may be my biggest pet peeve. Dentist appointments, hair cuts, work out classes (oh gosh I almost could not type that one I was laughing so hard. lolzz jk jk I don’t go to work out classes) having plans, all of these are terrible things to have to do after work. Having a job is both depressing and tiring. Once 5 o’clock hits I am on me time. Please don’t make me do things I want to do.

I told Jane a few more but I will stop here because I don’t want people to think I am too weird. I can also feel my blood pressure rising just writing about these pet peeves so I better stop. I guess to sum things up, the worst day of my life would probably be an after work event where I waited in line for the bathroom on a sidewalk that bushes were taking over, on a windy day while people sang the Our Father to me, only to get into the bathroom and have someone knock on the door the minute I got in. That would be my Hell.