Jeanie was always the cool mom, but she knew when to draw the line (i.e. she was lax enough that the kids loved her, but wasn’t one of these parents who allowed her daughter’s friends to smoke and drink just because she was that cool; though she did buy me and Diana WINE COOLERS in Florida when we were 18 and 16, respectively, and I swore I would never let that leak, but don’t worry, Jeanie, the Blog won’t tell). Plus, she drives a snazzy little convertible, so we can forgive the fact that she’ll never shop anywhere other than Chico’s and on more than one occasion has been spotted around town donning her Canadian Tuxedo. That’s not to say I was always her biggest fan: At age 15, I believe, we got into a tiff, which resulted in me pushing her into the closet, which resulted in her shoving me back into the door, which then led to me painting the entire front porch and back deck for my entire summer break. With a toothbrush. I may not have gotten in trouble that often—that was more Kari’s forte—but when I did, it was brutal.
If you’re anything like Jeanie and me, you fought with your own mother from that golden age of 13 until you moved out of the house because you were so much alike. Jeanie and I don’t so much resemble each other—she maintains that I was fortunate to get her feet, not the finger-like toes that escape from my dad’s feet like an octopus’ tentacles, but “luckily your father’s dainty hands, not my ugly, fat ones” (for the record, I think her hands are quite nice). I also got her bedonka-donk—her rear end, if you will—or so she tells me. She claims it’s a blessing—“not flat and wide, like your father’s, but a nice shape without being too big.” But other than that, my mom is barely 5’1″ with hazel eyes and unruly dark brown hair. I’m 5’6″, still maintain much of my original blonde, albeit much darker (vouched by my hairdresser, I promise), have blue eyes and a much different build. If you put the two of us in a line-up, I’d bet 50 bucks you wouldn’t know we were related.
But funny how history repeats itself, in this case I shadowed my own mother’s young adulthood. Following her graduation from Vanderbilt at 20, she hopped around the country hitting up 20-something states with two guys from her graduate school. She then moved to Europe for a couple years, crashing at her brother’s pad in Germany (and dating his roommate, oops!), bumming around, taking odd jobs here and there (she was a computer consultant during the birth of the computer, so her skills were always in demand). I don’t think I need to tell you again about my days of moving 14 times in 7 years, or living in Scotland, Holland and Denmark. Many of my trips while living in Europe, mirrored hers without my knowing it until much later. Upon flipping through old, yellowing photo albums while I was home a couple weeks ago, I even discovered that we had several pictures captured in identical spots. The only differences were in clothing and hairstyle (I so wish I lived in the 70’s).
Upon moving back to the States, Jeanie had a choice between an awesome job in Atlanta where she could live like a queen and BUY A CONDO at just 23 or live like a pauper in NYC. She chose to live like a queen; I opted to be a pauper. After meeting my father and marrying him in her 20s, she moved to San Francisco. Here I am.
So, since you won’t answer my 37 calls, happy your day, Mom, from your shadow (and biggest fan!). I hope you were pampered, even though your favorite daughter (me) wasn’t there to do you the honors. And I hope you enjoy the box of electronics that will arrive in the mail for you tomorrow (I’m such a bad secret-keeper! At least I didn’t tell you that it contains two seasons of a highly-acclaimed TV series on NBC and a super-fun Wii game).