I’ve collected a few of my favorite short stories I’ve written about my mom and included them here. Enjoy–and sorry in advance Teri Jo!
Tweets from the Last Vacation I Took with My Mom
The Dinner Party
One of the last times I went home to visit, my mom wanted to have a dinner party and invited some of her family over for 2 p.m. Around 1 p.m., I started drinking on the deck in the sun. I was on a bit of a beer binge at the time and definitely lost a bit of my tolerance for liquor.
By my second drink, our company had arrived and I smelled noticeably of vodka. By my third drink, I was sitting on my mom’s lap at the dinner table telling her, “I think we should work on our relationship.” She must have told me to go lay down at this point, because the next thing I know I woke up four hours later–alone–on the floor behind her couch.
Who says you can’t go home?
Now anytime I go home and stick to one cocktail or none at all, she makes sure to tell me how proud of me she is. It’s no coincidence that the shorthand for lower expectations is lexpectations.
Essentially, my relationship with my mom is shaky at best. Mostly because she goes through these periods in her life where she’s randomly super religious (I call her a fairweather Christian) and during these periods of time, she thinks I’m the antichrist.
I seriously woke up one time in the middle of the night to her performing an exorcism on me. Actually that didn’t happen. But I did once woke up from a nap to her standing over me with a syringe attempting to give me a TB test. The fact that she’s a registered nurse only makes this fairly less disturbing.
“Well, Lexie, if you don’t believe in Jesus as your Lord and savior, what DO you believe in?”
“I don’t know yet. But I think karma is probably pretty accurate.”
“Yeah, you know, what goes around comes around.”
“Well that’s just stupid.”
“That’s stupid? You believe there’s a man in the sky.”
(Nonetheless, reading about the happiness benefits of being spiritual kind of makes me want to explore this missing aspect of my life. But first I’ll change my name to “Cake.” That way I can write about my journey to finding my religion and it can be the sequel to the book Life of Pi called Life of Cake. )
The Time I Was Bored and Decided to Convince My Mom I’d Been Approved to Be a Foster Parent
Lexie: So basically, I applied to be a foster parent as a joke. There’s a law in Maryland that says you only have to be 21 to be a foster parent. So I thought that would be a funny joke to put on the blog, me getting turned down to be a foster parent. But as it turns out, they must not have a lot of people applying to be foster parents, because they want to interview me. And they sent me some pictures of some kids. And I just don’t even understand, like, do I get to rename them?
Mom: No, like, how old are these children?
Lexie: I specifically asked for ones that were 16 or older because I want them to be able to drive me home from the bar.
Mom: Lexie, you need to stop.
Lexie: Do you think I should go to the interview?
Mom: No. Explain to them that you were thinking about it but feel like you’re not quite ready.
Lexie: Well maybe I am ready. I was gonna get a dog not that long ago. This would probably look good on my resume…
Mom: Lexie you cannot have a foster child to drive you home from the bars. That’s not going to happen.
Lexie: I think it’s really responsible. Would you rather have my drive myself home from the bars?
Mom: Lexie! You’re supposed to be a parent to this child! Listen, you’re gonna be responsible for sitting in on parent teacher conferences…
Lexie: Oh I’m not going to send them to school, I’m gonna make them be an unpaid intern for lexiebond.com.
Mom: Just rescind your application.
Lexie: This is not the way I thought this was going to go. I thought you were gonna be happy that you were going to be a grandmammy.
Mom: You’re 24 years old. You can’t do this. You just can’t.
Writing My Mom’s Christian Mingle Profile Is Exhausting
Despite the fact that we don’t always have Gilmore Girls relationship I wish we had, I deeply care about my mom and hate to see her lonely now that she’s single and all of her kids have moved on/out. So I decided, as the family’s only professional writer (everyone else has a useful degree, like nursing), I’d have to help her write her Christian Mingle profile:
I’m quirky. There. I’ll just come right out with it. But quirky in a fun way, not quirky in a “I have a thousand cats and wear a lot of hats” kind of way. I don’t have any cats, actually. I do have a dog though. My children named her “Princess Consuela Banana Hammock,” but we call her Nana for short.
Oh right I should tell you about my children. I have four of them. They’re all pretty much grown up now. They make me laugh so hard sometimes that I could just pee my pants. But in a good way. Like a “it’s okay I’m wearing adult diapers” kind of way.
I don’t wear adult diapers, but I’ve changed more than a few in my life. I’m an RN and have been for years. I love having a career where I can give something back.
I’m a giver. Always have been.
When I’m not working or hanging out with my wacky kids, I do a lot of home improvement jobs around my house. I’ve always been a bit of a handyman. I’ve recently taken up quilting, but my daughter told me to not write that on here. Oh well too late to take it back now.
I’m also currently training for a 5k. I need it to balance all the good wine I like to drink! Oh don’t judge me; Jesus liked wine 😉
The CPR Class
One summer I needed a job, and my mom offered to get me a position at the assisted living community where she worked at the time. For some reason, I was oddly excited at the idea of working at the same place as my mom. I assumed it would be us going to the mall on our lunch breaks and her buying me chicken teriyaki, among other fun and delicious adventures.
I was not expecting the assisted living community to smell so strongly of feces. “You’ll get used to it,” she assured me. She wasn’t wrong, although I don’t know that it’s a good thing that my nose has been desensitized to the smell of human excrement.
The interview was largely a formality. I’m pretty sure I probably wore jeans to it. The training–however–was no joke. Nearly two weeks were devoted to watching videos and taking tests on HIPPA, blood borne pathogens, how to drag a patient down the stairs in a blanket in case of a fire (our building didn’t even have stairs), and more.
Finally, I was required to take a CPR class. This seemed like a lot of hoop jumping for the job I was actually going to be performing–my job title was “Activities Assistant.” AKA I played bingo with the residents. For $10 an hour.
My mom decided that she needed to renew her CPR certification, so she signed up to take the class with me. She regrets this decision to this day, I believe.
My mom was flirting with our CPR instructor even though he was only a 4 and she’s easily an 8. And we all know you should only stoop 2 levels beneath you at the most. Needless to say, I was annoyed that I wasn’t getting the most out of my CPR class because my mom was trying to get a date to the assisted living community prom. That definitely wasn’t an actual activity we held, but I’m kind of surprised because the activities grew increasingly stupid the longer I worked there (I was once asked to do an assisted living community yoga class. I had never taken yoga and most of the residents were in wheel chairs.)
By the time my mom was done batting her eyelashes and twirling her hair, I had forgotten everything I learned. As I approached the CPR dummy–I couldn’t help but think how I was going to let him down. He was going to die, simply because my mom has to flirt with every man we encounter–no dentist, waiter, grocery store checkout bag boy is safe. I became overridden with emotion and rage, tilted his sweet, plastic head backwards slightly, and folded my hands onto the smooth, cold surface of his unmoving chest.
“BREATH GODDAMMIT,” I shouted. “Don’t you go dying on me! I won’t let it end like this!”
As the tears streamed down my face, the temperature in the room dropped and the lights began to dim. Suddenly we were transported to the middle of the Atlantic, and my own breath was visible in the cold air in front of me as I frantically inhaled and exhaled.
“You’re going to go on. And you’re going to make lots of babies. And you’re going to die an old woman, warm in her bed,” I squeaked to the naked, male torso of the mannequin in front of me. I didn’t even know his name, yet we had been through so much in the past twenty minutes. I was deeply invested at this point.
Obviously those last two paragraphs didn’t happen. But my mother was mortified at this point. I had made a fool of myself–in front of her potential fourth husband.