September 20, 2006
Mama's Family
Someone at work asked me where I was from the other day.

"Jersey, beeeeooooootch!" I replied while slapping my own ass in full view of the Xerox and the paper slicer.

In my dreams.

"I'm from New Jersey." I curtsied and then spit into my dip cup.

"Oh," she said. I didn't ask why. She offered. "I've just never seen someone wear so many skirts to work."

Oh yes. That's for sure a truthitude. Now, I'm pretty sure genealogists and old women with the Internets and cats have established that I was indeed born in a skirt. I wear them all summer; I'm the kinda gal who would slip them on for softball games and swimming if the Man would allow it. Two days ago I slept in a skirt. Sober. I hadn't worn it to work. I just put it on because it looked like it might feel good to sleep in.

This has nothing to do with my geographic origin, and everything to do with the fact that my mother was the one God and Oprah chose to raise me. Mom is a woman who puts on pantyhose and a skirt to pick up milk at the Giant. A gal who somehow got my dad to wear pants throughout his 63 years, never donning shorts UNLESS HE WAS AT THE BEACH. That's right. Ever been to New Jersey in August? You remember the 99 percent humidity, right? Oh, and you saw that guy mowing the lawn in his 33" Levi's? The sweaty male with the wife bringing him iced tea while wearing a knee-length skirt? Yep. That was Dad.

And the oddities didn't stop there. Scratch that - not oddities, like I was raised by hippies in the back of a yellow VW van or my family drank tainted Kool Aid - but endearing-ities. Quirks that make us special.

Number One.

We've never had a real fire in our fireplace. As far as I'm concerned, fire is blue, orange, yellow and green, and cavemen roasted their meat over a hot pit courtesy of Duraflame.

When we are together as a family, we watch all of our television with subtitles. And with the volume the ENTIRE WAY UP TO 11. This is the action of neither 1) my sister nor 2) me. Right.

This one hurts: we like Kathie Lee. Always have. Oh, and pate, as terribly un-PC as it is. We love it love it love it like we love handfuls of Cheddar Cheese Goldfish. Sorry, PETA.

We have a bias against ABC News. The local ABC news, no matter where we've lived in the US of A, is always the most like a supermarket tabloid. Loud and lying and alls about fear in the homeland. We are absolutely, hopelessly devoted to NBC. It didn't hurt that Lauer was one of our local newscasters before he lost his hair and slept with Katie.

Wah! My parents always say it wrong! It's WAAAASHINGTON. Not WaRshington. Laundry = Wash. There is no "r." Mom and Dad to your corners for time out!

For some inexplicable reason, my parents call defecating "dobie-ing." "Take the dog out; she has to daaaahbie." Imagine the trauma I experienced as a child running across the Dobi brand scratch sponges at our local New Jersey Foodtown. Sweet Jebus! They recycle our crap into kitchen sponges? Worse than when my sister locked me in the boiler room that time. Definitely worse.

In full accord with the above, not once has anyone in my house ever discussed flatulence. NEVER. We have never used the word "fart" (I shudder just to type it) and we ignore it coming to the party with the exception of a stilted and slight "excuse me." To address it, to acknowledge its existence beyond this, well that would be like wearing newly-warshed shorts to cut the grass.

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44 Comments:

Blogger mamalujo1 said...

Here in the hills of East Tennessee we're right proud of our fartin' powers. Me'n the youn'uns have contests to see who can fart the loudest, longest and stinkiest. You ever lit one?

Blogger mamalujo1 said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Anonymous MappyB said...

That's great - my family from central Illinois hauls out the 'warshing' comments all the time! Kills me! Love the post!

Blogger Finn said...

I love pate! And NBC. I didn't know they said "warshing" in NJ. I lived in NJ. Twice. But mostly I'm from Long Island. Pronounced Looonggiland.

Blogger t2ed said...

My Dad love Eye-talian dressing. Drives me up the wall. I always ask if it's really imported from Eye-taly.

Yes, often the jokes are just for me but at least we had shorts technology in Ohio.

Anonymous Jorge said...

Stella has her groove back, apparently.

I peed myself when I read this!



Nice to get a glimpse into the inner workings of your mania, mama.

:)

J

My dad says "Warshington" too. Also, "stockins" (for hose) and "Eye-talian."

I share your pain.

Blogger Margaret said...

So it's not normal to watch T.V. with the subtitles on?

Blogger JoJo said...

Quirks are what gives us personality. I say embrace them!

Anonymous Jon said...

Funny... that pic of you a few posts down-- I'd never have guessed you were from Jersey.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know you've just started a daaaahbie revolution, right? I've been trying to get the world to adopt the phrase "making a flumpy," but you've just undone all my flumpy promotion with one swift post.

Blogger Thérèse said...

Hee.

I love the endearing little quirks that make a family, a family.

Blogger Chantel said...

My family always said Worrshington too! They couldn't imagine a place where there is a Washington State and Washington DC all at the same time; so they renamed it.

:)

Blogger Foodmomiac said...

You're awesome.
(but I stand by ABC. And I loved Lauer on Live at Five. Once he moved into the big time, he lost all of his panache in my eyes)

Blogger Kris said...

OMG. You just busted out Live at Five. I love you, even more than Sue Simmons . . .

Blogger Evil Genius said...

Well, we're from northern Indiana, and I never saw my dad in shorts either, except at the beach. I always did think that was really weird. But my mom's german, so I guess I thought it was a German thing.

I'm completely with you on the ABC news thing. They're like fear mongerers or something! But I'm not a skirt kind of girl. Or as I always say, I'm not a girlie-girl. I've been a tomboy since the moment I popped out, and it literally pained me to wear dresses and skirts and hose and heels to work. AAARRGGHHH!!!

Blogger Brookelina said...

I never say the word fart. I prefer the term foofy.

Blogger Miss Scarlet said...

OMG, I'm 26 and still am not allowed to say F*rt! I hate that word.


And I got "wash" incorrect on a spelling text in elementary school because I thought it was w-a-r-s-h. After that I trained myself to say it the right way.

Blogger Miss Scarlet said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Blogger Sizzle said...

i totally took you for a pants wearing kind of gal. color me wrong! :)

quirks make the family. gotta love 'em.

Blogger BabsieD said...

Apparently you're from the opposite end of the Garden State. I'm from the part where it is perfectly acceptable for your mother to remove her skirt. Wearing pantyhose. And no underwear. And start dancing. The Charleston, slight kicks and all.


At your wedding.

Blogger Namaste said...

ohmygosh.

hysterical.

Blogger JordanBaker said...

Skirts are wear it's at. Men were idiots to give up on kilts.

(And mine are pretty much always warshed, though I often forget to ahrn them).

Blogger d. said...

your family sounds fun. my midle child learned to talk in new jersey, we lived in pennsylvania and his babysitter lived in new jersey so he had a strong jersey accent..everyone looked at us like we stold the kid when we moved back to ky.wouldn't it have been fun to be raised by hippies in the back of a yellow VW van though?

Blogger afromabq said...

my family never minded the burping and farting thing, but my ex used the term "fluff" for farting....now you've got me wondering if we tramatized my sons using that term??

Blogger MKD said...

Maybe you're Mennonite. It can sneak up on you.

Anonymous gorillabuns said...

my god, i thought "dobie-ing" was rolling/smoking a joint. shows how much i know.

as for being PC, my child calls her vagina, china. it's sounds much prettier. besides, you are only supposed to bring it out for special occasions.

Blogger Kris said...

OMG, awesome.

I can't believe that in two days, no one has made fun of me liking Kathi Lee. Not a soul.

Blogger Egan said...

Kris, I love the fact that you know how to correctly pronounce the most important state in the union. You win brownie points for this.

Wow, no fart talk? I'm not sure what my family would discuss during Thanksgiving dinner then.

Blogger Cheetarah1980 said...

Man, what a way to come back to your blog. I've been gone too long. Still funny as ever. I'd say welcome back, but I'm the one who left, not you. So I'll just pretend that you're saying it to me and that your last post was your way of expressing that sentiment. Yes, now that makes sense.

My Mom was like that. It was and even now up in Heaven, she's telling God that it is "passing wind."

"Oh, and pate, as terribly un-PC as it is. We love it love it love it like we love handfuls of Cheddar Cheese Goldfish. Sorry, PETA."

And why not? It's good stuff, except for that vegetarian pate...ugh, I still can't forget the horror of that stuff.

Blogger Biscuit said...

My MIL says "drop a cookie" for fart. And no one can explain the origin of that delightful term.

Blogger Nancy Drew said...

We don't fart either. But boy talk about opposites re skirts....I'm from Pennsylvania, your neighbor state...and was born in sweatpants, to my parents' GREAT shagrin....

Love the dobie-ing!!

Love NBC (and ABC too). Who did the parents love? CBS. Cronkite, of course.

Blogger Marissa said...

Hahahaha! I love it!!! Now imagine what growing up in MN was like for me. "Yah. Suuuure. Ya Betcha!" My parents say it every time we talk on the phone.

My dad, however, does fart. In public. And discusses flatulence. Ad. NASEUM. Gross!

Blogger Cheryl said...

It definitely sounds as though there was not a dull moment in your house growing up.

WTF?!?
JERSEY!
WOMAN!
I thought you stopped blogging?!
Why the hell didn't you tell me you were back? I have to find out by checking my stat counter?
I'm hurt Jersey. I thought we were mutually hot for each other in a "never ever gonna meet/don't kill the fantasy" kinda way.
:(

Blogger Knoxie said...

Amen, mama.

Cheers to the skirts.

kind regards,

rk

Blogger All Head, No Shaft said...

My mother wear a skirt once that I recall, she does not own one to this day. The only picture I have ever seen of her in a skirt is her wedding day.

As for the kilt thing, no thanks, they are heavy, and a little short (mini skirt?). I do own more than a dozen sarongs though, lets talk comfy, the wife calls me skirty when I pot one on.

Ok, I have to comment on a previous post, I am that man, down to the teeth, with the exception of the smoking part, problem is I am happily married. If you don't believe me, read the post about it on my crappy blog.

Anonymous Jen said...

I have gotten comments before about my penchant for skirt-wearing as well. And I'm also from New Jersey. Must be something in the water up there in the Garden State. Or maybe you just hate shorts as much as I do.

What bothers me more than the erroneous R in warshing is how people down here omit helping verbs. The copier needs fixed. These reports need filed. I'm done my work. What do they have against "to be" and "with" down here? It drives me INSANE.

Blogger Poppy Cede said...

She asked you where you're from because you wear a lotta skirts... ... ... Sorry, I just can't get past that.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've heard that in Idaho, they don't say that someone "drives a bus". They say he/she "drives bus". But about "dobie". If you were old enough to remember the show Dobie Gillis (or--at least the reruns), I can't imagine how upsetting it would be to watch it in your parents' house.

wordgirl
http://wordgirl5.typepad.com/half_of_the_sky

Blogger goldennib said...

New Jersey is a very interesting place.

Blogger nursevl said...

Here in SD, they say ruf instead of roooof.
Oh, and when I saw you liked KLG, I laughed, cuz I bought her CD on overstock.com for $1.00 last Christmas and sent it to all my "hard to buy for" relatives. Unfortunately, my sister in law thanked me profusely for sending her such a lovely gift! I didn't have the heart to tell her it was a "gag".....
Apparently she's really from Jersey too!

Blogger Spinning Girl said...

I wear skirts all summer because I, like most women, look horrid in shorts. (not you of course)

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