Monday, October 6, 2008

My mom and me

While writing the last post, my mom called to see what the news was with Eva. During the course of our conversation, I told her that I had checked out some cookbooks to get recipes for the holiday season - especially for Thanksgiving with Linds. What she said to me has caused me momentary reflection on how incredibly different my mom and I are - but also, how remarkably similar. She said, "Why do you need new recipes? Isn't Thanksgiving pretty traditional?" With that said, I will start with how we are different.

-Cooking. My mom has about a couple dozen recipes that are her standards. With 8 children, she was not an "adventurous chef" always trying new recipes. We had our typical shepherd's pie, roast, tacos, spaghetti, Au Gratin potatoes and ham for Christmas, chicken gravy on noodles or rice...easy, simple menus that fit her frenzied lifestyle. (And of course, her legendary homemade bread and jam.) Enter me. Apparently all the monotony (not in a bad way) of my childhood kitchen experiences got to me, because I went COMPLETELY the other way. There are VERY few recipes - maybe 5 or less that I can think of - that I have made more than once since I started truly cooking in the last year or so. During the first year of our marriage, I was all about frozen meals and last-minute planning. After we moved to Enid, we did the South Beach diet, and that was the end of that. I became obsessed with reading cookbooks and trying new things - to a fault, actually. Adventurous is my middle name in the kitchen (to an extent), and there are very few things that I won't attempt.

-Housekeeping. My mom is what one might call (rather, I might call) a clean freak. I was the blemish on her otherwise perfect household as a teenager, as I NEVER cleaned my room or did my chores like I was supposed to. Again, perhaps this was my act of rebellion - going totally the opposite way. The first year of our marriage, again (sounds like sort of a dark time in some respects!) I hardly ever cleaned. The bathroom was disgusting, the kitchen was even worse...I was a terrible housewife. I got a little better in Oklahoma, and I have to say that since we have moved to Washington, I have improved monumentally. Actually, I might even be considered average - nay, even above-average in the house-cleaning department. At least, compared to my old self. But I don't think I will ever quite get up to my mother's standards. When we asked her last year what her dream night would consist of, did she say she would love to go to a spa, or a fancy restaurant with my dad? No. She said she would love it if everyone would leave the house, upon which she would fill the sink with hot water and Pine-Sol and clean the kitchen, maybe light a nice candle, and just enjoy the smell of a clean house. Once again I say, I don't think I'll ever get there. Unfortunately for my kitchen.

-Technology. This is probably a generational gap. But it still cracks me up sometimes. I feel like computers and the like have come very naturally to me. Perhaps because I was expected to know many office duties in my career as an administrative assistant, perhaps because I was born with a gift. (Okay, I'm kidding.) But my mom can't figure out alot of computer things to save her life. Blogging (which we recently embarked on together at an Andersen family blog) is a complete mystery to her. Uploading pictures to be printed off from Walmart is something she's never attempted. Photoshop is an unexplored world that she has no desire to enter without my help. She calls frequently asking for help on different things, and it never fails to amaze me.

Now for a small discourse on our similiarities.

-Temper. We both get mad pretty easily and are often stressed out. We are sometimes (okay, alot) impatient (she with slow cashiers, drive-thru employees, and bad drivers, me with Andrew and bad drivers).

-Social attitude. I learned most of my social abilities from her, and I'm proud of that. My mom is excellent with people. She makes people feel comfortable and good about themselves. In fact, my boyfriends in high school would come over or call just to talk to her. Even if she didn'd like them - they never knew. Although I don't think I'm quite as good as she is, I'd like to think that one of my strengths is making people feel good. At least, a good friend once told me that, so I pretend that it's true.

-Laughing. We both laugh until we cry and tears stream unstoppably down our cheeks. It's awesome.

-A love for crafts. Although we differ in the type of craft (I dabble in scrapbooking, and she is a master quilter), we both LOVE with escape into the world of either fabric or paper and tell stories with our art. I just got our new quilt in the mail on Saturday, which my mom made, and it is BEAUTIFUL.
I am so glad that I got a mother that I am similar to, but also different enough to make life interesting. :)

No comments: