Good morning readers…
Continuing on with getting to know your characters, this week you will have the pleasure of reading about Cissie, my mother. I could write chapters about my parents, but for your sake, I’ve condensed them into a blog each. So here she is…..
My mother; where should I start? She was the middle child born to my Irish grandmother, who was born in Philadelphia and my German grandfather, who was born in West Virginia, which makes me ¾ Irish and ¼ German hillbilly. She was born in South Philadelphia and eventually their family moved to Clifton Heights, not too far from where my dad grew up in Upper Darby. Funny thing is that when I was in high school, the girls from Clifton had the reputation of being slutty. My mom isn’t slutty though, at least not anymore. Just kidding Mom 🙂
She is extremely intelligent and one of the most unique people I know. She has an oddly positive outlook on life, the complete opposite of my dad who tended to focus on the negative. Of course, that is what also made him funny. She is a really deep thinker that likes to talk about stuff that most people don’t understand, like quantum physics and shit like that. She has a deep faith and trust that everything will work out for the best and no matter what horrible stuff happens in life, there is always a positive spin you can put on it. It’s bizarre, it’s like she’s from another dimension.
She never lies either and she’s not a people pleaser. She does what she wants when she wants and doesn’t give a shit what other people think. Again, the opposite of my dad, who would lie to spare anyone’s feelings, wanted to please everyone and always cared what people thought. No one has any idea how these two managed to stay married for 49 years. (I said 46 years the other day, but I was corrected by Cis herself)
She was a straight A student in school who became a nurse and recently told me that her motivation for becoming a nurse was because she got sick all the time as a kid. That makes sense I guess, and so she worked in the emergency room for 20 years. Some good stories there. We’ll cover that in a blog about dinner conversation.
Here is an example of her weirdness; when we were in school, we would have to bring our tests home and have our parents sign them so the nuns would know that our parents saw it. Regardless of my grade, my dad would just sign his name like a normal person. My mother, on the other hand, would put a note with her signature. If I got a good grade, she would write something like “Are you as proud of Celeste as I am?” and if I got a bad grade it would be something like, “I think we both know Celeste can do better than this.” WTF? So embarrassing. The nuns must have thought she was nuts…because well, she is. But in a good way.
She has two cuckoo clocks! Not one, TWO! Do you know anyone with even one cuckoo clock? I’ll call her to talk about something serious and in the middle of the conversation I hear the cuckoo clock start going, and I really have no choice but to wait until it stops. It always reminds me of who I’m dealing with. But as crazy as I might make her sound, she is an amazing person that I’m grateful for every day.
As kids, she did a great job of providing us with as much normalcy as possible and made it fun living there in spite of the business and aside from when she forced us to listen to Neil Diamond, John Denver and Kenny Rogers. Oh yeah, we all knew when to hold em’ and when to fold em’. She was a good balance for my dad’s stressed out, somewhat unpredictable personality. She was strict but nice and always made a big, fun deal over birthdays, Christmas and other holidays. She still decorates for every holiday and has a ridiculous decoration collection. But who doesn’t love festive shit, right?
Cis loves music, loves to be loud and loves to drink! One of the things I like about getting together with my family is that we all drink together. Mom always has plenty of wine and liquor on hand because the Donohue’s know how to party. We all get buzzed and make each other laugh, all talk at once and then get on each other’s nerves.
Now, granted, her sense of humor is a bit different from the rest of the family. She definitely has a good sense of humor, but doesn’t really appreciate silly humor, like “Dumb and Dumber” which my dad loved. She thinks it’s stupid. That’s why I call her “Little Miss Smarty Pants”, which my dad always thought was funny. And she doesn’t like dirty, sick humor, which is unfortunate because I love it…and I already told you she hates the “F” word, one of my personal favorites.
She is obsessed with the stock market, Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune, which she wins at every night. I keep trying to get her to go on the show, but she’s too busy watching Jim Cramer scream at her through the TV about stocks.
For now, she’s content living in their house in the “middle of fucking nowhere” sipping her cabernet and flossing her teeth. She’s obsessive about oral hygiene and recycling. There’s never a visit to my parents house that doesn’t include taking an entire Cadillac trunk worth of bottles, cans and other shit to the recycling center, where semi-retarded hillbillies work. That may sound harsh, but I’m just trying to paint the picture for you.
I wish I lived closer because I can honestly say I enjoy hanging out with my mom, as I did my dad. I feel lucky to have parents that I like as people and who I have fun with. If they weren’t my parents, and I was their age, I think I’d be friends with them, especially now since they don’t have “prayer meetings” in the kitchen anymore. I’ll tell you about that later. Their friends were like a bunch of religious circus freaks.
I hope one day she’ll get sick of the ridiculous winters in Maine and move to California near my brother and me. I’m assuming she’s going to live to be really old like her mother, my Nan, who lived to be 100. Sadly, we lost her last year. She was so great, she might just get her own blog. I also hope my mom lives to be 100. She doesn’t, but I do. But she’s healthy as a horse, so we’ll see who wins that one. Hopefully, I will 🙂