I just sent my mom’s resume to CBS in case Katie Couric needs an understudy for her nightly news cast. Now Rhonda has no formal jounalism training, but she does have vast experience delivering the news of our family in a very unique fashion. Our family news is what my teachers at Columbia would call hard news. Crime, drugs, mayhem, with maybe a little tale of redemption thrown in here and there.
My old lady, she's so transparent. There's the I-got-something-good-but-I-promised-not-to-say-anything tone she'll have right off the bat. Like I'll call, we'll talk for two minutes and she'll blurt out, "Did you talk to Chad?" Uh, no I didn't, why? "Oh nothing." WHY? "Noth. . alright I wasn't supposed to say anything, but---"
You get the idea. Tonight's phone call was her shrewdly trying to interweave disturbing news with the mundane. I don't know if she's either trying to test whether or not I'm listening to her, or she's secretly hoping I'll miss these nuggets and she's only telling me because she feels obligated. Here's how it went:
Mom: You coming home for Easter?
Me: Yep, and I don't want any ham, you hear me!
Mom: I don't care. you're cooking. I had to turn my heat on today. Are you warm enough? Sammy's getting married next week*. How's your job?
Mom: Natalie wants everyone to call Clarence on his birthday*. Kenny's in the hospital, his colon looks like cottage cheese*.
Me: I'm eating!
Mom: What are you eating?
Mom: Eggs? Why? How's everyone doing? Are you being careful? I know, your my city mouse, and I'm just a country mouse. I think Kenny has AIDS.
Me: How can someone's colon look like cottage cheese*?
Anyway, with that I swayed the conversation back to what we were going to eat for Easter and then I pretended I had to go number two.
*My cousin Sammy is 23, lives at home, is a total jagoff and shouldn't be allowed to marry anyone.
*Kenny is my Aunt Laurie's brother-in-law. Kenny has been in a long term relationship with a gentleman named Leon for the last 30 years, at least.
*I haven't talked to my cousin Clarence in over 10 years.
*Seriously, how can this happen?