Stop and smell the roses

My mother and my cocofraumosi* Bev arrived on Friday afternoon with an uncharacteristically laissez-faire attitude.

“We’re flexible,” said Bev. “We’ll do whatever.”

“Are you hungry?” I asked. “Would you like to stop at the hotel first or should we go straight to lunch?”

“Oh, we’ll do whatever you want to do,” my mother chimed in. “We’re on vacation—we have absolutely no agenda. We just want to see the rose garden, the Japanese Garden, Cannon Beach, the wineries and Saturday Market.”

Holy hell! Did I mention that they were staying for 3.5 days?! And that I had a frisbee tournament for one of those days? But in the end, we managed to see almost everything on their non-agenda agenda. It was a wonderful visit—great food, some beautiful hikes and lots (I mean LOTS) of wine. And of course, there was also the occasional blogworthy episode.

Most embarrassing moment:

We’re strolling through my neighborhood when my mother spots a boutique that she wants to plow through. I get roped into trying on the world’s most unflattering dress, and while I’m in the changing room my mother says rather loudly, “I need to get my nails done. Which ethnicity does the manicures around here?”

Luckily, I could hide my embarrassment behind the changing room curtain.

She went on: “In New York, it’s the Koreans. Are there Koreans here?”

True, in New York City, the Korean small business community has found a niche in the produce store and nail salon industries, but in Portland, immigration patterns are obviously much different and ethnic niches are far less common. My mother often speaks very bluntly and directly—for better or worse, the art of the euphemism has escaped her—and in most settings (i.e. in public) her choice of wording can be easily interpreted as rude or offensive. I knew what she meant, I just wished she hadn’t said it out loud.

Best quote of the weekend:

We arrive at the rose garden, which is a sprawling park filled with test and hybrid breeds of roses, meaning that the moment you step foot in the place your senses are—not surprisingly—immediately bombarded with an intense splattering of scent and color.

My mother and Bev had been walking through the rows of roses for 30 seconds before my mother says—as if she were shocked by the discovery—“Wow! It smells like roses!”

Like mother, like daughter:

My frisbee tournament finally over (we made it to the semi-finals!), I pick up my cell phone to announce to my mother and Bev that I’d be heading home soon. As the phone is dialing, I decide to gather my stuff and I begin to look around for my water bottle, cleats, keys and…

“Guys, have you seen my cell phone?” I ask my teammates. “I can’t find it.”

Um, yeah. Right. I often spend a whole lot of time poking fun at my mother without admitting that there are plenty of embarrassing moments of mine that she could describe effusively in a blog—if she knew how to blog and/or if her work schedule ever allowed her some free time. Luckily, these two conditionals pretty much ensure that I am safe from public mother humiliation. For now. Just wait until she retires.

Pictures to come. I’m freaking hungry right now and need to deal with it.

* A “cocofraumosi” is a coworker, cousin, friend, aunt, mother and sister all combined into one. Like Pert Plus, but a person instead of a shampoo-plus-conditioner. Bev and I coined the term when I was working in her (also my mother’s) office, and we needed a better term to describe our friendship, since she seemed like all of those simultaneously. Similarly, I am her “cocofridanisi” (her coworker, cousin, friend, daughter, niece and sister).

12 thoughts on “Stop and smell the roses

  1. Sounds like a fun visit. I can relate to your embarrassment; I cringe every time my otherwise enlightened friend tells me she hired some Mexicans to do the yardwork.

    I think I’ve had a few cocofraumosis in my life……or at least cofrmosis. That term might also apply to my “ex-wife-in-law.”

  2. nice coined term – cocofuaumosis. that’s a good one.

    i once looked through all my stuff frantically for my sunglasses and realized i was wearing them. on my face. yeah.

    maybe it’s partly a generational thing – i’ve heard my mother say things like that and i am always like, ok, let’s pause for a moment and take turns discussing what is wrong with that sentiment :-D

  3. Stories about your mom always crack me up. I should have asked to speak to her on Mother’s Day as we were barreling along in the smuggler-type van. I’m sure it would have been amusing. Apparently she’s missing that self-censorship gene.

    Many are the times that I’ll start my car and then wonder where my keys are. I think it just says we’re busy people with a lot on our minds.

  4. Nice, your mom is great. She always hits them right on the head… just like the “di di” night…lol

    Cocofraumosi… Thats perfect! Oh, I know the feeling of losing things that are right in front of you, or where they’re supposed to be!

  5. Hah! I think we were simultaneously reading each others’ blogs… this entry made me chortle into my egg mcmuffin. The Koreans… the Pert Plus… Never stop blogging, please.

  6. Your mom’s outbursts sound like things I’m liable to say. I find it – yes unfair – but also comical how un-PC the world is. I’m also absolutely astonished by the obvious. (“Wow the ocean is big.”) I’m amazed at all you had time to see – glad you had a good time!

  7. “I need to get my nails done. Which ethnicity does the manicures around here?”

    I don’t know what your talking about, that was easily the best quote of the weekend. Give your mom my number, me and her need to hang out :).

    Jay {Brad Pitt…in a robe} “Rawr”

  8. did you do all of those question marks in your xanga post on purpose? Or maybe it just translated that way. Or maybe my contacts are doing weird things to my eyes. It’s the weekend… WOOT!!!

  9. Holy cow, no agenda but so much to do! I know someone who does that thing your mother does. It is embarrassing. But what can you do?

    Jeez, I hope she and Asa got along well and that all your cleaning was worthwhile too. Glad it was fun.

    I never would have thought to describe a person using PertPlus. Good show!

  10. I lose my keys EVERY DAY. No. Seriously. Every day.

    Your mom is so freaking hilarious. I am sure if she were my own mother, I would share your embarrassment.

    So…uh…did you find your phone??

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