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).