Mom, Did You….Part 2

I am continuing contemplating things I wish I would have asked my mother. The moral of this (and yesterday’s) blog is: CHILDREN, ASK YOUR PARENTS QUESTIONS NOW.

What was your worst fail at cooking?

My mother was a splendid cook. She told us many times that when she met my dad, she couldn’t cook at all. She hadn’t had the opportunity to live alone at that point (at least I don’t think so, but, of course, I never asked), so perhaps she had never cooked. She said that she learned to cook primarily from Grammie (my dad’s mother), who must have taught her well. Nevertheless, I’m sure that somewhere along the line (likely early in their marriage) there was a food fail. It happens to all of us. Mine was early in my first marriage when then-husband David and I invited my brother David and his wife to dinner. I can’t remember what I made, but what I do remember is that it involved rice. You know, RICE, that grain that you put in boiling water, let it cook for 20 minutes, and then fluff it up and serve. Except mine turned into wallpaper paste. I don’t know where I went wrong. Cooked too long? Too little water? Too much water? Doesn’t matter. My brother has only recently stopped poking fun at me for a meal I made 40 years ago. But my story isn’t as bad as that of an acquaintance from my days when I worked hard for a living. She was an older woman who was raised in an Irish Catholic household, and married an Italian. She once told me the first time she made her Italian husband spaghetti, she cooked the pasta and poured Campbell’s Tomato Soup over it, set it down in front of her husband and called it spaghetti with red sauce. I wonder what Mom would consider her worst meal.

Was Dad romantic?

Now this is a question I would ask my siblings to weigh in on. I can’t decide. I don’t think I ever saw my dad bring her flowers or do anything typically romantic. I don’t remember him calling her anything but Marg. Still, even up until she died, they would hold hands. Perhaps the bigger question is would she even have wanted him to be romantic. Hmmmmm.

Did you like Dean Martin?

Now this question is to address a disagreement that my sister Jen and I have had for years. She believes Mom loathed Dean Martin. I believe Mom liked Dean Martin. When we were young, Mom always had her radio turned on to K-F-A-B……in O-Ma-Ha! Trust me, the jingle is in my mind. Anyway, I remember her happily listening to songs such as Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime, and You’re Nobody ‘Til Somebody Loves You. Further, I know she and Dad watched the Dean Martin variety show, and while she did get somewhat disgusted at his apparent drunkenness on stage, I still believe she liked him. So, Jen: Mom knows and God knows.

In yesterday’s blog, I mentioned that there are probably questions I would like to ask her that she would never in a million years answer, both out of a sense of privacy and a sense of embarrassment. I once asked her if there was a reason that we children were so far apart in age, i.e., miscarriage and/or birth control. O. M. G. She never answered the question, and likely never quite forgave me for asking. She probably still held a bit of a grudge from the whole poster-paper-causing-accident thingy, about which I spoke yesterday.

Nevertheless, here are a couple of questions that she probably wouldn’t answer….

If your fourth hadn’t been a boy, would you have tried again?

Mom would have considered that to be none of my business, which, of course, is absolutely true. It so happens that Mom and Dad had three daughters before they had a son. They loved all of their children, but there’s nothing like a son to a dad. But something tells me that even had David been a girl, he would have been the last child. I think four kids were enough for Mom and Dad.

And, finally….

What was your biggest regret?

By asking this question, I’m not implying that I think she had regrets. I doubt she had many. But we all have some. I wonder what she would have done differently had she had a chance. Now I’ll never know.


2 thoughts on “Mom, Did You….Part 2

  1. I bet Mom did have a cooking fail because the meals she cooked took time and skill to learn. Braising, for instance. How much liquid do you add? I bet early on Mom had no written recipes. Dad was just happy Mom wasn’t serving Heavenly Hash! There’s a blog story.
    Mom wouldn’t say she regretted having 4 kids but she did say she would have been a better mom to less. I remember asking her once if she liked it better when we were babies and she said she enjoyed her kids more when they were older.
    That seems crazy to me now that Mom and Dad never called each other names of endearment.

  2. Keith & I lost all of our parents, and Clare in the first 10 years of our marriage. We lost our dad’s and had Quinn within one year. I understand your wish to ask. As you know, your mom told me some things I didn’t know! I did ask Uncle John and my Aunt Donna (dad’s sis) a series of questions via email, which they answered. Their perceptions were very interesting. I also would ask Uncle Elmer to tell stories and he would oblige — and the boys & I loved our conversations with Elmer & Leona when we were in Columbus for sporting or band events. Keith has great stories about conversations with Elmer as well. Perhaps if the young are afraid to ask in person, they could create some questions the elders can answer via writing and then it will spur in person conversation. I think too, Kris, that – though Esther told me things quite often more as a sister than a mother – she would say “None of your business” to many of my questions.

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