She chose topic number 1 (Marriage/Relationship) in which she wanted to share a story about her relationship with her mother...but it also falls under topic number 4 (A Funny Story About Yourself). So Double Whamy! Enjoy.
My mother is a wise, wise woman; I am so lucky to be her daughter. But along with being wise, she's also neurotic and paranoid...especially when it comes to her baby girl (moi). The following is a true story that occured in my childhood. Enjoy, friends!
When I think back on this particular night, it's very, very hazy, probably because I ended up vomiting for the last half of it. Ok, slight exaggeration. It's probably because I was only about four-ish when this particular Jamie's-Mom-Knows-Best event occurred.
The setting: Red Lobster in the early 80s.
The characters: My family: Mom, Dad, big sis, and even my two big brothers were there. I think. And me, of course..
Anyway, we had all ordered our food. My mom had ordered for me and decided to get me the kiddie version of fish and chips. Now, I'm a big fan of fish. I could eat it close to every night of the week. It's yummy and good for you...but as a four-year-old, I'm really not sure how much of a fan I was. On top of that, I was (still am) a very bad eater. If I didn't want to eat something, there was no one on the planet who could get me to eat it. I was also never hungry, so most of my meals were wasted. I was a bad person back then. I had absolutely no conscience or concern for the starving people of the world. Anyway, I digress.
My parents had ordered breaded mushrooms as an appetizer and I was popping them down like nobody's business. Then I asked what, exactly, I was eating. When I found out they were mushrooms, I spit the half-eaten one out of my mouth and onto the table. Daddy Bear did not find this amusing. Oops. So, no more mushrooms for me (after this night, I didn't eat another mushroom for ten whole years. Like fish, I now love them). Finally, our meals came out. My sibs and parents started chowing down on theirs while I sat there looking at my pathetically breaded fish and chips. I stuck a few fries in my mouth and continued to sit there looking disdainfully (well, as disdainfully as a four-year-old can look) at my plate. Finally, my mother started in on me, "Jamie, eat. This meal cost us a lot of money. Eat."
"No," I simply replied.
"Yes," she retorted.
"Jamie, eat your dinner," chimed in my father.
Suffice it to say that if there was someone on the face of the planet who could get me to eat, it would be my father. He could be scary when he wanted to be....still can.
I grudgingly put a few bites of the fish in my mouth and declared myself full.
Finally, my mother stops eating and looks at my plate. She grabs this white substance in the tiny container on my plate and says, "Eat this. It's fruit cocktail and I know you love fruit cocktail." I had never seen white fruit cocktail, but my mom did have a point. I did love fruit cocktail and was not one to just turn my back on fruit. I proceeded to take my spoon and get a huge, overloaded spoonful of the yummy, fruity goodness. I stuffed the whole thing in my mouth and slowly began to chew.
"Where are the chunks of fruit?" I thought. "Why does this taste like pickles?" "How come it tastes salty instead of sweet?" Finally, I voiced these questions out loud. My mother looked like she was about to explode.
"Give me your spoon!" she yelled. I handed it over and watched as my mother took a mouthful of the fruit cocktail.
Suddenly, her eyes bugged out and her face turned red. "Oh God," she said.
"What is it?" My family asked. We leaned closer to my mother.
She whispered, "That's not fruit cocktail. It's tartar sauce!"
Now, my mom had already turned me into a neurotic, paranoid freak by the time I was four (three words for you: Chuck E. Cheese), and even though I had absolutely no idea what tartar sauce was, I began to gag. And cry. Hard.
My mother whisked me away to the bathroom where she started apologizing profusely. Through my sobs, I managed to console her a bit, for I knew if I successfully played the role of the victimized daughter, a trip to the toy store would be right around the corner.
As I hiccuped and cried, my mother wiped away my tears and we returned to the table, where I was treated like a princess for the rest of the night. Obviously, my entire family new how traumatizing tartar sauce could be to a four-year-old.
After dinner, we took a trip to the mall.
I got a new doll.
Admin Note: Freakin' fabulous as always. Be sure to check out Daydream Believer.