My mom and I get along great, we always have. But I’m a little concerned, I think I’m becoming her.
When I was back home in Portland last December, my mom and I went out to dinner, just the two of us. We went to ChaBa Thai (amazing thai food, four blocks from my parents’ house) and ordered lemongrass chicken (with peanut sauce, I start to salivate just thinking about it) to share. Once the food arrived, the conversation hit a lull as we both focused on eating our yummy food. A couple very-satisfying bites into my meal, I glanced up at my mom and then said, “Look at us!”
We were both sitting, slightly schlumped over our plates. Both of our left arms were resting on the table, a bit curved (as to protect our plates from scavengers?!?), fingers fisted, with the thumb sticking up, as if we were hitching a ride. Our right hands were moving in steady cadence, carrying our forks from plate to mouth and back again. We were mirror images of each other, our bodies unconsciously falling to rest in identical patterns.
We both got a really good laugh from that experience, and that was the end. Until yesterday.
Sunday afternoon, I was standing in my kitchen, washing dishes. My cousins had been over for brunch, and there was a towering pile of silverware and utensils. There were three knives in the sink, and in my concern to avoid puncturing my finger on the two I was washing, I managed to catch my finger (right hand pointer, hugely inconvenient) on the edge of the third, a very sharp serrated bread knife.
As soon as my brain registered that I had cut myself, I grabbed the bleeding finger with my uninjured hand and did just what my mother would have done. I gave it a big squeeze. I did this automatically and unconsciously. For most of my life, I’ve teased my mom about this habit. I’ve never understood why she feels the need to make minor flesh wounds bleed more, the whole point is to stop the bleeding and move onto the healing stage as fast a possible. She claims that she does it to ensure that all the debris is removed from the cut. I’ve never bought that argument, and so I have no rational explanation as to why I squeezed my cut, except to say, I’m becoming my mother. It could be worse.