There's few women I admire more than Mama from Berenstain Bears and Amelia Earhart, but my mom definitely takes the cake. She's always supportive, a wonderful cook, not to mention she raised my three tyrannical brothers and is responsible for turning me into the upstanding young lady I am today. (My dad is responsible for my love of bathroom humor and knock-knock jokes...daddy issues, I guess.) Well, my mom grew up in Richmond, and if you know anything about Richmond you know it's a city that is still fighting the Civil War, and by that I mean it's real southern, y'all. I'm not positive but I think this accounts for some of her more colorful catchphrases. Here are a few of my personal favorites...
"Bless your little heart." This is what my mom says after she says something offensive. Back when I had really bad acne, she used to look at me this heartbreakingly sympathetic look and say "Your poor, poor face. I hope you don't have scars. Bless your little heart." Despite the huge blow to my self-esteem and the hour of angsty sobbing this afforded, somehow it made it a little bit better since my heart was, after all, being blessed.
Noun + ies. The number of times my mom reminds me to put on my "glovies" when I go out in the snow (still happens...I don't live at home anymore) or asked if I would like to take a "baggie" of cookies with me on the road... She used to sing us this song when we were going to sleep that called us "buggy-wuggy-wugs." She definitely made it up, and we loved it.
"Going to hell in a handbasket." WHAT? Just what. What could that possibly mean. Is it good or bad? Hell is off-putting but surely handbaskets don't connote anything threatening? Then again, what the hell is a handbasket?
"You scared the living daylights out of me!" I wonder if it hurts when that happens...
"Can you call me...I have a question for you." This is the only voicemail my mother ever leaves, I think because she knows it can mean anything she wants it to. It could be something trivial, like where I left her glovies, or it could mean you are in big freaking trouble Someone could have died, or she might have just forgotten if you were going to be home for dinner. Either way, I have a heart attack every time I get one of these.
"If you can fog a mirror you can get into name of whatever college Virginia Tech is playing in football that week." Talk about a major burn. (It means you don't have to be that smart to go there.)
"Quit queering off!" Now, don't get the wrong idea about this one. I know it sounds overtly offensive, but my mom is definitely not a homophobe. In fact, I'm pretty sure she's way for the gays. She thinks they're cute, and like any other biddie likes to have them as friends so she can gossip with them. But this is what she used to tell my brothers (who are, in her defense, pretty queer) to get them to stop horseplaying. I think you know what I mean by horseplay. If you don't...I mean wrestling and starting fires in our basement.
"If I had a brain I'd be dangerous." This is for when she forgets to do something, like send me a Flag Day card or buy chocolates at the grocery store to fill up the candy jars that are literally in every room of our house.
As I write all of these thing, I realize that I say ALL OF THEM. It really is true...I'm turning into my mother. I'm not complaining.