Monday, December 28, 2009

A Nora-ful Christmas

Christmases in the Palmore family have always been AWESOME. My parents always made it such a fun, magical time for us - there would be so many presents under the tree that it would be obnoxious. And we ALWAYS got what we wanted . . . ALWAYS. They really didn't believe in denying us much. This year was no different - my mom absolutely spoiled us ROTTEN. She gave us everything we asked for - way more than we would have ever expected. She made us her awesome turkey and dressing that we love so much. She gave us her world-famous Rice Krispie treats to snack on.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand she gave me a few Noraisms to share with you . . .

That's not quite the same thing . . .
My sister Tammy recently found out that she had some cancerous spots on her skin so her dermatologist told her that she has to wear a sleeve on her left arm to protect her skin from exposure to the sun. In most families, a warning like that from a doctor would earn you a lot of sympathy, concern, and pampering. In the Palmore family, all it gets you is a lot of laughs - we have been endlessly entertained by the thought of Tammy driving around with a sleeve on her left arm only or going to the swimming pool in the summer with a suit with one long sleeve. Things of this nature. You have to admit, it's a funny mental image. Anyway, my mom got online and found a company that sells these little sleeves that you can wear and so she ordered Tammy a pair of Cheetah-print ones. They arrived via UPS at 2:30 on Christmas Eve and my brother-in-law Matt, upon hearing what had just arrived, told my mom: "You could have gotten those at Academy - everyone in the NBA wears them so they carry them there now."

Fast forward to Christmas Eve and we're opening presents. Tammy opens her Cheetah sleeves and we all have a good laugh as Tammy models them for us. Then my mom tells Tammy the whole story of how she found them online and how they almost gave her a heart attack by delivering them so late and then says: "And then Matt tells me today that, after all that, I could have just gotten them at Academy because everyone in the NAACP is wearing them!" Having not been there for the conversation she'd had with Matt, I was a bit confused. Why would the NAACP be wearing these sleeves? Was it a peaceful protest of some sort? A show of solidarity? And what does the NAACP have to do with Academy? So many questions flooded my mind until Matt spoke up and told us what he ACTUALLY said. We, of course, all laughed. And my mom just shook her head and said "You kids . . ."

We don't actually sell that here . . .
My mom bought me an iPod Touch for Christmas and I was so excited about it. She also bought me software called Mobile Me by Apple which basically allows you to carry your life with you on your iPod and sync up with your computer wirelessly. My mom wasn't sure if I really needed such a thing so we decided that we'd go to the Apple store after Christmas to talk with someone there about what benefits I could gain from it. So the day after Christmas, my mom and I popped into the Apple store with my Mobile Me software in hand, walked up to the first Apple representative that we could find, and then my mom says "I bought her a Mini Me for Christmas and we need to find out if she even needs it." The Apple rep looked briefly confused and like she might want to say "We don't sell those here" until I said "Mobile Me" and handed her the box that I had received for Christmas. She looked relieved and explained what it was and then I decided that I really didn't need it after all. Later, I saw a watch at Fossil that I LOVED so my mom and I decided to use the money from the Mobile Me to buy the watch. My mom loves the watch, too, and keeps telling everyone: "Look at Catherine's new watch! She traded her Mini Me in for it! Isn't it great?"

Trust me: if I'd gotten a Mini Me for Christmas, there is no WAY I'd trade her in for a watch.

How does your brain even go there?
My mom has a slightly morbid view of things. She can tell you about any tragic death with a 50 mile radius of wherever we are. When we were kids, a young girl was abducted from the bowling alley by her boyfriend, who later murdered her. We were forbidden from ever setting foot in that place after that. Even though none of us dated murderers.

The good thing about my mom's brain is that it's very creative so, even when she doesn't actually KNOW about a tragic event in a specific place, she can imagine one for you. For instance, I went to law school in Birmingham and frequently had to drive home to Texas for extended breaks (i.e summer, Christmas, Spring Break - you get the idea). My parents really didn't want me to have to make those trips myself so they would fly someone out to drive back with me. My mom flew in several times to keep me company on these drives and having her along for the ride was particularly entertaining. I don't know if you've ever driven through Mississippi but, as you traverse the entire state on I-59, you can see nothing but trees. I think there are towns BEHIND the trees, but you can't see them. So the entire state appears to be one big forest. I always thought it was beautiful - it was nice to not be surrounded by billboards, car dealerships, and neon lights. So I always enjoyed it - enjoyed the peacefulness of it. But not my mom. As we would drive through some of the more forsaken-looking parts, my mom would look out the window and shake her head. Then she'd say to me: "Look out there. There's nothing out there. No civilization. Someone could drag you out there and do God knows what you to and we'd never know. We'd never find you. That is really something." And this observation would be repeated about every 50 miles or so throughout the state of Mississippi; one minute I would be driving through the pretty wilderness enjoying the peaceful view, and the next I was being ravaged in the woods by some toothless back-woods Mississippian. So it was always comforting to have her as my co-pilot on those trips.

That's just the way her brain works.

Today we went to the Alley Theatre to see the Santaland Diaries and we decided to park in the parking garage across the street. As we pulled in the garage, we joined a slow-moving line of vehicles making their way through the entrance. We passed the little booth where the cashier or the person giving you your parking ticket normally sits but no one was there. So we slowly inched our way passed it and followed the other cars in front of us. I figured there was no cashier there because there was must be some sort of automated system up in front of us that we just couldn't see from our current position - you know, like the little system where you push the button and your ticket comes out? I think that was the most logical conclusion. But not my mom. Her conclusion? I'm glad you asked:

Mom: Well, I certainly hope that cashier is okay. She could be dead in there for all we know and we're all just driving right passed her. She could have been murdered.
Erin: Wow.
Mom: I can see the headlines "20,000 people drive passed murdered cashier on their way to see a play."
Me: [laughing incredulously] What? Why do you-- you know what, just keep talking. You're giving me stuff to write about.
Mom: Well, you laugh but that kind of thing happens. And we're just driiiiiiiiiiiving by . . .
Erin: [as we approach the cashier who we now see is standing by the automated ticket dispenser taking money] Man, she should really go post a sign back at the booth to let everyone know that she's not dead in there.
Mom: [shaking her head at us] You kids . . .

Oh, what would we do without our Nora??


Phyllis Eddings said...

Well, you could have Paula. We were on our way to the movie theater in Humble Christmas afternoon, (my parents live in Kingwood) and we passed under the Hwy59 freeway on our way. Mom says, "look over there --the gangs have been busy". We look to see one single solitary tag on one of about 50 possible bridge supports. I responded with, "looks to me like they're slacking....only 1 tag".

Emma said...

you need a Dearsie voice-activated recorder!