Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Nora: The Owner's Manual (Part One)

I have written about my mom so much on this blog that she has developed quite a following of devoted fans. Some of you know her personally and some of you only know her through her antics as retold here on The Catherine Chronicles, but ALL of you love her.

And that's why I've decided to start renting her out for parties.

I'm still working out the details - you know, like how much I'll charge per hour - but I think this idea will really be one of my best, and most lucrative, ideas to date. But, as I started drafting the rental agreement and the commercial jingle, I realized that not everyone knows my mom and her quirks like my sisters and I do. So I figured that the most responsible thing to do would be to create a list of instructions that people can reference when they rent my mom out for the evening so that they'll know EXACTLY how to handle any situation that my arise. And so I have begun to assemble the single greatest Nora reference guide to date. Okay, well it's the ONLY Nora reference guide to date but that's beside the point . . .

ANYWAY, it is with great honor that I now present to you Part One of . . . "Nora: The Owner's Manual."

What's in this manual? Everything you need to know about Nora, my friend. You'll find all kinds of instructions, tips, explanations, and troubleshooting ideas - arranged by topic - that I think you will find helpful if you decide to rent my mom out for your next party. Just read on and you'll understand what I mean . . .

1. Food
My mom has very particular eating habits and you need to know this if you are going to rent her out for the evening. Here are a few rules to keep in mind:

a. She like hot dogs at the movies. And she likes mustard on the hot dog. BUT she does not want to SEE the mustard. Yes - you read that right. No - you're not crazy. Let me say it for you again: She likes mustard on her hot dog but only if she cannot SEE it. So you have to put the mustard on under the hot dog and then gently rest the hot dog back onto the bed of mustard you created so that it hides any hint of yellow. And, yes, YOU will be doing this because she does not get her own food at the movies . . .

b. She also likes popcorn at the movies. Buttered popcorn, to be exact. And you need to know that she likes butter in the middle AND on top. So you have to get them to fill up the bag halfway and then let you put butter on that part. Then you have to give it to them so that they can fill the rest of the bag up with popcorn and THEN you have to put butter on the top. But here's the rub - while she loves the butter on her popcorn, it makes her cough throughout the movie. So she's enjoying her popcorn but you can't hear half of the dialogue because the butter has coated her throat and she's coughing up a lung. But at least she will have paid for your movie ticket . . .

c. Speaking of popcorn . . . she likes cheese-flavored popcorn but it has to be from a certain place. My dad never failed to get her a big tub of it from her favorite place for Christmas and my mom would eat that stuff for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The problem is that from Christmas Eve until sometime in mid-March, my mom has orange fingers. From the cheese flavoring. So keep that in mind if you're wanting to rent her around that time . . .

d. She has a strange habit when it comes to Werther's Original candies, in particular. I don't know what it is about THAT candy specifically, but she has to put two of them in her mouth when she eats them. Because she likes the clicking sound they make. Just go with it, people.

e. She likes Cinnamon Raisin Bagels. Well, that's not exactly accurate - she likes the RAISINS from the Cinnamon Raisin Bagels. She will buy an entire bag of Cinnamon Raisin Bagels and just eat the raisins. So don't be startled if you see a bagel lying around that looks like a rat got to it. It wasn't a rat - it was my mom. Eating just the raisins from the bagel. "Catherine, why doesn't she just buy a box of raisins?" you ask. Ahhhhh - I have asked the same question, my friends. And the answer? It beats the heck outta me.

2. Animals
My mom is not really much of an "animal lover." And no one knows this more than my dog, Jacques. He was my dad's dog and I inherited him after my dad died. When he was living with my parents, he was really territorial over my dad when my dad was sick. So when my mom would try to bring my dad his medicine, Jacques would try to attack her feet to keep her away. I'll admit it - he was a BRAT. I tried lots of different techniques to try to stop him, but all to no avail (alas, I had not yet been introduced to my man Cesar Milan!) So my mom - the animal lover - fought Jacques off by spraying hairspray at him. Which didn't do a THING to deter his territorial behavior. Instead, it just made him a well-coiffed territorial dog. Eat your hearts our, PETA.

While we're on the topic . . . if, when you're renting my mom, you introduce her to your pets, please do not be offended if she doesn't remember your dog's name. My sister has had a dog named Lola for several years and my mom just cannot remember her name. Well, I take that back - she just remembers the WRONG name . . . she calls her Lolly. Consistently. And my friend Andy had a dog named Copper that my mom always called either Porter or Cooper. But never Copper. She just can't seem to get a handle on pet names. And it's likely that yours will be no different.

She also can't dog genders right. Now, my mom remembers that my dog's name is Jacques and I think that's because he lived with my parents for several years. But she can't seem to remember that he is a HE. So we have lots of conversations like this:

Mom: [pointing to Jacques] Does she need to go outside?
Me: Yes. And he's a boy.
Mom: Whatever.

Or . . .

Mom: [pointing to Jacques] Catherine, what is she doing? Does she want something? Does she want one of her toys?
Me: Mom . . . HE'S A BOY.
Mom: Oh, whatever. Just get her away from me.

She's a veritable Dr. Doolittle, I tell ya.

So there you have it - the beginnings of my Owner's Manual. She's a very complicated person so I have a long way to go on this thing before it's ready for final print. But at least you can get started studying the above tips/explanations so that you'll be ready to rent her for your next party.

And I'll get back to you on the hourly rates . . .


Phyllis Eddings said...

You are so fortunate that that woman loves you dearly. Otherwise, you'd be toast.

P.S. I'll take those cinnamon bagels after she's removed those nasty raisins any time.

Sheri Culberson said...

L.O.L. well, really more like, giggling so uncontrollably that Tim is staring at me, all annoyed, the way you do when someone is choke-coughing and you feel bad for them, but still, you're really annoyed? Like that.