Don’t Do That!

20 May

We have all interesting character quirks, but my mum was just plain weird.

She made it very clear that she raised us the same way she was raised, but I don’t buy that theory. I mean, my sister and I weren’t allowed to get a driver’s license until our 18th birthday because that was when she got hers. And if we wanted to stay after school for French Club or a play rehearsal, we could find a way home, because she had to find a way home when she was in school. Never mind that she lived in the city and could “find her way home” on the streetcar; we lived in the suburbs and not taking the school bus meant a five mile hike.

It was the other odd things that baffled even her own mother. I’ve already discussed making the bed (April 10, 2012) and washing my hair (January 18, 2015) but other things she wouldn’t allow were mysterious.

On one of the blogs I follow ( the writer discussed a birthday cake she made for her mum. It is apparent from her blog that she helped her mum in the kitchen a lot, and felt fairly confident that she could manage making this cake by herself. My mother very seldom allowed anyone in the kitchen with her. My sister and I were expected to do the dishes but the only cooking experience I had was peeling potatoes, and in the summer, peeling squash to put in the freezer. If it hadn’t been to Home Ec. classes in school I’d have hardly known which end a spatula to put in the frying pan.  One year – maybe 1986 or so – I took my godson to visit my parents in Roxboro and before we ate, Steven started to set the kitchen table. My mum told him to cease and desist, as he was “making her nervous”.

The big, big thing was that my sister and I were never, ever allowed to touch each other. When we went on vacation we usually had to share a bed in the motel, and we took turns sleeping on the floor, because we were too worried that our bodies might bump into each other during the night. We always packed a cooler and camp stove and ate at roadside stops, rather than in restaurants, and sometimes the family would take one of the nature walks set out in the woods. We were trekking along and Lynn stumbled. I reached out to grab her hand, and from the back of the line came our mother’s voice.  “Don’t touch your sister!”

It’s a wonder I don’t have even more “interesting quirks” than I do.



4 Responses to “Don’t Do That!”

  1. AJ May 20, 2018 at 11:32 pm #

    Hmm I wonder what was behind the don’t touch your sister command. My mom had a similar kitchen pattern with her mother.

    • thisendoftheswamp May 21, 2018 at 1:45 am #

      I have no idea. My mother was an only child, and a real prude; Lynn and I were not allowed to babysit boys under the age of four, in case they hadn’t been potty-trained. Even my grandmother couldn’t figure out some of her daughter’s hang-ups.

      • AJ May 21, 2018 at 2:00 am #

        Hmmm aren’t people interesting? An instruction manual would be so valuable!

  2. LutheranLadies May 25, 2018 at 11:22 pm #

    Flames Alive!!! No wonder you have such a great sense of humor. You HAD to develop it to deal with the quirkiness.

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