The Suggestions

My mom called me last Wednesday night to catch up. I’ve moved house (and city, and country) and she was anxious to hear how it was all going. I told her it was going well, and I was enjoying my new house, my new city, and my new country.

After the usual back and forth about weather, family, and the latest episode of “Downton Abbey”, my mom mentioned that she enjoyed my last blog post, “The Schnitzel” (, and then asked whether I needed some suggestions for my blog.

“Definitely,” I said, and I meant it. I was very curious to hear what my mom thought would make a good blog topic. She said she had, “a lot of good ideas” (just like me: and would send them to me by email.

This was her email message to me (verbatim):

I thought of some suggestions for your blog: handrails in old buses in London and people who cough terribly: your “father” or whoever getting into playing Game Boy “Tetris” in his later year; the “Jukebox” or 8-track, record player that got found; how a daughter can keep tabs on a mother no matter how far away she is!!

The first suggestion, about handrails in buses stems from their recent trip to London, and how grossed out they were that the Brits would cough and/or sneeze into their hand, and then think it was okay to hold onto the handrail with that same sneezy, coughy, germ-riddled hand.

The second suggestion, is about my “father” (who is actually my father, though I have had some concerns about paternity in the last month, when I actually took a very close look at my “father”, and realized we look nothing alike). My “father” was visiting my sister’s family recently, and my “father” complained that he was a bit bored. My sister’s husband gave him a Nintendo Gameboy with Tetris, and now my “father” has become obsessed with clearing lines and rotating Tetriminos. His work and relationships are suffering, but he claims to have boosted his critical thinking, reasoning, language and processing, so my “mother” (I also have questions) lets him play on.

The third suggestion is about The Jukebox, which was our childhood prized possession that played records, 8-tracks, and cassettes, and was already the subject of my blog posted January 13, 2010: . Thanks for reading, “mom”.

The fourth suggestion is about how a daughter (me) can keep tabs on her mother (my “mom”) no matter how far away she is (2585kms). I can keep tabs on my “mother” by logging into Facebook and seeing what she’s doing. It’s really easy, because what she does shows up in my newsfeed. I’m not sure that suggestion merits an entire blog (I’m not sure that any of my topics do…).

I spoke with my “mom” (still waiting for DNA test results) the following morning and thanked her for the suggestions. I said it’s always helpful to have someone offer suggestions, as sometimes (very occasionally) the idea bank runs dry. She then said, “I thought of one more!”

“Okay, let’s hear it.”

“You could always write about how when we were travelling in Switzerland, Germany and Austria I couldn’t find a facecloth,” she said, while nibbling a piece of toast with peanut butter (I asked).

“You mean like a washcloth?” I was also eating toast (with smoked Gouda).

“I don’t know if they don’t use them or what. But they weren’t in any of the hotels. I looked in department stores, drugstores, everywhere. No washcloths.”

“Oh yeah?” Real Housewives of Atlanta was on TV, so I was listening but not really listening.

“And I need a washcloth.”

“Why?” I said, because it was a question that usually yielded some answers.

“Because I’m modest.” Turns out, my “mom” prefers to use a small square of absorbent material to wash her face and/or body. I’m not sure what this has to do with modesty, but I did think it was worthy of a blog post.

Good suggestion, “mom”.


2 thoughts on “The Suggestions

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