The Mother Games


So… my mom is coming, y’all. My mommy mom. Mi madre. Okaaasaaaan, which is what I call her for some reason even though I don’t speak Japanese. It’s my favorite word for mother and every time she answers the phone, I yell, “OKAAASAAAN! GENKI DESU KA!”

She is coming to stay with us for a tiny bit of time, long enough to go to a doctor, visit some friends and see a Christmas expo and send gray hairs streaking through my black mane. If you’ve met recently or you’re new here, let me explain that my mom is not like a regular American mom, one with whom you can say, “How long will you be staying with us, mother?” I would never give her a check-out date or else I might as well dig my own grave at the family plot and stay there until the shame I’ve brought upon the family subsides. Which will be never.

I’ve always been jealous of my non-Chamorro friends who could talk to their mothers and their mothers could talk to them like they were both normal people and not existing on a system of heresay and speculation wherein every day is opposite day! I’m preparing my stock phrases like, “Oh mom, I’m really glad that we spent four hours looking for those sandwich cutters you heard of once. That was some quality time, wasn’t it?”

This house isn’t clean enough for her arrival, but she’s the world’s cleanest woman who would wipe down the bathroom with pinesol after visitors came over. I’m also prepared to say, “Yes, Mom. You’re right, I should always empty out the iron and not leave the water in it. I’m so glad you’re here to tell me that.” Even though, it is impossible to get the water out of an iron after you’ve poured it in. It dribbles! It doesn’t matter, my mom is coming.

Get ready all Chico’s stores and purveyors of elastic waist pants: We’ll be walking you soon.

She will give me new material and I will be sharing that with you, dear friends. This is how I process the sweet IKEA-loving, grandchild-doting, wondering-why-I-don’t-cut-my-hair, tropical storm that is my mom. Here are some of my favorite mom posts:

“ is definitely NOT the time to tell the TSA agent that the Chamorro language is similar to Spanish, only their word for “horse” is “caballo,” pronounced “cah-bah-yo” and we pronounce it as “cah-bah-zoo.”

But at every store I have to ask, do you have this bread? Please don’t give me that look, ma’am. It exists. Here is the worn plastic label my mother has smuggled into this country. Look.

When my mother appeared, I said, “Let’s go home now because I think I’m having contractions.” She raised her eyebrow and said, “Oh!” Then she paused and added, “Can we just swing by the post office? I need to get some flat rate boxes.”

The nurse said, “One, two, three…” and then my mom entered in the chorus, repeating the numbers! It was like hearing an echo.

“You know Mona, you have to be very strict with your panty. You can’t just leave it lying around. Men don’t like to see that.”

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  1. I’m looking forward to reading the post you write after your mom’s visit! Just hopped over to your about page and watched your stand-up video. You are hilarious, and it sounds like your mom is, too 🙂

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