Here you’ll find my documentation (initially started as facebook status updates) of the insane things my mother comes out with. This began in 2010 and, since she continues to say ridiculous things, has continued until the present day. This has spread to encompass other members of my family as well – they will also be documented under the ” My Mother Says” category – think of them as pleasant, entertaining surprises!!
My mother literally spoke these words “if you go travelling you’ll get AIDS.”
I went to kiss my mother’s cheek. My mother turned away. I waited to see if she’d turn back. She didn’t. When it was pointed out to her that she just missed out on a small gesture of affection from her oldest daughter, the response was “But I was looking at the clock. I wanted to see the time.” with an accompanying expression of “surely you see how that’s more important?”
Me: I love you.
Mum: That’s nice
The conversation between my grandparents while my grandpa tried to park:
“Cecil? Cecil. You’re not doing this very well.
You’re making hard work of this.
Cecil? Can you hear me? CECIL?”
“Betty! Don’t talk to me when I’m manoeuvring!”
“I knew you could hear me.”
Latest exchange between grandparents:
Grandpa walks into the living room in a dressing gown.
“Cecil do make sure you’ve covered the family jewels”
“Betty, honestly. What do you think of me?”
“Well, I don’t want you to become known as ‘Flasher Burman’”
I made the mistake of showing my mother someone on facebook:
Me: Look Mum it’s your friend’s son.
Mum: Oh yes! Isn’t he the one who makes noises?
Mum: Yes you know, he makes those funny beeping sounds.
Mum: You do know – those funny bleeping noises. The beeping sounds!!
Me: Do you mean beat-boxing Mum?
Mum: YES!! Beatboxing!!
Me: No that’s not him.
My grandma is brilliant:
“Can I go on your facebook Abi?”
“Meanie. Can I be your friend on facebook?”
“Sure grandma. Do you have facebook?”
“Then you[probably can’t be my friend on facebook.”
It runs in the family…
Me: Grandma, don’t be alarmed, but our flyering campaign is in our underwear.
Grandma: Oh I bet it’s very successful, given certain assets.
Me: Um. Yes. I’m just warning you in case you ever see photos, that’s all.
Grandma: There are photos? When can I see?! Oh can I take some?
I said (looking behind me): Mum keep up! You have to learn to move through the crowds!
She replied (yelling from 5 people behind me): Well I would but there are just so many people in my way!
In all seriousness.
“Mum have you seen my purple dress? I’m giving it to Gabi.”
“You washed it, the purple one.”
“The blue one?”
“THE PURPLE ONE!!”
“I’ve never seen a purple dress.”
One day my mother will give me an aneurysm in everyday conversation.
While choosing a photo for my twitter account I found a photo I liked…
Mum: Do you want that one?
Me: Yes. Why? Don’t you like it?
Mum: NO. PICK ANOTHER ONE!
Me: Ok. Don’t yell. I’m literally next to you.
(We go to my facebook profile pictures)
Mum: (pointing) I like that one!
Me: That’s Davina McCall, Mum.
It is also the only photo of my profile pictures that is not me.
A typical conversation in my house.
Mum: Gabi I want to tell you something.
Gabi: No, I want to tell you something in the car.
Mum: No but I want to tell you something.
Gabi: OK but I want to tell you something in the car!
Mum: I could tell you in the car.
Abi: I WANT TO TELL YOU BOTH SOMETHING!
Mum: Really? Are you coming in the car too?
Abi: No. I just felt left out.
Classic phone call today:
Mum: I went to a party on Saturday night and asked Gabi how I looked. She made a face, I realised I looked frumpy, so I went into your room and took your Ted Baker dress.
Me: YOU DID WHAT?!!??
Mum: It looked really good on me, everyone said so.
Me: MUM! You can’t just take things from my cupboard without asking!
Mum: Well I washed it! It’s clean now.
Me: I think you may have missed the point here.
In late night conversation with my mother:
Mum: Can you go to the post office for me tomorrow?
Me: Yes. Do I have to go before 12?
Mum: No it’s open until 8 on a Wednesday. That’s what’s so good about Wednesdays.
Me: Really? That’s it? That’s the only thing that’s good about Wednesdays?
Mum: Yes. That’s it.
My mother was trying to convince my sister she is well enough to go to school:
Mum: Ok, how about I drive you in tomorrow, and it’ll be Thursday?
Me: You are aware it’ll be Thursday tomorrow whether you drive her in or not?
Mum: I never drive her in on a Thursday. That makes it different.
Me: Oh of course. That changes everything.
Another piece of incredibly special logic from her mother:
Mum: I need to go to the osteopath.
Me: Why, is your back bad?
Mum: No, I’ve run out of pens.
Mum: I like the pens they give away!
At Friday night family dinner:
Theo (12 yr old brother): I learnt a new word the other day.
Me: What?! (nearly chokes)
Dad: (totally unphased) How did you learn that?
Me: Why would you ask that?! You don’t want to know that!
Theo: Is it legal?
Dad and me: NO!!
Theo: I also got chlamydia from “The Inbetweeners”
Me: I hope you didn’t get chlamydia from anyone!
My mother on form:
Mum: Ooh now your dad’s gone out I can take my top off.
Me: So what you’re saying is you’ve been married to Dad for 25 years, had 3 children with him, shared a bed with him, but he’s not allowed to see you in your bra?
Mum: And also, I told him he’s not allowed to walk around in his underwear so he can’t see me walking around in mine.
First snow fall:
Dad: look Linda it’s snowing!
Dad: inside.Where do you think??
While looking through my bookshelf:
Mum: What are those books?
Abi: They’re some fantasy books. About werewolves.
Gabi: Oooh can I read them?
Abi: No, they’re too old for you.
Mum: She won the English Achievement Award at school Abigail. Nothing is too old for her.
Abi: It’s got a lot of sex in it.
Mum: It’s too old for her. Definitely too old for her! She’s not reading those books!
Madness doesn’t run in my family, it gallops…
My Aunt: Don’t tell me how to take a photo! I know how to work it, I know exactly what I’m doing! I’m not a moron!
Gabi: You’re holding the camera the wrong way around. It’s meant to be facing us.
The following conversation took place in whispers:
Me: Mum wake up.
Mum: I’m listening.
Me: We’re in the theatre. You’re supposed to watch!
Mum: But the lights are off and it’s dark in here.
Me: That’s because there’s a show on!
Mum: Oh I thought it was so I could sleep better.
She wasn’t being sarcastic. Sometimes it’s as if she’s never left the house before.
Just a normal day at home…
Mum: Abi can you give me my phone please?
Me: Where is it?
Mum: I don’t know.
Me: Is it in your pocket?
Mum: Don’t be stupid, I’d know if it was in my pocket.
Me: Fine I’ll call it.
(The phone rings. Mum pulls it out her pocket)
Mum: Why didn’t you tell me it was there?!
Just another normal day at home…
Mum: I have new boots. Look at them.
Me: They’re very nice Mum.
Mum: So you like them?
Me: For you, yes.
Mum: Now smell them.
Mum: SMELL THEM!
Me: OK fine I’ll smell them!
Mum: What do they smell of?
Me: New boots?
Mum: Leather Abi. They smell of leather.
(My home is a badly disguised mental asylum)
Dinner time with my 15 year old sister…
Me: Gabi, why do you have a “pocket guide to STIs”?
Gabi: I’m not pregnant.
Me: I don’t think a baby counts as an STI.
Gabi: Oh. I got it from school. It’s the closest we’ve come to learning how to use a condom.
Me: Wow if they’re not teaching you that, you’re going to need that guide! Good that they’re giving you a contingency plan.
I found something unexpected in the freezer…
Me: Mum. Why is there a homework diary in the freezer?
Mum: It’s Gabi’s.
Me: That doesn’t explain it.
Mum: It smelled funny.
Me: Still not getting it.
Mum: I told her to put it there to freeze out the smell.
Me: I’m not going to continue this line of questioning.
Typical conversation with the mother…
Mum: Abigail I have to tell you something.
Me: Mum, I’m on the phone.
Mum: That doesn’t matter. I’m talking now.
Me: But…I’m on the phone!
Mum: I’m more important. Listen to me now. They can wait.
Mum: Stop talking.
Upon arriving home and announcing I needed the toilet…
Gabi: Do not wee in Theo’s bedroom.
Abi: Why would I ever do that??
Gabi: I was talking to the dog. But it applies to you too. Abi, do not wee in theo’s bedroom!
Abi: But he’s in the bathroom…
I was just warned by my mother…
Mum: Gabrielle, don’t let the dogs upstairs please.
Me: I’m not Gabrielle, I’m Abigail!
Mum: I don’t care who you are, don’t let the dogs upstairs!
I then had to climb over the stair gate in tight, restrictive jeans. Yes, that is as hard as it sounds.
Mum: (answering the phone) Uh?
Me: Hi Mum.
Mum: I’ve made a new house rule. No one is allowed to talk to me after 11pm unless I talk to them first. I’ll let you off this time because you weren’t here so didn’t know.
Me: Er thanks? Can I speak to Dad?
Mum: I suppose. But if I speak to him then he’ll speak to me and I don’t want him to. I’ll have to wave the phone at him or something. Hold on.
(She coughs loudly & presumably waves the phone at him until he takes it)
My mother asked the family, in all seriousness:
“But what I want to know is, where is the photographic evidence of Jesus Christ?”
When questioned on how she thought photographs could have been taken 1800 years before the invention of photography she came back with
“Well how else did all the painters know what he looked like? They can’t all have had the same impression of him. There must have been a photo.”
I’m never letting my mother look at pictures of my friends again…
Mum: Is he Jewish?
Mum: He doesn’t look Jewish. He looks French.
Me: There are French Jews mum.
Mum: Well he doesn’t look like one of them. He just looks French.
Me: What defines someone as looking French? He’s not French!
Mum: Ask Gabi. She’ll agree with me. He’s quite clearly French.
Me:HE IS NOT FRENCH!
I love it when my Mum mishears things…
Me: Theo can you stop beat-boxing please?
Mum: I can’t believe it! You mean those irritating noises he makes have a name?
(Theo begins to do it again)
Mum: Theo stop…hang on…Abi was it beat-boxing or beep-boxing?
Me: Beat-boxing Mum.
Mum: Well there’s an awful lot of beeping involved isn’t there? He beeps too much. Stop beeping Theo.
My mother on stamps…
“I couldn’t find any first class stamps so I bought some second class stamps because that’s better than no stamps at all and anyway most people don’t deserve to have their post sent to them first class so really, it’s fitting.”
Does anyone want to enlighten me on what qualifies someone for first class post? Answers on a postcard (you may choose which class)
Another gem from the matriarch…
Mum: I wish Theo would stop making those noises.
Me: The beat-boxing?
Mum: I must remember it’s called that. Beat-boxing…like beetroot. Beat-box, beetroot.
Me: They’re not the same mum. That’s absurd.
Mum: Half the time it just sounds like he’s being sick anyway.
I don’t know why she can’t seem to remember what beatboxing is.
Another loving conversation with my mother:
Mum: I bought juice today.
Me: Ooh did you buy the orange and mango juice I like?
Mum: I don’t like it.
Me: I know.
Mum: I know you like it though.
Me: But you still didn’t buy it?
Mum: No, I didn’t see the point.
Late nights at home with my mother…
Mum: Have you got a nail file?
Me: Probably somewhere but not to hand.
(A few mins later)
Mum: Where’s the nail file you were getting for me then?
Me: I didn’t say I definitely had one.
Mum: You do. I know you do. Go and look for it.
Me: I’m not spending ages looking for a nail file now!
Mum: Well don’t talk to me then if you can’t give me what I want.
My mother doling out complexes on Friday night…
Mum: Theo turn to the side.
Mum: Just do it I want to look at your nose.
(Theo turns to the side)
Mum: Oh no. Your nose has grown! I knew it. It’s bigger. You used to have such a nice nose.
(Theo spent the rest of the evening covering his nose with one hand)
My mother has bought a box of biscuits for my sister and a box of biscuits for my brother. Not wanting to be petty, but where the hell are my biscuits? Upon questioning, it transpires my mother didn’t think to buy me any. I am officially the least loved child*.
*when love is measured in biscuits
My mother tries to explain accents to me…
Me: He’s not from France mum he’s from Manchester.
Mum: No, Abi you’re confused. The Manchester accent sounds just like French.
Has sympathy for her sister Gabi…
Gabi: Ugh I’m going swimming tomorrow with two really skinny people.
Me: You are a really skinny person!
Mum: You’re going swimming with skinny people? How does that make you feel? FAT!??
The mother is clearly good for body image.
Lost in generation…
Mum: You’re room is so messy, it’s disgusting! You’re such a slut!
Me: How can you say I’m a slut based on the state of my room? The two things are irrelevant.
Mum: No, being a slut is being untidy.
Me: Maybe it was once but now it means being…y’know..sexually promiscuous. A slut is someone who is easy.
Mum: I hope you’re not like that with your room in this state!
Me: I think somehow, you’ve missed the point.
A brilliant conversation with my sister…
Me: Ok so Passover is tomorrow. That’s so soon.
Gabi: Oooh yeah but that’s lots of family bondage time!
Me: What? NO! I think you mean family bonding time.
Gabi: Why? What’s bondage??
How do you tell your 15 year old sister what bondage is?
My mother walked in to my room and this happened:
Mum: I’m so excited about the new nursery. I think we could be full by the end of the first year.
Abi: That’s great mum!
Mum: Jobs for the boys Abi. Jobs for the boys.
Abi: What?! What boys?
Mum: I don’t know. Just jobs. Jobs for everyone.
Abi: You do know that currently you only employ women!?
My mother’s attitude to money is cool…
Mum: I’ve lost a load of money! Help me find it.
Me: Have you checked your pockets?
Mum: Yes. I’ve looked everywhere, twice. It’s in 2 envelopes.
Mum: Ooh! I’m just going to check the freezer.
Mum: Found it! It was in the freezer.
Mum: Does it matter? At least I thought to look there, it could have been there days!
My mother proving I am the least loved child…
Mum: I’m going upstairs now.
Gabi: OK, love you.
Abi: Love you.
Mum: Love you too Gabi.
Mum: Who was that?
Gabi: Abi said she loves you too.
Mum: Did she?
Mum: Oh. That’s nice.
My mother later claimed she didn’t hear me. But she heard Gabi just fine and she was sitting next to me on the sofa and I’m louder than she is.
My mother being her usual sympathetic self…
Me: I feel really dizzy.
Mum: Shhh. Stop talking to me, I’m trying to think where we’re going.
Me: Oooh the world is spinning.
Mum: The world is always spinning.
Me: I don’t mean on an axis, I mean in my head!!
Mum: Now I don’t know which way we’re going. It’s your fault. I told you not to talk to me.
At least she was taking me to the doctor.
My mother giving me directions in the passenger seat of my car…
Mum: Turn right.
(after I’ve turned)
Mum: Actually it might not be right.
Me: It’s a little late to tell me that now.
Mum: Go back a road. I want to do it again to make sure.
If anyone is wondering where I get my “sense of direction” from…
My mother attempting to be cool…
Mum: Oh hello Rebecca! I’d forgotten you were coming round. In fact I’d almost forgotten who you were but I just remembered as I saw you. That was lucky wasn’t it?
Me: Her name is Sarah, mum.
My mother late at night…
Mum: If you put that on facebook I’m not going to speak to you again.
Me: Can I put that you said that on facebook?
Mum: I have nothing more to say to you. Now be quiet you’re annoying me.
Me: What?! But this is ridiculous!
Mum: I’ve won, you’ve lost & there is nothing more to say. In fact, I’m going to change the subject because I have won this conversation.
Me: You can’t win a conversation.
Mum: Well, I have. The end.
She literally said all this.
My mother just threatened to delete me on facebook.
Mum: I’m not going to recognise you on facebook. I’m going to find out how to delete you. I’m going to write to them and they won’t let you contact me ever again!
The best bit about this is of course that I live with her…
My mother and the sky…
Mum: Is that a plane or a star?
Me: It’s not a plane, I saw it earlier.
Mum: It’s very bright. Are you sure it’s not a plane?
Me: Yes. I’m sure. Could be a planet though.
Mum: Ah! Yes! It is a planet! I knew it was.
Me: No you didn’t.
Mum: Well I do now anyway – I can see the rings around it.
Me: How can you possibly see rings?? It’s light years away! At best you can see a glow!
Mum: I can see the rings around it. Just like in all those pictures.
This is not normal…
An actual conversation:
Mum: I’m going to get rid of the wasps’ nest. I’m not paying a professional to do it!
Me: You know wasps can be dangerous?
Mum: I’m not paying £60 when I can do it myself for £4.99
Me: £60? Is that it? I’ll pay! Please don’t do it.
Mum: Don’t worry Abi. I have a plan.
Me: Oh God. Oh no. What?
Mum: I’m going to wear a balaclava & an anorak & spray them with a rent-a-kit. Then I’m going to run away really fast and hope they don’t follow.
Me: Seriously? This is your worst idea ever. You don’t even own a balaclava!
In the office late at night with the mother and sister…the mother is unimpressed.
Mum: GABI! That was gross!
Gabi: It wasn’t me!
Mum: Well who was it then?
Abi: *raises hand, looking pleased with self*
Mum: Was it you?!
Abi: There’s only 3 of us here and Gabi just denied it. Who else is it going to be? Unless it was you.
Mum: Of course it wasn’t me!
Abi: Well, you’re the one asking the questions. You seem unsure of things.
The mother apparently cannot pay me for my time when I do some work for her…
Mum: Are you sure you want me to pay you?
Me: Erm. Yes please.
Mum: Ah. (reading) ”We are currently updating our system and online banking is not available.”
Me: How convenient.
Mum: (reading) ”We are sorry for any inconvenience.”
This appeared to be a joint parental effort…
Mum: That’s what Elisabeth said when you spoke to her last night, isn’t it?
Mum: That she didn’t want him staying over.
Dad: What did she say?
Mum: That she didn’t want him staying.
Mum: When you spoke to her last night!
Mum: OH FOR GOD’S SAKE YOU SPOKE TO HER!!
Trying to explain a fairly simple concept to the mother…
Me: It’s a call and response thing to find someone in a crowd.
Mum: But we’re not in a crowd.
Me: I know, but if we were I’d call “Marco” and you’d answer “Polo”. Like a code.
Mum: But why would I answer to “Marco”?
Me: Because it’s a code.
Mum: But how would I know?
Me: Because we’ve discussed it.
Mum: But why wouldn’t you just call me “Mum”?
Me: Because lots of people in a crowd are called “Mum”!
Mum: Oh. Well then what will you call me?
Me: I know *you* understand it!!
(pause. The mother thinks)
Mum: But my name isn’t Marco!
Me: I think you’re missing the point.
Trying to arrange something with my mother is like banging your head against a brick wall…
Me: Let’s go to the cinema.
Me: Next Wednesday?
Mum: No! I can’t do that I’ve got a meeting.
Me: All night?
Mum: Yes all night. I can’t go.
Me: The film starts at 8:30.
Mum: I’ll be done by 8.
Me: Excellent. So next Wednesday at 8:30. Ooh you’re on Orange – we can get Orange Wednesday!
Mum: Abigail don’t be so stupid, you can only get that on a WEDNESDAY! That’s why it’s called Orange Wednesday.
Me: WE JUST SAID TWICE WE’RE GOING ON WEDNESDAY!
Mum: Oh you know we can get 2 for 1 on that orange thing I have.
She wasn’t even joking. It’s ridiculous.
We have some of those “Keep calm…” books filled with quotes…
Gabi: (reading from the book) A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery while on a detour.
Me: Who said that?
Gabi: Don’t know – it’s anonymous.
Mum: A truly happy person is one who has just done a poo.
Mum: I said that.
In the past 5 minutes my mother ranted at me, accidentally spat in my face in her fury, laughed at me because she spat in my face and then told me to fuck off because apparently, *I’M* annoying *HER*. She followed this insanity up with “At least I told you to fuck off nicely”.
Talk about mixed messages.
In conversation with my sister while plucking her eyebrows for her (yes, I am a good big sister. No I won’t let her go out with the kind of misshapen, uneven wobbles I had as a teenager)
Me: Keep still. One wrong pluck and it’ll look weird. You’ve only got about 5 eyebrow hairs.
Gabi: What? Seriously? Literally 5?
Me: No, not literally.
Gabi: Would it be insane for me to ask you to count my eyebrow hairs?
Me: Yes. Even by my standards, yes it would be insane
Oh good lord.
Me: Mum I’m going to get dinner.
Me: I’m going to get dinner.
Mum: You’re going to make dinner?
Me: No, get dinner.
Mum: What are you making?
Me: Nothing, because I’m getting dinner.
Me: I’M GETTING DINNER!
Gabi: She said she’s getting dinner.
Theo: Has Abi gone to get dinner yet?
Mum: Does anyone have any idea what’s going on?
Me: Yes. I’M GOING TO GET DINNER.
Mum: Oh, you should have said.
Mum and Dad are downstairs, part 1:
Mum: Is Abi home?
Dad: Yes. She’s upstairs.
Mum: Abi? Are you home? Hello?
(Mother enters my room.)
Mum: Hello Abi you’re home.
Me: Hi, I’m on the phone.
Mum: I knew you were home, shall I tell you how I knew? I’ll tell you how I knew, it’s because the washing machine was on.
Me: Ok good. I’m on the phone.
Mum: I’m going to the loo now.
Me: Thank you for coming into my room to tell me you knew I was home and that you’re going to the loo.
Mum and Dad are downstairs, approximately 45 minutes later, part 2:
Mum: When is Abi coming home?
Dad: She got home about the same time as I did.
Mum: Oh she’s already home?
Me: YOU LITERALLY CAME INTO MY ROOM AND HAD A CONVERSATION WITH ME!
For the record, my mother has no short term memory loss problems, she just doesn’t pay attention to things.
My mother charmingly suggested to me this morning apropos of nothing. I know it was out of a hilarious approach to love and care for my well being and happiness but still:
Now, don’t laugh at me because I’m being serious, but if you don’t find anyone you like because you’re being too picky, perhaps you should consider a shidduch*? It’s very easy, you just tell them what you’re looking for and they do all the work for you, they’ll just find someone! I mean, you wouldn’t have to do it right away, but 5 years is enough time to meet someone so maybe when you’re 28, you might want to think about it.
*For those of you who don’t know – a shidduch is an introduction with a view to marriage.
1 – I’m 23. I don’t have the remotest desire to get married yet.
2 – I am not too picky. I am just picky enough.
3 – I know how a shidduch works.
4 – It’s not that easy. Getting someone else to do the work doesn’t mean the men are better quality!
5 – 5 years is enough time to meet someone?!? No pressure.
The dogs are involved in this madness now…
One of our dogs pooed in my room today. He’s not allowed in and he knows it. I take this to be a revenge poo. He managed to get in, poo and get out without being seen by my sister or me. Neither of us know how he managed this since we were both in there. Normally all he wants is attention so it is particularly odd that this occurred. Clearly, the need for revenge is greater than the desire to be noticed. It was a swift, effective and brutal (pootal) operation. He is a poo ninja. I have a begrudging respect for him. He knows it. He keeps giving me this smug look. Little shit.
My mother declared this in a voice filled with awe and revelation this afternoon:
“Abigail I’ve just realised, about you and Gabi and Theo…you can spell TAG with your initials. Theo, Abi, Gabi.”
It may genuinely be one of the most useless and non-revelation worthy things she’s ever said. It was followed some time later by this little gem:
“Lean closer, I can’t hear you, I haven’t got my glasses on.”
My mother has set up a twitter account…for one of our dogs.
A couple of things come to mind:
1. He’s a dog.
2. She’s only chosen one of them and clearly hasn’t thought about the detrimental ramifications of her actions of favouritism on the other dog, who is already a grumpy bitey bitch and quite frankly doesn’t need more fuel to her unpredictable fire.
3. HE’S A FECKING DOG! HE CAN’T TALK AND HE CERTAINLY CAN’T BLOODY TWEET. WHAT IS SHE THINKING!?
Incidentally, her logic was “all the tennis players are doing it. I’ll be damned if their dogs get on twitter and mine doesn’t.”
NO ONE CARES ABOUT THE TENNIS PLAYERS’ DOGS EITHER BECAUSE THEY ALSO CANNOT TALK.
My mother and sister on the phone:
Gabi: We’re just leaving Brent Cross.
Mum: We’re just leaving Brent Cross.
Gabi: That’s what I said, we’re just leaving Brent Cross.
Mum: We’re just leaving Brent Cross.
Gabi: No, WE are!
Mum: We are too!
Gabi: Wait…you came to Brent Cross? Why didn’t you tell us? We’ve been here too!
Mum: Yes. I know. So have we. And now we’re leaving.
REALLY?! ARE YOU? YOU SHOULD HAVE SAID.
Normally it’s my mum who says things worth sharing but this time my dad stepped up…
Me: Happy birthday dad!
Dad: I have to tell you something Abi.
Dad: Those boots really don’t go with that outfit.
Me: Dad! They do!
Dad: No, I’m sorry, they don’t.
Me: Dad it’s a new thing, you know, I’m trying a look.
Dad: Is that look “I’m wearing the wrong boots with this outfit?”
Rinsed. By my dad.
And the boots DID go with the outfit.
My mum and brother came up to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival…
Theo: You guys don’t pay any attention to me and you’re not talking to me and I’ve had a conversation with myself and you only talk about things I’m not interested in and you’re just on your phones the whole time!
Mum: Theo be quiet I’m trying to deal with these emails and I can’t find the send button on the phone.
And later on…
Me: Mum what’s good for getting rid of feeling sick?
Mum: Throwing up.
Me: You’re not wrong, but it’s not exactly the kind of answer I was looking for…
Team Family Symons went to the Paralympics on Thursday night which was awesome in the true sense of the word, in that it filled me with some awe. It was inspiring and the spirit that filled the stadium was the most incredible thing.
My mother also came out with a couple of gems. On the way to the stadium:
Me: What are you doing?
Mum: I’m taking photos.
Mum: To document the journey.
Me: What for?
Mum: For facebook.
Me: You don’t even know how to put them on facebook.
Mum: Yes I do, who do you think changed my picture?
Me: What picture?
Mum: You know, my status picture.
Me: That’s not what it’s called and was it on your phone?
Me: Right, so you don’t know how to put it on facebook.
Dad: I’m going to sit in a different carriage.
And later on, in King’s Cross, on the way home from the stadium:
Mum: Abi I need to listen to what the woman is saying on the tannoy, it might be important.
(A pause, while we both listen)
Me: Mum, I don’t think she’s-
Mum: SHHH I’m listening I can’t hear her!
Me: There’s nothing on the tannoy! It’s that woman talking! You’re just eavesdropping on her conversation!
Mum: It still could be important.
I showed my grandma a Garfunkel and Oates video called “29 / 31″ and she really liked it. This is all fine. When I typed in “Garfunkel and Oates” to youtube, a list of their videos came up. One of those videos is called “Sex with Ducks”.
As I was leaving my grandma said “I must go and watch that sex with ducks video.”
It’s just not a sentence I ever thought I’d hear her say.
Tonight the mother has really outdone herself…
Mum: Abi you don’t want to wait 3 and a half years to have children do you? You’re 28.
Me: I’m 24 Mum.
After a short phone call, somehow, from somewhere, the smell of pickles was everywhere…
Me: Gabi…are you eating pickles?
Gabi: No, why?
Me: Something smells of pickles.
It’s me. I smell of pickles. My hand smells of pickles.
(Pause. More sniffing.)
It’s coming from the phone. The phone smells of pickles.
(Pause. Yet more sniffing.)
Mum…did you eat something with pickles in it?
Mum: Yes. Why?
Me: IT’S MUM! MUM SMELLS OF PICKLES!!
Gabi: That was beautiful.
My sister and I seem to have an equally rubbish grasp on British idioms.
Classic examples of this from me have been:
*It’s half of one and six a dozen of the other. Wait. That doesn’t sound right.
*Softly softly monkey monkey. No. Wait. Softly monkey monkey catchee? MONKEY MONKEY. MONKEY MONKEY.
*You’ve really nailed my life on the head.
Gabi has now taken the lead with a cracker:
Hey, Abi, you know, I heard, off the apple tree….
Grape vine! I heard off the grape vine.
She now knows what the phrase is but I quite like “off the apple tree”. It implies that the fruit bearing plants/trees are a gossipy lot and cannot be trusted.
Oh good lord.
Dad: have you heard about Pistorius?
Mum: yes he shot his girlfriend.
Dad: We saw him.
Mum: Shoot his girlfriend?
Dad: No! At the Olympics. We watched him run the 100m.
Mum: Oh. Did he win?
Me: No. Johnny Peacock won.
Dad: No. Peacock won.
Me: That what I just said!! Anyway it was great – they had to start the race four times.
Me: Because we were all chanting Peacock! Peacock!
Mum: Were we?
Me: YES YOU WERE THERE!
Mum: Well I don’t remember every detail.
Me: It’s not like it was preamble. It was an iconic moment in sporting history.
Mum: And I was there?
Mum: For history?
Me: Oh good God. This is torture.
My mother on Alan Carr:
Mum: Who is he?
Me: he’s Alan Carr. He’s a comedian/presenter.
Mum: I thought you were going to tell me he’s a prat. Because he clearly is.
My mum on central London:
“I don’t like Oxford street. It’s always very crowded. You get all those people and they have things on their faces…you know…penguins.”
I have never seen a person on Oxford street with a penguin on their face. This one was undecipherable even to me.
How knowledge apparently works…
Mum: The weather was nicer today.
Me: I saw! I wish I had been able to go out and enjoy it. It looked so lovely.
Mum: Well, it is March now. And you know what that means?
Mum: Next month it will be April. Then it will be May, then June.
Me: That’s not a revelation mum, that’s just the next three months. I know the months of the year but thanks for listing them anyway.
Mum: I just thought you’d like to know.
Me: I already know!
Mum: I thought you’d like to know again.
Me: Ooh we can use those tomorrow night because there are 6 of them and there’ll be 6 of us.
Mum (from upstairs): WHAT?!
Me: The gold rimmed glasses.
Mum: THE RED ONES?
Me: No. The gold rimmed ones.
Mum: The really nice ones? The filigree goblets?
Me: THE GOLD RIMMED GLASSES.
Mum: Not the red ones?
Me: No. Not the red ones. Still the gold rimmed ones.
Mum: Oh I don’t know those ones.
Mum: I want new headphones. Dre ones. You know. Dr Dre. Is he a Dr? Do you know who I mean? Is it Dre?
Me: You don’t know what you’re talking about do you?
Mum: Yeah! Headphones!
To be fair, she was technically talking about headphones.
Mum: Look I have a horrible sore on the side of my mouth.
Me: Oh yes. Does it hurt?
Mum: Isn’t it horrible?
Mum: Is it? Do you think it’s horrible?
Me: Don’t do that to me! That was a trap. And anyway, I meant it must be horrible for you.
Mum: What a mean thing to say.
Me: You set me up.
Mum: You think it’s horrible.
Me: YOU TOLD ME it’s horrible.
Mum: But now you’ve said it’s horrible. That’s different
Me: I give up.
We were having a perfectly sensible conversation about the budget for our holiday and then this happened…
Me: It’s not like we’re going on a clubbing holiday Mum.
(pause. The mother gives me a strange look)
Me: You want to go clubbing?!
Mum: Just once or twice! Once at first and if we like it we can go again. We have to find somewhere good. Don’t you want to go clubbing?
Me: Um…yeah? Sure?
Mum: We might as well you know. We’ll find somewhere good.
Holy crap I’m going to ride scooters and go clubbing with my mum on a Greek island. This is like that horrendous tv show where loads of chavs go away and get trashed and do shocking and disgusting things…except we’re really middle class and neither of us really drinks that much, but other than that it is THE SAME THING.
Winding up my mum backfires when she totally misses the point…
Me: If I’m getting busy in our room I’ll just put a sock on the door handle and you’ll know not to come in.
Mum: Well if I’m busy in our room I’ll put tights on the door handle and you’ll know that you can’t come in.
Me: Do you have any idea what a sock on the door means?
Mum: No. I’ve got no idea what you’re talking about. And what would you be doing in the room on your own anyway?!
Working in the office at my mum’s nursery today. I’ve noticed there are no photos of her children up. There are however 2 pictures of our dogs. Priorities.
Call from Edinburgh to the mother in London…
Me: I actually really miss you. Genuinely. As in, I’m not just saying it because I feel I have to.
Mum: God you’re really not cool at all are you?
Congratulations to all my mother’s employees. You’re beautiful.
Mum: I’d find it really difficult to work with someone who I thought was really ugly.
Leaving the airport we see a sign for a new high speed train between Heathrow and central London called the Heathrow express.
Me: ooh look there’s a new fast train!
Mum: going to china?
Me: yes mum. The new fast train goes to china from heathrow. That makes all the sense.
My mother the optimist…
Mum: Do you know who died today?
Dad: No, who?
Mum: I don’t know.
Me: You’re ridiculous.
Mum: Just wondering if anyone died.
Last night my brother and I had this conversation…
Theo: You worked in the 99club didn’t you?
Theo: Then I’ve been in the 99club…or I’ve walked past it…In Edinburgh.
Me: It’s in London.
Theo: I’ve heard of the 99club.
The father confirms what I always suspected…
Me: I’m really sorry, it was an accident!
Dad: You were an accident.
Me: AHA! I knew it!!
It’s my mother’s birthday. She’s had 2 sherries. She’s looking for napkins from my brother’s Bar Mitzvah. Which was more than 2 years ago. She is singing at the top of her voice “happyyyy very happyyyyy happy happy billions and zillions of plates and it’s my birthday lots and lots of plates!”
My dad has informed me “when she gets like this, she’s anybody’s.”
So. Who wants her? Stay tuned for further updates. It’s going to be a good evening.
Mother’s birthday update #2
She’s tried to play herself “happy birthday” on the piano. She’s normally quite an accomplished pianist. It took her 7 tries. Then she said “what was that Abi?”
To which I replied “I don’t know, but it wasn’t happy birthday”
Mother’s birthday update #3
Mum: I’ll have another sherry please.
Dad: are you sure?
Mum: you know Theo you are handsome. If I weren’t your mother I could safely say you are a handsome beast. But I am your mother. I said it anyway.
Dad: oh dear.
Mum: I’m just acknowledging the family genetics. Must have got it from my side.
Dad: yes. They got a lot of things from your side so I suppose the good looks makes up for it. Had to get something positive.
Mother’s birthday update #4
Dad: if a dog was in charge of the country they’d have to move parliament to Barking.
Theo: his jokes are just depressing.
Me: no theo. don’t acknowledge bad behaviour.
Dad: it’s funny how quickly you can go off a person.
Mum: that’s not a nice thing to say because she’s your daughter and you gave birth to her.
Me: I’m pretty sure dad didn’t give birth to me.
Mum: well he was involved. Well. At least. I think it was him. Can’t be sure though.
Mother’s birthday update #5
Dad: have you got something on your glasses or is it just a hair?
Dad: that’s not an answer.
Mother’s birthday update #6
Mum: I met a woman in the pool whose name was Linda. She thought I was in my 30s. We’re friends now.
Me: It’s convenient her name was Linda. Was it just you telling yourself in the mirror that you look 30? Because that doesn’t count as making friends.
Mum: she’s not me. I wish I had given her a sticker that says “NEW BEST FRIEND” even though she was a stranger.
Joking aside, I’m going to make some of those stickers and give them out to strangers.
Mother’s birthday update #7
Mum: if you want to meet Gabi in Hong Kong but not pay much you have to just find an air hostess, ask her where the toilet is then she’ll take you there and you just gently hit her on the head, tie her up, not with your orange belt because you want that and you’ll miss it, then you take her clothes and leave her tied up and pose as her, pretend to be new which will explain why you don’t really know what you’re doing, and just chat to people on the plane lots so nobody asks too many questions. Then when you get to Hong Kong you run.
Late nights with my mother:
Mum: He hung off…he hung…holded…he held off from buying a flat.
Me: Good. Good sentence.
On the subject of the nose piercing my parents disagree…
Me: Mum I got my nose pierced!
Dad: Why on earth would you do that?
Mum: It’s very subtle…I’m not sure I’d have noticed it if you hadn’t told me.
Dad: How could you not have noticed it? It’s literally on her face. It is on the nose of her face. It’s that clearly noticeable.
Mum: oh. Well I might not have seen it. It’s on the side.