The Flying Karamazov Mothers

Thursday December 18. 10:19pm

“Switching out guest bedroom from double bed to queen size bed to get ready for your brother’s visit!”

My parents are professional mattress jugglers.  They will go to obscene lengths to make sure a guest’s bedding is up to par. For Roberta (Berta for the hip ones), she is so short that they remove the box spring from her mattress so she can get on the bed easier. A long time ago, my parents made a solemn oath that if we ever visited and didn’t find their bedding comfortable, that we MUST tell them about it. This was in response to several uncomfortable sleeping situations which shall not be spoken of here lest they summon evil spirits.

They have one extra mattress per bed, which enables the mattress juggling. Of course, you’re probably thinking of the Flying Karamazov Brothers and its a little more Laurel and Hardy moving a piano.

Good luck to them.


Wednesday December 17

“Wrapping Christmas gifts to mail to Roberta!”

Is it airplane bottles of tequila? Berta looooooves margaritas.

My mom is definitely mailing her something special because every year…EVERY…YEAR…Berta mails us one of those cleverly arranged meat and cheese boxes from Swiss Colony. And every year Berta mails us the EXACT same one. Which, for the record, I appreciate the consistency. Thanks Berta for the christmas constipation!

Monday November 3

“Reading the voter guide for NC Appellate Courts trying to determine who to vote for tomorrow. One category has a list of 19 candidates & we are to choose 1. Hope you are planning to vote too!”

I expected nothing less of you, mom. Way to stay informed. Those 19 candidates, sheeesh. I myself took a look at the NC Voter Guide several hours earlier, which clearly makes me MUCH more informed.

Voting! It’s the topic where people have things to say. When really, the thing you say is called “your vote” and you get to “cast” your vote. After that, the other things you say are bullshit.

Guess Berta got the boot. Until next time, Berta. Until next time.

Sunday November 2

“Folding clothes & watching part 2 of Fiddler on the Roof, with Roberta, we had to stop it at the intermission last night!”

“Sunrise, sunset…Sunrise, sunset…” More like Tequila sunrise, sunset, amirite Berta?

To be fair, its hard to finish Fiddler on the Roof in one sitting. Or really, at all… After all, we know its going to be a bit of a downer. They all get kicked out of their town and get spread around across Europe (Warsaw, Palestine) and a few “lucky” ones head for the USA (Chicago, New York). Its all set in 1905, so any of the Jews remaining headed to Warsaw (yeah, in Poland) aren’t going to have a good go of it until post-1981. Anyone headed for Chicago in 1910 isn’t exactly going to open a bag of Skittles and kick back when they get there, either. Anyone read The Jungle? That’s what happened—best case scenario—to Lazar Wolf, the town butcher.

Saturday November 1

“Watching Fiddler on the Roof with Roberta who is staying a couple of extra days due to the snow and no heat at Aunt Margaret’s house!”

My mom thrives on musicals filmed pre-1972. This is how the Berta visits usually go, she knows how to hang back and chill, ya’ll. Extended visits are the name of the game. Will she ever leave? Probably not, it looks like she’s found a pretty great margarita source/tailor

Special Edition: Berta’s Big Day Out

Thursday October 30

Berta’s (still) in town! After prepping their journey, mom and Berta have hit the town. I got two updates from their shenanigans.

Text #1—7:33 pm

“With Roberta in Asheville having marguerites & just got her hair done today at Debbies!”

Finally, Berta got her marguerite fix. My mom included a picture text exactly like this with Roberta poised beside her margarita in a tex-mex restaurant. She’s sipping from the straw with the biggest “I just got my hair did” shit-eating grin on her face.

One thing that I believe some people have lost in this world is ways of saying “yes” to alcohol. If you ask Roberta if she wants some more wine/margarita/fireball she doesn’t say “line ‘em up, lets get cray tonight.” She says “Oh, that would be fine.” And then her eyes light up like Cave of Wonders and down it goes. You can tell she enjoys it, but she doesn’t scream across the bar “We run this shit!” Everyone below 30, take note. No…everyone below 60. I’ve run into you fifty-fiver Orthodontist from Atlanta, and you’re worse.

Text #2—10:21pm

“Helping Roberta re-try on clothes from our shopping trip & turning up the pant legs so I can hem them up to be shorter to fit her!”

Not only is my mom taking this frail, beautiful, sub-five footer shopping, she’s turning her effing pants up! Good god. What a day out. Hair did, pants hemmed, and buzzed. 

Wednesday October 29

“Watching the last game of the World Series and talking with Roberta about our shopping plans tomorrow!”

My dad is probably yelling. Not because he’s a Royals fan or even really a Giants fan, he just really loves to yell at the TV, and sports seem to be his best outlet. I’ve heard him issue death threats using players’ names before. Football season is now in full swing, and Basketball is just around the corner, so now my dad can spend some quality time raising his blood pressure and not have to endure HOURS of what amounts to basically the more motivated version of golf. Summer is a tough season for him. Golf, Nascar, Baseball, Bachelor in Paradise—its an entertainment desert, people.

On to shopping plans! Roberta and Mom are definitely gonna hit up ALL the hot spots. TJ Maxx, Marshalls, maybe even Belk if they’re feeling feisty. Apparently, Berta LOVES going to Marshalls. Every time she visits and she signs up for a Marshalls card. The problem is that if you don’t use your Marshalls card for six months, they delete your account. Berta doesn’t come around that often, so EVERY time she goes, she tries her old Marshalls card and realizes that shit ain’t gonna work. Then she does all the paperwork to get a new Marshalls Card. Its not like you and me doing paperwork, she’s eighty effing nine. It takes like half the trip. But then, finally, they take advantage of all the super sweet deals, grab an Icee from Target, skip back to the car in their brand new blouses and say “let’s do it all again!”

Monday October 27

My mom didn’t text me because I was there at 10pm after doing dinner with the fam. Let me give you the full report:
At 10pm my mother was unloading leftovers and houseplants on my wife and I at an alarming rate. We got three burgers, slaw, a thing of potatoes, 2 MASSIVE ferns and 1 geranium. We declined taking desert home. (The previously mentioned pumpkin cake with Berta. Oh yeah and she made the cream cheese icing, too.) 
Berta was in fabulous form. She ate a whole burger, which she claimed was faaar too much for her. Let’s all remember she is like four foot eight. She even had to take some laps around the house to walk it off. Been there, Berta. Been there. No margaritas tonight as my dad wasn’t home to make them. 

Sunday October 26

“With Roberta watching ‘Sound of Music’ on our DVD!”

The only thing my mom loves more than coffee, her family, and Jesus is Julie Andrews. Due to my mother’s enthusiasm for Julie Andrews, I also enjoy a good old fashioned showing of The Sound of Music every now again. If you combine the number of times I have viewed the movie as well as heard my mother sing the songs (or sung them myself), I’d say I have seen The Sound of Music approximately 600 times.

The math breaks down like this:

Front-to back viewings since birth (excluding my grandparents’ house)=45

Musical numbers I have forced my mother to stop singing mid-song=313

Total number of times I have participated in singing “Do Re Mi” with my mother=178

Total number of times I have participated in singing “My Favorite Things”(Reprise 1 and 2)=210

Frequency of quoting/singing parts of “So Long, Farewell” before bedtime with my siblings=119

Number of times I have sang “Edelweiss” all alone by myself=at least 15

Front-to back viewings at my grandparents house=another fucking 30

I think the math works out.