The older I get and the closer I get to motherhood, the more I fall in love with my own mother (“Ema” in Hebrew). The things that used to frustrate me when I was younger – basically anything that got in the way of indulging my childish antics – no longer do. Mothers are supposed to call you out on your shit (if not Moms, who else?), in whatever form (or language) the critiques come in, and I’ve finally learned to decode the real meaning behind my mom’s Momlish/Heblish – love. So in honor of my incredible Ema, here are Cougel’s Best of Ema posts.
MOM’S TOP TWELVE
Here are my favorite Ema-isms from the last year. If you don’t speak Ema (a language consisting of misspellings, malapropisms, and of course, love), bear with me.
Cougel: It’s looking like I’m close to getting this new job!
Mom: I am holding my fingers for you.
Cougel: I got the job!
Mom: You must be inside the seventh cloud.
Mom: re: new Christian boyfriend (now husband). How is it going?
Cougel: Good, we communicate about everything.
Mom: If you talk about everything, have you talked about him converting?
Cougel: My friend is going through a hard time and she’s staying at my apartment.
Mom: Just remember the saying, no good deed goes unfinished.
Cougel: What did you think of my essay?
Mom: I loved it. So hard warming.
Emails from Ema:
Subject: CANNED TUNA!
Just read in consumer report, of studies that showed that mercury is very high. in tuna .[we know that] . . you should not eat or give to your children more that 1 serving a week. [ children should have 3 oz ]. i am shocked. sub. canned salmon fr. Alaska. Love, Ema
To daughters (re: the Holocaust): … the other cuntries did nothing!
To daughters (re: Passover): Just came from Shoprite in Pars. they have all the dry goods out for pesach. bought most of the stuff. I don’t have to sclapp to Livingston. Meat and others, i will buy when i get back fr. Israel.
To Cougel (re: a funny joke): I am laughing so hard. Ha cha cha.
To friends: My famous daughter’s essay was published in HUFFINGTON POST PUBLISHER!
To Cougel: I brought your horoscope in heb. fr. israel. amazing so much to the point. Call me if u want me to translate.
To Cougel: Did you hear about the 8.9 earth quake in Japan? a big one so scary. nature is not in our control.
ONE OF MY FIRST POSTS: MOM WANTS TO READ THE BLOG (WITHOUT KNOWING WHAT COUGAR MEANS).
Email # 1:
NU GET ME YOUR BLOG. EMA
Send me instructions how to get in? ema
Mom, don’t be sensitive. There’s stuff about you and Dad that’s exaggerated for comedic effect.
By the way, a “cougar” is a popular term in pop culture now for women over 40, attractive, independent, who go after younger men…it started derogatory but now it’s not.. it’s like Demi Moore.
Mom (after finally reading it):
It’s cute. I like it. Can I go on it and add more?
Yes, you can comment. What do u want to add?
I have to think about it. The world reads them???
Did you eat dinner ?
MOMMUNICATION: HOW MY MOM COMMUNICATES
Mom left me a voicemail this morning and when I went to listen to it, I was with my co-workers, so I listened to the message like they would. Meaning, like people who don’t speak Hebrew. So the message sounded like this:
Chhchhh chhhh rrrrrrr chh rrr..em…rr chchchch chhh COSTCO chchchhchh cccchhhhhh CLIPPINGS….cchhhchchchch chchhchchchchchchcccccchh rrrrr cchchchcch (throat clear) cchhhhhh…lav you mees you, Ema (Thankfully she said it was her or else I wouldn’t know).
If you believe that I understood the message, you’d be wrong. It was staticky and I was on my way to the subway and it was no different than the messages I get every morning, which ask how I’m feeling, if my stomach hurts, while Mom’s en route to Costco.
I noticed that she delivers a different kind of message in the evening. Instead of signing off with “love you,” or even “goodbye,” she says “Uch! go eat something!” And hangs up.
I wonder if I’m going to be the same with my kids (minus the phlegm).
Oh, you might’ve recognized the one other English word in the above string: “clippings.”
Clippings (news articles “clipped out” by Mom) are another form of Mommunication. Every few weeks, Mom brings me a stack of them cut out from the Jewish News, The Wall Street J, or The Morris County Jewish Something, that she believes are pertinent or helpful to me. Sometimes she will give them to my dad to mail, in which case there are post-it notes stuck on there, with the following written in urgency:”Send to cougel!!”
The articles fall into three categories (Health, Books, and Health), and Mom highlights the newsworthy bits with a yellow highlighter, like (newsflash!): “Did you know the sun causes cancer?” The book reviews are usually for books whose subjects are Israel or the Holocaust. Except when I’m single, in which case she’d include a review for books like, “How to Marry a Mensch.” At least she didn’t send me the review for “Goy Crazy.” Although that one I would have read (and the book too).
When I was young (and stupid), this stuff would annoy me. But now? It makes my day. Because it makes my day start with a surge of love, and whether she means to be funny or not, a huge laugh. And when I bother to stop laughing in order to listen, or read, I actually learn something.
I love you, Ema. Happy Mother’s Day!