Have you ever known someone who always has a story that can top yours? No matter what kind of story you are telling, that person has one that can out do yours? My mother is the queen of the one-uppers.
Let me start by saying that my mother does not do this intentionally. I don't think she sets out wondering how she can interrupt and take over another person's story by telling her own. Somehow, she just has this natural talent for doing it. I'm not even sure she knows that she is doing it. That is why, we, her family, have come up with several hand signals and gestures to make while she goes about telling her story. Unfortunately, I cannot demonstrate those signals to you here, in writing. So, I am realizing as I write this, that this blog entry may lose some of its oomph. Bear with me.
My mother was never fat. At one point, at the age of 16 or 17, she was briefly overweight. In my world, her weight was fine for someone 5'7". She does not truly understand the meaning of being fat. Yet, somehow , she can one up anyone's weight loss struggle with her story about how she lost 30 lbs eating salami, crackers and diet pop. If today, I were to eat salami, crackers and diet Coke, I'd blow up like a balloon from the sodium.
My mother had a VERY terrible pregnancy with me. She was hospitalized due to her gallbladder and had surgery to remove it while pregnant. Her scar is very large. (Pre-laproscopic days) We all know this was an awful and scary experience. Yet, when I had mine out, one month after I had Andrew, Lance had his out, and Tessi had hers out after an 11 day bout with Pancreatitis, somehow, she still manages, to one up all of us.
Last year, on our horrific train ride from Rome to Tuscany for Lance and Roya's wedding, (that could be a week's worth of blog entries...perhaps I will do this in a couple of weeks when it will be their anniversary), as Jordan was ready to hang himself from the back pain (he had a spinal fusion 6 months earlier), Steve was ready to collapse (hernia surgery 2 months earlier), and Tessi was amidst a Crohn's flair up from the stress and anxiety of all this, my mother tells her that SHE has such a terrible stomachache worrying about all of us. Really??? Your butterflies up against a Crohn's flair up? Really? Our flight going home was an absolute nightmare....mind you.....we had 4 kids with us and SHE was complaining about her flight home. It was just her, my dad and my uncle. Seriously??? Your trip was worse?!?!?!?!
My mother went thru a lot of shit when she was younger. In recent years, knock on wood, she's been great! It's her children that are all falling apart. We've been in too many hospitals to name in the Chicago area, as well as in New York and Europe. Yet, somehow, in someway, her situation was always worse. When we have good stories to tell, hers are always better. When we have friends who have stuff going on and we're sharing the story, she has a friend who went thru it, but it was better/worse/more difficult, etc. You get the point.
So...this is not meant as mean or bitchy or in any way trying to make my mother look bad. We all love her very much and she gives us something to laugh about all the time. So, thank you to Judy, the original one-upper!