Emmy winners, magazine editors, comedians, TV personalities, bestselling authors and social media superstars team up to bring you a laugh-out-loud book not about being a mom, but about having a mom, grandmom or mom-figure. And while it’s not OK for someone else to make yo-momma jokes about your momma, it is perfectly healthy — even downright hilarious — to find the humor in your own upbringing. In fact, these writers highly recommend it. So if you think your mom is nuts, pull up a chair. You’re in good company.
Wendi Aarons | Eliza Bayne | Dylan Brody | Matthew David Brozik | Becky Cardwell | Abbi Crutchfield | Sean Crespo | Gloria Fallon | Carol Ray Hartsell | Abby Heugel | Debbie Kasper | Nancy Davis Kho | Kelcey Kintner | Cathy Ladman | Kurt Luchs | Kelly Maclean | Vanda Mikolowski | Mary Laura Philpott | Lisa Page Rosenberg | Marinka | Arlene Schindler | Molly Schoemann | Susan Stobbart Shapiro | Suzy Soro | Amy Vansant | Peggy “Pearl” Vork-Zambory
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I said out loud at a lunch “moms are nuts” and immediate thought “That sounds like a good book!” Shortly after I wrote a few famous ladies I knew and asked if they would be interested in writing a story for such a book. They said yes!
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
They are our mothers. 🙂
I’ve had laser eye surgery. I’ve been proclaimed 20/15 in my right eye and 20/20 on my perpetually underachieving left side. But to my mother, I’ll always be dirt-blind, which falls in the sweet spot between “blind as a bat” and that “blind alley” in which she’d never be found because why would you walk when there are cars?
My mother swears I’m not her kid for a myriad of reasons. For one, I don’t like to shop, and for a woman who has returned from Macy’s with 14 beige sweater sets a mere $30 lighter, that is a sin second only to tattooing a band name to your forehead.
Though, I wouldn’t be totally surprised if mom has a “Three Tenors” tramp-stamp.
My second-greatest sin, is the fact that I don’t have my mother’s radar for dirt.
My mother is a grease-seeking missile. She’s a “crud missile,” if you will. If you’ll let slide a joke that would have been a hell of lot better during the 1991 Gulf War.
If it is time to clean the kitchen, and it always is at mom’s house, she wipes the counters until the sheer heat of her passion turns them into diamonds (which then renders them tacky, so she gets new ones). Hollywood could have renamed “The Boy in the Bubble” to “The Boy in Charlotte’s House” and the little micro-biologically challenged guy would have lived to be an old man. When the local hospital loses electricity, they rush patients to mom’s house to continue surgery. The Five Second Rule of Dropped Food is nonexistent at Mom’s house, because she knew you were going to drop that shit and whipped the plate away from you five minutes earlier.
My mother is fast and relentless when it comes to cleaning. Going to my parents’ house is as unsettling as a horror movie, because if I leave a glass in one spot for more than two minutes it disappears – poof! No “done with that?” just gone, like she was hiding under the table, Gollum-like, waiting for the precious.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see her scuttle down a wall to spirit away a glass with an inch of liquid still in it. That moppy-headed girl who crawled out of televisions in The Ring just didn’t have my mother’s focus.
Sometimes I catch mom staring at me while I’m eating, her eye twitching like a B-actor in a spaghetti western. The air grows cold. Then, noodle salad poised to my lips, I look away long enough for her to snatch the plate from under my chin and scurry it to the dishwasher like a gold-thieving leprechaun.
I say “gold-thieving leprechaun” not to disparage the fine, upstanding leprechaun community, but because I think behind my back she throws small coins across the room to divert my attention. When I ask where my dish went, she bamboozles me with: “Do you want dessert?” knowing full well I am powerless against the Jedi Mind Trick of chocolate anything.
Which is one thing we do have in common.
Conversely, when I wipe down a kitchen, it is less like cleaning and more like a relocation service. My cleaning style is like a hurricane and FEMA all rolled into one. First, I uproot the grime from where it was living, and then I find it a new place to settle nearby, maybe even have a family. As a bonus, I usually leave a trail of it from one spot to the next so it can find its way back again if it gets homesick. That is some Sarah McLachlan-sad puppies-type kindness.
I don’t do it on purpose. I really do think I’m cleaning. But then my mother will stop by and point out my shortcomings.
“You missed here,” my mother says, her lip curling. “Here. And here… and HERE. Oh Amy…”
I hunch over and inspect the red zones she’s so helpfully identified. These shame-areas are usually about waist-high, because she is 5 inches shorter than I am. This hardly seems fair. Clearly, I am cleaning for the normal-sized world.
But as much as I would like to blame my shortcomings on her size, when I squint where she is pointing, ever so slowly, the object of her disgust will come into focus, like disappearing ink she doused in lemon juice.
“Oh,” I say, studying the porterhouse steak stuck to the cabinet door. “How did I miss that?”
And while I am a much more successful “straightener” than I am a “cleaner,” I certainly don’t police my surroundings like my mother. The water glass collection that grows on my bedside table alone would give her the vapors. Every night, I bring a new glass of water to last me through the evening; every morning that glass is abandoned to huddle with its brothers, forgotten. The glasses sit there, each with a different level of water, until it looks like I am preparing to play Christmas bell carols on them.
One more sip out of this one and I’ll have the D flat…
When I run the dishwasher, often I’ll find what I like to call “dishwasher sand” in the washed glasses. I like to think of it as “beachy.” I am sure dishwater sand is a common occurrence; they invented a whole breed of dishwasher fluid just to combat glass residue. But this sort of nonsense doesn’t happen to my mother, because she washes her dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. When I point out that I think she is misunderstanding the purpose of a dishwasher, she just pulls a spoon from my drawer, points to its tomato skin exoskeleton, and declares victory.
I dunno. I think we have to call it a draw.
My husband claims my inferior cleaning skills are actually my mother’s fault. She was so good at cleaning, that I never had to develop that particular skill. Cleaning, for me, is like the atrophied eyes of a cave dwelling fish: unnecessary and consequently, unused.
I am a dirt blind fish.
Metaphorically, of course.
Amy Vansant is the author of the urban fantasy “Angeli – The Pirate, the Angel & the Irishman,” the first in a series.
Amy also served as the editor and one of the 26 authors of the humor anthology “Moms are Nuts,” which has been on Amazon’s best-sellers lists since its publication in April 2014.
Amy the former East Coast Editor of SURFER Magazine and freelance writer published in Modern Maturity, Caribbean Travel and Life, Yankee, Chesapeake Bay Magazine, McSweeney’s Internet Tendencies, Barnes and Noble Review and others. Long ago she wrote “The Surfer’s Guide to Florida,” which is currently out of print because the urge to drive up and down the coast interviewing surfers has long since left her.
Amy is a nerd and Labradoodle mommy.
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