My mother and I have a very special relationship that consists of approximately 50% what Commonwealth English speakers refer to as "taking the piss" and 50% (sarcastic) womanly gossipy love. We have gone on several package-tour vacations to Europe together and managed not to kill each other - a real growing up rite of passage, considering that about 7 years ago I was a "spoiled little bitch" and she was a "heartless slave driver" if I recall them correctly. I can always count on her to laugh heartily at my petty misfortunes, e.g. that fateful time I waxed my crotch incorrectly and ripped off all my skin in the process, and she's always got some juicy hometown gossip (often about the 8th or 9th neighborhood kid who has been diagnosed with Asperger's) whenever I call. She's a thin but mighty woman of principle who eats 100 calorie lunches, majored in math as a feminist political statement, and is completely convinced that Israel=yes, Palestine=fail. We've had our noisy battles and debates over whether or not affirmative action is reverse racism (it's sooo not!) and we make fun of each other's clothes from time to time, but generally she knows me and what makes me giggle, gasp and tick.
I have my packages delivered to me at school because I hate playing phone tag with the post office over failed delivery notices, and this always creates a moderate buzz in the teacher's room. Today I received a care package from my mom.
-A news editorial written by Charles Krauthammer about why Israel is right and Palestine is wrong
-My German textbooks from college
-Two bags of candy: Target store brand gummy bears and Reeses' Peanut Butter Cup hearts (she loves to harp on me to lose weight, but always sends me food and candy)
-4 pairs of black underpants, neatly folded in a Zip-loc bag so as to look less conspicuously like underpants
-The Vassar alumnae quarterly magazine
-Newspaper clippings on topics ranging from the new Doctor on "Doctor Who" to a famous cat at the Schenectady train station and the fateful day Denny's restaurants nationwide gave out free Grand Slam breakfast
-A huge Zip-loc bag full of tampons - I'm betting there are at least 108 or 144 in there (Tampax tampons come in packs of 36)
While the underpants were probably the highlight of this particular care package, I was also really happy to have a new distraction at work. I started reading "Treffpunkt Deutsch" from the beginning as I have shamefully forgotten all but the bare essentials of German. Soon I hope I will be onto more interesting conversations than Herr and Frau Ziegler fussing about the weather. Though I have to say, the phrase "was für ein Hundewetter" really does apply to today. A little less cold and a little more spring-like warmth, please.