Serving the Punch

I need to add an addendum to my post, Quarantine Craziness, Part 1. Remember how I was telling you that my mother was civil when she had to be? That was not a lie. She was civil. And she did allow my father and step-mother in her home on occasion.

A little background. My stepmother’s name is Mary. I feel comfortable using her name because it’s a very common name. It’s not like anyone is going to say, “Oh my God! Mary! I know exactly who that is!” If her name was Sabina or Pocahontas or Beyonce I could see coming up with an alias, but it is literally one of the most common names out there.

Mary is a very odd person who knows everything. As my brother once said, “Oh good God! She’s a lawyer, a doctor, a judge, a farmer. She knows everything about everything!” When Rock Star was running track her junior year she told me she would sometimes get weather reports from her and reminders to wear sunscreen. She asked me before I got married if I would be interested in having a plain gold wedding band so that if I wanted to garden or otherwise get my hands dirty I could still wear a wedding band and not have to worry about getting my nice ring dirty. Like I even garden! She one time sent a bag of peaches to my younger brother and included instructions on how to eat them. I kid you not. For years I kept a copy of that on my refrigerator because people could not believe she gave him instructions.

Remove pit and slice into pieces OR wash and eat like an apple.

I may not have the verbiage exactly as it was but I know the second part of the instructions is accurate. That was actually one of the few times Jerry Lee showed his sense of humor. “I need more information. If she thinks I’m so stupid I don’t know how to eat a peach, what makes her think I know how to eat an apple?”

I would not testify to this in a court of law but I’m fairly certain my high school graduation was the first time my mom ever invited them to a function she was having. My dad and grandparents lived two hours away from us so on graduation day they all came up. My mom threw my graduation party and took care of all of it and was gracious enough to extend an invite to her ex-husband and the AP turned wife.

I have to say, I was not that gracious for my own daughter’s celebration. It’s not like she wanted him there, of course, but even if she had I wouldn’t have done it. At least I don’t think I would have.

Anyway, at some point before my actual graduation my stepmom was asking me if there was anything she could do. She wanted to help but she didn’t want to be in the way or overstep; she was very big on etiquette, which is kind of funny when you think about it. I’m pretty sure Miss Manners would say it’s not polite to sleep with another woman’s husband, and well, sleeping with someone else’s husband is a huge overstep. Yes, I know I had an affair with your husband but I don’t want to overstep my bounds. Would you be okay with me serving the punch at your daughter’s graduation party?

That is what she settled on. She was wondering if perhaps she should offer to man the punch bowl. So I went home and told my mom that Mary was wondering if she should serve the punch. This has led to a long time inside joke. My mother replied, “I’ll serve her the punch alright!” as she punched the air.

To this day we laugh about it. I can’t drink punch without thinking about it either.

By the way, no one served the punch. My mom remained very civil and, well it was a sunny day and we had peaches so Mary was kept busy running around reminding people to put on sunscreen and educating them on how to eat a peach. Take the easy way- eat it just like an apple.

P.S. It was a sunny day but there were no peaches. I just made that up so that I could end my post.

2 thoughts on “Serving the Punch

  1. I had a sister-in-law who was an expert on everything too (sadly dead now). She was very nice but an expert on everything. My mom lived with my sister and her husband at the end and they used the wheelchair to take her out ever day. SIL lived over 300 miles away but then took to instructing my sister on how to push the wheelchair properly (because she had once pushed one I think). Then one time she was regaling us all about how police go about their criminal investigations when her son turned round and said “mom, you only type parking tickets”! Some people just can’t help themselves can they!

    Liked by 1 person

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