Entry 1: February 5, 2008
My mom called to curse me out in Spanish. For whatever reason, English isn’t an angry enough language for her. To most effectively tell me that I’m an asshole, she must return to her mother tongue. Though, it isn’t uncommon for my mom to call me an asshole. In fact, she's done it on three birthdays and once during Chanukah when I was five. But today, she called and said, “Is this my son, the coolero?” I said, “Yes, mom. Why are you speaking Spanish, what’s wrong?” She paused. My mom converted to Judaism twenty-five years ago. The way she tells the story, after her family crossed into San Diego, everyone went looking for jobs. A few days later everyone but her was consigned to wash dishes or mow lawns, but she said that she was going to learn English and become a millionaire. She was twenty at the time. And she was a woman—who up ‘till then, in Mexico had only been allowed to satisfy entrepreneurial cravings if they involved a donkey. Her father said, “You’re suddenly smart enough to be a millionaire? What are you Jewish?” So, as my mom tells it, she said goodbye to those assholes, converted to Judaism, and learned English from the orthodox Jewish family who took her in. The only problem is that instead of starting her business, she started a family. She’s still pissed.
“Hey asshole. I hear you not taking care you pregnant wife? Que la Chingada puto madre?”
“No mom. I’m home and I’m taking care of her. I won’t be on the road again for another month.”
“We es un good Jewish family, pinche coolero. You can tell your jokes to the vilde chaim later. Put your pinche family first.”
“Yes, Mom” I said, and she hung up the phone. She always hangs up the phone. Never says goodbye. She say that slamming the phone down reminds us about the importance of time. She says time saying goodbye could beused to become a millionaire.
Then my wife, pregnant with twins wrapped her neck around the corner and asked, “What did your mom want?”
“She asked what we’re doing for Passover?”
“What did you tell her?
“That we’re celebrating Easter.”