Thursday, October 28, 2010

You Can Leave Your Hat On*

*Inspiration from Heff
I was brought up in a house where you took off your shoes.

No questions. Winter, spring, summer, or fall (all you have to do is call - oh stop!) the shoes came off.

Didn't matter if you had on the loveliest boots that took you five minutes to get on and tucked perfectly. Didn't matter if you had on shameful socks. Didn't matter if you needed a pedicure (although my mom once told me that any woman who painted her toenails was hiding something), the shoes came off when you hit her front door.

Of course, you wouldn't come in the front door. You had to enter through the garage. My mom had millions of 'rules'.

1. Do not throw any tissues in the bathroom wastebasket. I had a girlfriend at the cabin once and my mom was thoroughly annoyed that she kept tossing tissues into the canister.

2. Wipe the dog's feet before she enters the house. Well, the damn dog didn't have shoes did she?

3. No bare feet on her vinyl kitchen floor. Those feet leave little sweaty footprints.

4. No showering in the main bathroom. This one flummoxed me. Yes I knew the 'reason', but wha?? I still love baths, but I decidedly luxuriate in long, hot showers.

5. No one's cooking tastes better than hers. This one happens to have been very true. She was an AWESOME cook, but god save you if you ever mentioned that Mrs. Oppen could make a mean pot of coffee.

6. Vacuum carpet so the nap goes all one way. When I was in high school and my parents were at the cabin, my girlfriends and I ran amuk and trod on the carpet. Smushing the carpet all over. The joke was on me however, because I would have to re-vacuum. Ha!

7. No one over the age of 30 needs hair longer than her shoulders. Well, she didn't like vacuuming up long hairs. It interfered with the carpet nap.

8. Kitchen and bathroom floors need to be scrubbed on your hands and knees. There is stuff going on down there you need to see close up. A domestic-dinosaur I practice to this day. She's right!

9. Redheads cannot wear red. She was a redhead and stayed in her color wheel. And this was YEARS before anyone had ever heard of having your colors 'done'.

10. All meals need a salad, pickles, olives, bread, meat, gravy, vegetable, and a starch. I don't know how she knew this stuff, but my mom was waaaaaay ahead nutritionally. She made EVERYTHING from scratch. I didn't appreciate it at the time. I loved going to my friend's houses where we ate Jeno's Pizza, drank Tang, and had sugary cereal for breakfast. That shit wasn't happening at our house.

I am crazy just like my mom. Except for the shoes. Leave your damn shoes on. I know how taking them off can ruin an outfit.

Miss you Nana. It kills me that you're gone.


Heff said...

Shoes at the door, huh ?

NOTE TO SELF : Deb is Chinese.

Deborah said...

Heff - Well, maybe my momma is who you are talking about. You can leave your shoes (or your hat for that matter) on. I have a DOG and a husband. Please! Are you skimming? ;)

deb-oh-rah said...

At the house in Highland Park, the dining room and living room were only used for company. One time - I think it was your dad - walked through the living room to get the newspaper outside the front door. Big no-no.

She was a kick!

J.J. in L.A. said...

My mom had 'house rules' too:

The living room was only for company (we were only allowed in there on New Year's Eve because only the family room was big enough for a party).

ALWAYS have a salad with dinner (I hate iceberg lettuce so I HATED this rule).

NEVER call aunts/uncles by only their first names. It was always Aunt This or Uncle That.

My dad was more strict:

No talking or drinking (not even water) at the dinner table.

No dessert.

Don't EVER enter his garage office "unless the house is on fire" (and thank goodness we never had to test that one out).

And, yes, I had a happy childhood. lol!

Karen said...

Wow. I am so glad I did not grow up with such a hefty set of rules. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Just sayin.

Marnie said...

LOL...I think we're related. That sounded like my house :0)

In my home we use every room, and my house is very clean, but I don't care how the carpet fibers are directed :0) However, like my mom, I make you take your shoes off at the front door.

This was hilarious. Good post.

Sandra said...

It my house you have to leave your shoes on because my floors are so damn dirty.
I did however agree with several of her rules: like I hate little barefeet prints too!

T said...

What a great post, Deb. Your mom had it all figured out -- what worked for her, in stone, done. No questions asked.

I have to agree with you to disagree with her...on the shoes thing. The exception is if it's horrible weather out, muddy, whatever, and you risk trashing someone's carpet?'ve just arrived at a party, whatever, and like you said, your shoes are rockin, they're just ALL THAT! TAKE THEM OFF AND RUIN THE OUTFIT????


I attended a party recently where there was a cute little decorative permanent sign about removing shoes in her foyer...I pretended not to see it. Yep. I guess I was rude, huh?

Oh, and my mom had idio's too...guess that's why we love/miss them so much.

Ca88andra said...

Although I'm almost always barefoot at home, I hate being made to take my shoes off at other people's places. I dont care if people leave their shoes on or take them off. If there's a bit of dirt on the floor, so be it!

Deborah said...

deb - Do you remember when Linda hid in the closet because she was so scared of Marlene? Good times.

J.J. - We called our aunties and uncles like that too! I still do it and I'm a grown-ass woman!

Karen - You are a lucky girl.

Marnie - In the winter the boots have to come off, no question. I'm big on the Swiffer. ;)

Sandra - You know what? I cannot STAND being barefoot to this day. So weird!

T - Hello girl! Yes! Nothing bums me out more than being all cute and the hostess expecting the shoes to come off. I've been known to bring the shoes separately so I can still have my outfit moment.

Ca88 - Yes to the mess.

Heff said...

NO ! I'm not "skimming". I just already figured your dog didn't wear shoes indoors !

Sarah said...

I miss Nana too :(

I can see her so clearly still, standing behind the kitchen counter watching us eat the cake she had baked, and wetting her finger to get up all the little crumblies that inevitably fall when grandchildren eat cake :)

Linnea said...

I'm guilty of the shoe thing.
It penetrated and stayed there!
Went up to the cabin today,(pulled right in like I owned it) brought Mom 6 yellow roses. Remember how much she loved those?

Deborah said...

Heff - Well, sometimes he wears shoes. But only when he's going to an interview.

Sarah my Bella - I know you do. Smooches.

Linnea - Fall really makes me think about Mom.

I hate that she's at the cabin because we do NOT own the cabin anymore and I don't feel like there is any where to go see her. But that's just me.

Linnea said...

I love that she is there. I would never visit a graveyard. What for? At least the memories are there, right? Good ones! Swear if I get the money, buying it back and kicking those Shwartz's (not right sp) out of there! It will always be the Lewis cabin. :)

Deborah said...

It's NOT the Lewis cabin in spite of what it's called up there. Not since 1987 right?

Like I said, for me, it means nothing that she's up there because there is no where to 'see' her. No public space; not really.

Although every time I go that way I think about her. And in the fall I think about her. And every time I pull out one of her recipes.

I don't mind graveyards. I kinda like walking around them and reading the headstones and wondering what happened to the ones that died so young and marveling at the ones that lived a long life.

I also love when families are buried all together.

Again, this is just for me. No one has to agree with me.

Anonymous said...

Our floors are much too cold to not wear shoes. BUT, if I lived where it was warm year round it's something I would consider, not sure the dogs would follow the rules though.

Marla said...

Love this post. My mom and all her wacko ways drove me insane. I would give anything to have her back again.

My kids will feel the same way some day I bet. Just don't ask them today. :-)

Lo Lo said...

I miss Nana too Momma!!!
I miss her long sighs when she used to give me grandbaby hugs... :_(