I am the child of a Portugal born truck driver and a phone talking taxi driver. Well, my mother’s not really a cab driver, but she carted around enough of kids to do ’20 – to – life’ for violating current seatbelt laws.
Robin from Shrink Rap would like to know more about my parents. It’s because she’s a child psychiatrist and she’s attempting to pinpoint where my parents went wrong.
The FringeParents are so complex that I vacillate through memories trying to find a balance of being kind and being honest. Remembering my childhood, I find so many humorous memories that they could fill a year’s worth of posts.
I’ll begin with my father, FringeDad. He came to America at the impressionable age of 16, old enough to retain an accent and thoroughly confuse American sayings. On occasion he’d slip from English into Portuguese all in the same sentence, Ricky Riccardo style. His foreign outbursts were usually provoked by my brother grating his every nerve during dinner each night.
FringeDad ate slowly. In retrospect it was probably due to his lengthy stories about making bodega owners ‘change their tune quick’. I didn’t care. The more stories, the better. We were always the last two sitting at the table, and in a hushed whisper he’d tell me to scrape my veggies into the garbage. He saved me from many gross moments. He is also the reason I’m not 5 foot 10 and thin. Add vitamin deficient to my official diagnosis.
FringeDad did drive a milk truck and limousines. I truly am the milkman’s daughter. This had serious benefits for me as a child. Not only did I get plenty of calcium, but he often traded goods with the chip and bread men. You’d be amazed by the exchange rate of a gallon of milk in New York. Getting picked-up in a limo wasn’t such a bad perk either.
Unfortunately after several robberies at gunpoint, my father decided he was lactose intolerant. FringeDad now resides in the country of Portugal.
Aside from shlepping kids around, FringeMom worked as a teacher. Her other job was a telephone operator or so I thought. She enjoys talking on the phone and is one of the few women I know who can begin a sentence in a full scream rage and end the same sentence in a sweet greeting after only one ring of the telephone. Some of your mothers may have that same gift, but it never ceased to impress me as a child.
My mother was the disciplinarian. Her favorite saying was “Don’t make me stop this car!”
Believe me, we didn’t.
FringeMom worked out with Richard Simmons and never missed “Dallas.” She was in love with Elvis long after his death and fantasized about Pierce Brosnan, AKA “Remington Steele.”
Both my parents loved us, taught us to work hard, and invested their best years to ensure my brother and I would be successful adults. I think they did ok.