Meet The Parents

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.

FringeGirl & FringeDad - Notice who is taller.

FringeGirl & FringeDad - Notice who is taller.

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.

FringeDad, FringeBanker, Grad-Me, FringeMom, FringeCousin, Aunt Pat

FringeDad, FringeBanker, Grad-Me, FringeMom, FringeCousin, Aunt Pat

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. 

Usual, after school pose

Usual, after school pose

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.”

For You Mom

For You Mom

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.

A long time ago

A long time ago


28 thoughts on “Meet The Parents

  1. Erin

    What is it today (Ok I’m catching up) but you are so totally touching my heart. I love these stories! I can imagine dinner at your house and I would love to be there, 12, by your side. Wonderful!

  2. Mom

    Thank you, Tricia. The years of investing in Fringegirl and Fringebanker’s lives were well worth it. I am very proud of the two of you!

    1. thedomesticfringe Post author

      Mama Belle, I know big words, but I can’t spell them. A correction has been posted. What good is spell check????

  3. Evergreen

    Hey!! You may have been taller in the picture, but who was wearing heels??!!!! Excellent post!!!!! I’m sure FringeMom will be proud and thinking, “I should’ve stopped the car that day!”

  4. robinaltman

    Thank you so much for this post! It was adorable. The pictures are wonderful, too. (You were a gorgeous bride – tis true.)

    OK. I’ll have to analyze this further. My new book – “FringeFamily – Life on the Fringe”.

  5. Pam

    Love hearing about the fringe parents. That first photo is hilarious. What a great tribute to the couple who produced Fringe Girl. Pam

  6. diana/sunshine

    very interesting. i like that you wrote about your parents. it makes me want to do the same but since my parents are divorced and they both read my blog, i’d have to be very (VERY!) careful =/ thanks for sharing.

  7. Nina in Portugal

    Finally…we get the whole story!

    So fringebanker is way taller than anyone..and the blond hair, what’s that all about?

    You’re natural hair color, I’m guessing, is typical Portuguese black?

    Your Dad looks like a small man. Let me tell you how awkward I feel when I stand next to Portuguese men that are like 5 feet 2 inches. And this is very common for me….Amazon Woman!

    I know you said you never learned Portuguese, what about your Mom?

    Fantastic post fringegirl. Thanks for sharing with us.

    Bom Dia!!


    Great writing — I think there’s a book in there. Seriously.

    There is nothing more of a blessing than to have fond and glad memories of your folks, especially if they include a lot of humor. Lucky Duck

  9. elizabeth channel

    It is quite fun to learn more about childhoods!

    I am, however, having an incredibly hard time dealing with the fact that you got the Charles Chips and I did not. We had our milkman, a kind man named Johnny Blackman, whose funeral my parents made me attend when I was six. (I’ve never really been able to drink milk since.) But never, ever, ever did they let us “subscribe” to the Charles Chips action. All our friends got those golden tins of goodness (and the cookies too), but not us.

    Perhaps I’m still bitter?

    Anyway, so glad to “meet” your parents!

  10. April Kennedy

    Hey Fringe Girl…..that is a great post on your parents! Loved it. Go ahead and link away to my nursing apron. I will even try to have a few for sale in my etsy shop by Thursday morning! Thanks so much.

  11. Sarah

    Wow, that was a really nice post! I enjoyed looking at old pics and reading more about your family.

    We will never know the effects that we had on our children until they make a blog and post about us and how we were as parents! :~)

  12. Steph at the Red Clay Diaries

    I love finding thing in common with my bloggy friends. Even if this one is a stretch:

    See, your DAD was born in Portugal, and

    I spent a summer in the Azores Islands (part of Portugal), so I speak a little Portuguese.

    Check it out! You and I are like sisters!!!!

  13. Mindy

    I love this! But then, I love family. Family rocks. Your stories and memories are wonderful. Thanks for sharing. Indeed, a beautiful bride! ~Mindy


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