Friday, May 21, 2010

Can't Buy Me Love (part 6 - by Margaret Ullrich)

    Every family has its traditions.  And, unfortunately, we had ours.

    For as far back as Barbara and I could remember, on Mother’s Day, as on every other Sunday when the weather was nice, Pop took us for a walk to Chisolm's Park.  There we would walk around the shore and look at planes arrive and take off from La Guardia Airport, which was across the bay.  After we got bored with that, we went down the slides a few times.  Maybe a few turns on the swings if we felt energetic.  

    We would then walk to the little storefront ice cream stand which was across the street from the park and Pop would buy us ice creams.  Then back to the park to eat our ice creams and watch a few more airplanes.  After that we walked home to a light supper.  

    While Ma did the dishes, Pop would nap on the couch before Ed Sullivan came on the television.  That’s what we did every Sunday when the weather was nice.  To Pop and Ma, that was good enough.  Since we didn't know any better, we thought it was a fine way to spend a Sunday afternoon, too.   


    Every Sunday until now.


    Aunt Demi was big on hanging onto tradition and took upon herself the job of keeping us from getting any ideas from Ma’s new sister-in-law.  “Liz, you should know, Peter is not like Charlie.  My brother Peter is a busy man.  He doesn’t have time for this American garbage.”  Satisfied that she had restored order to our lives, Aunt Demi went back to her crocheting.

    Ma and Pop always tried to behave like good American citizens.  But, they still thought like Maltese.  In Malta, a family’s honor was sacred.  Ma sensed that as good Americans, we had to celebrate Mother's Day.  So, to save our family’s honor, Ma said the only thing she believed was proper to say.  “They’re going to make me a Mother’s Day Brunch.  That’s our tradition.”

    Stunned, Aunt Demi dropped her crocheting.  “Since when?”

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