Your mom is cool (in case you didn't know)

I just got an email from my mom titled, "Your mom is cool (in case you didn't know)".

Oh, I know, mom. I KNOW. Any mom who can sit on the sidewalk with her 22-year-old daughter in the middle of the night in Quito, Ecuador and calmly watch her kid's favorite bar get raided by the police and busted for arms dealing is cool. I know you're not exactly down with machine guns and bags of white powder but you DEALT. You're cool.

And now apparently the checkout girl at Trader Joe's in Cincinnati thinks so, too.

The checkout girl, who my mom pegged to be about 21 years old, gushed to my mom, "I LOVE your vintage shirt. If I found that in a thrift store, I'd be SO happy!"

My mom was wearing a sweatshirt that I got in England sometime between 1986 and 1992. My English friend Elinor lived in town called Otley and the sweatshirt says FLOCK TO OTLEY and features a swarm of sheep across the front. Sheep which are slightly raised and spongy, like puffy paint.

And I'm sorry but it's not a pretty sight. Especially since the formerly white sheep were at some point washed with the color load and are now all pink. I saw this sweatshirt on one of my family members when I was home in March and thought, "Good lord, that thing is still around?" It crossed my mind that someone really needs to donate it and put all of us - me, mom, dad, Neill, the sheep - out of our misery. Okay, just my misery.

But I didn't say anything because MY PARENTS LOVE HAND ME DOWNS. Giant Limited tunics I drowned in in the early 90s, Levi's cords I gave to my dad after drowning in them in the late 90s, and faded Gap jeans from I don't know when.

In March, it was still unreasonably cold in Ohio and every day I was there, I witnessed my father strolling through the house in a thick, zip-up, grey and white snowflake sweater that I used to wear in seventh grade. I would totally not be surprised to come home to find Neill watering the front yard in my old Coca-Cola rugby shirt. And my mom coming out to bring him his seizure helmet in something Camp Beverly Hills.

Without a doubt, one of things I'm most thankful for in my life is that my old Jams escaped. I don't know HOW they got out of the house but am grateful that they did because I wouldn't be able to keep my shit together if I saw my dad in Jams. I'd start crying.

When I talk about needing to lay off the boots because I'll never get ahead if I spend all my money on (killer, satisfying, shitkicking) footwear? I didn't get that tendency from my family. When I make a note in my Berlin journal to come back to Skunkfunk at the end of my trip when I know how money I have left and then proceed blow it there? Mary Ann and Bob wouldn't do that.

(Hi Nicole, Certified Financial Planner, we'll speak about this later.)

Anyway, my mom wore the pink sheep to Trader Joe's because she'd been working on a Habitat for Humanity house that day - OR SO SHE SAYS. We all know what a big heart you have, mom, you don't need to make up excuses involving volunteer work to justify the sweatshirt. That just cheapens the sheep.

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