28 May 2008

The Things We Learn Late At Night

It has not been until more recent years that I have realized I am prone to insomnia a night person. This only becomes a problem when I have to get up and work a “normal” day-job (which I do). My mom is the same way . . . the polar opposite of my father in that – and many – ways (thus perhaps lending some truth to the whole ‘opposites attract’ idea.)
While I was at home this weekend, my mom and I exploited our nocturnal tendencies and stayed up talking into the wee hours. I’m not sure how it started – but it ended up being very informative, and did not (as can happen) degrade into some sort of mother-daughter pick-on-each-other session. We talked a lot about family history and the like.

Here are some of the things I learned:

  • I have a few grey hairs. I was not aware of this – but my mom noticed them last time I was home. I am not sure what my natural hair really looks like, as I get it highlighted a few times a year (my secret is out).
  • My dad’s mother was completely grey-haired by the time she was 30. She was also probably certifiable – but that was not something to be discussed. I am guessing that part of that stems from the fact that at a young age, she was the one to find her step-father dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Horrifying.
  • My mom recorded cassette tapes of her father talking about his life. She gave them to me to transcribe for her, as it’s still too painful for her to listen to his voice. I am very excited about this project! “Papa” was a Major in the US Army and served in the Signal Corps during WWII, the Korean Conflict & Vietnam War. He died when I was about 4, but I still have a couple memories of him.
  • When my mom and dad started dating in college, my dad was also dating another gal at the same time. Mom found out and gave him an ultimatum…and the rest is…well, you know how it goes. Their 40th wedding anniversary is this year.
  • My mom wanted to be an architect. But that was not an “approved” subject for women in the mid-1960s at her college in Louisiana.
  • There is the remotest…REMOTEST…of possibilities that we are distant…distant…relatives of the Hiltons through my dad’s grandfather. Yes. You read that correctly. Perish the thought that Paris and I could possibly share DNA. Holy crap.

1 comment:

Bag Blog said...

Sounds like some good conversations! Gray hair runs in my family too - I keep mine highlighted. Your mom must be pretty smart to think to record her father's conversations - lucky you! There is an elderly lady in our church from Alabama. She has a soft, sweet Southern accent. She, too, wanted to be an architect back in the early 50's. When the dean asked her why, she replied, "I don't tell my husband how to plant his fields, and I don't want him tellin' me where to put my brooms."