I handed Anyu some Mother’s Day presents after I got her to settle down and put on some pants. After dealing with last year’s drama, I decided to give my mother a GIANT bottle of Arbor Mist to help her relax during our weekend “vacation” at the LBI Bible Camp. Sure, it’s totally against the Camp regulations to bring alcohol on the premises…but if the management tried to sleep next to my mother, they might pour themselves a glass, too.

“Oh, tank you, Stephie,” she said, admiring the bottle, “Did you bring dah cups?”

“Yes, I have them,” Irina chimed in. She pulled out several wine glasses from her bag. It was actually her idea to “drug” my mother with fruity wine.

Anyu made a face and sniffed them. “Are dese clean?”

Irina rolled her eyes, “Yeeees, Ildie, they’re clean.”

“Are you sure? You didn’t just pull dem off the shelf from dah Dollar Store and put dem in your bag, did you? People probably touched them.”

“NO, Ildie, I brought them from my kitchen cabinet.”

Anyu thought for a moment, “Your kitchen cabinet is probably dusty. I’m gonna vash dem.”

We both rolled our eyes as Anyu washed all of the glasses in the hotel sink, sniffed them, and washed them again. Eventually, she poured us all large glasses.

“Here’s to relaxation,” said Irina.

“Cheers!” I said.

“Kedves egészségére!” said Anyu. “So, vhat’s dah story?”

For a short period of time, we actually had a really good conversation.  We laughed,  shared the lastest “juicy gossip”, and Anyu genuinely seemed to enjoy some of the gifts I bought her. The wine was working!

I handed her the last gift, an 8×10 glossy headshot taken by a professional photographer. “Anyu, you’re always asking for current photos, so here the latest one.”

“Eeeehhh….vhy dah hell do you need to wear pink? You look like a pig or sometink!”

“Ildie!” my cousin yelled, seeing my disappointed face. ” It looks nice! Really! I mean, you look really different, but it still looks nice!”

I sighed, “Sorry it’s not the 8th grade dance photo.”

“Oh, yes! Dat vas a good von! You Irina, do you remember, Stephie used to be so sexy…”

I plopped my head on the pillow. “You just can’t please everyone,” I thought. Since even one glass of wine makes me sleepy, I fell asleep almost immediately.

The next morning, I woke up to my mother’s singing. “Pretty voman, valking down dah street…pretty voman. Vould kinda like to meet. Pretty vomaaaaan….”

I glanced over to see cousin sitting straight up in bed with a furrowed brow. “I am going to kill your mother,” she said, fists clenching the blankets.

“Eh, she’s always singing something,” I said, rubbing the sleep from my eyes.

“No, not that!” she said, “You didn’t hear her drinking all night?”

I looked over at the bottle on the nightstand. “What do you mean? Half the bottle is still here, she didn’t drink that much.”

“No, it’s not the amount of drinking. It’s the volume of drinking.”

I was confused. “Um, the words  ‘amount’ and ‘volume’ pretty much mean the same thing.”

“Oh, wow, I can’t believe you slept through it.”

“Remember, Nagymama was poking and prodding me all night as a child. I sleep like the dead.”

“Okay, then, let me demonstrate.” Irina got up and grabbed one of the wine glasses. She cleared her throat to ready herself for the performance. She sighed loudly. She put the glass to her mouth and made a loud “SIIIIIIIIIIIIP!” noise.  She slammed the glass on the nightstand. She sighed again loudly. She scratched her head so furiously that it sounded like two sticks rubbing together. She then picked the wine glass up again, moved it an inch, and then put it back on the table with a clang. She adjusted her boobs and burped. She looked back down at the the glass, sighed, picked it back up.  “SIIIIIIIIIIIIP!” She slammed the glass back on the table. I laughed.

“This is not funny, Stephanie! I was up ALL last night because of your mother’s sipping and sighing and scratching and banging…I’m going to kill her!”

“Welcome to the first seventeen years of my life, Cousin. Remember, I never had my own bedroom.”

“Yeah, and that’s why I am sleeping next door tonight. Sleeping in a room with a married couple and their two young children is quieter than sleeping next to your mother.”

Photo by Steve Woods