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June 18th, 2009

We Stick Up For Our Mom

In my weaker moments, I have to admit that I will indulge in watching episodes of The Real Housewives of New Jersey. There’s something fun about not being able to relate to a single person in the cast. Yesterday, I was lucky enough to get to see the season finale, which featured all five women screaming at each other in the middle of a restaurant, in front of their children. I felt so sorry for those kids. It’s bad enough when someone’s mom makes an untelevised scene at the Sizzler in Boise. To know that not only is everyone watching, but that this bad behavior is now going to be on Hulu for people to access at will, could kill a person.

I’m very lucky. My mom has never been a commotion-causer, a yeller or an insult-hurler. Once, though, I saw her have a brief case of very minor Road Rage. And it remains one of the top 20 Cole Family moments of all time.

It was a couple of years ago and we were in San Diego, and Mom was taking a turn driving the minivan while my dad lay down in the back for a rest. Everything was going smoothly until a blond kid wearing a slightly crooked baseball cap driving a red Mustang, his mother in the passenger seat, began to veer into our lane. My mom gasped and gripped the wheel, guiding the minivan to safety in the next lane over. Once recovered from the excitement, we all looked over at the offending car and saw it’s driver looking at my mom angrily and honking. Mom, her head still pointed in their direction, very matter-of-factly said, “Well fuck you then!”

The way my mom said it sounded almost friendly, but of course the kid and his mother didn’t know that, and my brother and I watched, delighted, as the woman opened her mouth in full and complete shock. She then looked down at her hands, seemingly fumbling with something. When she got whatever was going on in her lap sorted out, she raised her hand and, lips pursed, flipped my mom the bird. My brother and I screamed with laughter. “Dude. Mom! She’s flippin’ you off!” Louis yelled.

Based on the ridiculous position of this kid’s hat, it was clear to Louis and me that his next move was going to be to accelerate and pull in front of us, as a sign of his manliness. Without any prior discussion, my brother and I pressed our hands to the windows and fired off a move I’d like to refer to as The Quadruple Bird. Much to our satisfaction, just as the kid began to pick up speed, we received another open-mouthed expression from the mother. “Guys!” my mom yelled at us, trying her best to pretend that she wasn’t pleased. “Quit it!” “What?” I asked. “You can’t eff with our mom.” My dad, silent until that point, just laughed at us.

It may not be anything Bravo would broadcast, but it did make the trip that much more exciting for us.

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