28.7.06

La Footnotes aka mi ama

Mi ama has spent most of her life using the bus as her main source of transportation. This enabled her to do one of her favorite things: talk. Mi ama will talk to anyone about anything.

I remember being at a bus stop or on the bus and mi ama striking up various conversations with people, from the lady who was counting “penes” for bus fare downtown to the young girl who was working in the U.S. illegally and looking to marry for a green card.

Calling her is a one hour event. First, she asks how I’m doing, then I ask her, and then it begins. I hear all about the adult day care events, family events or wrongdoings, celebrity gossip (telenovela soap stars who I don’t really know, sometimes she has music gossip about La Julie Venegas or A.B. Quintanilla), y luego vuelta al cassette o la bendicion.

One of the most comical aspects of conversation con mi ama is the footnotes. When I still lived at home, she used to drive me nuts with her uncanny ability to provide footnotes to every story. At the time, I was still really young (because I’m still young you know, but not really young) and I don’t think I had completely developed my critical thinking skills; therefore, I was unable to follow non-linear conversations. Sometimes, with a frustrated tone, I would say, “Go back to the original story!” She would oblige, with hurt feelings.

It wasn’t until I went away to college that I learned to entertain her footnotes and coined her the nickname La Footnotes. I learned the value of being able to tell one story, the fill in with some much needed information, and still know where one had left off in the original story. Heck, I was reading texts with half a page of footnotes that weren’t nearly as entertaining as my ama’s. Besides, sometimes the footnotes provide even better stories or a point of reference for further inquiry about my ama’s unbounded wisdom.

4 comments:

Cracked Chancla said...

when i was a kid i used to get sooo embarrassed when my mother would start talking to strangers. now, my nosey-ness(sp?) gets the better of me and i may jump in with my own questions. :)

La Brown Girl said...

I hardly ever ask questions; I just listen to them like I did back then. But now, I have a much better understanding. I get to go back home so little and I just enjoy hearing an El Paso accent.

tumbleweed said...

I loved this post! sounds like your mom is an awesome storyteller and quite a character.

cindylu said...

I find myself doing the same thing with stories, embellishing and always changing it just a little. I love my mom's stories.

This was a really cute post.