Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Mom Had Some Eccentricities of Her Own

My mother never wore shoes and rarely left the house. Mom wore "Zorries," which was the original word for "flip flops," which later became "thongs," which was changed to "flip flops" with the advent of a certain item of underwear. There were times when it was 5 degrees below zero, and Mom wore Zorries. She would walk on snow to grab the newspaper in the morning with Zorries. One of the few times she wore shoes was at my grandfather's insistence because she had just left the hospital after having double pneumonia. Her shoe slipped on a wet rock at the lake we were visiting, and she fell in the lake (wonderful for a pneumonia patient). She swore that if she had been wearing Zorries, she would have been fine.

I don't know how this little oddity began. Maybe she just found Zorries comfortable to wear. She had a AAAA narrow foot, and finding shoes to fit was not easy. It could have been that raising four children she didn't have the money for shoes very often, or the inclination to go shopping in light of the fact that she rarely left the house.

I've often wondered if Mom had Agoraphobia (fear of leaving home), or whether she was just very content. Dad did all the grocery shopping because he loved it! He loved getting the best deals and clipping the coupons. He loved talking to all the butchers who he knew from when he sold meat for Swift & Co. Mom never liked to shop for clothes either. So if you don't shop, I guess that narrows down your reasons to leave your home. I don't ever remember her being afraid (or at least she never acted afraid) when she did leave the house -- but then she was not much for complaining and bellyaching either. As a matter of fact, she hated whiners.

Mom had one form of discipline -- the Zorrie. She could flip that Zorrie off her foot in a split second and whack you with it! She rarely whacked more than once -- you got the message. Maybe that's why she wore them. Actually, she had one other form of discipline for my brother, the silent treatment. She discovered that my brother absolutely couldn't stand it if she didn't talk to him.

Swear words (not the vulgar ones) would roll off her tongue quite easily, but she blushed if you said "belly button." Many a family member has tried to figure that one out.

There was Native American ancestry on Mom's side, and she had an uncanny gift for knowing if something was wrong. She had some pretty weird dreams at times, and after my grandfather died, she got really "weirded out" when she began to write a grocery list and realized that it was my grandfather's handwriting. It was a definite "Twilight Zone" moment, and it pretty much freaked her out.

I've always described my Dad as the most eccentric person I've ever met, but I have to admit that Mom would take second place in that contest.


  1. I didn't know about the grocery list. That's interesting.

    Mom was watching some talk show one time and they were discussing Agoraphobia. When she saw Colleen later, she mentioned that after seeing the program, she thought she might be Agoraphobic. Colleen's reply was, "What was your first clue, Sherlock?"

  2. I have some friends who only wear flip-flops. Some other friends call them slippers. The other day I accidentally called them thongs (which is the word I grew up with) and my kids almost died.

    I need to practice my aim, that could be a great form of discipline.

  3. I'm fairly agoraphobic. Crazy, I know because I'm so lively online but IRL....I really don't like leaving the house much. I do, of course, with the kids and all but you know. I guess I just feel more comfortable at home.
    Great post. Always love your blog.