There are so many stories, that it is difficult to choose just one. I automatically think of the time we went wedding dress shopping while both of us were buzzed on Xanax, or the time we were lunching at the Olive Garden and my mom was scream-talking about how our family is Black Irish (for those of you who know—"Black Irish" refers to our dark hair, but when taken out of context it can sound downright racist), or how we would get into the same argument ever year at Christmas about the plots of Holiday Inn and White Christmas. (She'd never seen Holiday Inn, but swore up and down that White Christmas was really Holiday Inn. You can imagine my frustration.)
But the one that comes to mind focuses my mom's fun-spirited ways and her love of life. My mom and I went to our first Neil Diamond concert shortly after 9/11 in 2002. She had been a long-time Diamond Head, as it were, but had never seen him live.
Naturally, we pre-gamed with some moderately priced chardonnay, and by the time we got to the United Center, she was out of her mind on sulfites and excitement.
Despite our seats being in the 300 level and the majority of the crowd north of 55, my mother was determined to march dance the entire night, unless Neil was performing a few songs she didn't like, in which case, she would sit down and pout with her arms crossed.
As the night went on, my mom got more and more aggressive with her dance moves and her displeasure for being the only one standing and clapping off beat. Throughout the night, she would turn to the people behind us (all of whom were seated) and scream, "Get up and dance! What's wrong with all of you?!" She then started to direct her anger at one gentleman behind us. My mom just could not understand why the entire United Center was not on their feet singing off key to everyone's favorite Brooklyn native.
Right before the first encore was over—that's correct, I said "first encore"—I noticed the target of my mother's previous rage. He stood up with the assistance of his two companions, who helped him into the aisle, down the steps and into the wheelchair waiting for him at the landing.
Yes, the man my mom screamed at for not getting up and dancing during the concert was, in fact, unable to stand or dance. I felt horrible, and when I pointed this out to my mom, she looked at me, then at the man being wheeled out, and said, "That's still no excuse!" and kept marching dancing...