My mother is a really fun person. She's the one who'd let us eat pizza for breakfast, or go without making our beds, or eat a bunch of candy then go to bed without brushing our teeth. She was the counter, in many ways, to my ball buster father.
But chances are, if you have a mom like that, she's also a little cracked.
One of my mom's most endearing quirks is her cadre of accents. Speaking normally, she has that flat, midwestern accent reflective of her Oklahoma upbringing. Every now and again, a bit of my dad's West Texas sneaks in. But having a normal conversation with her, you would not pick up a discernable accent.
Unless you are, say, a Mexican. Because then she starts talking like a Mexican, or at least how some middle aged white woman from Oklahoma who has difficulty pronouncing 'agua' would talk like a Mexican. More accurately, like an Oklahoman Mexican who was raised in Germany. "Ya?" she'll say "Can I get the car-nay asad-ya, with a side of hallepeynos, homes?"
(My mom can also never order straight off the menu. She always has to get something substituted, or on the side. She's never ready to order when everyone else is, and she always has a question about the menu. She is like Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally, but with a Mexican-German accent.)
She is a verbal chameleon, unconsciously picking up the accent of the person she's talking to.
Living here in the south, particularly the rural south, the accents tend to get a little thick. Even more awesome than listening to my mom at a Mexican restaurant is hearing her go all Reba McEntire on someone. "Laws, y'all! I done told them young 'ens to keep outta that fishin' hole!" (That might be a slight exaggeration. I don't know that I've ever heard my mom reference a fishin' hole.) She's a hairdresser, so chances are she'll have to switch accents four, maybe five times a day, depending on the nationality and/or regional dialect of her clientele.
Do you know what kind of skills are required to go from Southern to Mexican to Yankee to German, all in the course of a single day?
She is no ordinary woman. She is wunderbar. And loco, yo.
2 weeks ago