She minces no words.

Dont Mince Words

All I want for Christmas is a Jewish mother 1

Posted on November 21, 2004 by Marna

I grew up thinking I had to be adopted. I could not really be my mother’s daughter. That dream was dashed when I began to realize I had some of her physical features. Then, when divorce became very popular in the 1970’s, I prayed each night that my father would find a new mother for me.

To get out of the house and assert more independence, I got a work permit at the age of 13 and took a job as a custodian at the local temple. I was promoted to help the caterers with the bar/bat mitzvahs. My first exposure to multiple Jewish mothers was during these Saturday events.

In Eastern Europe and in the immigrant centers of America, the Jewish mother is celebrated by her children in song and story. My observations confirmed this. The Jewish mothers at the mitzvahs were interested and involved with there children – a far cry from the neurotic stereotype comedians portray.

A lifetime of my mother’s disinterested domination was confirmed this spring. I was having dinner with a friend when she called. I answered the phone expecting a report on my dying grandmother.

“I received those newspaper clips. I didn’t know you could write,” my mother said.

“Mom, I’ve been writing my whole life. Where have you been,” I replied.

This specific event made me realize my mother has spent 38 years telling me what I should do instead of paying attention and encouraging what I am doing.

Amy Borkowsky has a Jewish mother that leaves her endearing phone messages with helpful advice such as not to use lambskin condoms or to go to the bathroom at home before standing in line at the DMV. Now, that’s a cute Jewish mother.

My mother has left me some classic advice-dispensing voice mail messages. This year I finally saved and digitally transferred some of them. I’ve played the raw files for my Jewish friends who asked me if she was institutionalized or medicated yet.

“What do you mean, telling your child you are going to pursue them and disown them isn’t love?” I joked with a Brooklyn Jew.

I’ve stopped talking to my unsupportive mother. However, she is getting the proverbial last word all over the nation. I’ve handed her files over to a friend at Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus. My mother’s voice, This is your mother calling, is being used in each town to test the PA systems for the circus.

Now she can scare future generations of small children while I sip matzo ball soup with my friends’ Jewish mothers.


  • About Marna

    Marna’s writing career started as a Pentagon intern. Early exposure to $500 toilet seat press releases made her appreciate creative nonfiction. Now she has more than 25 years of senior-level marketing and communications success working with Fortune 100 companies, government, nonprofits, small businesses, startups, and agencies.

    Stats: 377 Posts, 132 Comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Tag cloud

  • Old Posts

↑ Top