for good luck

Mom is a compulsive shopper, and will buy anything if it’s a great deal. This was very handy when I lived in the city – I didn’t buy toilet paper, toothpaste or dish soap until I was in my mid-20s, because I would simply go home and raid the mighty stores of mom and dad. She doesn’t have as much room these days to store a warehouse worth of paper goods – god help us if she ever gets a Costco membership – but she is likely set for tissue paper and potato chips for life.

It’s not just household goods, either. She was very excited to show me the 3 or 4 shirts she was wearing to keep warm – “only $6!” – and the many, many hoodies and weird-coloured capri pants bought for 95% off because very few people can pull off teal and peach without looking like a festive Easter leper.

Every time I come home, I have to make room in my vehicle because mom likes to give me things that she finds on sale. I’ve recieved untold numbers of no-name bath sets (and the male equivilent for Ed, random shaving kits); enough to perfume most of Hastings St. This trip is no different – so far, she’s given us:

a frying pan (it’s very deep)
a knife (we each had to give her a quarter in exchange for the knife, for good luck)
a rather nice fuzzy couch blanket thing
a bed-in-a-bag set (for a bed size we don’t have, but I will find a use for it)

I don’t have the heart to tell her we don’t need this stuff, because she collects it in between visits and she does mean well. I’m glad I’m not on my scooter this time, though – she gave me a frying pan LAST time too, and it looked very weird coming out the side of my saddle bag.

It just wouldn’t be a trip home if I didn’t come back with a carfull of weird stuff.

6 thoughts on “for good luck

  1. Gah! My parents do the same thing. Every time I visit them, they try to pawn off random household objects and items. I have to remind them of two things:
    1) I don’t have a car and I’m walking on the ferry, and
    2) I am not the family garbage dump.
    Seeing as I don’t have kitchen chairs, my Mom has offered up some chairs in their basement. It’s great. Really, but I’m not quite sure how I’m going to get them home when I visit. If you see a short, round girl on the ferry with two chairs strapped to her back, that’s me.

  2. My mom (and grandma, and great-grandma before her) have always adhered to the money-for-knife thing too. The superstition is that you can never *give* a knife or you’ll “sever the relationship” so it has to be a sale. So my mom always gave me knives with pennies taped to them that I would then ceremoniously give back to her.

    I’m so glad someone else does this because when I’ve described it to people, they think we’re nuts! (We probably are. Heh.)

  3. With my parents it’s furniture. Yes, I do have a house and therefore I theoretically have room for furniture. However, that does not mean I need a 4th dresser, thanks for asking. Again.

  4. My in-laws come and visit a couple of times a year, and it’s great. We get along really well, she bakes lots of pies, etc.

    But every time, we end up going grocery shopping (ingredients for perogies, pies, etc) and one of them will insist on paying. I think it’s left over angst from my wife’s college days when she was broke. But really, we’re both gainfully employed, have a mortgage, lead normal adult lives for the most part but still this one event happens to make me wonder if they still think we’re 20. I don’t complain, of course – any time someone wants to come and buy ingredients for pies and perogies and then make them for me to eat is okay with me.

  5. On my last visit to my mom’s (last week), she tried to give me the couch in her living room, ’cause she wants to get a new one. Now, mom lives in another town and I was in a minivan with non-fold-down seats and, besides, I cannot count how many times I’ve told her how uncomfortable and, um, not my style that couch is, but still she asked. And I’m so grown up now, I’m a new grandmother (which is weird, but still), so I already have a couch and, well, you know.

    As for the thing about paying for a new knife, I just read about that ritual/superstition this week in “Echo in the Bone,” the newest Outlander book. Serendipity!

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