Magazine article The New Yorker

Mother Lode

Magazine article The New Yorker

Mother Lode

Article excerpt

Hey, Mom,

What's going on? You know how my friends and I always get a kick out of the e-mails and texts that our moms send us? Like, after the big Hillary debate, when you wrote, "2 quote Bill, she's a scumbag!" or the time Mrs. Williams thought that "Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo" was a foreign film? Last year, Jessica Grose, who works at Slate, forwarded an e-mail from her mom to her friend Doree Shafrir, a reporter at the Observer. It was about Ed Koch, whom Jessica's mom had apparently seen one time on a plane. I think the e-mail even included the phrase "New York's eunuch mayor"! Anyway, Doree loved it, so she sent Jessica an e-mail that her mom had written about how they had said on the red carpet before the Oscars that Keri Russell's baby was crying when she left the house. Jessica and Doree decided to start a Web site, Postcards from Yo Momma, where people could send in notes, from mothers to their "moon unit" or their "little blueberries," that were really endearing ("I can't talk; I'm watching the Diana documentary on that Tender Loving Care Channel"), or really bizarre ("Dad uncovered a gerbil skull in the garden. Does anyone want it?"), or just cracked them up ("At Kaufmann's seder we decided that Adir Hu . . . could be a drinking song!"). They've got a book out this month. It's called "Love, Mom: Poignant, Goofy, Brilliant Messages from Home," and it's a repository of mother wit on all the important topics: guys, relatives, Barbara Kingsolver, "American Idol," taco salads. Check out the I.M. conversation one girl sent in:

ME: hey, here's the dress I was telling you about!

MOM: hi Sweetheart, wow! kind of "whochimama" look! I looked on the website but couldn't find it to buy it online. Can you tell me how to get to it?

ME: oh mom, you're funny. do you know that hoochie mama means great big slut?

MOM: OH, MY GOD!!! no, I thought it meant hot and sexy!

So, O.K., it's not so bad when you call Victoria's Secret "Victoria's Secrets."

Anyway, Jessica's mom, Judith Ebenstein, took the train in from Westchester the other day, and Doree's mom, Roberta Steinberg, came down from Boston, and they all went to lunch at Fred's at Barneys. …

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