Our small apartment was crowded with friends, food and noise - and I would be lurking on the periphery with my tape recorder, trying to capture every moment. It was a particularly raucous celebration on the nights my mom would bring out her plastic flute, and a holiday sing-a-long would commence.
My mom has a terrific sense of humor. She had several posters and whatnot hanging around the house. My personal favorite was a worn photocopy of a phrase written in beautiful calligraphy, which read: Fuck Housework.
She also had a framed advertisement, showing the former actor (but not-yet president) Ronald Reagan. He was pictured smoking and endorsing Chesterfield cigarettes. There was a quote, saying “ABC – Always Buy Chesterfields.”
However, it was the needlepoint over the couch that got the most response from visitors. It read, ‘If Jesus died for our sins, let’s not disappoint him by not committing any.‘ Even though it had been repeatedly explained to me, I never really understood the humor. We weren't religious, but I understood enough to know that it might be offensive to people that were.
One of my mom’s friends was the pastor at a church. When my mom knew he was coming over, she’d take it off the wall and slide it behind the couch. One time he came by and she’d forgotten to take the needlepoint down. There was a tense moment when we all realized it was still hanging on the wall, but he just laughed. It was a huge relief.