Whitney Dineen discusses the unusual traits of mothers.
I have often thought that my mother came from another planet. On the surface she is an upstanding, law-abiding and moral woman, and while she is all of those things, she is also one odd duck.
For instance, Libby has a fetish for recipes, not just cookbooks but recipes that she has clipped out of The Ladies Home Journal circa 1958. This love of food sorcery has no rhyme or reason. Ninety-nine percent of the recipes will never be made. Yet the physical formula holds as much value to her as gold bullion. She stores bank boxes full of them.
My mother also counts every car that she passes coming or going to my brother’s house for Sunday dinner. You have only to catch her eye and ask, “How many?” and she will answer, not unlike Rain Man, one car and two pickups, six cars or two mini-vans and an SUV.
She is also the only person on the planet that knows how to properly load a dishwasher. Her rules change according to her mood or whether or not Mercury is in retrograde so even if she teaches you one day, you are guaranteed to be doing it wrong the next.
In her past, my mom was a newspaper woman, teacher and gourmet cook. She was a fashion plate, owner of a haunted house and organic gardener. She was a realtor, housewife and knitter. She is a complex and unique woman.
The topic of how weird mothers are (and believe me, you don’t know the half of it) makes me wonder how my little girls will see me in the future. I am not a recipe hoarder, car counter or dishwasher fiend. What am I then? This is where I get a bit nervous.
I am a writer of romantic comedies. Someday, my daughters are going to read my books and I guarantee you, they will see me in a new light. They are sure to be horrified and scandalized, embarrassed and dare I hope, a bit proud.
I possess about one thousand eight hundred and ninety-two large photos (and/or posters) of myself, so my children will undoubtedly thing I’m a bit egotistical. Although in my defense, I was a plus-size model for 20 years and all of these images are a direct result of my previous employment.
I am extremely sensitivity to sound, a little something called misophonia. So they might have a memory of me nicely asking a stranger to cease whistling in line in the grocery store. They might, in fact, have a memory of me beating a stranger over the head with a ham if they didn’t stop whistling in line in the grocery store. But so far that has just been an impulse I haven’t acting on.
It’s a hard task to be a mother, a guiding light and teacher of all things and a person in your own right. Where and when do your children learn that that your unusual qualities are just a part of you, like being their mother is just a part of you?
As a grown woman, I have discovered that my mother, while weirder than I can ever convey with mere words, is in fact an extraordinary human being. She is strong, determined, loving, quirky, disorganized, controlling and loyal. She is not unlike a recipe. She is a bunch of simple ingredients that when put together create a complex and flavorful dish that would be a bonus to any gathering. I can only hope that my daughters will be able to say the same thing about me one day.
Thirty-four-year-old Mimi Finnegan is the third of four daughters and in her eyes, by far, the most unremarkable. She has no singular accomplishment that can stand up to any of her sisters. And if that isn’t enough, she is the only single sibling in her family. Mimi’s sisters decide that it’s time she gets serious about husband hunting, so they begin a campaign to find Mr. Right for her. Considering her most recent dating encounters include a night club owner who stuffs bratwurst in his pants and a WASPy trust fund baby, living happily under his mother’s thumb, Mimi is more than ready to meet THE ONE. Enter celebrated British novelist Elliot Fielding.
Sexual tension and anger heat up between the duo and it isn’t until Mimi discovers that Elliot is almost engaged to another that she realizes she is head-over-heels in love with him. The journey will make you laugh, cry and want to pull your hair out from frustration! Mimi eventually learns that she is quite remarkable in her own right and never needed to worry that she lived in her sister’s shadows.
While attending the University of Illinois in Chicago, Whitney Dineen began an unexpected career as a plus-size Ford model. She modelled in New York City before moving to Los Angeles with her husband. When she wasn’t modelling, she was in the kitchen, baking delights to share with friends. Soon, her friends began asking her to send baskets of her wonderful candies and cookies to business associates, agents and production studios. Word spread like wildfire, and the rest, as they say, is history. Whitney’s sensational creations are still in great demand by her loyal celebrity clientele (WhitneysGoodies.com). During “The Hollywood Years,” Whitney was bitten by the writing bug and started creating characters that are inspired by strong women with a great sense of humor. In addition to her love of chick-lit, Whitney has also written a series of adventure books for middle readers The first of which, Wilhelmina and the Willamette Wig Factory, is nearing completion. Whitney and her husband, Jimmy, have recently relocated to the beautiful Pacific Northwest to raise their children, chickens and organic vegetables.