Mom liked you best …

Did you ever think like Tommy Smothers that your parents had a favorite and it wasn’t you? Smothers-Brothers-Mom-Always-Liked-You-Best-1965

Album cover found on many Google sites

In this bleep, I poke a bit of fun at Gail’s family, in particular her mother. Unknown Chapter … Parents lie to their children because they know they are not supposed to admit they have favorites. My mother never bothered to lie, and she never tried to hide the look on her face when my sister walked into a room. She was fond of saying, “You take after your father’s side of the family, Gail.” I mean, I love my dad, but he has the face of an old hound dog. Exactly eleven months after I am born, Elaine joins the family. According to family lore, she never cried, never complained and never needed to be toilet trained. She crawled at four months, walked at ten months and climbed onto the potty at eighteen months. She sat like a cherub, all blonde curls that never got frizzy. She cooed, smiled, and delighted perfect strangers. Me? I was not so delightful. I had colic for the first six months, was so fat I couldn’t turn over to crawl and at eighteen months while my baby sister was reciting the Preamble to the Constitution, I finally began walking. Because her birthday would have made her a “late” first grader, my mother promptly enrolled her in a private school. The same year I entered regular kindergarten, Elaine was in an advance study group for gifted toddlers. The following September, we started first grade together. Until sixth grade, my mother dressed us like twins. People smiled. “Fraternal twins?” Teachers shook their heads. “Does Gail talk at home?” It was hard to get a word in while Elaine was reciting the preamble, the encyclopedia, and skyrocketing to the number one class, while I sat and pondered over Dick and Jane and their rotten dog Spot. It wasn’t Elaine’s fault that she was prettier and smarter. It wasn’t even her fault that when she was in the room I was reduced to wallpaper. By sixth grade the matching clothes vanished, Elaine was “skipped” and while I finished eighth grade, she dazzled the pants off the teachers at her high school for the eternally brilliant. She dated the elite of Manhattan and had three boys fighting for her attention for the Junior and Senior Proms. My friends all had coke-bottle glasses and braces. We boycotted our prom, due to the fact no one wanted to be seen in public with us. Elaine graduated from high school and entered Vassar at sixteen. I stayed behind to continue in my regular high school, attended City College, and commuted every day. While Elaine was joining sororities and going to Harvard-Yale football games, I was on the A express subway headed for my father’s hardware store on Broadway and 180th Street. When we were still dressing in the same clothes, my mother would take us walking down Broadway. We’d stop and get an ice-cream cone and sit with our legs closed and napkins tucked safely under our chins. Those walks are the only memories I have of me and my sister talking. We’d run ahead and look at all the store windows. “Look Gail, they have stuffed bras in this window.” On one such outing my mother gave in to our begging and allowed us to have a slice of pizza at Cimino’s Pizza and Subs. My mother nodded her approval. “How bad can it be? Mr. Cimino is on the Chamber of Commerce with your father.” Caesar Cimino, the Pizza King of Washington Heights, Riverdale, Fordham Road and Arthur Avenue, near Fordham University, was a tall, brash, dark Italian with a dark, happy young son, Anthony. It was wonderful to watch Mr. Cimino flip the pizza dough high into the air to the delight of the neighborhood children. I was overcome by the sweet aroma of bubbling cheese on top of plump red tomatoes. Pizza, I discovered, was better than noodle koogle. The Goldblum girls would never be caught dead eating on the street. We entered the basil scented palace, where our mother immediately ushered us to a table in the back, behind the ovens, to be certain none of the neighbors strolling along Broadway for their daily constitutional would see us. It was a rare treat, so we ate slower than usual to extend the thrill. I remember my face getting hot each time we went to Cimino’s and I saw the happy face of Anthony. He cocked his head and grinned. “Good afternoon young lady, how may I help you?” My mother pulled my arm. “Thank you, young man. We’ll sit in the back.” The third and last time she brought us, Elaine tapped my mother on the shoulder. “Mom, I think Gail has a crush on Mr. Cimino’s son.” “Don’t be ridiculous, Gail. He’s Italian.”


I introduce the shy beginning of what becomes an impossible romance. And being the silly romantic that I am, I see Gail as the poster girl for all hopeless romantics.

Are you also a hopeless romantic? Did you cry watching A Love Affair to Remember? Yeah, I bet you also listen to those silly love songs. Give me a high five if you are rooting for Gail. high five

Photo credit

Tell me true …

Did you ever think your parents had a favorite?

Was it you?

fOIS In The City



Filed under Ramblings

21 responses to “Mom liked you best …

  1. Got to love Gail. She will learn how to win.


  2. And can I identify. My youngest sister and still is to this day the darling. I’ve learned to roll my eyes. Yes, cried at An Affair to Remember. Cary Grant can make a girl swoon.


    • Vicki, I swoon at anything with Cary Grant. In my family, the big guy had my dad wrapped around, and the middle one had my mom. I used to complain that I should have been a boy. We lost my middle brother, but the big guy is my best friend 🙂


  3. annerallen

    Tommy Smothers was one of my favorite comics ever! Love the kitty photo.
    Yup. Gail and Anthony Cimino. It’s an item. And we know it’s probably doomed.


  4. christicorbett


    I’m rooting for Gail all the way, and even more rooting is going toward pushing you to put up more of this story. Such funny bits all rooted in the truth of parental bias. Comedy gold!


    PS. I want that cat.


    • Thanks for always cheering me on, Christi. I am having fun introducing more of the story than Gail’s blind dates. And her family is fodder for my sense of comic relief.

      Yeah, yeah, I want that cat also 🙂


  5. I too, love Gail!

    Yes, my mom had a favorite – and it wasn’t me. It was my older brother. But you know what? I’m now SO glad it wasn’t me! She spoiled him, sheltering him from life’s hard places…and it ruined him. He’s always thought that life should be easier than it is, so when the going got tough, he gave up.

    Thanks mom, for not liking me best!


    • OMG, Laura. I love that sense of wisdom you have. Yeah, and when the big guy and I were left to our druthers, he told me exactly what you said. “Don’t worry, kid. It made you who you are.”

      And thanks for liking my Gail 🙂


  6. Gail is priceless in so many ways. I’ll put forward that it’s hell on earth to be the one thought to be blessed. I was the only girl and the youngest. According to dad I could do no wrong and according to mom, I couldn’t do anything right. It’s not fair to the child to push them ahead grades and I’m delighted educators have finally seen the light and keep kids with their peer groups and give them advanced classes. I graduated high school so young I hadn’t a clue about life or how to live it.


  7. I definitely wasn’t the favorite, lol. Both of my girls think they’re my favorite, and I take that as a compliment to my parenting if they both feel I love them the most 🙂


    • That’s the way it should be, Jamie. You’re doing the right thing. I was not the fav in my family either. A running joke with my daughter when she was little was that she was my favorite daughter. Until she figured out she was my only daughter it puffed her tiny ego 🙂 We still get a laugh over it !!


  8. This is such a great story. I so enjoyed it and YES, I’m rooting for Gail. Keep this going. I look forward to her future.
    I remember when I was 10, my parents had their “second” family. There were three of us older girls and three younger ones. The first of the younger girls was most definitely my dad’s favorite. It was so bad he would blame the middle younger one for everything the first younger one did. It was sad.


  9. I’ll never know if I was the favorite because I was the only one. I used to day dream about being a Walton.


    • Shelley … That’s like the opposite of our Patti above. I used to tease my girlfriend who was also an only child. I told her it was too bad because if something broke she had no one to point a finger at 🙂


  10. HIGH FIVE for Gail! I LOVE her story nearly as much as your humor hits.

    There was a time when I thought I could win the heart of a popular boy if he would get over the mousy brown hair, big nose, and made-by-Glo clothes. That Studly dude would dump the Cheerleader if he got to know ME.


    As for favorites? Mom and Dad made us feel special as individuals to the extent that they could — given the once-a-year hit parade of baby girls for four years.

    If there was a favorite, it would have been baby sister, Sheri. Mom and Dad had time to breath between birthings after a 4+ year hiatus.

    Oddly, though, the little one we older ones considered The Golden Spoon baby grew up feeling left out — trying to sort through how to establish her own identity.


    She rarely had clean-the-dishes duty.


    • Gloria, from all the little stories you tell about you and your sisters, I bet you had one heck of a good time. Being the skinny kid, I was not always the “belle” of the ball … and I was also a Tom Boy. Bet you were too.

      Funny, how each child sees their parents and their childhood differently. What you thought was a spoiled kid might have been a kid craving attention. I can relate only because I was the baby of my family and the baby often gets overruled and ignored.

      Yeah, I am enjoying my Gail. I’ll see if I can squeeze out one more snippet of hers before I go on to torture another character 🙂


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