Innergiggler's Blog


Posted on: August 24, 2010

My first recollection of animals becoming human was in the 1990s…okay so I don’t evolve easily.  But I would have put a knife to your jugular before letting  you lay a hand on our collie…Lady…who was more human than many swell folks I’ve encountered…and sort of…Mom’s soul mate. 

We also harbored …fed and cleaned cages for three successive parakeets… Chipper…Chipper 2…then Chipper 3 who only lasted a short time…I’ll discuss the baby alligator another time.

So why the hell am I telling you this crap about animals…okay I’m setting up a disclaimer for my Mom …building a case for “Don’t judge me because I inadvertently mutilated animals…”

Living comfortably on Long Island in the 60s…70s…frankly anytime…often necessitated  certain symbols of status…Mom…had grown up on Manhattan’s Lower East Side…an immigrant’s haven…was the sixth of eight children and the first born in the U.S…making her very conscious of how others viewed her.  Come on…you took Sociology 101…many of her girlfriends were already sporting fur coats and Mom wanted one too! 

But good old Dad said “NO!”  He couldn’t get down with the idea of spending thousands of dollars on a coat.  “You’re cold?  Wear two coats at $20 each!”  Dad was a pragmatist and also cheap.  Knowing Mom…she did everything she could…and I don’t want to go there…but nothing worked. 

One night Dad, li’l brother Mitch and I were sitting around the kitchen table waiting for Mom to serve the usual steak…baked potato…canned string beans …when we heard her humming…then watched her strutting down the seven obligatory split level steps…singing her own rendition of a Patti Page standard…“How Much Is That Minky In The Window”…The one with the smooth dark brown furrrrrr…?” She wore an old coat cut up…with seven or eight patches of varied materials sewn all over…making her look tattered and wan…still don’t know what that means…which led to a huge Lichtman family belly laugh!  Dad chuckled the loudest but quickly sat down so Mom could serve him dinner…his humor could only go so far…don’t mess with his growling stomach…

Two weeks later on a Friday evening about 10:30…Mitch and I heard the automatic garage door opening…we were in the den watching TV so we hauled ass and did a quick clean up of a pizza box…dirty napkins…ice cream wrappers…empty soda cans…but were then interrupted…when…

Mom sashayed into the house wearing a smile longer than the Seine… and around her shoulders was a brand new dark brownish/black ankle length fur coat…her glow accompanied the announcement that she’d designed the coat two weeks before. 

Mom told us it was made with female mink pelts which were superior to male pelts…some things never change… and here’s the statement of contrition…none of us knew at that time…approximately 60 female minks were needed…and Mom was slim… to keep our mother warm and fashionable through many winters to come.  She loved her coat…but loved something else more…golf…and you don’t need a mink coat to play golf

So…in 1976…they moved to Hollywood, Florida…I inherited the coat which I sported winters while riding my blue bicycle throughout Manhattan.  Again…before animals were human…I am apologizing to PETA and Sue Nadell* for the whole Lichtman family.

*Devout PETA member and loving friend…

**Excerpt from “How I Buried My Mom While Attached To Her Umbilical Cord”


Okay Linda here is my mink coat story. My mother had a mink coat which was two toned and gorgeous. I have worn it as I think of it as old, vintage and recycled. I used to go to NYC with girlfriends for years and wore this coat lovingly. One year I wore it inside out so that people wouldn’t throw paint on it. I once borrowed it to wear in August to Los Angeles Airport on a hot August day with nothing but heels. You heard me. I was there to fulfill a fantasy of the man I was dating. He was coming back from England and I was surprising him. I changed in the bathroom before the flight landed and I knew everyone at LAX was looking at me and knew exactly what I was doing. Plus I was dripping wet as it was hotter than hell. My Mom was furious I used her beloved Mink Coat for this reason. I would still wear it today if I ever had an affair to go to or for someone else’s fantasy or my own. I might add that inside it is monogrammed with the following inscription “Jack Stein’s Wife” is that 50’s enough? My Mom figured if she ever got divorced my dad could use it for wife number 2 which never happened. That’s my story and I am sticking to it.

How funny Madge…yeah…I’ve got a newer one in my Santa Monica closet…wore it once on Halloween to a friend’s house…do you put it in storage?

It is in a special closet at my Moms which is cedar lined. I will look at it the next time I am there. Also, I think I mentioned we had a collie growing up named Lady as well. Of the same generation and it shows. 🙂

Great story! I love your SOH. Being one of those that speaks for we non-homo-sapiens, are you sure we are getting more like you or vice versa? After all, aren’t mink coats, fur envy?

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