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Two Mothers

URL: http://www.jewishjournal.com/celebrations_simchas/article/two_mothers_20010511

At first glance, it would be hard to imagine two women with less in common than my mother and my husband's mother. You can begin with the obvious differences in cultural and religious background: my mother grew up Jewish in the Bronx, while my mother-in-law, a Presbyterian, has lived in Virginia all her life. And while neither exactly bears out a stereotype, each carries somewhat predictable ethnic and regional markers. My mother, Lois, is voluble and huggy, a devotee of popular arts, an ace shopper. Lloyd (yes, Lloyd -- like many other Southern women, she was assigned a family surname as her given name) is much more reticent and reserved. To me, she seems very much the patrician Virginia gentlewoman, while my mother has a large measure of what one novelist once called the "yolky warmth" typical of many Jewish women.

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