my folks on cleveland magazine

Hello Michael Symon, if you’re reading this, my mom would like to have you over for dinner. “Oh that Michael Symon, he’s just so nice and very funny,” she explains. “I should have him over.”

When I asked her how she knows this, she looked at me and said, “By his picture of course (pointing to this month’s Cleveland Magazine). Look at him and that smile. Every picture he always has that giant grin. You can just tell.”

With Jamie in Chicago for work, I politely invited myself over my parents for dinner tonight. My mom was making turkey burgers with sweet potato fries. She’s an amazing cook whatever she is whipping up and rarely uses recipes. This has always impressed me.

Since they don’t get Cleveland Magazine, I brought over my copy so they could see the recent articles. Now, most people don’t understand what I do for a living, especially my family – parents and siblings. It’s OK, I’m used to it. My mom tells people I’m in personal relations. I used to tell her that makes me sound like a hooker (it’s actually public relations) and then would try to explain my career choice. I’ve since given up because they aren’t alone – most people don’t know what PR is. And all my dad knows is that we can bring dogs to work and have scooters. As an engineer, this totally baffles him.

So when the Cleveland Magazine gig came up, I was excited because this is much easier to understand. While they do, their take on the issue tonight was priceless and my amusement led my mom to instruct me “not to put this on the computer.”

First, they couldn’t understand why I wasn’t in the picture with all the chefs. Then, why my name wasn’t under each mini interview. And my name was hard to see altogether and that a better idea would be to put Bill and Esther’s daughter in parenthesis. And why doesn’t it say Cleveland Foodie? But the fact that my name was coupled with John Long was really exciting for her. She knows him from his days on Lanigan and Malone. And if you are on Lanigan and Malone, you are golden to my mom.

But the best part was when she was reading the Sawyer brief and brought up Charlie Palmer. I know him, she said. Then she started a separate conversation with my dad about the gift certificate they have to his place and have to make it out to Concord to use it. And my dad started talking about their steaks. I told her the article says Charlie and not John and she said well it’s obviously a typo by the magazine and I should let them know so they can fix it. And while I’m at it, I should tell them about including parent’s names in future stories.

I love my parents.


  1. danzirelli
    Posted May 2, 2008 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Such a cute story! your parents sound really great and just having had dinner with my own last night, i can relate to your final sentiment.

    by the way, that cleveland magazine thing is fantastic!

  2. Narm
    Posted May 2, 2008 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    I was cracking up at this story. I love knowing that mine aren’t the only parents that act like this.

  3. Allison M.
    Posted May 2, 2008 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    I’m laughing at the last part. That’s the best.

    My dad is also baffled by the dogs and says I don’t know what “work” really is.

    If only your mom commented on the blog. Now that would be great!

  4. michelle v
    Posted May 2, 2008 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Allison – that will never happen. They don’t own a computer and want nothing to do with them, and we have tried (although, they finally got a digital camera and LOVE it). I did get an e-mail from my dad at work once, and he typed the entire message in the subject line! He no longer e-mails.