Katie McDowell, Life & Leisure

When your week away turns into ‘Freaky Friday’

Katie McDowell

As a woman, I always knew turning into my mother was inevitable.

What I didn’t realize was that within 48 hours of occupying their house, Chad and I would
co-morph into my parents as a whole.

We had gone to Lewisburg so he could attend a falconry lesson at the Greenbrier and we could both get some time away in the process. My parents were heading to their vacation spot,
so we had the place to ourselves.

The transformation began almost immediately.

“I’m chilly,” I said on our first full day there, turning on the gas fireplace and warming my hands by the instant flames. It was 78 degrees outside.

By that evening, I was wearing Isotoners.

“Are these your slippers?” Chad asked, holding up one of the little black satin pseudo-ballet slippers I’d pulled from a basket in my mom’s closet.

“My feet are freezing,” I told him. “Now, can you please turn up the TV? It’s too low. And put the closed captions on.”

“Which remote do I use?” he answered, a device in each hand, reading glasses perched on his nose. “I can’t figure these out. It’s so confusing.”

“Turn on the light,” I told him. “I don’t know how you can see anything.”

“I got it,” he said, pushing several buttons. The streaming apps popped up. “Wait, I think it’s this other one.”

“You don’t know what you’re doing,” I replied, reaching. “Here, hand it over.”

He pretended not to hear me.

It was as though they had jumped into our bodies, like those spirits did to Whoopi Goldberg in “Ghost.”

To be fair — turning into Jerry and Judy had plenty of positives, too.

I made Chad eggs in the morning. He did the dishes. Thus maintaining the Longs’ well-established and rather handy division of labor.

We waved to neighbors. Struck up friendly conversations with local shop owners.

I fell asleep on the porch a few times. Chad watched the birds.

Best of all, we took turns eating from the seemingly bottomless bowl of caramel M&Ms that is a staple in their kitchen.

But of course, routines eventually returned to normal — and Chad and I to Morgantown, and

For now, anyway.

In a few days, we leave to spend a week at my parents’ North Carolina condo.

So the two of us could be donning thermal socks and sweater vests and watching “Judge Judy” in no time.

Provided, of course, we can figure out the remote.

Katie Long McDowell is the managing editor and lifestyles columnist for The Dominion Post who owes everything to her “Gunsmoke”-loving, warm-sock-wearing parents. Email her at kmcdowell@dominionpost.com.