"Your Mom is So Berkeley" started out as a joke at work. We thought it was funny so I wrote a note for some friends on facebook. They thought it was funny so I made a facebook group. The "Your Mom is so Berkeley" facebook group now has over 2,500 members so I've decided to bring it out to a wider audience. I hope you like it.

Contact us: yourmomissoberkeley@gmail.com
Follow us on Twitter: @yourmomissoberk

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Story Time

Tie dyed sheets.  Courtesy of Erin Duran

Hi All,

I know it's been a little while since our last post but things have been chaotic here at YMISB world headquarters.  Sick babies coupled with GRE study have conspired to keep us off teh interwebs.  So to make up for it here's an extra action packed post.

Every so often we get posts that aren’t really jokes and can’t be fit into the standard “Your mom is so…” format.  While this flies in the face of YMISB’s founding principles a lot of these stories are too good to discard.  They show the passion people have for Berkeley and for their moms.  You’ll notice, when we find one that fits, we often include these stories in the posts here as a lead in to the standard joke posts.  Today we present a whole post dedicated to people’s stories and introduce some of the categories they seem to fall in to.

Not Berkeley:

Susan Raymond: Well, my mom is not officially "Berkeley", but she did take me to see the original Los Angeles cast of "Hair" at the Aquarius Theater way the heck back when. She also met John and Yoko, and subsequently cut her hair super short, just like J & Y were stylin'. Mother is, however, a princess at heart, so the closest she... would get to Berkeley now is a nice stay in a luxury suite at the Claremont - oh, and dinner at the Chez Panisse. Upstairs or down.

I was so clueless:

Anna Moyles: So many of these rang true for me. I was also the college freshman who had to be taught how to use the dryer, the microwave, and the cable box. I went to Dairy Queen for the first time and asked where the frozen yogurt was.

SO Berkeley:

Kim: My mom (love her!) doesn’t wear jewelry, makeup, a bra. She doesn’t watch TV. She is skeptical and slightly paranoid, she only shops at thrift stores, she cuts her own hair. My mom is awesome :)

Molly Moore Mccoy: My Mom is so Berkeley that...We hitchhiked to Altamont to see the Rolling Stones in concert,when I was 5. I hitch hiked to Bolinas by myself to see friends when I was 13.

Adi Benveniste: My mom is so Berkeley that she met her best friend (Elly Matsumura 's mom) in 1978 in the women's locker room at the Berkeley YMCA because they had matching Birkenstocks and accidentally went home in the other's pair of sandals and then had to meet to switch back.

Wandering Rants:

Wendy Rothenberg: My mom is so Berkeley, I can't tell what's Berkeley since it all seems so normal - memorization of co-op# 47289; first bra was a hand-me-down; bat mitzvah in our living room; ethnically diverse group around our Passover table; an annual New Year's 1-4a.m. alcohol-free pancake party for 200+. Seems normal and oh so wonderful to me.

Miwa Soto: My mom is so Berkeley that I was born at home on homemade tie-dyed sheets, I didn't have anything other than a birth name until I was 6 months (so she could get to know me), I took the public bus in first grade from Walden to the YMCA for swimming--by myself, she made and sold homemade bread out of our home, married my dad who was wearing overalls and had long hair and a full beard at the ceremony and then had the reception at her ex-husband's house, she *still* doesn't wear underwear or a bra (let alone make-up), we had a vegetable garden, chickens and bees, we didn't have a TV until 7th grade and I didn't eat fast food until I was in high school. Need I go on? My mom is so Berkeley; she is the best mom on Earth! There are so many more, but those are what I can remember right now. Oh, and I dressed myself out of the "freebox" down the block. We took the red wagon up to the Co-op to get old lettuce to feed the chickens--we lived walking distance away.

Misti Walty: Oh the memories, this group is fantastic! I totally remember the coop peanut butter, the carob chip cookies, sesame honey sticks were a 'treat'. I added jam to plain yogurt in desperation! I always went to my best friends house, because she had Barbies, and her parents gave her Happy Meals, or bologna & cheese sandwiches on white bread as an after school snack. I don't think I ate grapes until well into my teen years. I loved the Pickle Family Circus in Glen Park. And 'mom' was a title not a name, so I've always used her first name. Long before Burning Man became fashionable, we went to the Black Hills Survival Gathering, and everyone danced naked. I’ve been at demonstrations since I was an infant in a backpack. My mom is so Berkeley, and so is my other mother - that we still celebrate Christmas together even though they separated 17 years ago.  Oh and my sister's mom totally did that thing of 'correcting' pronouns in Dr. Seuss books!


Name Withheld: My mom is so Berkeley she still doesn't own any cloths that aren't brightly colored and don't come from desperate and underpaid starving people in third world countries. This however makes for great garage sales that I have when she doesn't want them anymore. I figure I deserve it, since being dropped of to school by a Jewish lady in a dashiki is fairly traumatizing.

Eds Note: See I don’t get it.  Your mom shops at Wal Mart and then you sell her clothes when she tires of them but it’s OK because she wore a dashiki?  Huh?

“Foreign” Berkeley Moms:

Nicole Moore: My mom was so Berkeley that she started the first city-wide recycling program in our town. My mom was so Berkeley that she read me Seth Speaks and my classmates at school told me I was going to hell. My mom was so Berkeley that instead of celebrating the bicentennial, we went to fight for passage of the ERA. Too bad I grew up in the bible belt and not Berkeley


  1. I think "Confusing" meant that her mom's clothes were actually directly from the people in third world countries, ie shopping at Global Exchange to support native artisans. Hence the bright colors.

  2. Oh. Thanks for clearing that up.