Laura Greenberg (LG) and Rebecca Greenberg (RG)
LG: My father would be in his boxer shorts in front of the stereo with a baton. He loved classical music, and he would play it really loud and he would conduct the orchestra. And he’s a little fat bald man. And he’d get behind the wheel of a car and he would become like a Napoleon, he became nuts. He gave everybody the finger. He never used the brakes. And I remember being so frightened, I’d sit in the back on the floor, crying. Because I said, ”We’re gonna die.”
LG: The problem growing up in my home was that I didn’t know what was normal. We’re yelling and we’re pinching and we’re hugging and we’re cursing and… we peed with the door open. I mean, I didn’t know this was not normal behavior. I didn’t know people had secrets, you didn’t tell your mother everything.
RG: When did you learn?
LG: Well, it’s still hard.
RG: [LAUGHS] Who were your old boyfriends, how many did you have before dad?
LG: I didn’t have a lot of boyfriends. I had the neighbor boy. My mother loved him. But he wore his pants really high. And he had an underbite — ew, god. But no one wanted to have sex with me, really, until I met your father. He was cute, but very very quiet and I scared the crap out of him. The first time he kissed me he had a nosebleed all over his face he was so nervous. It was terrible, it was, I don’t know. Still married thirty five years later. Unbelievable.
LG: After college, daddy wanted to go and see the world. And my mother was just a wreck. I mean, she put a compress on her head, and she just went to bed for 6 months until I came home. She would write me at American Express offices where we would pick up our mail. And every one says, ”Call home immediately. Mother.”
So I thought my father died every two weeks. I thought something terrible happened, but she just wanted to hear my voice.
RG: Has your life been different than what you imagined?
LG: Yeah, a little bit. I married a Jewish lawyer and he makes no money. So, I thought I’d found success. And, you know, he’s an indigent defense criminal lawyer and um he saves lives. But, we made two great kids. And when I knew I was having a daughter, I called my mother, and she said, ”Every mother should have a daughter.” And she died before you were born.
RG: But I have her name.
LG: You have her name. You were named after her. And, um, she would have been very happy.