Alex Witchel profiled Mimi Sheraton in Undisguised Pleasures of a Former Critic. Turns out that Sheraton’s mom, Beatrice Solomon, was a comic or should have been one. Here are two hilarious zingers she hurled at her daughter:
“When Mimi Sheraton was growing up in Flatbush, Brooklyn, back when she was still Miriam Solomon, she had great plans. She wasn’t sure what they were, but she confided to her mother: “One day, Mom, I’m going to have a very big job. But I don’t know what.” Her mother considered. “Maybe you’ll wash an elephant,” she replied.”
“Had Beatrice Solomon been warm and supportive, her daughter might have ended up as the housewife married to “the nice doctor from Scarsdale” whom Ms. Sheraton said her mother always dreamed of. But in the grand tradition of unappeasable parents who created the generations of overachieving children who have made this country great, Mrs. Solomon never wavered. When her married daughter had her apartment painted white, she scolded, “For the same money, you could have had a color!””
I can’t say whether being her daughter would’ve been a “regular laugh riot” or a wincing string of zingers designed to cut you down a peg or two. Maybe a little of both. Those of us who have such Jewish mothers know about the double edged sword.