I love mothers. Who doesn’t? I even love my own mother–which is way too much like marginal Marvel superhero Iceman saying he loves convection ovens.
My poor mom. What a psycho she was.
It was about a year ago today that I found out that my mom had died of breast cancer five years before.
Yes, that’s how close were were. For a year-and-a-half she knew she was dying (her cancer spread to her lungs)–and still she didn’t call me.
The last time I saw my mom, I was … gosh, twenty years old. So that was in … um … a year that math would reveal to me if I could stand doing math.
My mom was intense, complex, ridiculously intelligent, and highly musical. She was also very pretty: when I was ten, Playboy magazine’s director of photography saw her walking on a college campus, and on the spot offered her a check if she’d agree to be a Playboy centerfold. Unbeknownst to my mom (and thanks to my dad’s unbelievable lameness at hiding stuff), I was a regular major ogler of Playboy. So she definitely saved me a mini-massive coronary by declining the photographer’s offer.
Can you imagine? I’d probably still have a twitch in one of my eyes. And night terrors.
Anyway, I just heard a guy in the Peet’s coffee shop I’m in say that Mother’s Day is this weekend. Which would explain all the Mother’s Day balloons I saw in the grocery store this morning.
So I wanted to say this: If you had a good mother, then … well, then you’ve surely had other burdens to bear, because this is God’s world, and nobody rides for free. Still, good mothers are a real blessing. I guess. I dunno. Seems likely.
What I know for sure is that Mother’s Day can be ever so slightly emotionally difficult for those whose moms have (or had) less in common with June Cleaver than, say, Freddy Kruger. If you, gentle reader, happen to yourself be such a person, allow me, if you will, to proffer this dinky bit of advice: milk, for all they are worth, every story you have about what a terrible mom you had. People love to hear stories about other people’s awful moms. Use yours! They’re not doing you any good just stuck there in your past, are they? That’s because they need to get out in the world, where they can make other people feel sorry for you and want to buy you things.
Having a terrible mother is like being one of the Grimm brothers. Your mind is constantly filled with all kinds of twisted, dark morbidities—but what stories you have! Just look at Mother Goose! Talk about scary. Here’s one of her jolly little ditties:
ROBIN AND RICHARD
Robin and Richard were two pretty men,
They lay in bed till the clock struck ten;
Then up starts Robin and looks at the sky,
“Oh, brother Richard, the sun’s very high!
You go before, with the bottle and bag,
And I will come after on little Jack Nag.”
Actually, that’s not scary at all. It seems to be about two tardy gay winos—whose primary form of transportation is a little person.
Wrong, certainly. Medieval midgets had it tough enough, without having to be ridden places. But mostly this poem is just confusing.
Anyway, we’ve wandered off topic. The point is that bad mothers make for good stories. Now, don’t feel bad if, in the Bad Mom department, you didn’t hit the mother
load lode, like I did. I had a terrible birth mother—and then had a stepmother so mean and crazy that … well, for one, she used to lock almost all the food in the house in a trunk she kept under her bed.
See? During those days, I thought I was either going to have to kill my stepmother, or kill myself. But somebody was gonna die. That much was obvious.
And whaddaya know? Turns out it wasn’t me!
We all go eventually, of course.
But you knew that.
So what were we talking about again?
Oh, right. Sorry.
Happy Mother’s Day!
Man, even I know how lame that was.
That’s it. I’m buying one of those balloons.