Saturday, May 11, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

As many of you can imagine, I put my mom through a whole lot of grief.  I wasn't the best kid out there. 

When I was about 5 years old, the film Mommy Dearest was popular.  There was a very popular scene shown in all the previews and trailers where Joan Crawford tells her daughter to call her "Mommy Dearest." 

So being way too smart for my age, I would call her that in public places, like the grocery store.  I'd make sure to do it when others were looking and I'd even have this little look on my face like I was afraid of getting a smack.  People would give her dirty looks and she'd just roll her eyes. 

My mom and I have always had a weird dynamic.  Catholicism shoved down my throat really didn't do our relationship any favors and in a way I'm still pissed about it.  And I was usually the one who jumped to get between her and Dad when he was drunk and abusive. 

But now that I'm much older there are still a few things I can't bring myself to do. 

I could never write something with a lurid sex scene and let my mom read it.  I have a hard enough time with the sex scenes.  It's so hard to write something that isn't dark and perverted because as soon as you get violent the editors freak.  And the way they avoid necrophilia!  It's just another love story, people! 

But no, I could never do that.  How could I possibly write about a vicious anal pounding without lube followed up by a Hot Carl and give it to my mother?   I don't even want to think about her knowing what a Dirty Sanchez is all about. 

I'm used to giving my mother periods of extreme weirdness.  Like the time in winter when I pee'd my name into the neighbor's yard in big, bold yellow letters.  And then the weather turned bitter cold and the pee stayed there for weeks.  Sure, the neighbor thought it was funny, but my mom was really embarrassed. 

As a horror writer, I can tell my mom something is squicky and nasty, and she'll just shake her head and not read it.  But if I write fiction that isn't dripping blood and guts, she'll want to.  What then?  If it's not comedy it'll be really uncomfortable.  I don't know why, it just is. 

My mom doesn't even know about this blog.

Sometimes I mention the tag line for some short story I wrote and she says, "nevermind" and changes the subject.  If I said I was writing a political satire or political thriller, she might be interested.  And if she was interested, she'd want to read it.  That means I can't have my Main Character giving facials to the teenaged daughter of his political rivals.  

Right now, as I re-read that last bit, I have my hands over my ears and I'm chanting, "la-la-la-la-la-la" as loud as I can. 

So this Mother's Day I bought my mom a card with Garfield on the front.  I was going to make her an ice cream cake and take it to her but she was too busy to see me.  She's usually very busy on Mother's Day and we simply cannot connect on that day. 

When I do see her, she is good at hiding her disappointment in me, and how I have really become a failure at so much in life.  She doesn't nag me about finding a girlfriend.  She doesn't even play guilt trips on me.  In truth, I get a shrug of the shoulders and a "meh".  I showed up at whatever function as an also-here type person.  That's about all she expects out of me and doesn't push me for more. 

Diminished expectations are comforting to the failures. 

So, to all the mothers out there, Happy Mothers Day.  Enjoy your macaroni art and cards.  Enjoy the poorly cooked breakfasts and crowded restaurants.  Take comfort in the fact that one day your kids will realize all you wanted was to be left alone so you could sleep in late and not have to chase somebody down or yell at them.  And by then, they'll have their own snot-nosed kids to deal with, and the circle will be complete. 

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