My mom hasn’t been feeling well lately. I am not going to be pessimistic as I don’t have enough information to be pessimistic or worry unnecessarily, but I started to think about some of the things I have learned from my mother, both the frivolous and the important things.
Lesson One: Speak loudly, and carry a stainless steel army-issued spoon:
My mom liked to threaten us with this huge stainless-steel spoon. I remember getting smacked, but not with the spoon. It was more for decorative threat or role play. Not the kinky kind of role play, but the role play of “I will kick your ass you little piece of you-know-what” if you misbehave, except my mom always inserted the curse words. Mom was always forthright with people who she felt were threatening to her children. I remember the countless times when my mom, in jeans and sweatshirt, took her tall, stick legs over to my neighbors’ homes to remind them that if they didn’t stop teasing me, she would have her older daughters kick their pathetic male asses.
“Just wait til you go ta’ school, and the kids say girls kicked yaw ass. Leave my kid alone.”
She’d speak her mind, and slowly walk away, a cigarette dangling from her mouth and a romance novel in her right hand. A woman needed muscle and sweat if she was going to survive four girls.
Lesson Two: If it’s got Tires or Testicles, it’s gonna give you grief
That was a slogan found on a keychain I bought for my mother for her birthday when I was 12 years old. Yup, I knew already that men were trouble, and cars an expense and bitch to maintain because I had seen my parents milk and nurture the lives of the vehicles they had. Men? I know their deal because I grew up listening and watching while the older females around me complained or bemoaned the treatment or behavior of men.
My mom always seemed to be bickering with my dad, and so I knew that carrying a set of balls, literally, meant you were a totally different breed from the XX kingdom I was raised amongst. While I have a huge love for men and their mysterious, albeit usually simple ways, I still find them to be intriguing as if they’re another species.
Mom would gather at a table of her friends for a game of mahjong when I was just a wee kid still, and I’d hear the ladies gab away about their men problems while I smoked my pretzel rod cigarettes, and sat with my legs underneath me in an attempt to reach the height of the kitchen table.
I bought her that keychain as a token for her hardwork attempting to figure out my father and maintain a car properly. I felt that one day, I would understand the strains, stress, and hopefully, joys of love. Watching my mother as she dealt with my vertically-challenged dad in his Alfalfa “He-Man Woman Hater’s Club” t-shirt, I felt the battle between the sexes would be an endless war for life.
Lesson Three: Good Posture
Once I got boobies, my posture went to utter shit-ola. My mom constantly lectured me, “Shoulders up, back, and down! Come on!”
I heard her commands like a military sergeant, and reluctantly did the motions while sighing and hoping no one within five feet of us at the mall heard her. Now as an adult, I know good posture, a supportive bra (another lesson from Claire to be told soon), and chest presses would help out my ladies. Mom wasn’t kidding. Thanks to her, my boobs may look good for awhile. At 80? I don’t think so, but hopefully the guys in the old age home won’t mind since most of them will be senile and blind anyway.
More lessons from Claire to come soon…
I cherish the time we had together, as since my sisters were 6-10 years older than I was, I had more alone time with her than any of them. I fondly wish back to those days, and sometimes wish we could relive them. Thinking about some of those days makes me heartsick. Sharing a mom with three other people is always hard at times, and I will never forget the time together.
I am sure she would like to forget the numerous times I made her listen to gangsta rap, death metal, the Dead, terrible pop music, and other musical stages.
How she survived listening to King Diamond, one will never know!