First off, I love my mother. Not only is she my second best bud, she raised me, coddled me, and actually encouraged my nutty creativity. Not once did she suggest that paper tablecloths didn’t need crayoned stitches. And my drawing of a woman in a bikini that I spent precious kindergarten time constructing…the billowing cleavage wasn’t unacceptable. In fact, I think she deemed it “quite lifelike.” This woman allowed me to start my third grade days off with coffee. Without her, I would have suffered prepubescent caffeine deprivation. She’s the backbone of my personality.
Well, in addition to being a contrarian (the sky is blue, unless you say it’s blue, then it’s pink, unless you agree with her, which at that point transforms back to blue) my mother Mary, she’s like Mother Theresa except alive, without the robe, and with assorted complicated views. She has the ability to put herself in your shoes, no matter who you are. Whether you are the kid down the street, the homeless guy on the corner, or a sociopath with homicidal tendencies, she feels your pain.
This issue came up recently. My mother was spending the night on my couch. Maria Vargas from 20/20 warned us that what we were about to witness was SHOCKING. The reconstructed face of a girl who’s psychotic ex-boyfriend had tried to erase with a sawed-off shotgun.
My reflex, “WHAT AN ASS!”
Hers, “Well you never know what you’re capable of as a human being…you know…if the right circumstances presented themselves.”
My rebuttal, “What? That I might try to blow someone’s head off with a firearm? I can pretty much say that that’s never going to happen.”
Her response, “Never say never.”
Before counting the sharps in my kitchen, I reminded her that this is not something to share with me just before I go to bed.
My mom on Charles Manson: “He was a poor kid that nobody loved.” And about the LaBianca murders, “They stayed, had a meal, and took showers afterwards. That’s weird.” Um…yeah. So is stabbing an innocent woman 41 times. “I just don’t understand it.” Mother, that’s the duct tape of civilization. If you did understand it, I would inform the authorities.
Again, could she?
A vision from the past. My mother blows short puffs of air into her cupped hands, trying to revive a praying mantis. Insect CPR.
No, she couldn’t.