Mother’s Day

Just talked to my mom for something approaching four and a half hours.  The relationship we have is complicated – bound to be, considering she’s bipolar with occasional psychotic breaks, and I’ve got one hell of a temper.  And we’ve both occasionally put each other through hell.  Neither one of us is a perfect person.

And you know what?  We don’t have to be.

She gave me the kind of childhood most kids can only dream about.  And even when she’s lost her mind, she’s always been there for me.  I hope, after this conversation, that she understands that.  I’ve never once had to wonder if my mother loved me.  Wondered how she could love me a few times, mind, but never doubted she did.  She’s been my anchor.  If everyone else in the world stopped loving me, she still would.  That can’t be minimized.

And I love her.  Finally got a chance to really tell her how grateful I am to her for everything, how much I respect and appreciate her, admire her, and am constantly amazed by her.

We’ve had our rough patches.  But so does everyone.  Every family has its problems, every life has its regrets.  There are things we wish had never happened, but like I told her: “We got lemons.  Honey, grab some sugar, cuz we’re gonna have ourselves some lemonade.”

And she laughed.  I don’t know if she really understands it yet or not, but she and my dad are the ones who taught me what to do with the inevitable lemons.  They’re the ones who prepared me to handle just about anything life throws my way.  Hell, maybe anything, although we can never know that until it happens.

My mother did the lion’s share of the raising, which both me and my dad are profoundly grateful for.  So that’s why today’s mother’s day: got a chance to have one of those long, gorgeous, incredible conversations that gets to the heart of everything and leaves both of you glowing. 

I love my mom.  I’m proud of my mom.  And that’s something I want the world to know.  When you look at me, you’re looking at my parents, too: all their hard work and dedication and devotion as they attempted to shape a borderline psychopath (which, let’s face facts, all small children are) into a decent human being.

Hope I’ll always do them justice.

I Haz Been Betrayed

There was only one quiet interval at work today wherein I could check my email, and there was this cry for help from my stepmother.  She’s got a new cell phone. 

What new cell phone? I fired back while my stomach made like iron and nickel on the molten earth and sank.

I will not mention the make and model, as that would betray where I work, and I do not want to tempt my corporate overlords into separating me from my only means of acquiring kitty kibble.  Needless to say, she’d chosen the one phone that is the bane of my existence (and the source of considerable job security).  It’s one of the most complicated phones we carry.  And this purchased by a woman who, a few years ago, swore she’d never own a cell phone ever in her life, and who only last year was flummoxed by a pre-paid flip phone.

So I spent my lunch hour muttering “I can’t fucking believe you bought that fucking phone!” whilst helping her bring it to the point where it could potentially make and receive calls.  I feel betrayed.  I expected better of my family.  Next thing I know, my dear old Dad will be calling me up wanting help with the same model, or worse.  At least I know the ins-and-outs of the thing.  And at least they won’t blame me for its quirks.


At least I have solid proof, should I ever need it, that my bitching about this phone in my private life carries no weight with anyone whatsoever.  Even my own family doesn’t listen to me.  So the company needn’t worry about my impact upon its sales…

Christmas Revelations

So no shit, here I am, stuffed with junk food my mother sent me for Christmas (pistachios and Christmas cookies and a pecan log, oh my!).  The cat has a battery-operated hamster to run away from.  And I’ve discovered something important about my mother: I don’t really know her that well.

We’ve been thousands of miles apart for years now.  She’s bipolar, and there’s some history there that makes a close relationship problematic at best, and, well, we grew apart.  Never stopped loving each other, mind, but we’re not nearly as close as we used to be.  So I didn’t know until tonight that she’d like a laughing monkey for Christmas, and that she’s interested in geology.

That last rather took me by surprise.  I knew she was interested in volcanoes – when I went to Mt. St. Helens, she wanted pictures and some volcanic rocks.  But geology overall?  Not so much. 

So I’ve ordered her a copy of Roadside Geology of Indiana, and I’m sending her a gas card, and when I go to see her next, we’ll be out tramping around Indiana’s pitifully-few geologic sites.  One of these days, I’ll even get her out here (which is difficult, because she’s got lots of animals.  Lots and lots of animals), and show her what real geology looks like.  No disrespect to Indiana’s geology.

I should’ve known that she’d be interested in geology.  Especially after that talk we had a few weeks ago in which she displayed far more political acumen than most people I have the misfortune to discuss politics with.  Put it like this: if we run into any Teabaggers whilst out traipsing Indiana’s geological sites, all I have to do is step back and watch my sweet-as-a-pecan-log mother rip the idiot several new ones.  The woman’s a caution.

So, there you have it.  Unexpected revelations at Christmas time.  And an even more unexpected revelation: I really won’t mind visiting Indiana.  Much.

On the Other Hand, I have Good News…

…No, I didn’t save a bunch of money on my car insurance by switching to Geico. But I found this gold nugget in my inbox:

Your dad is going to vote for Obama. Can you believe it? If he gets nominated that is who he will vote for. If he doesn’t, then he will vote for McCain. Me, on the other hand, if he doesn’t get nominated, then I can do a write in vote, and I will still vote for him. I would rather put a gun to my head than vote for Billary or McBush.

He is crazy and she is a socialist. No thanks.

My father. My bloody father, who I don’t think has ever voted for a Democrat, is going to cast his ballot for Barack.

And my stepmother, who is even more conservative than he is, won’t even dream of voting for McCain.

When the fuck did I step down the wrong leg of the Trousers of Time? This can’t be the same universe I woke up in this morning…

Always Talk to Your Mum on Mother’s Day: A Cautionary Tale

It’s not often I’ll ask you to do this, my darlings, but right now, it’s very important you put your drink down and back away slowly. I refuse to be responsible if you don’t.



So. True fucking story:

I work Sundays, which rather puts a crimp in calling me dear old mums on Mother’s Day. Not a problem in my stepmother’s case: she has email. I dispatched one to her.

My natural mother is a Luddite. I decided to call her at lunch. I attempted to do so. No answer. So I left a message in my sweetest your-daughter-luuurrves-you voice. I pounded out our daily Discurso and went back to work.

My cell phone is sitting on my desk. It begins to vibrate.

It’s my roommate.


In two minutes.

Awshit, thinks I, something’s wrong with my cat. Or our third-floor apartment is now a second-floor apartment due to the vagaries of recalcitrant support beams. Or I’ve done something to piss her off mightily. Or something’s wrong with my cat. Ogods is my kitty dying?!?

I text her, all the while trying to make the customer on my line believe I’m paying full attention to his issue and in no way quietly panicking.

My roommate texts back: Police were here when I came home. Your mother was/is worried...

That’s right. My mother called the police on me. Because she hadn’t gotten my message and I hadn’t talked to her on Mother’s Day.

T-Mobile, the stupid fucks, hadn’t delivered my message. Her phone alerted her to a new voicemail which turned out to be an old voicemail from a neighbor. My brand new shiny HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!! message vanished into the ether, and left my mother thinking my roommate must have killed me over a boy.


So let this be a lesson to you all: always talk to your mum on Mother’s Day. Or suffer the consequences.