Mommy Issues


My mom has never made a big deal out of Mother’s Day, which is certainly pleasant for me and Dad.  A card is nice, flowers are always appreciated but not necessary, and you can pretty much stop right there.  No breakfast in bed (she would hate it).  No fuss.  No brunch or shopping or spa treatment (not our style, anyway).  For her, it is a made-up holiday to be tolerated.  Her refreshing approach cuts down on guilt and expenditures – I think it means more to me now that I’m older than it does to her, so I usually send an e-card and some flowers and, when long-distance, give her a call.  She’s always pleased and reminds me, sincerely:  “You didn’t have to do anything!”

Baby Me climbing Mother Mountain, roaring with delight

This year she got, in lieu of flowers, a $30 Amazon gift card, which she will hopefully spend on herself.  So given her low-key approach, I don’t have a soppy Mother’s Day message, but I do have some beautiful pictures my father sent us of Mom playing with me on the bed as a baby, and I wanted to post a few.  (more…)

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I don’t think the website Some Ugly Baby is here to encourage baby bodysnarking.  I regard it more as a celebration of those odd babies out who don’t quite fit the Gerber baby mold, those babies that make stangers bite their tongues, those babies that defy convention in their own unknowing way.  I am a fan of the unexpected, subversive, ugly baby.

I don’t have a baby of my own, but I believe I would know if my infant was ugly (maybe, maybe not).  An ugly baby doesn’t mean an ugly adult – it’s obviously a transitional phase that predicts little about a child’s looks in the long-term, which is why I’m not too bothered by how amusing I find ugly babies.  That said, I am always sort of weirded out when I see little kids and can visualize exactly what they’re going to look like in middle age.

This is definitely a middle-aged baby.  A lot of babies look like old men, of course, especially the brand-new ones. (more…)

A welcome and rather touching addition to the photo blog ranks is My Parents Were Awesome, profiled on NPR’s All Things Considered last week.  Eliot Glazer has compiled over 3,000 user-submitted images of parents and grandparents in their heyday, and the result is a lovely little tribute to eras past.  Definitely worth a browse.

grumpy old peopleI have some questions:

1.  When did you completely lose all your table manners and disregard the practice of keeping food IN your mouth while eating?  You do realize the reason you choke and cough all the time is because you insist on talking while your mouth is trying to chew, yes?

2.  When did you lose your sense of smell and start the daily habit of pouring half a bottle of perfume/after shave on your head?  Additionally, while I appreciate your spraying of air freshener after you drop a bomb in the terlet, it is not necessary to deploy the contents of the entire can.  You wanted to know why the flowers in the hallway died?  It’s because you replaced all the air with Renuzit and the only choices it had were mutate or die.

3.  When did you decide it would be appropriate to dig a tunnel to China, starting in your nose?  I seem to recall having my hands swatted away from my face when I did this as a child, yet every time I look over at you I am greeted with the sight of your finger buried to the knuckle up your fucking nose.  Followed by a complete and thorough sweep of the nostril cavity, accomplished by you rotating your finger 180 degrees in each direction.  The visual is rather alarming you know, and YES, that child was staring at you and I suspect it was because it looked like you were bowling with marbles up there.

4.  Why must you stand right next to me in front of a restaurant hostess and loudly fart, several times, in gas powered engine fashion?  Just because you have perfected the Innocent Look when engaged in such molecular assault, does not mean the rest of the immediate vicinity did not just hear your ass make sounds akin to the ripping of bedsheets.  Oh, and your remarks of, “It doesn’t stink” does not make it so.

5.  Why is it necessary to click and suck on your teeth 23 hours of every day?  One of you carries toothpicks everywhere and the other has removable teeth, so I am truly puzzled as to why you constantly make sounds like giant crickets.  Bonus:  watching you pick your molars with a steak knife!

6.  Why did you bring a separate suitcase full of shoes yet refuse to walk further than the driveway?  I know what you’re up to, you plan on leaving your shit at my house after you leave just to irritate me.  I see you.

7.  Why do you continually fall asleep in  front of the TV yet refuse to take a nap or go to bed?  And why do you instantly start making hissing sounds if you catch someone else napping?  WHY IS NAPPING SUCH A CRIME??  Related:  when you fall asleep sitting at the dinner table because you refuse to take a nap, THAT is why your fucking neck hurts. (stop blaming my pillows, kthx).

In closing, do you have a copy of my birth certificate to prove we are actually biologically related?  Just curious….

This is what I got as thanks for my nuanced and thoughtful narrative of yesterday on loathing and loss:

From: Mom (2:12 am)

I did NOT throw away that trashy old t-shirt!  You are taking literary license too far.

 mom xoxoxoxox

From: Me (5:25 pm)

You totally tried to throw it away once and I caught you.  No lie!

Consequently I will be BURIED in it.  Not really, I just like it because it’s so thin and soft, but I don’t really wear it outside the house.

From: Mom (6:10 pm)

I do not recall such an incident with that shirt although I really disliked it; you must have dreamed it.  I learned my lesson early, when you were about four, when you looked in the trash and saw that I was throwing away something that you weren’t ready to let go of.  I had already had similar discussions with your father who also likes to go dumpster diving.  You retrieved it and acted so hurt that I would discard something so precious to you.  Who knew?  I learned to put stuff in the bottom of the bags I dumped used kitty litter in – sneaky, huh?  I’m glad you still have the shirt if you love it so much, and if you die first, I will see that you wear it in your open casket and are then buried in it.

Please note the cunning use of Mom-guage (that’s like language, but with moms!  Think it will catch on?) present here.  In the first email, we see the harmless tee-shirt described as “trashy” (foreshadowing after the fact!).  I have also taken things too far, as in “give a kid an inch and she’ll take a yard, and then wear something slutty at the same time.”  Classic mom stuff.

In the second email, she denies memory of – and therefore responsibility for –  the incident.  She turns it on me nicely with, “you must have dreamed it.”  I am a confabulator, see, and my own memory is not to be trusted.  Next, we understand that I am an irredeemable packrat practically since conception, just like my father (again, denial of responsibility, due to a fluke of inferior genetics passed down on the patriarchal side.  You reproduced with him, Mom!  You knew what you were risking going in!).  (more…)

motherinlaw-main_fullAfter mercilessly bullying me about my possessions, the in-laws went to unload their vans. What’s this? They had taken it upon themselves to bring with them every single thing Mr. P had asked to store over at their place. Useless shit that was fitting perfectly well inside their cavernous empty nest. Things like the record collection Mr. P had inherited from his dead grandfather- ooooh, Lawrence Welk! Perry Como! The collected works of Pat Boone! Shit he was too polite to just throw away! Shit we don’t have the necessary storage cabinets for! Shit we will never, ever listen to! Not even to be ironic! They even brought over Mr. P’s childhood furniture- his twin bed, complete with Mom-in-Law’s choice of pukey, frilly, country bed-in-a-bag comforter set and a pair of the poly-cement-whatever FIRM pillows we have to suffer with when we stay over at their house. Seriously, they MADE the BED. In MY guest room. In MY house. Who does that?! But the worst part is that they tried to put that ugly abomination in what is soon to be my art studio/exercise room (as soon as I get my drafting desk and easels and such out of storage). Mom-in-law was all, “Where are you going to work out in here? (gesturing towards different, tiny, insufficient sections of floor) You could do it here, or here. Where should we put this bed?” And I’m all, “you don’t know my life, bitch! Put the bed in your ass!” Seriously, I am not about to try and explain the intimate goings-on of MY personal space to someone who is trying to monopolize my new home. It’s Mr. P’s fucking ugly baby furniture, and it’s going in HIS spare room, not mine. I don’t care how cramped it is in his space, it’s his problem for pack-ratting oversized yet under-functional children’s furniture as an adult and for not standing up to his overbearing momsbeast, who obvi wants to carry around his testes in a silk bag. So yeah, the Bed of Emasculation is in his room.

Anyway, (more…)

motherinlaw-main_fullMoms like our Trixie are rare, y’all. I just read her lovely post about her horny son, and it just served to underscore the horrors of my 2-mom weekend. The following may come off a little harsh, because I’m still reeling from having my rectum stretched Octomom-huge from accommodating a couple of menopausal screech owls for the last two days. Read on, you poor saps, read on:

(more…)

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