Monday, March 12, 2007

My Mother Is NOT Responsible For This!


I just went to turn on The Lawrence Welk Show, but New Hampshire Public Television is running an Englebert Humperdinck special instead. It’s fundraising time and Public TV is scheduling shows that they think will draw in new viewers. What they’re really doing is pissing off the viewers they already have. I wanted to watch Granite State Challenge this morning, as I always do on Saturday, and they were airing a show about menopausal women. I hardly think that’s an upgrade.

(You might think it strange that a person who professes a great love for heavy metal would watch Welk. I guess it is, but reruns of the Welk show have more camp value than just about anything else on TV. It’s like watching a really bad movie. Sometimes you want Citizen Kane, but every so often Glen Or Glenda is a hoot.)

Anyway, my Saturday evening now has a hole in it, so here I am typing. Sometimes, when I type, I write things that aren’t everyone’s cup of tea.

I wrote a piece concerning my Uncle Ricky last week. I enjoyed writing it and everything I said in it was heartfelt and sincere. I don’t think anybody could have found anything to complain about in it. It was a nice and loving piece. I have to be truthful, however, and let you know that my Mom suggested that I write it. I might have written it of my own accord at some point, but I wasn’t planning on it until Mom said it would be a good thing. And so it was and so she was right. Mom often is.

However, after publishing the piece and writing to tell my Mom that it was up, she wrote back and wondered if I could give her some tips on how to print it out. This is because she was uncomfortable with sending grandchildren and relatives and friends to my blog. She felt that they might get the wrong impression, concerning her son, if they read some of the things I’ve written. In other words, she would be embarrassed because some of those folks might think that she was a horrible mother for raising a perverted drug-taking chicken-choking libertarian who often swears and has no compunction whatsoever about airing his idiosyncrasies in public.

I wrote back that, to the contrary, if anybody took the time to read everything that I’ve written since the inception of this thing, they would have a much more comprehensive picture of who I really am, where I really come from, where I’m really going (nowhere fast), what I really believe (the world of myself), and much more of the real me than they’d ever get in person. I suggested that she send everyone here and let the chips fall where they may, because I am what I am. If I were ashamed of myself, I wouldn’t have published this stuff in the first place.

My Mom and I have a very good relationship. She loves me and I love her. We’ve had very few problems with each other over the course of our time together, which pretty much covers all of my life. So we exchanged a couple more e-mails, we e-kissed and e-made up, and I still love her and she still loves me. The end.

Except...

I got to thinking about it and I can certainly understand where someone might get the wrong impression. Not everybody is going to read every word I’ve written. Heck, I could hardly stand to do it myself and I like me better than just about anyone I know. Let’s face it – if, after reading the nice piece about Uncle Ricky, the only other thing somebody clicked onto was this, you couldn’t really blame them for coming away with the wrong impression of how I spend all of my spare time.

So, in the interest of setting the record straight and making sure that my mother’s reputation for good motherhood remains intact, I am now going to tell you that my mother is absolutely and completely NOT RESPONSIBLE for the following things:

My mother had nothing to do with me stealing beer, hopping a freight train and then almost getting killed in the subway.

My mother was completely unaware that I fell through the ice on the Neponset River and then started smoking on the same day.

My mother, in no way, shape, or form, had anything to do with my cursing out an auditorium full of drunken louts and subsequently needing police protection to get out alive, for which effort I was entirely ungrateful. She taught me better than that.

Mom had no idea I punched a desk and broke my hand.

My mother would never have encouraged me to run naked through the snow. It was MY WIFE who did that.

(Come to think of it, my mother did introduce me to MY WIFE, so maybe she is partly to blame, but let’s not quibble.)

Do you think it was my mother who gave me the impetus to spend every cent I earned during a three-year period on cocaine? And to become a complete a-hole, treating the folks who kept me employed at that time so ungratefully in the end? She did not, nor would she even have considered such a thing.

It was not my mother’s idea for me to curse out the government and make extremely obscene suggestions concerning postage stamps.

I could go on citing specific examples, but I’ll just make this blanket statement, instead. My mother is a wonderful woman who has never encouraged me to drop acid, smoke dope, sell dope, listen to heavy metal, gamble compulsively, smoke cigarettes, run for office as a Libertarian, like fruitcake or anything else that might be seen as counterproductive, anti-social, disrespectful, impolite or deadly.

(To be honest, she did let me light a whole boxful of kitchen matches one time when I was about eight, but since I haven’t written about that here yet, it really isn’t fair to bring it up, so just pretend I never mentioned it. Also, letting me jump down almost an entire flight of stairs into a pile of sofa cushions.)

She did teach me that a person should never be afraid of telling the truth. Also, that life is worth respecting, that it never hurts to apologize, that being polite is a good thing, and that saying "I love you" is just fine for a boy. She taught me that what is considered "normal" in society is not always what is morally right. She instilled in me a healthy disrespect for unearned authority. She taught me how to read before I hit kindergarten. She taught me that a person's skin color is not automatically a bad thing or a good thing, but that each person needs to be taken on his or her own merits. Above all else, she hugged me, kissed me, changed my diapers, made my bed, fed me, dressed me warmly, shared her curiosity for fun and interesting people and places, taught me about God, and gave me a head start in life, both intellectually and emotionally, that very few kids are lucky enough to receive.

Sorry, Mom. I guess you are responsible for something.

9 comments:

Cousin Sully said...

Cuz,
From what you've written in your space here it only indicates that you were born between 1955 and 1970. Many of your experiences are familiar to those of us born during that era. You've come out, from what we read, relatively unscathed and you probably have your Mom to thank for giving you the direction to get you through 1970-1985 relatively intact.

Unless you lived through the 1920's nothing can compare with the amount of experimentation and debauchery that the 70's and early 80's provided.

Any younger person reading this would not read anything here they aren't confronted with on a daily basis, but at least, get a perspective that is real and thoughtful.

When I eventually have the time to blog (when my 2 and 4 year olds hit Kindergarden) It'll probably be rated NC-17, your blog is a "softcore" R.

Suldog said...

Thanks, Cuz. I'm looking forward to you adding to the Sullivan literary output.

Mushy said...

Oh man! I could steal this post and put my name on it and it would be as true of me as you.

Thanks for putting so much I've been thinking about into great words.

Barbara said...

You should copy the html, create an HTML email and then send it to her so she can email the post to friends and family.

How nice that you can write with abandon.

Suldog said...

Thanks, Mushy! Your own posts are a good read, which is why I linked you, of course.

Barbara - If I really wrote with abandon, they'd probably either arrest me or have me committed :-)

Whaledancer said...

Who's Abandon? Just kidding..
I think its lovely to write something so truthful and nice about your Mom.

Rebecca said...

Oooh. Very nice post.
You may have to repost it for Mother's Day! ;)

Peter N said...

And we'll remember!

Peter N said...

As Nat "King" Cole sang.....Unforgettable....but he might have been singing about something else!