It’s that time of year in the United States. The one where we celebrate the person who forced us to stop being a parasite and enter the world via the area between her legs. Or come screaming a la Alien through a bloody slit in her stomach. Or pay homage to the woman who put up with every bit of our ridiculousness, even though she may not have birthed us.
It’s Mother’s Day Week.
My friend (and glorious beta reader) Amber Deutsch looked at me the other night. “I wish I knew more about your mother, Andra,” she said, as my whole air intake system shut down. “Like, how much of YOU is your mother? I mean, I feel like I know your dad pretty well, but what parts of your personality come from your mother?”
“HAHAHAHA.” I buried my face in a glass of wine. Oh my God, do I really have to answer that? Or even THINK about it?
And, I immediately slapped myself unconscious because 1. I was drinking wine, which is totally not okay with my mother; and 2. I thought the phrase ‘Oh my God,’ which is even worse than drinking wine.
So, this week, as a tribute to my ever patient, eternally young Mom, I’m going to tell her stories. Because, whether anyone believes it or not, I’ve always been a mommy’s girl. Though these stories may not convey that.
I met my junior high school English teacher at a Shoney’s next to I-95 in Manning, South Carolina. April 24, 2014. I hadn’t seen her in more than 20 years. I still call her Miss Sweat, because it’s just wrong to call her Ginger.
Really. I never said her name the whole time. AND I’M FORTY-FREAKING-FIVE. This is what growing up in The South does to people.
“I always thought your mom was the most proper Southern Belle.”
“Yeah. She likes to perpetrate that notion.”
“Well, we went on a Sunday School thing one time, and that image was forever ruined for me.”
I raised an eyebrow. Because I know my mother. And I wondered which of her various quirks could’ve caused her to nose-dive off that lofty pedestal.
Hanging her sexy underwear all over the bathroom, right under my husband’s nose as he takes a shower?
Her innate ability to pretend her family is The Nirvana of Peace and Tranquility, even as we’re screaming at each other across the dinner table?
Her ability to find people when they’re on the toilet and accost them with serious conversation?
“What’d she do?” I held my breath.
Continued on Wednesday, May 7, 2014.
Pictures from Charleston’s Magnolia Cemetery, while it’s still temperate enough to have a picnic. Andra Watkins Tumblr