My mother is what they used to say little girls are made of... Do they even say sugar, spice and everything nice anymore? It's never been my experience that little girls are angels or, furthermore, much different than little boys, other than perhaps a bit less hormonally charged. The man who came up with that one must have let everyone else deal with his daughter and admired her from a pleasant distance. Either that or he was my grandfather.
But I digress. Already. Without even progressing. So my mother: It's as if she were genetically engineered in Candy Land. When I was little, I used to sneak into her room in the mornings to see if I could spy little birds and forest animals assisting her with her wardrobe. She would mystify me with facts when I'd complain about growing pains. After all, there were some children who didn't even have limbs. I should be grateful I could feel anything, that I'm still growing.
She can find the bright side of everything. My brother once told me that when they caught Charles Manson, the world watched horrified as his story unfolded on television. Pausing from her ironing, my mother looked up at their black-and-white 12-inch television, shook her head a bit at the newscast, and commented dismissively, "Well, he's got a mother that loves him."
She refuses to validate anything negative. You've had a bad day — It could always be worse. Your hamster gizmo drowned after the ball fell out of his water dispenser — That's life, just hold on to the fond memories. Your boyfriend dumped you for some sweater-stretching bimbo named Daphne — You'll meet someone else. The most irritating thing is that there's no penetrating that cheery logic. She's cloaked in sunshine.
So, naturally, she drives me bat-shit crazy. But isn't that where it all starts? Wasn't there some shrink that said all our problems stem from our mothers? That the psychological root of all our insecurities is either nurtured by each of their actions or inactions until it grows into a tangled mess of neurotic behavior? Hmmm Just me?
If that's the case, I have to conclude I'm flawed because of my mother. And oh do I have flaws. Like a mouse in a maze with invisible electric walls, I'm racked with self-doubt, yet hunger for the reward. I'm a Coke addict (the beverage, not the drug, though I have hippie friends who would say the latter is better for your health), I smoke too much, I eat too much, I sleep too little, I bite my nails to the quick, I pitch away perfectly good husbands... I could go on and on, but that's a whole host of posts that I won't get into.
The thing is, I've never admired others' strengths. I've always envied them. However, if flawed people manage to make something of themselves, in spite of, or better yet, because of their flaws, I applaud the hell out of them.
So, in a way, our flaws are precious. Well, they are something relatable. We all fuck up, try to dust it off, then fuck up again. At least I do... A lot. But at least I've got something real. Geez, I'm starting to sound just like her. Oh well, it could always be worse: I could have had Manson's mommy. Then where would I be?