My mom could kick your mom’s ass. She could kick your mom’s ass and your dad’s ass too, depending on how agile he was or if he was without any kind of firearm. She could kick your mom and dad’s ass’s because she, herself, is a Badass.
Besides being a badass she likes to wear Jean Nate. If she could she’d find the warehouse that it is made and she’d rob it. She has no front teeth and so she reminds me of a farmer from those old Grapes of Wrath photos. This is not all the time—that she reminds me of a farmer with no teeth. But she has no front teeth.
When my sister and I first saw her again, after not seeing her for ten years, the first thing that shocked me was the fact that she was toothless. This doesn’t seem to bother her much though. She is bothered by many things but having no teeth isn’t that big of a deal to her.
She can eat a sandwich with the best of them.
Back to Jean Nate. She’s really into perfume and lipstick and hairspray. I think this is because she wants to look pretty when and if Ed arrives. Her plumber boyfriend. She wears lots of blush so she will appear rosy cheeked and fresh when he comes to sweep her off her feet. Or flush her down the drain.
Ed and mom have been “an item” for quite some time now. What, 50 years? She’s 82. I’m not sure how old he is but he’s older than her. They’ve been seeing each other since my father left the house to move into his own apartment a couple days after the two of them (my mom and dad) rounded my sister and I up, sat us down in the living room and then informed us that they were getting a divorce.
“Your father is a premature ejaculator,” she explained, with all the care that Joan Crawford would.
So when my dad got the boot she immediately found Ed. Growing up, he was our plumber. It puts a hitch in their giddy up that he is married to another person. The married to another person thing did not get in my mother’s way. Her morals are unbelievably flexible. Like taffy. She takes opportunities as they come to her. Or even if they don’t.
She steals things. She lies about a lot of stuff. Especially if it means she will get something out of it. She is not fond of giving.
When her grandson is turning 16 — “16! Wow!” I say, she says she wants to give him ten dollars.
“You sister always tells me to give more but I don’t want to give more. This time I’m going to give the amount that I want to give. And I don’t want to give much.”
She’s thinking of herself. She has perfected this ability so well that I’m not sure if she realizes how much damage it’s caused. It seems to never occur to her that being stingy, mean, dishonest and awful is bound to alienate at least a few people.
Regardless, she has her focus and she knows she has rights. She just cannot get over the fact that all of us might want to have lives. This gets her every time.
When I go see her I usually call her when I am exiting the freeway so she can meet me out front. She lives in an assisted living place that is quite nice but she hates everyone and everything there. And I mean EVERYONE and EVERYTHING. She likes to give full, detailed reports about all the morons she has to deal with every day. I practice deep breathing and keeping my eyes natural or not darting all around in terror when she tells me stories about this asshole or that bastard or Mary the Alzheimer’s sufferer who is so fucking stupid she can’t remember to bring syrup to the breakfast table even though she says she will.
Asshole Mary. Can’t remember anything.
My mom loves food. When I was little and I wanted to make sure I got at least one or two Chips Ahoy cookies before my mom devoured them all, I would hide the blue package in the dryer or I’d climb up onto the formica counter, stand up so that I could actually touch the kitchen ceiling and put them way back into the bowels of the uppermost shelf where we kept things that we weren’t concerned with—gravy boats, unused lemonade pitchers, zany glass sets to be used at some big party—and that way the Chips Ahoy would be all mine.
My mom never cooked so she’s far from a foodie but in reality if you compare her passion for Quaker Oats caramel cakes to some raw food eater in Brentwood I think my mom’s devotion is the real thing. She devours everything in her path but she can’t ever seem to get full.
She’s always had a hard time with her hygiene. If you mention this to her she’ll insult you, though. Call you an ass or ask you what you know.
Who asked you? No one. So mind your own business.
She is so badass.