Mom the Little Old Lady

It was the only time I can remember feeling any kind of endearing warmth toward my mother that didn’t have additional mold hanging off it.  No thoughts about how she used to lock me out of the house or how often she used to tell me she really shouldn’t have had me. No memories of how she used to drop lettuce on the filthy kitchen floor and then pick it up and put it back in the bowl.  If I expressed concern she told me I was snooty.

What, you’re too good for lettuce that fell on the floor?

I thought I was I guess.

I wasn’t thinking of all this crap when I walked toward her at the grocery store.  We’d been on our weekly-ish trip to get the items she needed.  Hairspray, yogurt, string cheese, grapes, sugar packets (she actually liked the taste of Sugar In the Raw best and this warmed my heart and gave me the chance to pretend that my mother was a health food nut), stool softener, Ponds cold cream (blue top, green top), Suave hairspray and of course pens and small yellow legal pads for her to write a continuous slew of hate letters to whomever she hated.

My mother likes to express her rage on paper.  She goes through several pens a week.  She likes only two brands of pens.  Sharpies (for the Warning You Better Shape Up Asshole missives) and her beloved Paper Mate Silk ballpoints.  Armed with these and her legal pads she consistently wages battles against anyone and everyone she thinks to be a loser.

The crumpled up discarded versions of notes and letters that didn’t make her editor’s cut are thrown into her bathroom trashcan and my sister and I cannot resist stealing a page or two when we see them there, screaming at someone.

Monica is a loser.  The guy down the hall is AN ASSHOLE.  The lady next door is a THIEF.  You don’t want to get on my mom’s bad side.  Or bad-er side.  She holds a grudge like you’ve never seen and it is virtually impossible to please her simply by being.  You must do for her and you must do for her exactly as she orders you to.

If you do not please her in the way she prefers there is hell to pay. And, obviously, you will be the lucky recipient of a hate letter.

But as I said this time at the store, as I walked toward her and she rose from the chair she had found to sit in while I checked out, she had a cute little old lady look to her and she didn’t seem menacing at all.  She was wearing a pair of navy blue sweat pants with very wide legs.  They were about a foot too short so she had a Little Lord Fauntleroy look to her.  She had taken the string out of the waist so the sweatpants looked like they were lounging pants and she paired them with a nice pink cotton button up shirt that was tucked into the elastic of the flood pants.  Over this she had a fleecy periwinkle sleeveless vest that I got for her from Ross.  She had coveted one that I had from Patagonia so when I saw one on sale at Ross I bought it for her.

I try to score points whenever I can with her.  It is frequent that I am in the negative with her because she is a bottomless pit of demands and she does not fancy me having my own life.  One must stay very alert when in her presence but especially when one is not in her presence.  THINK AHEAD and prepare for surprise skirmishes if you want to stay alive.  This is a good strategy when it comes to handling the barracudaness of her.

So as I walked toward her—my little old lady mom— I felt warmth and sweetness toward her.  Possibly for the first time ever.  She stood up, gave me a slight grin and asked me if I got any good coupons. Coupons are very important to her.  They enable her to add to her stockpile of cold cream and hairspray and this is of utmost importance because if she does not have a larder stocked full with these items she will find someone to blame and that someone is usually a well meaning relative.

She is so badass.

2 Comments on "Mom the Little Old Lady"

  1. The Zadge says:

    I love all of your writing, as you know, since I sort of stalk you all over the ‘net, BUT, I must say, this photo is AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!

    • Cupcake Murphy Cupcake Murphy says:

      Thank you! I was guaranteed a good shot there—Elk, California—near Mendocino. Breathtaking view from every angle. There were SO MANY birds sitting on the beach that took off at the exact same moment.