Yesterday afternoon Gary and I were on the phone and somehow got onto the subject of our Mothers. Because he has a feature on his blog called "Tips From My Mom" we started coming up with tips from MY Mom. Needless to say they differ, ever so slightly, from Gary's Mom's tips. (Which you should go read, they're really heart-warming.) We also came up with Tips From My Dad which was also rather amusing, but more of that later. After pretty much peeing our pants [yeah, we're a little over fond of the Gary & Joy show. Deal.] coming up with these (all true) 'tips' Gary said, "maybe that's a little too mean - maybe you shouldn't blog it, maybe this was enough."
I'm not Gary.
I'm nice and all... but I'm a little less hesitant to let my inner bitch show through. Especially if it gets a laugh. I'm a laugh whore. I admit it. I revel in it. Laugh and I will keep working the room until you are in tears or get sick of me and walk away. Starved for attention as a kid and all that. But we'll learn more about that in MY "Tips From My Mom".
Where to start, that's the tough one. There are soooooo many.
Starting at the beginning might be the smart way to go, but that's a little too linear for me. So as this new blog feature (ooooh how very pompous!) was prompted by Gary, I'll start with a "Tip" that involves him.
Tips From My Mom #1 - Childrearing
It is imperative when dealing with your child, even as an adult, that you remind them on a regular basis that there is ALWAYS someone better around than them. Never hesitate to let them know this or they might develop some smattering of self-esteem. This can lead to conceit and feelings of self-worth.
My mother was a genius at this. It started from as far back as I can remember and continued until her death.
My mother ADORED Gary. Pretty much everyone does, it's hard not to. He's a doll. Sweet and funny, charming and adorable. But despite his claims he is not a saint. (Oh stop Gar, I'm not giving away any secrets here! - YOU ARE fabulous but NOBODY is a saint.) One day, back when my mother was living with me, Gary had been visiting and when he left she had me on the brink of hysteria with the copious praise and fawning. Finally I had had enough and felt compelled to burst her bubble.
Not to disrespect my BFF, 'cos I adore him TOO, but I just wanted her to STOP the love-fest for a freakin' minute so I said, "He's not a saint, you know. He's not as pristine and lovely all the time as you seem to think he is."
She turned to me, took a drag on that ever-present cigarette, exhaled long and slow and said, "Well. If he has done anything bad - it's YOUR influence."
Let me end this special new feature by saying that despite her many faults as a parent, my mother was a VERY, VERY funny woman. She really was. No denying. A riot. She was also much loved by people, possibly because she was so funny, and because in terms of people (other than myself) she really did do the right thing when it was required. She was adept as hell at helping other people, sadly, it was with me that she fell short. But I do understand that I was not the child she, or my father, dreamed of having. She was a Libra, my father was a Cancer: they had a Capricorn child. A bad mix all around. They came from the city, they moved to the suburbs to live 'the American white picket fence' dream and ended up with the strangest 'born for NYC' kid on the block. Life's funny that way.