Posts Tagged ‘Mothers’
January 11, 2016 | by Laren Stover
My mother makes a match.
My mother was open-minded about the boys I brought home. She was, in fact, oblivious to any of their flaws. In high school, in Philadelphia, my platinum-haired boyfriend, Billy, who walked with a strut and stole cars, OD’d in our basement under my black-light poster of Jimi Hendrix; Mom was fine about my visits to him in the locked ward in the Quaker mental hospital across the street from us on Roosevelt Boulevard. My next boyfriend, Randy, a whimsical outpatient with a genius IQ at the same hospital—we met on the bus; he was coming from prep school—got permission to have dinner with us one evening and afterward played with my gerbil. Randy blurted that he hallucinated perpetually because of all the LSD he’d taken and that now he was on Thorazine, Elavil, and a third prescription I can’t recall. My mother’s only comment: he should trim his nails.
She did seem to cotton on to my Mormon suitor in college (my only vice was tea) but criticized his piano playing as “stiff.” She did not seem disturbed when four years later I had a “dancer/artist” boyfriend in sex therapy (“You’re sexually repulsive to me,” he’d confided, “but don’t take it personally, all women are”), and she said nothing disparaging about his successor, an alcoholic Columbia University student/construction worker who accidentally burned, hoping to keep warm during a cold snap, all the savings he’d hidden in his never-used oven. He once showed up drunk at four A.M. with a lipstick-swished cheek and confessed he’d kissed another woman who’d bought him a cabbage, but it was me he really loved, he said, and then punched a hole in my door. Mom remained mute when I confided I’d met, in Egypt, a much younger French Algerian paratrooper named Karim, even when I revealed that he would call me long distance from Marseilles and never talk—simply whisper my name and breathe for twenty minutes, or play a tape of music he’d written. My bass-player roommate at that time, Sara, once quipped, “Karim’s mother’s not going to be very happy when she sees that phone bill.” Read More »
December 22, 2015 | by J. D. Daniels
We’re away until January 4, but we’re re-posting some of our favorite pieces from 2015. Please enjoy, and have a happy New Year!
Being the last man on Earth.
On a recent Sunday evening, trying to relax, I turned on the television and saw an ad for a new comedy series called The Last Man on Earth. It wasn’t clear how everyone else had died.
I had learned what I needed to know, or had remembered it: television does not relax me. I turned the television off, took an Ativan, and listened to The Teddy Charles Tentet, a terrific jazz record.
Phil Miller is the last man on earth—which makes him the world’s greatest handyman—world’s greatest athlete—[etc.]
The last man on earth.
But of course one is not the Last Man on Earth. There are other people, equal claimants to the Earth. It can be vexing to share it with them. Read More >>
October 6, 2015 | by Sadie Stein
I used to have a superpower. I never told anyone, of course—that’s the rule with powers—and in the grand tradition, it was a mixed blessing. It was this: mothers loved me.
It’s true. Mothers of all kinds wanted me to date their sons. Hell, they wanted me to marry them. Not shockingly, the actual sons in question were less jazzed about the prospect. It seemed like the very qualities that rendered me totally unsuitable to boys my own age—my good manners, my bookishness, my lack of any adult sexiness, even my runty size—were the same things that drew their mothers like catnip. Read More »
September 17, 2015 | by Dan Piepenbring
From letters William Carlos Williams sent to his mother as a student at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. During his time there, Williams, born on this day in 1883, joined Mask and Wig, the nation’s oldest all-
July 17, 2015 | by Sadie Stein
My mother called me to ask how much to tip on a haircut. “A normal haircut,” she said.
“I usually tip upwards of 20 percent,” I said, “but of course it’s at your discretion.”
“That seems awfully high.”
“I don’t know, not for something you wear every day. And if you have a relationship with your hairdresser—” Read More »
May 5, 2015 | by Sadie Stein
My mother’s loathing for the word lady occupies a special place in her pantheon of negativity.
To be specific, she doesn’t actually mind lady as a word or a title of the peerage—as seen in, say, Lady Day*, The Lady Vanishes, or Lady Chatterley’s Lover. It’s when the word appears in lyrics that she puts her foot down. (And even then, there’s a disclaimer: some lyrics are okay. “Luck Be a Lady,” “The Lady Is a Tramp”—these, among others, are acceptable.) Read More »