If you’ve had the pleasure of meeting my Mother, you’re welcome for that introduction. Chances are if you have met her, you were either enlightened, traumatized, baffled, scared, exited; or any combination of the aforementioned adjectives listed. She’s a treat, that one. It’s not uncommon for me to receive a daily text message from her reading: “Hey baby, how U Bee?” – she may be 63-years-old, but she has the texting vocabulary of a Bieber-fevered pre-teen. Other days I get e-mails, that almost always have attachments. These attachments are usually pictures of her dressed as something like a bumblebee or penguin, or sitting in a firetruck with some one-lined cliche exclamation like “Young at heart!” or “Gurls just wanna have fun!” Never actually explaining what in fuck’s name she’s doing.
Weird but loveable, a penchant for boxed wine, completely insane but ironically self-aware about it, loves costumes and theme parties, has utter disregard for what’s socially acceptable, a tendency to be overly dramatic at times it’s completely unnecessary – clearly, we have nothing in common (fuck, I’m my Mother’s daughter.) The following is a series of communications with my Mother, texts and e-mails from over time, simply because this cannot solely be a two-way communication – because not sharing her wisdom and truths would be a disservice to the world and everyone in it.
Roseanne on confirming our plans: “Can’t wait to see U Thursday for some fun, love U my daughter and my SUN. If weather is rainy and crappy – I got a backup plan to make us happy! For U and me off da cuff is easy! Tee-hee!”
Random text, and unsolicited ego-booster from Roseanne: “U a shining star, that’s what U R.”
“I gave birth 2 an awesome person.”
Roseanne, possessed with the spirit of Dr. Suess, always: “U be fine oh daughter of mine and my sunshine. U R a gift and proof that the best things in life are free! Love U, Rhyming Me.”
“Smile like a crock oh dial.”
Roseanne consoles me after I told her I had a fight with a friend: “Here’s hoping U R happy tonight and U R not uptight but doing alright and not in a fight but dancing in the moonlight.”
When I call upon her for motherly advice: “You should talk to your therapist.”
“Life is 2 short Mort! Love live and laff till U snort!”
Me: “I love you.”
Roseanne: ” Well, wut is there not to love about me?”
The only explanation is that Roseanne may have eaten some funky mushrooms by mistake:
“Frogs, frogs, croaked on the street with some unknowingly squished under my feet! I think da frogs R falling from the sky. Then splat flat on the pavement they die. And they R not pretty and that’s the truth no lie.”
“Near or far U R my shining star. And when I gaze at the stars above I will smile and think of you my love!”
Roseanne forwards me a text she sent to a friend: “Got the news from Tanya 2day that she got to Utah last nite yesterday! And 4 her 2 get there safely I did pray! She drove with Penny and that was that. But they could not share the driving because Penny U C is a cat!”
Substituting “da” for “the” since 2007: “That is a poem from your Mom, a poet in the making and also da bomb!”
“U R an amazing person and know how to live life and have fun in the rain and in the sun! Love U hunny bun!”
Roseanne: “Whatchu doing?”
Me: “Going to yoga.”
Roseanne: “U GO GIRL! And live the dream!”
I’m not sure what a ‘wow’ is but I definitely want to be one: “Positive vibes R all I allow. Catch em and feel em now. And you will be a wow!”
Roseanne, incapable of an actual conversation: “Be who U R meant be!”
Me: “Well who do you see me becoming?”
“What do you honestly think I will become in life?”
Roseanne: “A star.”
Me: “No, I am being serious.”
Roseanne: “A star…you already are.”
“Dance 2 the music like no one is watching!”
Just a casual remark on a Tuesday afternoon: “Tears of joy heals the soul!”
I haven’t always had the best relationship with my Mother, and I certainly never thought I would look at her, and then back at myself, and see so much of her in me. Whether I like it or not, we’re tight like tigers, linked like lions and there’s a 98% Franzia runs in our blood.
There is something to be said about having adult relationships with our parents. It’s different. We like it when they give us money, but we don’t rely on it. Therefore, this frees us up to call them out on their bullshit and actually interact with them on an actual human being level.
It almost makes us…(emphasis on the dot dot dot) friends. In fact, Roseanne texted me the other day and said this: “Mama and best friend to the end.” Truth, Roseanne – truth. When I search to make sense of my time back home, the nearly two years I spent in a place I never though I’d plant my withering roots again, well – honestly, there are more take-aways than I could have ever imagined – but one of them was this: I was close to family again.
I mean not metaphorically but like physically so, like I couldn’t get out of going to holidays.
As a result, I got a whole new perspective on the woman that was my Mother. We drank enough Pinot Grigio to drown a small, third-world village, and we also ate enough small plates and appetizers to feed said countries. We should have fed them. It made sense that I should connect with this woman, after all I lived in her womb for almost a year. She might be a piece of work, or dress like a penguin sometimes but that’s my lady: