Sunday, May 07, 2006

Damn You, Hallmark

A timely rerun.

kitchen, originally uploaded by panthergirl.

I hate this time of year. Mother's Day this, Mother's Day that. All I know is, I have to go pick out a card to send to my 83 year old mother (you know, because I have to) and there isn't a damned one that tells my truth.

What is a dysfunctional child to do? Maybe I can write my own card, wtih little snippets to take her down memory lane...

....the adorable way she'd say "Who's gonna look at you anyway" to the pre-teen me as I'd brush my hair or look in a mirror before going out.

...the nightly game of "spin the knife" that my sister and I would play, to decide which of us was going to get to kill her.

...the loving way she said "Don't you have any respect for your body?", after my father beat the crap out of me for holding a boy's hand when I was 12. (it was so absurd that I actually laughed through my tears)

...those homecooked meals that were supposed to "taste better than they look."

...the way she tossed my favorite stuffed poodle into the back of a garbage truck as I sat, stunned and five years old, on my front stoop. She said it was dirty from me dragging him on a leash up and down the street.

...her sloppy technique when holding a towel in front of us at the beach, insisting that we take our bathing suits off before getting into the car. (cue "Who's gonna look at you anyway." It's a multipurpose expression, useful for humiliating children in countless scenarios.)

...and of course, her penchant for finding innumerable methods of inflicting physical pain when my father wasn't around to do her dirty work.

I've often looked at this photograph and compared it to those of my own children at about the same ages (I am 2 and my sister is 6 1/2). Thankfully, I don't think any pictures of my children show them as sullen as the faces you see here.

Maybe there's a card that says, simply, "Thanks for the memories."