Erica Scott: Life, Love and Spanking

Ruminations, opinionated observations, darkly humorous blathering and the occasional rant from an outspoken spanko and unapologetic attention wh–, um, hog.

Archive for the category “mother”

OT: Mother’s Day

It occurred to me that I often write about memories of my father on Father’s Day, but I don’t do the same for my mother on her day. Kind of sad, really, but I simply don’t have as many stories about her. However, the other day on Facebook, a young woman posted about how funny it is to hear your parents cuss, and it reminded me of the first time I ever heard my mother drop the F-bomb.

My mother did not swear when I was growing up. At least, I never heard her do so. She was famous for using words such as “gosh” and “darn,”and she didn’t drink or smoke cigarettes either, which pretty much everyone’s parents did back then. As I got into my teens and cussing became something fun and bold to do, I thought Mom was kind of uptight and a bit of a prig.

When I was sixteen, my mom and stepdad lived in a house in Woodland Hills, one of the hottest areas of the San Fernando Valley. They had no air conditioning in that house. In the SFV summers, it got pretty miserable in there.

One weekend I was there, and it was a sweltering Saturday afternoon. My mom and I were home by ourselves, and trying to get comfortable. Mom thought she’d try to take a nap and went into her bedroom, pulling the curtains and turning on a small fan. I stayed in the living room and attempted distracting myself from the heat with a book and cold drink. Not ten minutes went by before my mother’s bedroom door came crashing open, Mom stormed out in just her underwear, and she yelled in abject frustration, “Aaaarggghh! It’s SO FUCKING HOT in here!”

I was so shocked at hearing that word come out of her face, all I could do was blurt, “Moth-errrrrrr!” She looked at me, fazed for a moment, then must have decided “oh, screw it, she’s old enough,” because she just sputtered, “Well, it is!” and then turned and stomped back into her room. I laughed until my stomach hurt.

After that? Suddenly my mother became Mrs. Trash Mouth. She confessed that she’d broken herself of the habit of swearing when my brother was a baby, and he started imitating a few of the more colorful words she uttered. Interesting coincidence, though — she could and would say anything, except for the “c” word. She had the same visceral reaction to it that I do, for her own reasons, I guess. She said my dad used to try to break her of it, desensitize by trying to get her to say it. “Think of it as a name!” he’d urge. “Say this over and over fast — Mike Hunt, Mike Hunt.” (How many of you just tried that?) But she couldn’t do it. Even when she lost her mind and was saying all manner of horrible things, she never spoke that word. I don’t think I will either.

I think on that ridiculously hot day, she stopped thinking of me as a kid and more like a young woman.

Anyway, I hope everyone who has a mother, or is a mother, had a nice day today. I made sure to send an e-card to my stepmother (the nice one who gave me the necklace, not the evil one who damn near wrecked my life). She just turned eighty-five. Her body may be falling apart somewhat, but her mind is still sharp as a tack. When I sent her a birthday greeting and she wrote to thank me, her comment was, “You know, I feel old, but 85?? No fucking way!” 😀

I hope I have her for at least a little while longer.

Thanksgiving thoughts

Happy Turkey Day, everyone. No, I’m not posting a holiday rant. Not yet, anyway. Just having a quiet and reflective morning and wanted to share some thoughts.

Some of you may know this — Thanksgiving was actually my favorite holiday for many years. No religious overtones, no gifts to buy, no cards to send… just a day where you got together with loved ones, had wonderful food and if you were of a mind to, counted your blessings.

I loved going to my mother and stepfather’s for Thanksgiving. My mother and I have always had our ups and downs, but on Thanksgiving, all that was put aside. I looked forward to arriving at their place; it would be warm and cozy, filled with mouth-watering smells and festively decorated. There was usually an eclectic bunch present; Mom had always been one to take in the people who were by themselves, at loose ends, on holidays. Over the years, I’d brought my share of friends who had no other place to go, and they were warmly welcomed.

No one cooked like my mother. Her turkeys were always tender and juicy, even the white meat. She’d collect all the drippings and juices, put them in the freezer until all the fat rose to the top, then skim it off. I don’t know how she thickened the gravy, but she didn’t use flour and it was never lumpy or pasty. She always put in plenty of cooked fresh mushrooms, because she knew I loved them. Oh, and her stuffing… I could have made a meal of that alone, mountains of it. I hate yams, and you can have mashed potatoes anytime. Pass on that disgusting Thanksgiving staple, the goopy green bean/mushroom soup casserole with canned fried onions on top. (Not that she ever made that!) But my mom’s stuffing — starchy Nirvana.

She and my stepdad and their friends were partial to a lemon cheesecake from Baker’s Square pies for dessert. However, I thought cheesecake after all that rich food was utterly gross, and besides, you have to have pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving. So I always brought one.

Even cleanup was fun, as we’d crowd into the kitchen, wrapping leftovers, washing dishes, laughing, sated and giddy with carb/tryptophan overload. I figured since I didn’t do the cooking, the least I could do was help with the mess afterward and I enjoyed doing so. I’d spend the next couple of nights there. After John came into my life, I’d come home Saturday morning and spend the rest of the weekend with him. He’d be with his own family on Thanksgiving; we’d mutually agreed that he’d see his, I’d see mine, and we’d get together afterwards.

It was a lovely place to be. I felt like a kid again, or at least how a kid should feel… comfortable, loved, well fed and cared for. Safe.

Then my mother began her slow descent into dementia, and everything changed.

Thanksgiving went from warm and pleasant to not-so-pleasant, then uncomfortable, then spectacularly awful. There were tears and fights and ruined food. And finally, it was over. My mother went into an assisted-care facility, and that was the end of Thanksgiving as we knew it.

For the past two years, I have refused to acknowledge Thanksgiving. I have treated it like just another Thursday, staying home and watching DVDs, reading, whatever I felt like doing. John continued to do his own thing with whichever family member was in town; I was always welcome and I knew that, but I didn’t want to go and begged off. He understood and didn’t pressure me, although I know he was disappointed. I couldn’t help it. It was too damn depressing for me and I preferred to withdraw and ignore the whole thing.

This year is different. This year, for better or worse, I think I’m ready to rejoin the living.

We are invited to John’s sister’s house later this afternoon; most of his family will be there. I have many mixed feelings about going, but above everything else, I want to be with John. I know he wants me there and I want to be there for him. It’s one meal, it’s a few hours. I could have lost him in recent weeks. On this day, I want to be with the person in my life for whom I’m the most thankful.

And hey, there are bright sides. John has two sisters: one prepares food that is tasty and reasonably healthy; the other one’s cooking makes me feel like all the blood in my body has been replaced by butterfat. Fortunately, the former is doing the cooking today, not the latter. 🙂

All right — time to do some laundry, get some other things done and then prepare to head out. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday, whatever you’re doing. I wish you peace, happiness and a thankful heart this day.

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