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Monday, July 03, 2006

I'm Goin' Out West, Where They'll Appreciate Me

My mother was better behaved than I anticipated she would be.

Don't get me wrong, she got in a few zingers, but we managed to get along fairly well. She even let me cook dinner most nights, which is weird, since my mother's kitchen is just mother's kitchen. She doesn't like other people to cook in her kitchen. If I had a nice kitchen, I'd be that way, too, I think. BACK THE FUCK OFF MY STOVE, BITCHES.

My sister and I hung out one day. We went shopping, which is another post in and of itself. But after I returned, I was lounging on the couch when my mother walked in.

Ma: It's so nice to see you and your sister getting along.

Zombie:Yeah, we had a good time.

Ma: She used to hate you, you know.

Zombie: Yeah, I know. I guess she's gotten over it.

Ma: I mean, she used to REALLY hate you.

Zombie: Yeah, Ma. I realize.

Ma: I mean really. She even wrote an essay about it in high school.

Zombie's Ma begins rummaging around in her desk

Ma: I have it here somewhere. Let me find it so you can read it.

Zombie: Yeah. Uh, don't really want to read that, Ma. Thanks, though.

Ma: Oh, it's here, just let me find it. It's really well-written.

Zombie: Naw, really, Ma. That's okay. I don't want to read it.

Ma: But it's really good! She got an A on it!

Zombie: Ma. Really. I don't want to read an essay all about how my sister hates my guts. Okay? I can do without that.

Ma: Well, FINE. I just thought you might like to know what a good writer your sister is.

Zombie: Glad I could provide some good material for her...

Now, that exchange is funny all on its own. But what makes it even funnier is the "good writer" part. For one, my sister has absolutely no aspirations towards being a writer. She's a potter: she makes pots and bowls and cups and plates and she's very good at that. And for two, my mother has always disparaged my writing, from time immemorial. She would get rid of my notebooks and constantly inform me that I would never get anywhere with my writing, so I should just give it up already. Even after I started getting published in high school, she was not convinced that I might actually be able to write. I'm getting paid to write now, and even that does not deter her from thinking I am crap at it.

I could become Stephen King tomorrow and sell a trillion books and my mother would still be like, "Are you STILL writing? Oh...well, that's nice, I suppose. It's a good thing you have a real job."

But, of course, my mother would say my sister is good at writing...because my sister is not me. If you are my mother, and you are looking at me, you are thinking I am not good at anything but fucking up.

But you can guarantee that if my sister started fucking up on a grand scale as I have done, my mother and I would have a similar conversation about how my sister is so much better at fucking up than I am.

That is just how my mother rolls. That conversation would probably go a little something like this:

Ma: So, your sister is fucking her life up on a grand scale.

Zombie: That's a shame.

Ma: Yeah, now she has two kids out of wedlock. She's having a hard time.

Zombie: Yeah, that sucks. I know what that's like.

Ma: Sure, but YOU aren't on welfare. She is.

Zombie: True. She's got me there.

Ma: And YOU aren't on crack, either. She is.

Zombie: Well, when she puts her mind to something, she sure sees it through...

Ma: And she robbed a bank. Poor kid.

Zombie: Yeah, I haven't gotten around to bank robbing yet...

Ma: At least I have one daughter that can do things up right. And that daughter ain't you.

Zombie: Thanks, Ma. Love you, too.

That's just theoretical, dig, but I can actually hear my mother saying these things in my head, so it's probably likely that this is a conversation that could occur at some point.

Anyway, here are more choice lines:

"Your children are turning out really well despite the crap you have put them through."

"This steak is really good. I can't believe you made it.

"Zombie: It's sort of odd how my sister and I somehow managed to develop uncannily similar senses of humor despite not growing up together.

Ma: Well, she is very funny. But you're crass.

There may have been more, but I have blocked them out, probably. My mother: so cuddly. She loves me...with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.

link | posted by Zombie at 10:19 AM |


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