jueves, marzo 17, 2005

My Mother, My Self

I am certain that it's OK for me to write this in my blog as no one in my family reads it. I have purposely not given any of them the address to this blog so that I can talk the shit that I want to talk without it becoming a scandal akin to that which ensued after the first time I moved in with a boy. The rest the family don't know about because I'm no longer stupid enough to tell my mother things that mothers do not need to know about their daughters. Actually, I can't remember whether I gave this address to my cousin who I call "Contraband", but he would agree with all this, so that would be OK.

Last night I called my mami to see when she was going to Guatemala next so I could tag along, which will be in July. My uncle and his family are coming from Chile at that time, plus my auntie Carmen is getting old as is my grandma, so a visit is in order. Also, I get antsy/guilty when I haven't been for a while. This is exacerbated when my mom has me call my Grandma, and she says "Ay, amorcito lindo, cuando vas a venir a visitarme? Ya me voy a morir. Apurese." Translation: "Oh, my love, when are you coming to visit me? I'm going to die soon. You best hurry up." You see? The cutest thing is that my mom is going to take a weaving workshop in Atitlan during our trip, which is the main hippie/gringo destination in Guatemala. I can just imagine her at the loom working away, and strangely enough, I wouldn't mind joining her. She is so little, and she looks so nice and sweet and harmless, and she's so elegant and such a lady, but I dare not fuck with her, intentionally, that is, for fear of a beating much worse than any man could issue. Believe me, I still wince just thinking about the leather hippie belt with the novelty buckle she used to use on me as a kid. I know now that I deserved every hit, but I digress....

So, yeah, that editorial which I posted before along with my reaction to it was sent by her. I don't know where the fuck she got the idea that she could send it to me and I would agree and call her up and say "right on!" I love my mother more than most people my age love their parents, but I swear sometimes it's like she never gave birth to me, did not raise me to be the little ballbuster I am now, and just does not know me at all. She says this to me last night: "I thought it was a nice editorial, and you know how I feel about those things. I love America and it has given me so much opportunity. I just thought you'd agree with it." A NICE editorial? America gave you the opportunities? I thought hard work gave a person opportunities, after all, that is what she told me in junior high when I was failing physics and chemistry. I admit here that I might have been more intent on attacking the author of the editorial than the editorial itself, who really I don't know, but I know his kind: the hateful, WASP, neo-con asshole. Well, I didn't say this to her, but, mami, when have I ever agreed with your politics? I haven't said this to her either, but I think she's been brainwashed by her husband, also an immigrant, by the way, but from Argentina, meaning he is several things to which he's not willing to admit. One of them would be Latin American, but that's another story. They do not vote, although my mother is now a citizen, so they talk shit all day over baguettes and brie, but they will never do a damn thing about it. I'm not sure what bothers me more: the fact that they are conservatives or the fact that they're so apathetic yet unreasonably strong-willed in their conservatism (I think that's the word). Oh, funny story: over Christmas vacay, me, my cousin and my mom's best friend (who is a liberal potsmoker, by the way. Ain't that a kick in the head???) were talking shit about Bush, and my mom starts in on her shit. I asked "Mami, now that you are a citizen, do you vote?" She looked at me as if "vote" was some ancient Inuit term for snow, and said "no, but I pay taxes," with this smug look on her face like Bush's when he said "Saddam tried to kill my daddy." There was much laughter, and I said "This country that you love so much, ma, do you realize that the American Revolution was fought so that Americans would be able to elect their own leaders and so that their taxes would go to their own benefit?" And that was the end of the discussion. Off she went to bed. As for the brainwashing she's apparently suffered, I can prove that, because my father says that she was never like this when they were going out or when they were married, as if he would waste time on anyone who had lost the ability to be coherent, and still he gets these looks of utter bewilderment that mirror my own after ma has just gone on some irrational pro-Bush propaganda tirade. She needs to learn that while I can take this crap, my father is pushing 70, and although his mind is in tact and completely reasonable, shit's fragile nowadays, so be careful. I don't know if the man can take any more suprises, for God's sake.

So I sent her my reaction to the editorial, and wouldn't you know it, my stepfather opens it up like it's mail to him and begins a discussion with me, I write back, and then nothing. Little do I know it's because he is exasperated by me because of course he thinks that I am just misinformed. This is what he always says to me when I express a viewpoint that opposes his own. "You are misinformed." I am also required to have dates to back up my opinion that complete assimilation is just not feasible. Now someone tell me what date or prominent historical event I need to come up with to sufficiently justify my opinion? I mean, I am wired for that kind of reasoning, and can give you some facts that might make you think about just wiring your mouth shut, but I didn't think I needed to do that this time around. Anyway, my mother couldn't suggest one, nor could he. I also had to explain that the response was not TO him, that it was to my mother, since she sent the article, and to my stepfather's credit, he keeps his mouth shut and doesn't send around crap like that. I also had to swear that mine were not fighting words. After all, to a conservative mind, the ramblings of a further-left-leaning being are always fighting words, but their words are merely "humble opinions."

And this is the truly amazing part: Ma was all "Well, I have to fix dinner," and after we hung up, I felt BAD. I have no idea why, but I think the fact that my mother might be so mad at me as to not speak to me for a month or so, which she has pulled before for other reasons, might have had something to do with it. Pissing her off a little is one thing. Having her hold a grudge against me is another. It's like sanctions, and it makes me crazy and depressed. But then she called me later and said "I am sitting down now. There is beef on my plate. Is there any between us?" I let out a sigh of relief and said "No, mama, not that I know of." "OK, good. I loooove you, " she says, in a very exaggerated tone which means "you are forgiven." And now I can proceed with my life.

My mother is the flagrant loudmouth, which like it or not explains my own flagrant loudmouth ways. She says that I argue with my emotions. Damn, where'd I get that from? You know, like I said, a ballbreaker begets a ballbreaker, so the first ballbreaker need not ask questions as they have no one to blame but themselves. Although ma did catch on to this phenomenon once: I was talking shit about my job and this God-forsaken organization on the phone with her one night, and after I've finished my bitter, embattled tirade, she says "Ay, Maria, you are just like me, with that mouth, always getting so excited about things. So loud, Mari, so loud. I would love to blame it on your father but he's too cold and aloof to have taught you that." Oh no, believe me when I say that when they raised the little monstrosity that is me (my stepfather still calls me "Beastie" after 20 years of knowing me. i guess I haven't grown up as much as I thought), it was definetly the coordinated efforts of two people really in love, for the moment anyway. "But mommmy, you and daddy didn't raise me to keep my mouth shut." "I know, but we thought you'd be more of a lady." Now, I had a similar conversation with daddy about my cursing. I curse all the time, although I can shut it when I have to. "God dammit, Maria, why'n the hell you curse so goddamn much?" "OK, daddy, let me say that back to you..." "Oh, alright, Maria, I get it, Jesus Christ! For shit's sake!" And I haven't heard any more questions about that.

2 comentarios:

jessica dijo...

my mom sends me strange articles too! i like the ending :-)

jess dijo...

"strange" to me anyway ... as i'm not sure why after all this time she'd think i'd agree!! happy friday.