An Eccentric and Unorthodox Homage to My Mother

So, it’s Mother’s Day weekend, and I’m betting you’re all looking for confirmation that I indeed have a mother. What with that filthy mouth and all, I do in fact have a mother! I come from a very long line of potty mouths by the way, and although my great grandmother didn’t display it often, she had a real talent for its proper usage.

So yes, I do have a mother. And, like many, I love my mother very much especially on this day deemed for thy mothers of the world. I know, I’m a day early, so here’s a heads up for those that may have forgotten…shame on you by the way! Ha!

I’m kidding, spike her coffee, tell her how pretty she is and tell her how much she appreciates you…wait, you tell her how much you appreciate her. Sorry, that’s the Baileys talking there. It’s my housekeeping day and the only way to power through that shit during this shitty lock down shit, is to drink my way through it. After 3 or 4 drinks, I notice I stop muttering about those fuckers and just git ‘er done. Anyway, I love you Mom!

The mom, the myth, the legend

My mother is quite the woman, I’d say lady, but who are we kidding? Lady…pffft…riiiight. What’s that? Anyway, my mom is quite the character, so much so, I feel for my dad sometimes. I’m only joking…or am I? It’s not often, but my dad has a unique high pitch squeal, especially when I’ve got him by the wallet. My mother, on the other hand, seems to have the same knack, only she seems to be able to elicit that squealing all throughout the year and in varying scenarios. I’m so jealous.

I, on the other hand, only experience this sort of power around Christmas time, and only if he asks for my assistance in shopping for my dear mother. Gawd how I miss that sound. He rarely utilizes my employ these days, but there’s always hope for this year! So, my mother is a superhero of sorts when it comes to my dad and assisting in spending his cash. Whatta gal!

So, my mom and I are very close. She is, safe to say, one of my ‘bestest’ friends. I know, it sounds lame and please, don’t think we’re so close that we shower together…I saw the commercial for that TLC show sMothered the other day….heebeejeebees….yikes. Are these people real? Not me and my mom man! With my tube sock tits, and her blown out…well you know…alpaca hoof, not a pretty picture there folks and the insults she and I would be trading and responding to with cacophonous cackling during said shower, well it’d be fucking hilarious. Showering together is absolutely out of the question because there just ain’t enough insults in the world and that’s my dad’s job. Ha ha!

This should segue nicely into The Adventures of Sergeant Sag and Agent Alpaca, don’t you think? Laugh, it’s a joke, and you should know, I’m no body shamer. Society demands the most outrageous shit and is completely out to lunch, or who knows what, because far too many don’t even eat lunch. Jeepers, that’s sad. I’ve had two kids and my body changed drastically in response and that’s amazing, enough said. Enjoy life, it’s way too short. Anyway, suffice to say, my mom and I are very close, and she and I have shared in some of the best times in my life, sans shower.

If you’re asking, does my mommy know what I’m up to? Yes. My mom reads my shit. Yes, she does. Admit it, yours does too, don’t be so damn macho. Without the support of our mother’s, we’d all still be learning how to wipe our own asses right now, so thanks Mom! I need all the help and support I can get these days.

When I started all of this, I wasn’t certain I wanted her to read it. But you know what, she really wanted to be all in after I told her what I was doing, and she, as always, has been one of my biggest supporters. So, now you know who to blame for all of this, I’m kidding! On with my payment of homage to her!

Asshole rearing 101

Anyway, today (really it’s tomorrow, but you’re getting this today, hardy har har!) is a celebration of you Mom. You managed to survive raising 3 of us ‘little assholes’ as you’d often call us (all ‘youngins’ have been referred to as assholes for many generations in my family, my grandmother called us assholes and I’m certain my great grandmother muttered the same). I believe you managed to survive this by cleverly utilizing the phrase, “I brought you into this world, and I can take you out!”, on a constant and daily basis, often while wielding a wooden spoon and a horrifyingly grotesque mask of rage. Yeah, you are one hell of a mom! You were scary as fuck woman!

I don’t know how the hell you managed to survive without a drinking problem (or did you, it’s hard to tell), and you should be an inspiration to many. Child rearing these days, ain’t got nothing on you. Even Dad was terrified of your wrath, well done Mom, well done indeed. To this day, after making smart ass remarks, I still cower if you move too fast because I can still feel the sting of your almighty swat! You were the most ninja mom ever! Cobra Kai my ass!

We’ve had so many adventures over the years, and I am forever grateful. The last few included Lea and those will be treasured forever. In fact, now that I think of it, I believe the last time the 3 of us girls had lunch together, was the time you decided to hop on in and join Lea and I for a keto lunch. Yeah, those were the days, hey Mom? Remember? I do!

Let’s reminisce, shall we? Grab your Kleenex!

I’ll never forget, we decided to go to our usual spot for lunch after some shopping that fateful day, as Lea and I were fully immersed in the ketogenic way of eating. We knew where we could go that would be our ‘safe bet’ so to speak, and you agreed to our usual. We needn’t even look at the menu, and on that particular day, you decided to join in on the keto shenanigans, and enter blindly.

Not one to be left out, Lea and I ordered the same incredibly fat filled item, to which, you excitedly but very coolly told our server that you’d have the same, while giving us the ol’ let’s do this look. Alrighty there Mom! You handed our server the menu and, like the cool cat you are, sunk back into your chair with a laid back demeanor and a ‘hey, yeah I’m cool too’ look and attitude.

Lea and I gave each other the knowing look of does mom even know what the fuck she’s getting herself into? To which, that was a definite no. Let’s just say, that the ladies (my brother included actually) in our family, have never seemed to be able to tolerate any kinds of fat in our diet. In all honesty, we can be relied upon as a ‘fat detector’ of sorts on any given occasion.

If you’re uncertain about the contents of the meal you are about to ingest, regarding it’s fat content, just let us have a bite. I swear, you can ask if there’s fat in something, and someone could tell you there wasn’t, but as soon as it hit our lips, rest assured, if it had any fat in it whatsoever, well, you’d usually have definitive confirmation within minutes just by the look on our faces. A look of terrified discomfort complete with sweat and denial of such agony, only confirms that there is indeed fat within the meal. If you waited long enough, well…you know…we’d emit an explosive one.

And here’s where the unorthodox and eccentric come in…

As it was, Lea and I needed a little ‘build up’ time, if you will, while first immersing ourselves into keto totality. Now, I’m not trying to be mean to my mother, but we folks have got a real dark and sarcastic sense of humor that’s been fully developed over the last few years, and we quite enjoy these kinds of stories. In fact, Lea’s all-time favorites often included turds of all kinds, epic shit stories I believe she called them.

In all fairness, I’ve had many a rushed 45 minute to 1 hour drive home, from of all places, Red Lobster and the Olive Garden for example (most restaurants have the same effect) over the years. These drives can only be summed up as a white knuckling all the way, while praying that the upholstery of my car would be covered by insurance should I relieve myself involuntarily, kinds of drives. I’ve often wondered if a cop would take mercy upon me and not give me a ticket if I were ever to be caught speeding while trying not to shit myself.

I can only imagine that conversation and I hope that I will never be able to answer that question in my lifetime. Ever. Anyway, in my family, we have aptly called this the Vegas Shuffle.

A long time ago, in a little place called Las Vegas…

The story goes a little something like this. One day, at the awesome place called Las Vegas, we decided to go out for dinner because we were hungry. I bet you’ve heard that one before! We were a large group because both Clem’s family and mine, all vacationed together that year. So, we decided to hit an ‘affordable’ buffet at whatever casino, probably 15 plus years ago now, and enjoy a meal together. Dun, dun duuuun! Oh, the suspense!

Once we arrived and were seated, our drink orders were filled, and we were told to dig in. Now, as I mentioned above, my family contains ‘fat detectors’, so our stomachs aren’t like most and we need to take some precautionary measures while eating out, especially at places like buffets. Pre-loading with Pepto-Bismol or Immodium were often employed prior to our departure for extra coverage, in case anyone is wondering. As such, the filling of our plates has always been carefully and strategically calculated, as part of the first line of defense we often engage to try and avoid outcomes, much like the one that takes place in this story. I remember doing a very quick lap to survey the buffet’s contents before arming myself with a plate and dishing up.

I know we’re not the only ones who do this and I’ll be honest, if you’re huddled in a pack at a buffet of any kind, I’m guessing you may be one of our ‘sensitive’ kind as well. We’re easy to spot, often clustered together like a herd, huddling together to discuss the odds of what offerings are going to set us off. This often causes us to bunch up more in a terrified manner while loudly whispering our thoughts as to which pony will be sending our asses to the oval. Really, they should have betting at the buffets on us folks, it’d make for an interesting game. We’ll call it Tempting Fate, the latest game on the Las Vegas Strip with a surprise ending! Or maybe, The Runs, where the ass wins every time, not the house. Or maybe, we should just call it for what it is, the Vegas Shuffle.

Sounds more like a crude card trick or a new way the house shuffles the deck in their favor. Either way, you don’t want to be volunteered as tribute in this game. If you do, bring shit paper as your one allowable item. It has a multitude of uses and will make you very popular in this game. You can protect your pants, make new ones, make masks, create elaborate origami in your boredom and even make protective toilet skid shields (I call them shit chutes/slides which prevents the detection of your potty shenanigans, especially in RV toilets, despite the odor). That stuff, is highly valuable, and you can even use it to barter with, totally up to you. Gee, kind of sounds familiar for some reason…I think we may be playing one big game of it already!

Now, prior to this, I can assure you that we’d already ensured the whereabouts of any toilets, exits, garbage cans, napkins, gift shops and routes back to our rooms (this was the preferred option, but we always have plans B, C, D and beyond plotted in advance, and yes, gift shops…for pants…if we didn’t bring any). We all share this vital information because we all have to rely on each other for survival. Don’t be an ass, share…my mom taught me that! The commencement of dishing carefully, was followed by the cautious nibbling of selected buffet delicacies.

Metamorphosis unlike any other

We often appear to look like the King’s royal food tasters while eating because we want to ensure that we don’t miss any of the early warning signs of impending doom that often gets lost within the pleasures of delicious reverie. Other times, we have to shovel quickly to ensure our money’s worth before having to make a quick escape. Dependent upon the person telling this story and how exercised their intestinal fortitude is, steps may vary. For my mother, she is, by far, the most sensitive ‘detector’ of the bunch. When she lights up, the rest of us take heed in herd like fashion. Moo, I guess.

For many of us, the devouring process is usually followed by a curt, polite exit from said dinner table (depending on the contents of the meal, it could occur as early as mid-meal). You can usually tell when it hits, due in part by the peculiar sounds you’d hear noisily rumbling from our insides, as the contents we’d just consumed were being liquefied in a process similar to a butterfly’s metamorphosis into pure goo within a matter of minutes. While in Las Vegas however, this process is often followed by a 1 mile or more, urgent, galloping, shuffle of sorts down back alleys and through casinos to desperately get back to our rooms for some ‘privacy’ to expel our metamorphosed stomach contents.

My mom and I are pretty in sync when it comes to the timing of this ‘phenomenon’, and we merely need to give each other ‘the look’ to know when it’s time to make our escape together. Girls always stick together, am I right? Believe me when I say this, it’s not all butterflies and rainbows. Attempting to keep the cheeks tight to avoid the explosion that is about to occur at any given moment during these travels, is a skill like no other. It takes years of practice. My in-laws have absolutely no idea what we experience, but Clem, he knows that the moment he even suspects the faintest hint of moisture beginning to form upon my upper lip, it’s go time. You laugh, we cry.

What hadn’t been factored into the equation during one of our ‘buffet escapades’, was the very nice couple my mother and I ‘met’ (no handshakes were offered, so is it still a meet?), while awkwardly galloping and pinching our cheeks together along the way. These poor folks desperately needed direction on how to get the hell out of the never-ending parking garage they’d found themselves lost in. I, like the Good Samaritan I am, gave them directions as we frantically straggled to our destination, ensuring the lovely couple knew their way. My mother fondly recalls my attempts at the ‘gentle yelling’ of instruction from afar that I illustrated as I ran by. I still don’t know if I want to know what they were thinking when they ‘met’ us.

That’s probably not considered by many to be a proud moment, but hey look ma, I made it! I sure hope those gosh awful nice people found their way out of that place. And that my friends, is the Vegas Shuffle! I have a unique understanding of the ‘what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas‘ saying.

Anyway, on our last lunch date with Lea, Mom decided she was going to try keto, diving in hot and cold turkey. However ballsy, I had a moment of, you go momma! What I was really thinking was, holy shit, here she goes.

Tempting fate

Ah, it feels like it was just yesterday, hey Mom? After a short while, our meals arrived, and we chatted over lunch, talking about whatever and just enjoying our time together. You seemed to be enjoying your meal thoroughly, and hot dawg, Lea didn’t get the raw meat this time. We thoroughly enjoyed every last greasy morsel of deliciousness with great thanks. With lunch all said and done, we decided to hit one more place before heading home that day, just to peruse and enjoy a few minutes of quiet shopping at…dun dun dunHomesense. Yeah, that’s our place man, that’s how we roll.

A woman is like a tea bag. You never know how strong she is until she gets into hot water.

Eleanor Roosevelt

Anyway, a few minutes after arriving at Homesense, I noticed that you were very quiet. Lea and I began ‘creating stories’ (this was one of Lea’s favorite lines, it was about making up stories about a future that hadn’t happened yet) about the fact that you might be experiencing a little ‘intestinal discomfort’ or perhaps, the Vegas Shuffle. The more elaborate the stories about shitting in an expensive vase out of sheer desperation in the middle of the store, the harder we laughed. You didn’t give anything away, and allowed the two of us to lazily stalk the store, browsing away at our leisure. You were so considerate Mom!

Not even 15 or so minutes later, we all managed to stumble upon one another in the kitchen gadgets aisle. I immediately took notice of the look of terror in your wide eyes, and realized it was the look of ‘we gotta go right now’. I smiled and asked how your shopping was going, and you quickly looked all around and urgently whispered to Lea and I,

Are you 2 ready to go? Have you shopped enough?”.

That. Right there. That’s the signal that we needed to get our asses on the road and get home. Why, you readers may ask? Because for some reason, this family has an extreme phobia of shitting outside of our own domain, as I illustrated above in my telling of the Vegas Shuffle. Come on! I know we’re not the only ones! They really should sell emergency gonchies in gas stations and shit, cause seriously. Yeah, I knew we were in for an interesting ride, a 20 minute or so ride in fact. Hot water we were in indeed.

For the love of upholstery

Lea and I tried desperately to convince you that there was a public shitter within the vicinity you could hit because your look of pleading desperation meant that we were in some serious shit…no pun intended. Them avocados, cheese and bacon, they weren’t knocking, they were kicking, like literally shit kicking. We figured you had some real fight left in you, because you argued with us like a heavyweight prize fighter over not shitting in public and you had us both convinced you were able to make the trip. The vein popping out of your sweaty forehead at that point was unreal.

We grabbed our shit and hit the checkout. I think I was supposed to stop quickly at one more place, but the twitchy eye you had jammed to mine said that now was not the time. I’m lucky that eye wasn’t your squirty brown eye at that point. Anyway, Lea and I loaded you up into the very back of her minivan, and off we went. By now, Lea and I were trying not to lose our shit during the drive.

You were way, way in the back, immersed in total concentration. I tried to give you my seat up front, but you were in a bit of a hurry and threw yourself into the van without a single thought. You were very quiet, aside from the occasional deep breath, actually, it was more of a desperate sigh. Oh, and other than the telltale crinkling of the Kleenex you used to wipe your brow when the waves subsided, no one would’ve known you were there. I mean, I wasn’t the one driving and never had access to the rear view mirror either, so really, I wouldn’t have even noticed!

Yes, Lea and I were assholes. We kept making comments about how quiet you were back there, all by your lonesome, until…you threatened Lea’s upholstery. Well, it wasn’t my upholstery, so I wasn’t going to stop the teasing! I was dumb enough to keep going! Oh the hilarity! Lea and I howled and bawled over the remarks that just kept rolling out of our mouths!

Yeah, those were the days, hey Mom? That was, up until, you threw us some real clout about shutting up and seriously considering letting shit fly. After you issued the warning, Lea up and whacked me one and told me to shut the fuck up or I was gonna pay dearly. When she’d threaten, I’d listen. I was easily at her mercy when she’d do my hair, so I did what I was finally told and shut my mouth. The rest of the ride home was dead silent.

Needless to say Mom, your exceptional skill and mastery of sphincter control is one to behold. Beyond expert level! And, once you got home and did your thing, you chewed our asses out for being assholes. I love you Mom! I’ll never forget that day, ever. Don’t hate me, this was an epic moment, with you being the hero. Go mom!

I know, I know, what person in their right mind would pay homage to their mother on Mother’s Day with the retelling of a story like that? Well…I should let you know, that you should expect nothing less from me. Yes, I’m an asshole, but I love my mom. I hope you had to use your Kleenex for something more entertaining this time Mom.

And now Mom, it’s time to use your Kleenex for something other than your sweaty brow

So, this is for the mom who talked me into buying that horrible velour jumpsuit when I was pregnant with Lola and lied to me about how good it looked, instead of telling me how grotesquely it accentuated my very obvious and voluptuous cloven camel hoof, I salute you. To the mom who threw holey plastic grocery bags at me with some Ginger Ale and Pepto-Bismol while smiling smugly and saying, “Remember, you love him”, as I was heading out the door to drive 2 hours to a dance lesson with my extremely hungover, projectile vomiting and puke reeking fiance a week before our wedding, I love you.

To the mom, who ate Cheerios and beer with me every morning, the week before my wedding, fretting over the advice she gave about compromising on my wedding being held in a church because of my hypocritical and ‘religiously’ rigid, soon to be in-laws, I am grateful. To the mom, who has taken every 9-9-1 call (this is a running joke about our mom crisis hotline) for all the fucked up things I’ve experienced as a mom, I appreciate you. To the mom, who indulges in dirty jokes and being a bad-ass, I think the world of you. All joking aside, I hope you have a memorable mother’s day.

I know Lea would’ve wished you a happy mother’s day long ahead of me already because she was an early bird (and a total suck up, just kidding), but I’m sure she’d be sending you the same wishes today. Your 3 asshole children (you had 3 of us and will always have 3 of us), love and admire you more than anything, and I hope we have many more memories to make and laugh about in the future.

You’ve kept me afloat, all these years, and I have no idea how to say thank you enough. I am extremely grateful to have you in my life and I hope to be as strong and insightful as you one day. I hope you have an amazing day and know that I am thinking about you.

In the meantime, step away from the keto and make sure Dad takes you out for something a little nicer than ‘fancy shmancy’ (A&W) tonight since we aren’t together to fight him on it. Make it somewhere that elicits that squeal that you and I genuinely take pleasure in hearing. Get it on video if you can for me, it’s been a while!

I hope that you had a laugh and that I didn’t mortify you too badly. I made myself look like a total ass too, so you’re not the only one. And remember, everybody poops, so you’re story isn’t that special ha! Thank you for the moments, they are my everything. I look forward to the new ones we’ll make in the future.

Happy Mother’s Day Mom!

I love you.

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