With Apologies to my Mother

Mom decided to start reading my blog (one year later) and, of course, she joins my small herd of followers on the post of the family reaction to moving to LA.

She was less than thrilled of my portrayal of her. So, Mother, if you still count among my followers, this is the one post devoted exclusively to you.

I’m sorry, but I’m going to continue posting stories with you in them. In fact, I’m starting a new topic about growing up in the Midwest.

I’m sorry you wanted to be a perfect parent. Perfect is boring.

If you were a perfect parent, I’d be a lawyer married to a small-time politician who cheated on me with his campaign manager, but we would stay together for the kids. I’d hate my job, my husband, my house, and my dog. I would be satisfied with that life because it carried the facade of perfection and it would be good enough.

I wouldn’t read. I wouldn’t have listened to Janis Joplin. I wouldn’t have Motown in my karaoke wheelhouse.

I sure as hell wouldn’t be a writer.

I’m sorry that you think I only remember the bad things and the friction. I’m your daughter. We’re not going to get along all the time.

But, who would have gone with me to the Cher concert? I know everyone there saw us and thought, “Oh, what a good daughter, coming with her mother to see Cher,” when they should have been thinking, “Oh, what good mother, coming with her daughter to see Cher.”

Who would have flown up to Boston in the hot-as-hellfire summer of 2007, so I wouldn’t have to drink alone on my 21st birthday?

Who would have sat out in the freezing cold night after night while I struggled to breathe through my fluid-filled lungs?

So, why do I focus on the negative? Because that other stuff makes people sad. No one watched Everybody Loves Raymond to see how nice Marie was to Deborah.

There’s conflict, there’s story. And, while there’s universal truth in the sweet as well as the bitter, it’s just not funny.

I know I don’t have any children, and you think I can’t possibly understand what it’s like, but that’s not true. I’m a writer. I have children. My characters hate me more than half the time. If I was a perfect nurturer to my stories, who knows what that crap would look like.

So, that’s it. That’s the only blog apology you’re getting. If it makes you feel better, just pretend I’m talking about someone else. Usually, that’s what I do.

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