Monday, July 16, 2012

and it's hard to dance with a monkey on your back..........




i'm exhausted, drained, void of funny.

fine, fine, fine - she's beating me. and if you didn't know it was a contest, well it is. and if you don't know who i'm talking, it's my mother. maybe if it wasn't so hot i'd be able to compete. she told me a couple of days ago that old people can take the heat. i'm sure that's not true, she's just playing with my mind. that's what she does -it's called offense.



so i'm going to tell you something about her. why hold back? i'm pretty sure i've tipped the "no going back blog scale" already. i'm not going to be able to explain away any of this shit, so why not go for volume. terri this bit for you



my mother has many names for her lady bits. it's curious that someone that old would find it necessary but she does. most of her names are nautical in theme; this i assume is because we come from the sea. but for the last while she has been calling her nether regions -  monkey. now, this comes up in the morning, usually after tea." well", she says," i must go wash my monkey" i think yes, yes for christ sake get in there and wash that thing. the children laugh and say "oh, grandma" and then we all try to go about our business and not think about what's going on in the bathroom. except we can't because as i've mentioned my mother is fantastically old and she often is a bit sketchy when it comes to recalling hand towel protocol. our family is extremely paranoid about where those towels have been and what they have been drying. nobody wants to end up with old lady monkey on their hands.



there i've let the monkey out of the bag. now, that feels better. nothing says freedom like exposing embarrassing family secrets.



i am not my mother's favorite child. in fact it is fair to say i am my mother's least favorite child. she told me. not in a roundabout way, not in such a way as to cause confusion. just lobbed it out there a hanging curve ball. here's the play by play of a fable told oft in our home



mom: that fact is beverly, i had my family when i got pregnant with you

me: yes mom, i know



mom: i had my boy and girl. i really didn't want anymore

me: yes mom, i know



mom: and you nearly killed me, you were so big and you were a girl

me: yes mom, i know



mom: your father named you, he was so damn happy

me: yes mom, i know



mom: you were so queer, always sticking things up your nose and you chewed the varnish right off the windowsills. and you never shut your mouth you talked and talked

me: yes mom, i know



mom: but i guess it all turned out. i love you but i can't say i ever was all that fussy about having you

me: yes mom, i know

as mom gets older she and i have this exact same conversation more often. for mom i think it like confession time. Not that she any sense of guilt, it more of the" let's get a few things straight" talk. for me this talk is comforting, it confirms and reaffirms everything i have known since childhood. the information is strangely freeing. there are no expectations placed on me. i am free to come and go as i please.

my mother has spent a lifetime fretting and worrying over my brother and sister. now in her 80's she has turned her attention to me. i have become a novelty act. i am now the favorite by virtue of being the child she thought about the least. she is forgetting all the wonderful things my siblings did growing up and is left with the memories of me. all the odd, quirky, queer, instances that punctuated her relationship with me.

this sounds oh so pitiful and sad but it's not. my mother loves me and i her. this new found focus on me. allows two people who have always been wary of her other to share their common history

now off you go to wash that monkey of yours

bev

ps. 2nd best line of the visit

mom: you're not much entertainment

me: i know


53 comments:

  1. Oh my. I laughed so I hard I cried. Now I'll always laugh when someone mentions a monkey.

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  2. I had a cousin who referred to it as her monkey. The kokes? Were ENDLESS! Every time someone mentioned a monkey, the naughty jokes would flow. It just never got old.
    I often wonder if we "odd children" grow up to have a slightly better relationship with our Mothers...or at the least it's more of a friendship than a relationship. Although honestly? After seeing many a Mother-Daughter "relationship" from friends, I think I always preferred the friendship.
    I adore your writing, Lady! PLEASE, keep it up forever! *grin*

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    1. if i said to my mom - "mom are we friends" she would say - "friends! no we aren't friends. where do you get this foolishness? i'm your mother."
      thanks chris

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  3. This is fantastic, Bev. I have GOT to recommend your blog to others! I know of many people who'd love it!

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    1. thank you so much katie. your little smiling face makes me smile

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  4. I really enjoy your dialogues with your mother. I am the youngest in my family too, and as my parents used to say, I wasn't 'planned'. The monkey thing is just hilarious. :)

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    1. thank you alessandra. i was born 13 years after my sister and brother. my mother thought she was going through menopuause. so even i feel sorry for her

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  5. She's lying. The heat is worse when you're old, that is, I guess unless you're part monkey. They live in the jungle, right? I wonder why her monkey needs such big underwear. Perhaps it's really an ape?

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    1. i challenge you and dee to have this "heat" arguement with my mom. that would be kinda fun to watch.

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  6. Dear Bev, I agree with "Crazy Mama." For me, aging has brought less tolerance for both heat and cold. That is, I feel both the heat and the cold more. I understand "Shiver my timbers!" now. I feel so lucky/blessed/affluent that I can afford to have air conditioning both in my home and the car.

    When I read your posting about the relationship between you and your mom, I find myself wondering what mine with me with my mother if she hadn't died when she was 58 and I was 32. I'll never know but then I'll also never know the things a mom says as she ages to her daughter that can be hurtful. So I'm glad to learn that you have this in perspective and can laugh about it. That's a gift. Peace.

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    1. dear dee, my relationship with my mom has been constant since i was a child. she has never been shy about stating her opinions. my father died when i was very young(6), so she and her wacky parenting style are all i remember.

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    2. Dear Bev, I am so sorry to learn that your dad died when you were six and that all you've ever known is this criticism from your mom. That so messes with any sense of esteem we can ever feel. What is the wonder here is that you are able to talk about this and see the humorous side. That takes, I think, great courage and fortitude on your part.
      Peace in your journey to wholeness.

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    3. that's ok dee, shit happens. i am grateful and happy for the life i have been given. god knows, i could be all boring and skinny and happy if i had grown up in a normal home.

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  7. Just wanted to tell you how much pleasure your header photo gives me. Great picture. I'm hoping this is a real place in your world.

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    1. thank you the photo also brings me great pleasure. and in the interest of keeping hope alive - of course it's part of my world

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  8. This was so bloody funny, really cracked me up........lol The little talks you have with your mum are just so funny..........

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    1. thank you so much jo-anne. i find typing out those little convos a very calming exercise.

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  9. Omg.. I think your mom and my mom are sisters! The goal is not to be like them, now OR when we're old!

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    1. i don't know, i think it might be quite pleasing to let loose when i'm old.

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  10. God alive, I nearly spat my tea out over the keyboard when I read about your mum's monkey! That is well funny .... and has left me with a curiously bad taste in my mouth!

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    1. sorry annie but i feel if i have to live through these things, everyone should. thanks for commenting and following!

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  11. Bev, it's tough to achieve poignancy in a post about one's mother's "monkey," but you've done it! I'm going to find a widget for my blog, wherein I can list Bev's (and now Bev's mom's) vulva names. (Have you ever seen the Facebook page, "Shit My Dad Says" -- it has a gazillion "likes" ... you may be on to something here! I'm touched that you thought of me during the monkey intro and will let it buoy me throughout the day! (Seriously, I laughed out loud as I usually do when I hop over here.)

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    1. thank you sweetpea! i knew if anyone would appreciate a bit of monkey talk, it was you. i have never seen that facebook page but i bet my mom could compete. xxx

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    2. I read this to my husband. Like me, he laughed out loud during the first part ... and got quiet during the second part ... especially here:

      "i am now the favorite by virtue of being the child she thought about the least. she is forgetting all the wonderful things my siblings did growing up and is left with the memories of me. all the odd, quirky, queer, instances that punctuated her relationship with me."

      I'm still not the favorite by a long shot ... and that's fine, but this observation of yours is really quite lovely and I relate to it regarding my oft-strained relationship with my ill father. It made me think.

      It's Terri, having issues w/ open ID again.

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    3. oh sweetie thank you. i often used to wish my mom was a different kind of parent. but i have made peace with it - i think xxxx

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  12. Haha! Great read... I like a mom who just knows how to tell it like it is. ;) I'm sure it makes you love her even more.

    xoxo,
    Melissa

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  13. sure of course, it makes me love her more.....
    thanks melissa

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  14. Bev, I laughed so hard I thought I was going to laugh this baby right out and onto the livingroom floor tonight. I read my hubby your blog and he laughed and then continued on with naughty monkey comments. Laughter can bring on labour right ? :)

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    1. if i make the baby come out can i keep it? you should hold your monkey when you laugh xx

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  15. Thank you for dropping by my blog and now returning the favor via GFC. Am about to explore your blog after leaving this comment. :)

    That Chief's First Lady
    http://inhighheelsanddogtags.blogspot.com/

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    1. thank you altair astor. you have a lovely name

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  16. bev, you know... another favorite book of mines is '$hit My Dad Says.' The author started blogging about his dad in the same way you're blogging about Mom...

    ...can't wait to see your font in larger print.

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    1. i have to find this shit book this is the second time i've heard about it. how do i make my font bigger

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    2. oh, you'll love the shit book! It's a promise.

      & larger font = book. You know what we're waiting for ;-)

      ...also, forgot to post here that I sent over the questions.

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  17. hi there - I just stopped by to return the favor and follow you back. What an interesting blog you have and what fun to read all the stories - you are a brilliant writer.

    I'll be back soon - have a crafty week

    xo
    tina
    one crafty mess

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    1. thank you for visiting and following tina.

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  18. HI Bev, Following you back and really enjoying reading your blog. You have a great way with words. And I echo the ladies who wrote here when I say you must find a publisher or find a way into writing for Saturday Night Live! Oh and needless to say, I laughed out loud when I read this. x

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    1. thank you strings and buttons lady you have lovely cheek bones. i don't know your name but i think that you are my friend. xx

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  19. Oh I love your blog! Thanks for following mine, glad you found me. I'm about to dig through your archives, this was such an entertaining read :).

    Jacqui
    sweetsmartfunny.blogspot.com

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  20. OH MY! How hysterical! Thanks for following my blog and I am a new follower here. I love your style!

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    1. thank you lauren. you have a very stylish name. thanks for visiting and following

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  21. So funny! I'm your newest follower. Thanks for the invite. I'm excited to continue reading!

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    1. thank you sheena and thanks for following

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  22. This was a fun post to read, probably not as much fun to actually live through, but as usual life makes some great writting opportunities. Thanks for stopping over the other day, I am happy to be following you back. :)

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    1. thank you your highness. it's good to meet another pageant winner

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  23. Too funny! Glad you are looking at it optimistically?!? Thanks for following Mommy Time Out

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    1. thank you angela and thanks for following

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  24. Oh my goodness!!! monkey?! lol!!!
    Thanks for stopping by Simply Sweet Sunday!

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    1. thank you sunday. you have a great name and thanks for following

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  25. seriously?? that was freaking hilarious (I dont just go throwing that word around!) Thank you for stopping by my blog, yours is way cooler and I am so happy to have found it! Following back.

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    1. thank you busy. you have a cool blog and you have way more children than i do. thanks for following.

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  26. Too funny ;p Hope you enjoyed your weekend!

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