Posted by: DD | April 30, 2009

MOMMY, DEAREST

wellbehavedMy mom is always clipping articles out of the home-town paper to give me that feature one of my former 40 high-school classmates. At first it was engagement and wedding announcements, which I took as a passive-aggressive reminder of my own “spinsterhood” since I was a month shy of turning 30 when I got married. Aside from a couple of other classmates, who were either gay or a few cards shy of a full deck, I’m sure I was one of the last to submit an engagement picture to the editor of the paper who may or may not have doubled as the fire chief, the motel manager and bar owner. The type of newspaper who could take the highest quality photograph and make it look like a wanted picture from 1885.

From there, the articles she would clip would be the assorted birth announcements (many before I even graduated from college), travels “abroad” – you know – to Kansas, and even the tiny postage size blip that was published weekly of persons hospitalized back before HIPAA took away that spot of joy from every retiree who ever subscribed to the paper solely to snoop in on their neighbor’s colon issues via the printed word.

Twenty-five years later, she still shows up with clippings and I’m wondering if she’s rubbing my face in the accomplishments of my lame-o classmates or if she’s under the impression – a highly mistaken one – that I give a rat’s ass what any one of them are doing (unless of course it’s being booked for indecent exposure).

The most recent was an article featuring one of my classmates that I hung out with quite a bit before I suddenly dropped off the face of the earth and never heard from again once I realized that ohmygodI’vebeenlivinginavacuum! and that people really did do something with their spare time other than park on a low-maintenance road and indulge in keggers until the county sheriff came by to drop off his daughter break things up.

My “friend” had been awarded Nebraska’s Young MOY (Mother of the Year, don’t you know?) according to the blurb under the picture of her, her husband and five children. Good for her *yawn*. The article sat on the counter for a couple of days and one morning I read the full article as I had actually put away the cereal box,  effectively leaving me with nothing to read.

It was a blah article, to say the least, but by the time I read through it, I found myself annoyed deeply. Why? Because the article listed the requirements necessary to be nominated for MOY of this organization, with this one standing out in particular:

  • Has been married to her husband, a man, in a legal ceremony.
  • Of course! Why, you can’t be a good mother if you’re a single parent or have a husband (do they come in any other form than “man”??) through common law, don’t you know?! And heaven forbid ~whisper~ a lesbian might be a mother, much less one that is an excellent mother! No awards for you since only women in hetero relationships qualify as good mothers (that should bring some interesting google hits).

    My mother’s innocent attempt to keep me somehow connected to people I haven’t talked to in two decades only reminds me of why I cannot maintain contact with those who won’t see beyond their white-picket fence lifestyles. I can’t even imagine how they might react if their moms clipped an article about me if I was ever outed as a blogger, an infertility blogger, a donor-egg-recipient, infertility blogger! I can see their June Cleaver aprons curling up in horror now.

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    Responses

    1. Oh goodness….my mother is the exact same way with newspaper clippings. It’s to the point where if she sees something that is from someone who is only FROM my school. Not even my year. She will clip it and save it for me. And I’m only 27. But so annoying.

      And I can’t believe that’s a requirement! How horrible….

    2. My mother spent 2.5 years unhappily reminding me that I was living in sin. She didn’t have much access to my life, since I cut her off of information when she told everyone at work when I got my period for the first time.

      However, people from my high school have some fantastic credentials like “One of Obama’s top advisers,” and “dating George Lucas.” Good thing she doesn’t know about them!

    3. Wow… I wouldn’t even allow myself to be entered into that type of ‘contest’. And if I had been awarded it after having reviewed the requirements, I would rescind the title. But not everyone thinks of those things.

      I wonder if she entered herself or was nominated and if she knows the rules. Makes you wonder…

    4. Yeah, bet you don’t even count as a “mother” since your daughter didn’t result from sex in the missionary position in your own bed.

      • Shhhh! I bet they aren’t even allowed to say S.E.X.

    5. Man, I adore you. Are you sure we are not long lost sisters (ok, yeah, I don’t have the skinny jeans)

      And I MISS you.

      Blame Shamore – I cannot use the computer since he screams if I don’t let him “type”.

      I will be catching up this weekend. I NEED my DD fix.

    6. First, please send me a copy of that pic!!! I tried to lift it but no dice.

      Seriously, those kind of awards or soooo odd. Any chance your friend was nominated by someone else and didn’t even see the fine print?

      As for your mom’s friends if you were ever outed? She might just get an awful surprise and discover that lots of her friends had miscarriages and went through IF. Might just shock the shit out of her….

      • Oh, I’m sure my friend clearly understood the requirements since one of them
        is also that you must be a member of this particular organization, complete
        with dues. Also, it doesn’t surprise me that she’s a member remembering what
        she was like in high school.

    7. I was inspired to check out the organization that hands out that award, here’s their mission statement:

      AMI is an interfaith, non-political, non-profit organization for women and men who identify with our Purpose of strengthening the moral and spiritual foundations of the family and the home.

      Everybody knows, you can only strengthen the moral and spiritual foundations of the family and the home in a legal heterosexual marriage. You know, like Britney Spears or Heidi and Spencer, or Madonna.

      • Let’s both join and we’ll nominate each other and then shake up their
        puritan perceptions of the “perfect” mom.

    8. My mom is always updating me on people from my hometown. “Do you remember so-and-so who was so-and-so’s daughter/son that you knew from X?” And I rarely do. And she still tells me all about the news.

    9. Oh I am so glad that a) local papers just aren’t popular here and b) we moved around so much I have no idea which papers my mother would need to look in!


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