(insert pithy rejoinder here)

Somebody Shoot Me – An Ode To My Mother

A Conversation with my mother the day I told her I finished my novel.

ME: “Well Mom, it’s done. I finally finished it.”

MOM: “Finished what?”

ME: “Uh…my novel. The one I’ve been working on for the past year. Yeah, it’s done.”

MOM: “I had no idea you were writing a book! What is it about?”

ME: (sighs) “It’s a young adult novel about a teenager named Sawyer Hayden who–“

MOM: “Sawyer? Oh I don’t like that name.”

ME: ”Well it’s too late to change it now. ANYWAY…he wants a basketball scholarship so he–“

MOM: “Basketball? But you don’t play basketball! And why are you writing about boys anyway? You’re a woman who lives in New Hampshire! I know what you should do. Join a writing group and try to make friends with that woman writer there…

ME:  Please don’t say Jodi Picoult.

MOM: …the one who writes all those nice cancer books. You know who I mean.”

ME: (sigh 2x) “Her name’s Jodi Picoult, mom.”

MOM: “No, that’s not it. Well, whoever she is I hear her books are very popular.”

ME: “FINE! WHATEVER! JUST LISTEN!” (deep breath) “In my book Sawyer asks his brother River to help–“

MOM: “RIVER? Oh I don’t like that name either. Why did you pick such ugly American names? With so many nice names in our family to choose from you–“

ME: “HOW ABOUT RAPHAEL? THAT’S WHAT I NAMED THE DAD SO HOW ABOUT THAT?”

MOM: “Finally a name I like! It’s about time you remembered you’re Italian.”

ME: “Ok…but just so you know, I made the dad Spanish.”

MOM: (appalled) “NOW WHY DID YOU DO THAT?! WHY DIDN’T YOU JUST MAKE HIM ITALIAN? HOW AM I GOING TO TELL THE FAMILY IN ITALY THAT MY DAUGHTER WROTE A BOOK ABOUT SPANIARDS AND NOT ITALIANS?!”

ME: “I’M IRISH TOO, MOM! WHY DON’T I JUST MAKE HIM IRISH LIKE MY DAD, HUH? HOW’S THAT SOUND?”

MOM: “Spanish is fine.”

ME: “CAN WE FOCUS NOW? PLEASE?!”

MOM: “Yes, yes. Continue.”

ME: (sighs, molto frustrato) “So SAWYER leaves his father and moves to Nebraska–“

MOM: Bites lip.

ME: “NOW what’s wrong?”

MOM: “Well…why does he have to live in Nebraska? It’s a land locked state.”

ME: (rubbing temples) “What does Nebraska being a land locked state have to do with anything?”

MOM: “I don’t trust the seafood in land locked states. It’s too expensive. What you’re really paying for is the truck to have it delivered. They don’t fool me.”

ME: “Fine. You know what? I’ll change it to a coastal state–“

MOM: “OOH! You should make it Hawaii! I’ve always wanted to go there. You know they filmed that show LOST in Hawaii. But then you couldn’t use the name Sawyer. Hey! Now you can change that too! I always liked that doctor Jack–“

ME: “MOM! It can’t be Hawaii because Raphael is a long haul truck driver and that’s how Sawyer gets to Nebraska to live with his grandfather so he can get a basketball scholarship.”

MOM: “Well why does he even need a scholarship? With the price of seafood nowadays the father should have no problem paying for–“

ME: “You know what? Forget it. I didn’t write a book. I made a quilt.”

MOM: “Oh don’t be so sensitive. Tell me what the grandfather’s name is. Something good I hope.”

ME: “GUS.”

MOM: (flinches, thinks and then says) “So SAYWER leaves a man named RAPHAEL to live with a man named GUS?”

ME: “Yes but mom, Gus is awesome. He’s a biker and a southern rock roadie with…bad…ass…tattoos…”

MOM: (near tears) “What happened to my dainty daughter who used to love to read books and write stories and listen to music?!”

ME: “She changed her name to Sawyer.”

 

FOR MORE MIND-NUMBING MATERNAL MASOCHISM VISIT:

CONVERSATIONS WITH MY MOTHER

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37 responses

  1. I feel like I have those kinds of conversations all the time. ;)

    Like

    May 12, 2013 at 7:26 am

    • I’m thinking we should form a support group.

      Like

      May 12, 2013 at 7:34 am

  2. Lol My Mother does the same thing with my poetry. She’s like “Why did you use that word? David, I don’t understand? Eh? Change it!” “But I can’t, it’s already been published!” “Well unpublish it then, quickly!” It horrifies her so much sometimes that I would like people to look things up every now and then and expand their minds/horizons but she acts as if they never even invented the dictionary or Google. I’ve got a couple of books to finish up then I should be able to get stuck into yours. Also, Netlix has finally got the first Season of Metalocalypse – it was incredible! Can’t wait for future seasons. I think Pickles is my favourite character after Dr Rockso but I love all the characters esp. the sinister Mark Hamil voiceover at the start of each episode, with their experts who do nothing. Genius!

    Like

    May 12, 2013 at 8:13 am

    • Want a brainbomb? My mother walked in on me watching the episode where Dethklock is ambushed by their families. You should have seen my mother’s reaction to Murderface’s Grandfather in the wagon. I’ll I heard for the rest of the day was, “I wouldn’t have come to this country if I had known this was how you were going to spend your time.”

      Like

      May 12, 2013 at 9:31 am

      • Lol – I adore that episode and it’s awkwardness, families can be sooooooo embarrassing. Isn’t it amazing how no matter how psychologically damaging these encounters are they make the deepest and richest comedy in the land to share with others. I once described struggles with my family life to a friend once and he proclaimed that it was better than any daytime soap opera – that might be a compliment to my overly dramatic storytelling nature or a damning indictment, bearing in mind how tedious some of these shows are. I tried to explain Dethklok to my parents, my Dad got it pretty quickly, my Mother didn’t know what to make of it, she thought they were ripping of Tenacious D! I tell friends about it and after I’ve explained I Ejaculate Fire they are pretty much horrified beyond belief. So I don’t do that now, I use the Duncan Hills coffee commercial instead as my entry level waypoint to Metalocalyptica (“Never have so many travelled so far to listen to such a short song!”) I will win Dethklok new fans one day or find others who like them, even if it kills me!

        Like

        May 12, 2013 at 10:57 am

        • I am right there with ya!

          I must say, I am more than a little impressed that your mother knows who Tenacious D is. I played WONDERBOY for my mom as sort of a jumping off point, but she didn’t get it. I didn’t even bother with MASTER EXPLODER, and COCKPUSHUPS was right out.

          I find it’s not just the older generation that doesn’t get the subtlety of musical parody. Just last week I turned to my kid and said, “You know what, Stuart? I like you. You’re not like the other people here, in the trailer park.”

          He thought I’d lost my mind. If you think I’ve lost my mind, go here:

          Like

          May 12, 2013 at 12:32 pm

          • Lol I don’t think you have lost your mind, I think it is perfect the way it is. Another band that is right up my street – thanks for that! I’m all about the musical parody or parody of anything. Spinal Tap is the only other metal band I can think of that peddles humor and can play catchy song too. However, have you heard of Flight of the Conchords? They are wicked. Lonely Island also have a lot of good parodies. Incidentally, I thought I could watch the Low Hanging Fruit Tenacious D video at work but even though they are using fruit suggestively, it’s almost ruder than the real thing! Maybe I should play it to my boss at work, she is always going on about going after the low hanging fruit :) The video for Body Shot by Electric Six is also disturbing but I find them one of the funniest American bands in the world. Ohh Ohh and DVDA by the creators of South Park too – check them out!

            Like

            May 12, 2013 at 1:39 pm

            • I LOVE LOVE LOVE FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS AND LONELY ISLAND! One of the funniest things I have ever seen in all my life is the R. Kelly “rap-opera” TRAPPED IN THE CLOSET. I have yet to figure out if it is a work of intentional comedy or if he meant for people to take it seriously. It’s either incredibly funny, horribly tragic or a work of pure genius. You decide.

              Like

              May 12, 2013 at 1:46 pm

              • Oh my word! What the hell is going on?
                I’m on Chapter 4 already, what an amazing song!
                How could I have missed this
                It’s the most amazing thing in my life
                Like if Shaggy had a gun and started
                Waving it at the woman that is not his wife!
                Thank you for pointing me in it’s direction
                I’d have to admit it’s giving my funny bone…traction
                I will have to see where this all goes
                And come back to you with a summary after it curls up all my toes!

                Like

                May 12, 2013 at 6:00 pm

                • Yes! A convert!

                  Like

                  May 12, 2013 at 6:02 pm

                  • Well, d*mn, I watched twenty-two chapters
                    And I love how he played different characters
                    My favourite was Randolph and when he passed out
                    After drinking too much and telling secrets from the couch
                    That funny ass beat in the background, a leaky tap
                    Often I was like “Get a plumber in all over that!”
                    R.Kelly has become another one of my heroes
                    He’s as cool as bunch of refrigerated Eskimos
                    Never thought a beretta to the face would be so hysterical!
                    Now I want to go out and write myself a musical!

                    Like

                    May 19, 2013 at 2:14 pm

  3. This. This is why I don’t talk about writing to my mother. I’d have to hear that nobody wants to read swear words, and she raised me to be “nicer” than that. Great read, and happy Mother’s Day.

    Like

    May 12, 2013 at 8:32 am

    • Thanks, JB.

      What’s truly ironic is that I give that same speech to my sons, who often reference this blog as evidence of my hypocrisy. Damn teens and their internet savvy.

      Like

      May 12, 2013 at 9:25 am

  4. Heh

    Like

    May 12, 2013 at 8:51 am

  5. Too funny! Happy Mother’s Day, H.E.

    Like

    May 12, 2013 at 10:13 am

    • Thanks, Sandy!

      Did you get my email about not being able to open your Fairy Tale? I was hoping you’d resend it in the body of the email itself. My computer can’t figure out how to read your file.

      Uh yeah, my COMPUTER can’t figure it out…

      Like

      May 12, 2013 at 12:24 pm

      • No, I didn’t get your email, but I’ll copy the story to an email and send it your way.

        Like

        May 12, 2013 at 12:43 pm

  6. Well, despite your mother, like mine, being gifted at highlighting everything you haven’t achieved at the expense of everything you have, I hope your family realizes how cool it is that Mom is their resident writer, blogger, and all around good person. They are fortunate to have you.

    Like

    May 12, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    • Aw thanks. I like to think so. :) You’re not so bad yourself.

      Like

      May 12, 2013 at 3:47 pm

  7. Wow! You can talk to your mother about your writing?

    Like

    May 12, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    • Yes, but in broken English. My Italian is dreadful.

      Like

      May 12, 2013 at 3:48 pm

  8. twindaddy

    Aren’t moms the bestest?

    Like

    May 13, 2013 at 10:16 am

    • Uhm…yes.

      [is she still looking?]

      Like

      May 19, 2013 at 1:52 pm

      • twindaddy

        She’s ALWAYS looking.

        Like

        May 19, 2013 at 6:22 pm

  9. Oh man… that me laugh… out loud… but I still wont type LOL… dang it!

    Like

    May 13, 2013 at 11:58 am

    • Ha!

      My mother, who has been able to read and speak English since grade school, still to this day refuses to use contractions because she feels they are “slang.” I have no idea what she’d make of “text speak.” I’m afraid to find out.

      Like

      May 19, 2013 at 1:54 pm

      • That is sort of awesome.

        Like

        May 19, 2013 at 2:50 pm

        • It’s a trick I use when I write someone who isn’t from America. Instead of an accent, I write the dialogue without contractions and it becomes a readable accent.

          Like

          May 19, 2013 at 4:17 pm

          • In my book, for the aliens, I found myself talking out loud with bad foreign accents like Boris and Natasha or Borat to get the flavor of how they spoke English.

            Like

            May 19, 2013 at 9:52 pm

  10. That was beautiful. Simply beautiful. My mom’s hangup is language for my books.

    Like

    May 13, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    • It’s funny that when I am around my friends I swear like a sailor, but if I hear my teenaged boys do it I flip the @#$% out. I guess I’m a pain in the…butt mom too.

      Like

      May 19, 2013 at 1:55 pm

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