Mother-Daughter Talks That Didn’t Quite Come Off.
On Her First Period
Honey! Of course not! You are beautiful. You’re just becoming a woman, that’s all. You’re growing up. Before you know it all the boys will be chasing after you, sniffing at your crotch, talking game, unloading before they can even undo their belt. Not even bothering to get you off. Honey, today is the first step toward discovering your own beautiful sexuality, that’s all. Soon you’ll give yourself to the only man you ever loved and then he’ll leave you. You’ll build walls to protect yourself, and orgasm will become an exercise in belabored futility. Not that you won’t still be able to marry your lover’s roommate and have a little accident all your own who will grow up and make you as proud as I am of you. I love you, honey. Hang on, I’ve got a pad in my purse somewhere.
On Being Home Alone
OK. Daddy’s old roommate is in town and Mommy’s going to go give him a housewarming present. She’s trusting you to be the woman of the house, OK? Make sure your father gets his medication and do not deviate from Mommy’s little cover story. So, don’t do anything I wouldn’t do. And there are some things I would do that you shouldn’t do either. Don’t sleep with your father. Don’t look in the little red box under my bed. Stay out of the tank on the back of the toilet. In fact, just don’t do anything you shouldn’t do. How about that? I’ve got to get out of here.
On Bad Grades
Well, of course I’m disappointed. I know if you applied yourself these grades could be higher. Well, I don’t think we need to go that far, but I do think we should cut back on some other privileges until your grades turn around. No phone for a while. You can answer it but keep it under two minutes. And if it’s a man’s voice you don’t recognize and he’s asking for Mommy, you tell him to call me back on the pay phone across the street.
Sex? Can we talk about this when I get home?
On Drug Use
You’re right. Mommy has done some things she regrets in the past. That is, that I regret now. But did in the past. Am no longer doing. What is with all the questions? Can’t Mommy go out with her friends and come home without the third degree? Yes, I’ve been down the great white highway. And, whatever, it ruined my life. Yeah, yeah. I’m the anti-drug. Fine. You already know what you want to hear. Why do you even ask? Don’t do it. Whatever. I’m not your personal magic eight ball! Christ!
OK, you see how you don’t need to jam the brakes like that? You’ll also startle the driver behind you. Just ease down on ’em. There it is. And again, right here. Yeah, try stopping in front of this house up here. Yep. The one with the plywood door. OK, practice keeping the car in park while Mommy runs inside for 10-15 minutes.
On Her First Arrest
So. The sergeant seems to think this is all some sort of cry for help. I’m not sure why you didn’t feel like you could talk to me about it. Honestly, I knew this was going to be a difficult age, but would a little communication kill you? Do you know I was already working double shifts at the DQ when I was your age? And I was engaged to your father. Mostly. His roommate anyway. Engaged is a strong word. Neil was a free spirit. I don’t know if any woman could really tame him. But honestly, this is the second time I’ve been down here this week. Well, that’s none of your business is it? But trust me, after the sun sets, this place gets a lot worse. Let’s get you home and cleaned up and we’ll deal with this in the morning.
On Running Away
Look, tiger, I know I’m not your mother and that we haven’t always been so good about talking. But we’ve just got each other now. OK. Now, I’m sure Mommy will be home real soon. Just as soon as the heat cools off a bit. Of course I do. I will always love her. Neil, well, Neil’s Neil and I’ve always known that. But I love your mother, make no mistake about that. In fact, if Mommy calls and you hear a click on the telephone, you tell her “Wrong number” and hang up. We can call her back from the pay phone across the street. Huh? Would you like that? Calling Mommy from the pay phone? Huh?
SUGGESTED READSDaddy Was a 9-Iron
by Michael Fowler (7/14/2004)
We Are the Family In the Photo That Came With Your New Picture Frame
by Colin Nissan (5/17/2010)
Reviews of Stories and Anecdotes Recently Related to Me: Part II
by Christina Nunez (11/5/1999)
RECENTLYLesser-Known Trolley Problem Variations
by Kyle York (4/20/2015)
List: How to Beat the Cast of Dynasty in the Drinking Game “Never Have I Ever.”
by Amy Canavan and Sarah Schneeberger (4/20/2015)
Home On the Range: An Arsenal of Weapons
by Robert Lawrence (4/20/2015)