My sister takes sugar and cream in her coffee. I only learned this recently. I only take cream. If you ask me, my sister needs a little sweetening. I often wonder if my mom blasted punk rock at her belly when my sister was in the womb. Then I realize, punk rock wasn’t born yet. Plus, my mom was more of the times of blasting nothing more than the Hollies or the Stones and actually playing music would have distracted her from sucking at her cigarette….think January Jones in Mad Men that was my mom, only shorter.
What doesn’t equate for me is why neither one of us got into any sort of real trouble knowing that my mom was way more into herself than either of us kids. I mean, lots of women back then wanted little replicas of themselves to dress when their moms couldn’t afford dolls for them to play with while growing up. I am not sure how I feel about my mom’s admission that they would just leave us in the back seat of the car while they were in the bar having drinks. I am not sure why a woman who was repulsed by the first man who stumbled home wreaking of whisky and bar fights would gravitate towards a father figure much older than her that also chose his martini over her or us. But that was our childhood. At the time it seemed life was a party. At least in our basement….which smelled of cigarettes and never of stale beer, it was clean and ready-a full bar equipped with neon signs and a fridge with a tap on the front. Go figure why I only knew to climb into my beer bottle when things went good, bad or otherwise. My mother of course checked in with me, she’d say, “I don’t raise dummy’s so- No, I don’t worry about you.” As for mothers’ advice for me, it was “don’t leave the house without lipstick on” and “go to college to marry a rich man.” Wow, she really didn’t have too much hope for me. Its too bad I didn’t know until much later in life, when the fog was lifted and the brain recouped itself from being overly saturated in wine’s magic façade that I was actually pretty remarkable, lipstick or no. The thing is I don’t feel mad at her. I figure she thought she was doing good seeing as her parents left them for the entire weekend while they were in Reno. Plus the neighbors who played sports and went camping and wore ties to work and who all became cheerleaders, well she doesn’t talk to her sisters either. Don’t question experiences as right or wrong- It’s supposed to happen this way.