Monday, January 05, 2009

I Can Be A Real Jerk Sometimes, Part 38

Generally, I despise categorical oversimplifications, but when it comes to talking about sex with mothers there are women who confide everything, and women who would rather die. I fall in the latter category. It is not that I am prudish about the topic of sex, sex is a fabulous topic, but that is the tenor of my relationship with my mother as it was irrevocably set many years ago. So when my mother sent me a link about orgasms during birth a few weeks ago I decided that because it was an unprecedented breech of contract I would just do us both a favor and ignore it.

But this morning there was a new email, subject "Birth orgasms / basic science" and in the body of the email, a link to this video.

I drafted a legal notice of reprimand, deleted it and instead just sent her this simple note:

quite honestly, i prefer to go the rest of my life without you ever
talking, or typing anything to me about orgasms, or anything related
to orgasms or orgasming - mechanical, emotional or scientific -ever

i'm gonna go bathe in lye now, then call my therapist.

Surprisingly, this letter was not well received. Like just about half of the things that come out of my mouth when I am talking to her, it scorched the earth. We have a very, um, pandemonious relationship full of both admiration and tumult. But when I think about this kind of exchange with a different cast I have to wonder What the hell is wrong with me? Who sends emails like that to their mother?


I emailed her to say that, No, I really really didn't want to "clear the air" by calling on the phone because "active listening" makes me feel hopeless and tangled, and from now on I would start using emoticons in my emails.

Naturally the whole episode made me feel like I deserve a boot print on the middle of my forehead, and put me in a considerably irritable mood. I went to a coffee shop and ordered a large hot tea. The barista placed a lone chamomile flower in a 20 ounce ocean of hot water. I stared at a tiny, ineffectual swirl of tea color and tried to tell myself to shut up but I already knew that was impossible.


But instead, fatalistically annoyed, I pointed out that there were three prices for three sizes of tea and apparently the only difference is that the more you pay, the more watered down your tea seems to be. That I got another teabag doesn't matter a whit; the moment was uncomfortable, defeated and prickly and anyway, a field of chamomile wont sedate me when I am in a fit of mother-induced pique. What I wanted to do was throw my tea on the floor and get all Twisted Sister about it but instead I wedged into a deep chair and refused to take off my ten layers of winter clothing until I was pink in the face.

I decided I was a jerk and that humans were a hopelessly complicated endeavor. I made it three and a half days into the new year and I want to take it all back. People are innavigable landscapes.

I need big trash bins, a claw hammer and bolt-cutters. I need hypnosis and meditation. I need to hear a predator in the brush. I need to laugh hysterically and I need way more grace then I ever thought.

Thursday, January 01, 2009


Actually, two frogs died in my care in 2008, the second discovered supine and clearly expired just a few short hours before midnight New Years Eve. I am convinced that I killed them both because they withered away one at a time while bloodworms bled out on the rocks uneaten. It just didnt seem like old age to me. Would a frog rather starve then eat freezer-burned worms? This will be one of my life's mysteries, and one of my crosses to bear.

Last night was one of the more sedate New Years Eve celebrations of my life. Between the two of us and our vast multitude of friends not one person called with a social invitation. ITS BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE PLAGUE... PREGNANT LADIES ARE THE ANTI-PARTY my husband says. We toast each other, Perrier and Heineken. We eat pizza and watch The X-Files. Mulder and Scully are older but still, she spends the whole movie in solemn crisis, running around in the snow doubting his every instinct. Some things never change.

On the other hand, I watched that show for years waiting for the two of them to give in to each others sultry sexiness. At times, during the boggier years of the show, it was my sole motivator for tuning in but they never caved to my prurient desires. After the X-files I lost interest in TV altogether. But this movie *spoiler alert* jumped right over the good stuff and put them in bed like an old married couple, comforting-goodnight-cheek-kiss and all.

Clark was asleep by 9:47 so I watched a red headed cougar paw Anderson Cooper on CNN waiting for the ball to drop. A correspondent on the ground testified to the frigid cold in Times Square by brandishing his frozen soda while people shreiked and pressed against the barricade. Oh holiday, your party spirit eludes me!

Anyway, just to be on the safe side I think I'll make Pascals Wager and resolve to be a better friend.


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