Tuesday, December 20, 2005
My mom doesn't read my blog.
She can never remember what it's called and simply says in her signature Scottish way, "Och, E, what a silly fuss to be getting on a computer and doing all that typing; how am I supposed to remember such a complicated website?" It's all she can do to check her gmail account which I set up for her. All of the conveniences that make gmail so much better than yahoo or hotmail are precisely the things that discombobulate her. She LIKES having multiple separate messages and replies, she likes that she doesn't have the bandwidth for "lots of nuisance photographs that people keep sending," and she thinks that any kind of pop-up alerting you that you have mail is "nonsense time-wasting."
I struggle to sum my mom up in just a few words, but I have just had the epiphany that I can do it in one: Scottish.
She's from old-school Scottish Presbyterian stock, which means that she thinks most things in the world are "silly" or "nonsense" and that lots of people act ridiculously because they obviously "don't have enough important things to think about." She's a little bit Marge Simpson (more because of her husband and kids than herself), a little bit Eleanor Roosevelt(ie, no one can make you feel bad without your consent), a little bit Miss Jean Brodie (ie, wants to inspire her "gells" to love art and to explore the world), and, well, a whole lot of Harry Potter's Professor Minerva McGonagall--played by Dame Maggie Smith who notably also played MJB--(stern but always fair).
She's definitely lacking a gene for sarcasm and yet can serve you with a putdown like the cheeky rascal you are. She definitely thinks the cure for boredom, depression, sadness or anything that makes you complain is Work And Plenty of It. She thinks that if you forget what you were going to say, "Well, it couldn't have been that important then, could it?" She thinks American culture can be too permissive and that more people ought to "shut it" and stop whining about their collective hurt feelings. And did I mention that she thinks the cure for boredom, depression, sadness or anything that makes you complain is Work And Plenty of It? Yeah, I guess I did.
For those of you who know my mom, you know I'm making her sound a bit more stern than she is. She's warm and loving and would give you the coat off her back and her last dime. She will personally help you out of any bind you are in, as long as it doesn't require her to listen to you complain, engage in self-pity or say anything that sounds like an excuse for being a jerk. Because if you do while you are in her home, believe me, you will be handed a broom or asked to help move a refrigerator for your temerity. Call it old-school Scottish psychotherapy. You might show up crying because your boyfriend slept with someone else behind your back, but once you're carrying a refrigerator up a flight of stairs "to get your mind off things," you're thinking, "gee, maybe I wasn't so bad-off 15 minutes ago after all...On second thought, I'll take the betrayal! Just let me relinquish this Frigidaire!"
So, Happy Birthday, Mom. Thanks for all the tough love, and also for the tender and compassionate, unconditional love that doesn't make for somewhat humorous blog posting.
You are the Creme de la Creme.
Your Baby 'Gell'