In his youth, my grandfather looked just like Paul Newman; he was incredibly handsome. Had anyone seen the couple together, they definitely would have said my grandmother was the lucky one based on appearances. Having been married now for nearly sixty years, they are both lucky – or cursed (this one is all about perspective). For their fiftieth wedding anniversary, they had a large party. Here, my grandfather stood up to give a toast. He talked about wanting to find himself an honest, hard-working woman and how he was really impressed when he first encountered my grandma because “she could pick more rocks than any of the other girls in the field.” He continued on with his speech talking about the wonderful moments they had shared together, and the children they had brought into the world. As my grandfather was delivering this speech, I happened to be standing next to my grandmother, who turned to me and said, “I wish he would shut the hell up already. I can’t hear a damn word he’s saying anyway. Oh blah.”
So, I come from a long line of bitches. I can’t help this shit; it’s just genetics. My mother, although I honestly with my whole heart believe she is one of the most beautiful and brave women I have ever encountered in my entire life, is also a total bitch. Sometimes, her bitchy moments can break my heart. For example, when I shared the news that my current husband and I were engaged, her first reply was, “I’m not going to help you pay for anything, you know. I only help pay for divorces, not weddings.” On other occasions, these moments are welcomed and almost necessary. Once she ran into an old boyfriend of mine in the bar. She walked up to him and said in the most serious and frightening tone, “Hi Jason. I’m going to kill you.” Another time when we were out together, a married man had been relentlessly approaching me with highly sexual comments. She informed him, “Dave, if you don’t shut the fuck up, I’m seriously going to knock your block off. You have until the count of ten.” She started counting …
When I first started writing this blog, one of my first considerations was whether or not my mother would approve. She’s likely not going to approve, but I’m writing anyway. My mother doesn’t like to use the computer, so it will be my father who informs her that I have been writing and posting publically. He will say to her, “Angela must be having another one of her nut attacks,” as this is how he so kindly and correctly refers to my mental illness. He will invite her to view one of my posts on the computer screen, she will read it while shaking her head in disapproval, neither will say anything further, and then he will return to searching Craigslist.
I used to share some of these stories with the friends I had newly made in college. My friend Carrie told me she just thought I was making shit up until she actually met my mother. The first time they met was when I had brought her and two other friends home for the weekend. I walked up to my mother, with my friends following closely behind, and asked, “Hey mom, do you want to meet my friends?” She replied, “Not really,” and walked away. I should probably just approach my mom now with, “Hey mom, do you want to read my blog?” If the answer is “not really,” I have nothing to worry about.