Role-model Mom

Speaking of wishes, it turns out that my mother had been wishing for me to move back down to Florida, specifically back to the town I had left ten years ago. Her wish came true, here I am. She also insisted on buying us some furniture. Last time I lived here she insisted the same thing — I had said no but relented a little and got some lower-cost light-weight wicker furniture for the living room and accepted some used patio furniture for the balcony. I didn’t want to anchor myself down with a whole bunch of heavy furniture. It didn’t feel right to settle down in case my work dried up — which it eventually did.

To me, it feels like she’s trying to lock me down with furniture — but of course that’s just my naturally suspicious mind. A few days ago we met over at the furniture store and she bought us a whole bunch of stuff — beds, couches, end-tables, lamps — real heavy stuff too. As I’ve been trying to do lately, I just said “yes”. Even though it goes against my lack-minded thinking, I said yes to a whole condo-full of furniture. When she insisted on buying the entire set of living-room furniture instead of a couple items, I just said “okay”.

But Rich, aren’t you always concerned about budgets, logistics, exit-strategies, etc? Who me? Nah, that’s the old Rich you’re thinkin’ of. I’m Good-Times Rich. Party-central starts here! All aboard!! WOO!! WOO!! Listen, my mother made it seventy-plus years buyin’ whatever she damn-well pleased. She loves it and her strategy seems to work. And for all I know, her power-source is derived from furniture — maybe she’s just trying to impart some of her power unto me.

When I was growing up, I always thought my mom was kinda dumb — no offense. She smoked and drank, was always on a fad-diet, yelled a bunch, worried constantly, applied more make-up than a Ringling Brothers clown, spent money like a sailor on leave, worked at a shoe company answering phones, and didn’t seem to understand complex concepts. In a way she seemed very childlike. But as it turns out, I think she was simply playing the game — and Life is merely a giant game of pretend after all.

She’s been successfully entertaining herself for the past seventy-plus years whereas I’ve been frozen still like a deer caught in the headlights. I’ve been overwhelmed by the simplest things while she’s chuggin’ along doin’ her thing. So who’s the dummy? That’s why, at least for this year, my mom is my new role-model. She’s relentlessly herself and doesn’t break character or engage in any meta-game nonsense. She’s a hardcore gamer that plows through whatever’s thrown at her.

My mom has been helping me deal with shelter-related stuff for several decades already. I’ve always relied on her and she’s typically been there to help out in her own particular way. She used to say, “you better learn to do stuff on your own because one day I won’t be around.” Yet here we are, decades later and she’s still around helping me out. And as far as sons go, I’m literally one of the worst — I’m an entitled taker that shows little appreciation — I’m not affectionate and I complain a lot.

But on the plus side, she gets to use her power to help her kid — as a parent myself, I know that’s a nice feeling. When your child is confronted by circumstances beyond your control, you feel horribly useless — yet during those times when they’re struggling, and you’re able to effortlessly ease their struggle, you feel needed and useful. So basically, “you’re welcome mom!” I’m glad I could be so inept at life that you have plenty of reason to keep on keepin’ on.

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