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Friday, March 04, 2005


Just had another one of those phone conversations with my mother. One punctuated with a steady of string of, "Fine, yeah, no, nope, fine, yup," and the occasional multisyllabic, "Uh huh," and, "How many times are you going to ask me that question?"

But before you go thinking I'm too hard on my family, which I may very well be, let me say first that from now on, I promise to try and let bygones be bygones, water under the bridge and all that good stuff. I will make a sincere effort not to harp on them so much. Because really, they're not all bad, and true, they won't always be around. Besides, who else just has so much material to offer?

Like my father, he of the Butt/Face bath towel, who this Christmas called the giant, so-big-it's-on-TV-Sundays Presbyterian church across from their house not once, but three times, to complain that their church bells were too loud, and that frankly, the unrecognizable, supposed Christmas tunes they were playing sucked. Yeah, Merry Christmas to you too, buddy.

And my mother, who will hire anybody, allowing them into their fortress of a house with open arms the minute she picks up a Boston accent. Even though the Boston Strangler probably sounded like that.

Oh, and then there's my mom's sister, who has the same affinity for lowlife con-artist handymen, as long as they sound like they've just stepped off the boat from the old sod. "Top o' the mornin' to ya, Mrs. O'B! Where are ya keepin' yer silverware these days?" In fact she once humiliated us in a Logan Airport coffee shop by barging in on a table of guys sitting around strumming guitars and playing with a tape recorder after detecting a wee bit of a brogue. "Ah you boys famous? Oh! Yaw from Iyahland! Ah family is from Galway!" Looking back it was pretty cool that it turned out to be U2 and we got an autograph out of the deal, but when they invited us to the club they were playing, my aunt informed them that these underaged girls were far too innocent to be visiting nightclubs. Not cool. Though she is very nearly my mother's psychological twin and has traveled the world visiting sites where the Virgin Mother is alleged to have appeared, I actually get along pretty well with her. She was kind enough to send me holy water specially blessed by her healer priest friend during my hospital stay with antibiotic resistant alpha strep after the birth of my youngest, even after I asked if I could put it in my peri bottle. She once confessed to me, after preventing my going up the woods with a neighbor boy, that she knew what I was planning to do, and that she didn't think smoking pot was such a bad thing, really. She said she would even like to try it, but was afraid that she, "...might just get some bad weed." And it's always fun to hear her scream things with that Boston accent like, "I need a cockscrew!" (Translation: corkscrew) Or wonder when she yells, "FUH cryin' outloud," who is Ryan?

So, if I were to let all the irritations build up and never speak to any of them again, see what I'd be missing?

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