Friday, April 9, 2010

~1976~

Sometimes I wonder what it would have been like if my mom had kept a blog when I was a kid. Would it be all that different than mine? Posts about loving her kids to distraction, struggling to be the perfect mom, wife, worrying about money, politics, clothes, friends, trying to figure out who she is through the veil of so much other. So I asked my mom to write a blog post from the vantage point of a day when I was Zoey's age, and this is what she sent me. I mean, kind of. She actually sent me 7 pages of handwritten notes and I printed them out, edited and added, because this is my blog, after all, 2010, a year that one day will oxidize...

Dear Blog That I Never Kept Seeing As How The World Was One Al Gore Away From The Internet But This Is In My Daughter's 37 Year Old Imagination So Just Go With It, Thanks,

It's 1976, the summer of the Bicentennial. Today I took Andy & Susannah down to the Taco Bell where they each got a commemorative liberty bell glass that they will both keep well into their adulthood, god knows why. Gerald Ford is president. I like him about as much as I like Eddie Fisher, which is to say not so much. This is what I do like: Norma Kamali, Pepsi, the Stones, Fleetwood Mac, though secretly my Gene Autry LP still does it for me. Thank god my Klute haircut has finally grown out!

Here's the thing: I'm 31 years old but that's it. I have a 3 year old girl and a 6 year old boy. I am married. Every day I check my calendar by the phone to see who needs to be picked up where, what's for dinner. One weekend I went to est; I screamed when told. So here I am moving away from my Southern, six-times-a-week church-going, good girl self in the hopes that I will find me.

Next week I'm getting a perm.

I know who I used to be, I know who I don't want to be, and I know that I never ever want a pixie haircut. Which is why I did mushrooms last Saturday with my husband. (Of course I made plans for Andy and Susannah to stay with my friend, Nancy for the day, parking them in her living room so that I could go on a trip without having to pack. I am, after all, a very good mother, and that is both me saying that and me, no me, Susannah. She is a fantastic mother, and this is all very meta, no?)

Anyhoo, I went home and we ate the mushrooms. Ed warned me that I might feel sick, and not twenty minutes later I started to throw up in the toilet, suddenly entranced with the way it swirled into the bowl. The colors! It was awful and hilarious and I did not know how to move when suddenly I looked up and there stood Andy and Susannah with Nancy and her two kids peering in at me from the open bathroom door. Sorry, she said, they just really want to hang out here. Which, I'm sorry, but fuck her, she knew what we were doing!

Pleasepleaseplease, Sunday school God! I will wear Capezios, wrap around skirts! Please just let me get through this day, please give me back my mind and whatever you do, don't let me melt...

To make a long story short, and believe me when I say that my 37 year old daughter has very much abbreviated this story, the kids played in their rooms for maybe an hour or a decade when suddenly I heard a yowling and a hiss and then crying. Kids crying. A cat. The smell of something solvent, plastic, hair, I don't know, it was hard to tell what was real and what was a hallucination. But there was our cat, Dumb Darryl Chicken Liver Whip Whap Sick Sack, covered in styrofoam packing bits that the kids had glued to his fur to make him look as if he'd been in a snowstorm.

Have you ever held your cat down so that the vet can shave him while you're tripping on mushrooms? It's funny and not funny but really funny when on psilocybin and then only kinda' funny when your daughter posts about it on her blog 34 years later.

So I probably won't be doing shrooms again. Or leaving my kids with Nancy. Although she did apologize and invited us over to her house this weekend for a hot tub. Her husband's a shrink and he's got this new medication called Quaaludes which is supposed to be super relaxing, especially in a hot tub. I just hope my perm doesn't get too frizzy!

xo,
Judy

35 comments:

Cindy said...

Oh my gosh, this was the best idea. If I asked my mom to do this, I think she would try to sound all formal and perfect. (Plus she wouldn't have a clue what a blog is.)

Do you still have the Taco Bell bicentennial glass?

Nancy sucks. TGIF!
xo

benson said...

OMG. your daughter looks exactly like you or you look exactly like your daughter. And your mom sounds like she went through the same sort of angst and adventures (maybe not the shrooms...you've never told us that?)that you go/are going through...it's the circle of life, babe.

L said...

love, love , LOVED that. What a gift.

Boy, the DNA in your family doesn't run very strong, does it? :)

Please do this often. Other blogs feature other bloggers or have guest bloggers while away,etc. You need to have your mom do this. ALOT. I would love to see Andy post as well.

Toil and Trouble said...

fan~freaking~tastic...found your blog about a week ago and am really enjoying the reads.

Lacey said...

OMG--you crack me up! I'm an avid reader and just wanted to say Zoe looks just like you did!

Lacey

miss. chief said...

AHAHAHAAA wow, thanks mom for being honest and funny!!

Michelle M in Ky said...

OH SUSANNAH...
Fucking fantastic! I always like it when your Mom comments...but a guest post, love it.
I am going to ask my Mom to write a little something to tell me what it was like when I was approaching 5, like my eldest daughter is. Hmmm...do you think she will remember, care, or was she potentially doing something illicit too? We'll see. I'll keep you posted.
It's true, Zoey looks like you. Have a great weekend girl!

Robin said...

Seriously? Wow...just wow - your mom is awesome.

Catherine Meagher said...

Your Mother is fabulous! But then, you already knew that......

Catherine Meagher said...

I LOVE your Mother!

ZDub said...

This is the best thing I've ever read.

In my life.

I want to be a mom in 1976. I would have been really good at it.

Acanthus and Acorn said...

I love the honesty and the perspective of your mother and of course the beautiful picture.

I am older than you by several years....but I too had the exact same bathing suit! It was our entire swim teams attire for the 1976 season. Everytime I smell chlorine, I am reminder of this summer lounging by the pool after practice.

We went to see fireworks on the mall in Washington, D.C. for the big bicentennial bash. Halter tops, cut-offs and bell bottoms everywhere the eye could see.

Thanks for all the wonderful memories this conjured up!

Diane said...

First of all your mom is gorgeous. Secondly this was the coolest thing ever - kind of like hot tub time machine - but for real.

Sharon, The Queen Blogger said...

I love:
Those swimsuits. I used to have one.
Mom's amazing feathered hair.
The cat scene.

I hate:
Throwing up on shrooms.
Those old wood hot tubs. They were so slimy.

I thank:
Judy. For keeping it real.

Still Life With Coffee said...

You and your mom are awesome. Lucky Zoey.

Duel Living said...

A family of strong, beautiful, and well rounded women: love it! These are the memories that will wrap you warm and cozy during dark and lonely nights. Lucky girls. Beautiful women.

goodniteirene said...

i don't know where to begin. this has to be your all time best.
damn, i thought my chardonnay induced f-bomb's in front of my best friend's daughters were CPS worthy. i'm printing this out and shoving it in her husband's face next time i drunkingly say "no fucking way" earshot of their 6 year old.
xo,
katie

krista said...

um, you GLUED styrofoam to the cat?
dude.
p.s. i think your mom is all sorts of awesome. shroom shaving and serious swimsuits and all.

Vanessa said...

God, I love your family...

Bonnie said...

LOVE IT LOVE IT Makes me want to go get a Klute haircut. Your Mom is fabulous.

Sparkie said...

Judy's back! Gosh I've missed her or maybe I haven't been paying attention.
I totally remember those Speedos. Didn't have one myself but they were indeed de rigueur for swim teams of the day.

Weitzell4 said...

Love love love this post. You are all so funny. Too bad Zoe can't write a blog right now of what it is like to be your daughter as a 4 year old. Or maybe she could dictate one to you.

I had no idea shrooms would make you throw up.

Anonymous said...

I was 28 in 1976..had a son - a single mom..married to a drummer, sang and shook my ass/tamborine at ski resorts in Colorado...ate alot of Peyote, and did alot of other stuff, but my son was always elsewhere when that went down...
Now, I am nearly 62, and reading your mom's writing nearly brought me to tears...the years have rushed by too quickly...you have brought back an era that maybe should have been different, but it was my life back then.
Can you mom come out and play? Even though she is younger?

sherri said...

so that's where you get all your pizzaz from. love the matching bicentennial bathing suits. awesome picture and great post!

bakedbyK said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Up Mama's Wall said...

I love this so much. Your humor and honesty are such a gift. Also, nice gams.

Rosalie said...

I loved that. If Linda were alive, I would have asked her to do the exact same thing. And maybe she would have blogged about the time when my sisters and I were little and got pissed at her and my dad smoking pot all the time and said if they did it again, we got to do it too, in the hopes they would stop. But instead they rolled us spearmint joints and laughed when our eyes watered and we coughed. Or, then again, maybe she wouldn't have blogged about that seeing as how re-reading my comment makes me marvel that I survived the seventies at all!
Xo
Ro

Simply Mel said...

Seriously, you have the coolest mom on the planet!

Bearden 365 said...

I loved reading this!

amber {daisy chain} said...

LOVE! and the funny thing is, being from Marin and growing up with you...none of this is even the least bit odd. It's just how it was! Footloose and fancy free - except for the cat part - jeez Susannah, that's hardcore.

The Lil Bee said...

And PS Zoe is your spitting image.

The Lil Bee said...

Holy fucking SHIT, Susannah! AMAZING.

Judy said...

Feeling a whole lot like Sally Field at the Oscars right now but....PT Blog commentators, you just can not know how good you have made me feel with your awesome compliments! What you also can't know is how timely your ego-boosters are. Thank you all!

As to my writing a blog and/or compliments re the writing of this particular blog....well that's my most talented daughter, Sus. Had I a blog, readers would snooze off somewhere around page 5 or six of any entry. When Sus said that she edited my "recollections" that was an understatement-she took about 7 handwritten pages filled with detail upon detail about my virgin and terminal encounter with 'Schrooms" and made it into the pithy, leave-em-wanting-more version that I could never write. I CAN'T write anything unless I tell averything I know, feel, think about it-just can NOT do it. It truly amazes me that Sus, her Dad and her Bro (the real writers in this family) can use such surgical precision with their words and still have the piece come out with everything-includung warmth and spontaneity shining through. I used to think that I write with such abandon because I, not only love a story, but because I love WORDS. I have come to see that "Real Writers" love words every bit as much as I do-they just use them better and in their parsing out of just the right word at just the right time, they demonstrate a respect for words and a mastery of story-telling that I can't touch.

Thanks again, all of you. I had a ball remembering and writing. I still sort of throw up in my mouth when I think of those mushrooms. I guess I'm just not a psychedlic kind of person....now Quualudes (long past tense) those may have been God's greatest gift to mankind. Some very good times were had by all. Amongst many other things (most of which called for apologies the next day), I have never had so much fun dancing, nor been able to dance so hard for so long as on those uninhibited Q-Nights. By what pharmacological sorcery did those 'Ludes manage to make one feel so beautiful, witty, sexy, so absolutely right? On the other hand, judgment temporarily suspended,I've never since had reason to awaken to find that the "fantastic" haircut given me the night before by a similarily impaired friend included a 2" diameter, 1/8th" long divot smack in the center back of my, otherwise shoulder-length hair.

See why I need Sus-even in my comments?
Love,
Reformed (Somewhat) Mom/Grandma Glitter/Judy

L said...

Juddyyyyy....I LOVVVVVEEEEE YOU!!!!!

That comment was brilliant, and EXACTLY why you need a blog. Don't sell yourself short Grandma Glitter (btw-love that!).

CLEARLY, Susannah gets HER talent from YOU!

my favorite and my best said...

best story ever. i am your mom.