Friday, March 02, 2007

Of all the dumb things to fight about

My mom and I recently had a fight. We seem to do that a lot lately. The odd thing was that the thing she was talking about when the fight started was...

Anna Nicole Smith


I dropped by my mom's house unannounced. It was later than I would usually stop by. I figured that I didn't have to be anywhere, and I didn't have anything that I had to do the next day either, so if I ended up staying late it wouldn't matter. If she wanted to talk that was nice, and if she didn't want to talk that was good too, and I'd just get what I came for and leave.

But she seemed glad to see me. So we were going to catch up on things. I noticed that she hadn't brought in her mail yet, so I got it for her. And we were laughing that my brother got a coupon from Victoria's Secret and then deciding which of us should get the coupon.

And the next thing I know is she's talking about Anna Nicole Smith. I can't even remember how we got there, but I didn't really want to talk about her. My mom is asking if I saw some clip of her, and I'm like I haven't and I don't keep up with her. I really don't want to hear my mom describe this clip of Anna Nicole Smith. Hearing my mom's description would take longer than actually watching the clip. I don't want to get into it. I said something like that. I don't watch stuff about Anna Nicole Smith, and the whole Anna Nicole Smith thing is a mystery to me anyway. Why would anyone care about her in the first place, why is she still famous for stuff that happened like twenty years ago, etc...

If we are going to talk about people we don't even know who have died recently, let's talk about Walker Edmiston. He died February 15th. He was an actor. He was Enik the Altrusian on Land of the Lost. He did voice-over work. He was Ernie Keebler the elf. Surely more people will miss him than Anna Nicole Smith.

But my mom is ticked that I tried to change the subject. So she talks some more about her. Poor Anna. Anna is still a person, etc...

Okay, if your point now is that Anna is a person, how about we just leave her alone and not talk about her, like we would not talk about any other persons misfortunes.

My mom really starts to lose it. She didn't say anything bad about Anna Nicole Smith. I should be interested in stuff in the news. I shouldn't try to change the subject. I have no social skills. There is something wrong with me. No wonder I can't get a job. I think that my time is more important than everyone else's and I cannot be bothered to listen to my own mother talk about Anna Nicole Smith.

Never mind. I can just leave now. I start to go.

So then my mom is going on about how I think that I'm better than everyone and I think that I know everything. And why do I think that she's racist?

Really. I don't bring this up anymore. But it is so obvious. Not that she does anything bad. But sometimes I just don't like the attitude. But I didn't even bring it up, and she just says that out of nowhere and wants to know what makes me think that she's racist.

Just little things that have happened. Just the way you act. Just little things that you've said.

Like what?

I really do not want to get into this. Can't I just say that I don't have time for this right now? But I tell her the thing that probably bothered me the most when we were kids.

Before a little boy named Adam Walsh was kidnapped, people used to do dumb things like leave their kids by themselves in a store in the toy department. I recall this happening a lot. And for the most part, we enjoyed that. We would just be left in a store looking at toys, while our parents went to look at something important like clothes or lawnmowers or something.

Not that we ever got any of these toys. Toys were for Christmas and birthdays. I only remember one other time that my mom bought any of us toys other than that, and at the time it made me very suspicious. But we would look at the toys, and within a few minutes my little sister would become very attached to some doll, which my mom would not buy for her, so there would often be a lot of crying and screaming as we left the store. As I got older, I knew this was coming, so I didn't really enjoy being left with my sister at the toy department.

But, this still happened on a regular basis. So one time our whole family went to this store, and my parents went off to look at something, and my brother and sister and I were left in the toy department. My sister had about twenty dolls at the time, and there was no way that she ever needed another one, but she didn't see it that way. So she's looking at the dolls, and decides which one she wants, but she would happily take any and all of them home.

So, my parents come back, and she's gripping a doll. It is not Christmas or her birthday or near either of those days, and she's not going to get the doll, and she's not even going to be quieted because she might get it soon for a present. She wants the doll, there's no way that she's going to get the doll, and it's about to get ugly.

My mom finds this other doll. It's a black baby doll. And my mom picks up the doll and I think she even said that my sister could have the doll. I'm not sure exactly what she said, but the implication was clear, my sister could have the black doll if she wanted it.

My sister loved all dolls, so she let go of the one she had picked out and hugged the black one instead. And my parents thought it was funny and laughed. It looked to me like my mom just assumed that my sister would not even even be interested in the black doll. But now my sister is in love with the black doll.

So my parents take the doll away from her, and my sister cries and makes a big scene. And rightly so, in my opinion. Mom made her think that she could have the doll, and now we were leaving without it. All those other times, it's just a little kid not getting her way, and even at that age I thought she should figure out that you don't get to buy toys just because you find one in the store. But this was different.

Mom does not remember the incident.

Of course not.

Mom wonders if my sister remembers the incident. I didn't think that she would. She couldn't have been more than five at the time. But mom calls her anyway.

People do this once in a while. They make a brief phone call to check something. No big deal. So fine, call her if you want to.

So my mom calls my sister, and my sister doesn't remember the incident. My sister said something like my mom so often told her that she could have things that she was never given that she wouldn't remember that particular incident anyway.

Interesting. My sister just said that my mother was always breaking promises, and that this happened on such a regular basis that she isn't surprised that she doesn't remember this one time in particular. But this doesn't get the least little reaction from my mother.

My mother even laughs. And my sister goes on to say that she doesn't think mom is racist and she tells some story why she doesn't think mom is racist. She's on the speaker phone.
I am not in the conversation at all. The two of them just start talking.

I'm the one who has no social skills? I'm standing here, and my mom has stopped talking to me to have a phone conversation with my sister. And I'm looking at her, and I'm not even being subtle, but I don't think that she got it. I even sort of waved at her a couple of times. Finally, I waved that I was actually going to leave, so then she got off the phone.

She wants to know if she should call my brother to see if he remembers the incident.

I don't care if he remembers. I remember. Do we have to do this?

She wants to know more things that make me think she's a racist. So I mention a few things, and she goes on explaining them, and to me it just makes her sound more like a racist. But I really don't want to do this, so can I just go?

I'm standing at the door, and she makes a few more remarks about what if she'd said similar thing about other people? And I don't want to get into it, and I don't think that's really a valid argument anyway. And I've got the door open.

And she wants to know what I call how I feel about the Bimbo.

And what does that have to do with anything? The Bimbo is not of a different race, just from a different country, so it doesn't make me racist or anything resembling racist. If she wants to say that there is some negative label for that too, fine. Put whatever ugly label you want on that as long is it factual, and there are a lot to choose from, including murderous hatred. (But not actual murder. And that would be difficult anyway, since she is there and I am here.) What does that have to do with anything? I left.

To be clear, my mother is not a name-caller or one of those idiots on Jerry Springer having white babies for white America. My mother is just the most civilized human being. She doesn't get out much, so maybe things would be different if she'd ever worked outside the home for more than six months and was forced to deal with people she didn't like. But, for the most part, I think that she would still be the same. She's not a doctor, she's not anyone's boss, and she isn't rude. She can be a racist and never hurt anyone by it and I don't think that she ever has or ever will.


David in DC said...

I never need to hear another thing about the Anna Nicole story, except for one thing: that poor little baby. What a gaggle of jerk-offs and losers she has for putative parents.

Real justice in this case would only be served if the dead oil tycoon's son agreed to split all of the proceeds of his father's estate with his new step-sister (thats over 400 million bucks) on the condition that none of the current contenders for parenthood -Stern, Berkhead, Zsa-Zsa's husband, Anna Nicole's family (who did such a swell job with her) and any other sperm donors or relations who crawl out from under their rocks - ever have another thing to do with the poor child.

Let Brangelina adopt her and serve as guardians of her estate. They don't need her money and appear to have kids' interests at heart.

Plus, it'd make a great made-for-TV-movie. (I've got dibs on playing Hef.)

nobodyinparticular said...

Sadly, I think that Walker Edmiston won't be as missed as Anna Nicole Smith.

I'm married to someone who once worked for Keebler. She has no idea who he was. Same with my mother-in-law, who for years put "cookie elf" on her tax forms. The same goes for anyone else I've mentioned Walker Edmiston to.

laughingattheslut said...


My mother wants to take me to dinner. I don't have any plans today, so I guess I'll call her back and tell her okay.

nobodyinparticular said...

Enjoy. Good food and good company and good conversation.

And you are not the only one who has their mother bring up Anna Nicole Smith in conversation.

laughingattheslut said...

Well, Anna Nicole Smith did come up again. But it wasn't so bad.

My mom spent a lot of the time trying to convince me that she's not racist. Apparently, she called my brother, who preferred the word prejudice, and my mother went along with that one. I think that is spliting hairs, but whatever.

I found some excuse to drive myself to the restaurant. At one point I knew I was going to be ill, because she kept at something about my personal life that I could not explain without telling her something that we'd already agreed it was best not to talk about. But she let it go before I had to walk out. I don't feel especially bad, but I don't feel as good as a couple of days ago either.

I guess that I'm still glad that I went.

nobodyinparticular said...

In my view, "prejudice" is a term that covers a whole range of stereotyping/discriminating thoughts.... and racism is a mere subset of it. So denying that a race-based attitude is racism and calling it "prejudice" instead is like holding up a Red Delicious and denying it is an apple, but is a "fruit" instead. If that analogy is not too confusing.

Still didn't sound like much fun. I guess she has her arguing points and won't let go of them even in order to have a completely pleasant dining experience with her daughter. Yes, we love them dearly, but sometimes the parents can be difficult. I hope the rest of your weekend is more pleasant!

laughingattheslut said...

I am about to go to the ceramics lab. If I feel up to it I am going to meet some friends and possibly go to dinner later. And my husband will be home tonight.

I think your apple analogy is a good one. Just to make sure I wasn't totally getting my terms confused, I looked them up before I left that last comment. And the definition of prejudice even said something about denying another person's legal rights, so that made it sound even worse than just being racist.

nobodyinparticular said...

"Cool beans". I don't know why, but I like that term. Just don't smash valuable in-progress ceramic creations in distraction as your mind wanders to difficult things that might make you angry.

Time with friends and dinner; spouse coming home: can't beat that either.