Dont Mince Words



Cross-country providence? 7

Posted on December 29, 2013 by Marna

If you had warned me a month after escaping California I’d be identifying my mother’s body in a funeral home, I would of laughed.  Life and timing are funny things.

Decades after my birth my mother continued to try to direct my life long-distance with a cocktail in her hand.  After I arrived in California, she had the time difference on her side when it came to drunk dialing.  After one too many, I cut her off and told her never to call me again.  I had no use for her nastiness.  For the last nine years, I have lead a peaceful life and have inspired two other girlfriends to sever ties with their less-loving parents.  We all have enjoyed the born-again sanity.

I hate who my mother became; however, I respect how her upbringing helped form who I am today.  As the oldest of eight kids growing up on a farm in North Carolina, she didn’t have it easy during the Great Depression.  While in high school, she was sent to live with her grandmother because she was malnourished.  Upon graduating, she did what you’d expect her to do – she got the hell out.  Crazy Barbara became a federal employee, fine-tuned her steno and typing skills, and eventually landed a secretarial job with the U.S. Air Attaché.  Cold war Germany Mata Hari-style information gathering.  She eventually returned to the DC area, got set up with my dad and got married.

For 13 years she had a good career for a farm girl with no college degree.  While her friends were getting married and pregnant, she was out doing something different.  She was not your typical 1950’s woman.  In the early 1960’s, she settled down and married a man almost 10 years her senior.  She stopped working, had two kids, and continued to be a card-carrying member of the cocktail generation.  (Every time I hear the Rolling Stones’ Mother’s Little Helper I think of her in the1970’s.)  I can’t help but think this inside-the-beltway suburban life bored her.  When I would come home from school, she would be drinking and watching soap operas.  This was the life she chose.

When I was 13, my parents signed off on my work permit and I got my first job.  This kept me out of the house more and generated a stockpile of cash, in addition to my babysitting money.  I eventually bought a serious stereo system for my bedroom so I could tune out my mother’s ranting. However, one day she shut up and listened.  Bob Marley bridged our relationship.  Then it was ABBA. My brother and I were driven to get out and go to college.  We did.  My mother remained a bored housewife who eventually had to take care of an aging, sick husband. Once free from those duties, she could of had a rebirth.  Instead, she spend the remaining 18 years of her life drinking, with periodic trips to the post office and commissary.

Crazy Barbara did the best she could.  And, hell, who would of thought she’d make it to 80?  She’s my antiheroine.  I have become a better person by knowing what not to do. But Barbara was known for her strong opinions and she did not hold back – and those skills were definitely passed on to me.  I’m happy I got to see her before she went to a better place-I hope she finds happiness in the afterlife. The Peace in rest in peace means so much to me and my brother.

Driving Miss Dixie – Welcome to VA 0

Posted on December 12, 2013 by Marna

vasignThe welcome to Virginia sign was a relief after traversing Tennessee.  While Virginia may be open for business, I hope Virginia also has jobs and single, emotionally evolved men over the age of consent.

Dixie and I travelled 2900 miles and everyone was right – as long as she was with me, she was fine.  She looked forward to hotel rooms.  In fact, in our last one, we had to get two queens instead of a king and she ran in and jumped from one bed to another like a four-year old.  Most of the time her dinner was served in the back seat at a rest area.  She didn’t care.  The car was home base and it was on the move.

I’m thankful I had warm weather for our trip.  The same areas we passed through now have ice and snow.  It was a journey I’ll never forget.  I’d like to thank my friends for digitally cheering me on and others for calling to ensure I was safe.  We did fine and now I know – Dixie is a traveller and I was a long-haul trucker in a another life.  Would I do it again?  No, driving long distance through three time zones is not romantic.

dixieWCOnce I got to my friend’s house in Richmond, she told me her dog had fleas.  I figured that out about three hours after my arrival when Dixie was rubbing her muzzle on the bed.  That evening I couldn’t sleep because Dixie was groaning and shaking her bed with the scratching.  I could feel the critters on me and running in my hair.  The next day, bombing and dipping occurred but there were still die hards around.  By Monday I was at the vet and discovered Dixie is allergic to fleas and the vet stated that the house had a severe infestation that was probably present since the summer.  A professional extermination was necessary.  Between that and an un-housebroken Yorkie,  I went home, gave my roommate notice and moved out two days later.

After 17 loads of de-flea laundry, dry cleaning, pills, baths, and sprays, I am now home.  Dixie and I are pest-free and happy.  NOW I’m open for business.

  • About Marna

    Marna’s writing career started as a Pentagon intern. Early exposure to $500 toilet seat press releases made her appreciate creative nonfiction. Now she has more than 25 years of senior-level marketing and communications success working with Fortune 100 companies, government, nonprofits, small businesses, startups, and agencies.

    Stats: 374 Posts, 131 Comments

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