Mama on Catholicism, “Forners”, and Her Last Wishes

28 10 2009

My conversations with my crazy mama have been fewer and farther between lately. For this, I am thankful. I have enough shit going on in my own life. But she called today, and my Lord if we’d been having the conversation face to face I would have had to take a handful of her nerve pills just to get through it.

We somehow got onto the topic of my father’s family. She and my father divorced when I was a toddler. A few flicks of the beads on your abacus will tell you that was nearly 30 damn years ago (though if you’d like to swear it couldn’t have been more than 20, I’ll let you). Just as some background, throughout my childhood and college days, Mom tried all she could to extort money from Dad. To this day, she feigns insult if he doesn’t call her on Mother’s Day. (He pointed out decades ago that she wasn’t his mother,  but when you have the sense of entitlement that she has, he should not only call her, but probably send a check each year for bearing his child.)

Anyhoo…mom asked about one of my Dad’s brothers and his wife. I’ve no clue why. But I was telling her that their two kids  have devoted themselves in admirable ways to their religion–one is a recent graduate with a degree in Divinity, the other travels the world doing missionary work. (Both are in their mid twenties, which makes their work all the more admirable for some reason). Both were raised and continue to work in the Baptist (or Baptist-ish) faith. Mom asked if my Aunt and Uncle were also active in the Baptist church. I told her they were, and had been for some time. This seemed to surprise her because my father and his siblings were raised Catholic (though none of them have ever practiced it in my lifetime).

“The rest of ’em are holy water throwin’, sit in a box and tell a preacher–well not a preacher, but what do you call him?–your sins”

“A Priest?”

“A priest, that’s it. I never had so much exercise in a church in my life. Sit down stand up kneel bow oh father hail Mary!”

“Oh God.”

“Throwin’ Holy water around! I told yer daddy we don’t do that at a Baptist church. They might annoint you with a little oil…they did that for your sister you know, and I’ve got the rest of the bottle of the oil. Was you ever annointed?”

“No, I think it would break my skin out.” (my skin is sensitive, y’all!)

“It smells so good…I think it’s got frankencense and myrrh in it. Anyway I think your daddy wanted me to convert to Catha…Calotha…Caloticism…whatever you call it. But I said, no sir, no child of mine’s getting put through all that sit down stand up and having holy waters thrown at him. I was scared to death.”

I might interject here that I’m fairly certain that Dad was not so much a practicing Catholic in those days that the idea of her converting to his faith was ever anything more than a light conversation…but by now y’all know how Mama likes to exaggerate.

I tuned out for a few minutes and came back to the conversation when she started babbling about the swine flu.

“I ain’t convinced that it ain’t something some of these FORNERS have set on us as a biological warfare!”

“I’m sure you aren’t the first crazed nutjob person to have that theory.”

“It might not even be a virus at all…might be chemical agents. I ain’t takin’ that shot.”

I tuned out again.

“Next time you come up on a Fri-dee, gimme a few weeks notice so we can go up to the lawyer and get my will in writing and all. If we don’t, the state will take everything.”

“I’m pretty sure I’d be next of kin (God help me) and it would all go to me anyway.”

“I think if you don’t leave a will the state just takes ever-thing you have.”

“Well, call the lawyer and find out.”

“I want you to have it all. ‘Course you won’t want my clothes, give those to someone needy, but not the Salvation Army…” (no clue why that proviso was added, and I think the poor have suffered enough, I will not donate her Debbie Gibson ruffle-top socks, her Ho Fo’ Sho’ skirts, nor her acre of too-tight denim to anyone who isn’t doing a remake of “Fame“)

“All my lotions and perfumes and smell-good stuff you can give to The Black Girl Anita.” (This “girl” it should be noted, is a grandmother.) I do not know Anita, but I suppose I will take out an ad upon mother’s death that reads:

Will Anita, a Black Girl,  please contact me in regards to an inheritance of half-used bottles of Bath and Body Works products that you are to receive.”

“…and I reckon you ought to give some of that kinda thing to Cassie, even if she does have 25 personalities.”

“Ok. Will do.”

“Of course, this house and everything in it is yours. Just sell the house, but don’t let it go for less than so many thousand. And keep that kitchen table. I bought that with money I got bein’ in that car wreck when you was two. And that bedroom suit (suit, not suite) at the front of the house is worth some big money, it was one of only 400 of ’em made when we got it….” (Lord help, she is still holding onto that line the furniture salesman gave her 29 years ago?? They only made 400 because no one else would buy the damned ugly thing. Who in their right mind wants a bed with a covered bridge carved into the headboard???) “This furniture in my room just give it away to somebody unless you have a spot for it or something…it ain’t got no value to it. And I can’t even go in that other room where your sister’s bed is yet but I imagine you’ll want that too…” She breaks off into tears at this point…which would be well understandable if A. she was talking about my sister’s childhood bedroom, or B. at least her childhood furniture. But neither myself nor my late sister have EVER slept in the house mom lives in now, and none of the furniture in it comes from the rooms we grew up in. This “sister’s room” is merely the other guest room that mom had at one time decorated in colors she mistakenly thought my sister might like.

“the recliner in the living room was your grandpa’s, you’d like to have that….”  Um, no, he has been dead over twenty years and I don’t like brand-new recliners, let alone ones that are as old as I am.

and the living room suit (again with the suit, as if the  room were dressed for an interview) is like brand-new, it ain’t hardly ever been sat in.” That might be because she put piles of clothes on the sofa and chair when she moved in five years ago and has yet to get around to finding them a home in, say, a closet.

At this point, I carefully reached for my other phone and dialed my own cell number.

“Mom, I’m getting a call I need to take.”

“Ok honey, now call me back later. Promise?”

“Promise.”

I had my fingers crossed, so I don’t REALLY have to call back do I??

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43 responses

28 10 2009
sista #2

I love your momma!!!!!

28 10 2009
The Vinyl Villager

you can have her!

28 10 2009
Heather P.

Every time I read about your mom, I only have one thought-“That poor man.”
You poor thing!

28 10 2009
The Vinyl Villager

Ive come to accept my lot in life. LOL

28 10 2009
cuteasasa

It’s heartwarming though to know she loves you so much that she is placing this level of trust on you, her son. Let’s face it, there are those who could not be trusted. Some less scrupulous children would not be will to wait for this bounty.

That bath and body stuff might go bad.

28 10 2009
The Vinyl Villager

My god, if it goes bad, what will her legacy to The Black Girl Anita be? LOL!

28 10 2009
Freda

Jesus That was awesome

28 10 2009
The Vinyl Villager

Its an almost every day thing. LOL

28 10 2009
Amanda

I love your Momma stories!

28 10 2009
The Vinyl Villager

ya know, she was talking so fast I was taking notes just so I could share this one.

28 10 2009
dawtch

Hey! When you get ready to get rid of the “covered bridge bed” lemme know – they hold a 15 day long “Covered Bridge Festival” right down the road from here…I would imagine the other 399 of ’em live right here in Indiana…but then again, they have a festival for EVERYTHING here…
Anyways – don’t you know those Cathalicks are pagan..? Spawn of the devil – ask any good Luthrin they’ll tell ya!!!!!
On a serious note – good for your cousins!!! If more folks would practice their faith – whatever it may be – that sincerely, the world would be a much more comfortable place for everyone….
*grin*
bb
dawtch

28 10 2009
The Vinyl Villager

both of them are just awesome people. And when Mama goes on to her great reward I will most definitely put her covered bridge bedroom set (complete with grist mill “chester” drawers) up on Craigs List in that town. LOL

29 10 2009
dawtch

Town..? We’re talking COUNTIES! About six of them make up the main “festival” and it radiates to encompass most of the state…you find junk sales EVERYWHERE that 2 weeks….LOL
bb
dawtch

28 10 2009
trailerparkbarbie

You should really start printing out all the post about YM. It would make a great book. Who knows….she might be the source of some money afterall.

Bless your heart, honey-chil’.

PS Has she told you about the cemetery people jumping her case about going out their and lying down and sleeping?

28 10 2009
The Vinyl Villager

God, did she fall asleep again there??

Today she was telling me that she found HIM (of recent police and headline fame) at the grave. Funny, I was there for the burial and I can never find it, how would someone who didn’t have a clue find it?

28 10 2009
The Incredible Woody

You mean its not really a bedroom suit???

28 10 2009
The Vinyl Villager

maybe it is, Ive actually only ever heard it as “suit” but every room has a “suit” to her. Sometimes its just furniture ya know.

29 10 2009
Josh

Actually you’re sort of off on the suit/suite thing. It’s not a regional mispronunciation. Suit/Suite actually both refer to a matching set of furniture. It can be spelled both ways depending who you are, where you’re from, or what furniture store you’re going to. But the pronunciation can be interchangeable. So you’re mom is actually not wrong about something for once. 😉

28 10 2009
Mental P Mama

LOL @Woody;) This really needs to become a book. Like, yesterday.

28 10 2009
The Vinyl Villager

maybe one day it will. what could I title it?

28 10 2009
Alyson

I love your mama stories!

28 10 2009
The Vinyl Villager

See, there is a point to her craziness! To amuse people everywhere. LOL

28 10 2009
Jason

You eventually need to publish your memoirs in a book. Seriously.

28 10 2009
The Vinyl Villager

really? Hmm that would be a great way to make some money…

28 10 2009
queenofphrump

You are one of the best writer’s out here. These “mama stories” always bring me to laughter tears and I have to read at least a portion of it out loud to whomever is in the room. Funny stuff.

30 10 2009
The Vinyl Villager

Im glad you enjoy them! There seems to be no end of them…

29 10 2009
Josh

I have actually NEVER seen a baptist (here and in the Midwest) use “anointin’ oil”, they usually shy away from that stuff. Must be one of those “Bapticostal” churches. 😀

These stories about your mother crack me the hell up.

30 10 2009
The Vinyl Villager

Ive never seen anyone use it. Like many things, it could well be a figment of her imagination.

29 10 2009
Big Hair Envy

LOL @ Josh – “Bapticostal”!!! I have some of those in my family!

Bless Mama’s heart, she wants to have all of the arrangements made so you can focus on your grieving when she passes. Oh, and figuring out how to get in touch with that black girl, Anita.

Keep in mind that her meds probably have more street value than the covered bridge bed and “chester” drawers…..:)

30 10 2009
The Vinyl Villager

Excellent point…she didn’t specify what to do with the leftover pharmaceuticals…

29 10 2009
noe noe girl

VV- Lawd have mercy! Mama means well.
<

30 10 2009
The Vinyl Villager

Sadly, I think she really does.

29 10 2009
Liz C.

OMG! This had me rip-roaring, snorting, and the whole nine yards.

If my mother were that entertaining (in such a crazy way), I probably wouldn’t call her The Brown Recluse…

I seriously doubt your Mama really means well, lol. It’s most likely accidental…

😉

30 10 2009
The Vinyl Villager

Snorting?? OMG that is a great compliment…seriously! I think she does mean well…in the best way she can. Either that or she is planning to hit me up for money and just wants to remind me that one day my great reward will come (in the form of a damned covered bridge bed)

29 10 2009
Liz C.

Oh – forgot to mention… I always shudder when anyone from my family offers to leave me everything. It might be just bills…

30 10 2009
The Vinyl Villager

Ugh I know! I dont want any of it. (Well, maybe the pharmaceuticals–as BHE pointed out, I could probably build up my nest egg offloading those)

31 10 2009
Queen of Planet Hotflash

Yep I’m sure of it Your Mama & my MIL are related they have to be abd there is a crazy gene goin through the family lol

3 11 2009
The Vinyl Villager

I swear they ARE cut from the same cloth aren’t they?

3 11 2009
trailerparkbarbie

I wish she’d quit calling her at 7:00am. Lordy, I need a couple of pots of coffee before I can talk to her.

3 11 2009
The Vinyl Villager

She called me at 1:45 this morning! (Thankfully, I put my phone on silent when I go to bed) Her nearly incoherent message had something to do with Ex-husband/convicted felon’s daughter staying at her house. You know, the one who is “A good person” despite the fact that her child has been taken by the state, and that she cooks oxyxontin in a spoon to inject into herself. LOL!

4 11 2009
thegirlfromtheghetto

You take your much need break VV!

11 11 2009
Judy S.

I just passed your url along to a friend of mine whose MIL is staying with her and hubby. She read through your archives and laughed her head off. Now she feels better. (Her MIL is as extremely well acquainted with her dr. and pharmacist as your momma is, and shares many other interesting personality traits with her.) It’s always nice to find out someone else is dealing with the same stuff, and with a sense of humor to boot.

11 11 2009
MJ

I’m thinking your mom must somehow be related to my aunt. they sounds just alike. Only mine keeps trying to will me her cats if she dies.

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