At the gym today, I realized that most people have to succumb to the merciless grips of either Fox News or CNN to receive their bad news.
Fortunately, growing up, I had my mother.
My mother was what one would call a curator of a very dismal museum. Instead of bright floral patterns or even thought-provoking pieces that edged beyond the expanses of the human imagination, my mother dealt in small, clipped-out articles of random destruction and had the foresight and adept scissor-cutting skills to make sure that destruction always remained eye-level on our refrigerator.
Headline: Local Man Decapitated While Driving His Convertible Down the Highway
Me: “Well, that seems unfortunate.”
My mother: “Unfortunate or kismet? Life’s what happens when you’re busy not wearing a helmet.”
Headline: Local Girl Drowns in Pond Behind Her Family Home
Me: “That’s just…terrible.”
My mother: “It is. And so is trying to swim right after eating.”
Headline: Local Animal Lover Takes in A Family of Newborn Kittens
Me: “Well, that one’s quite lovely.” **Scans to the headline underneath this one that is circled in red and underlined three times.** “Oh no. Why would she go jogging at ten at night??”
My mother: “Because common sense isn’t an innate life skill. It has to be beaten into your head…by your mother.”
Finally, I moved to college. I attended a small liberal arts school while my parents moved back down to Texas. And for a much-needed and peaceful reprieve (roughly six days), I didn’t even know who was getting murdered where or which manufacturer was currently supplying the best deals on pepper spray.
But then, of course, she found me.
Roommate: “My mom baked and sent me cookies! What did your mom send you?”
Me: “A ten-car pile-up on Interstate 95.”
Some people say I’m, well…different. Maybe it’s just because I truly understand this world for what it is: an absolute dumpster fire. And maybe, just maybe my mother is the smartest, most dedicated evangelist in the world. Because Lord knows it can only be Jesus Himself who will one day come to put a final end to this nonsense.
I mean, it most certainly won’t be me. I’m still waiting for my order of half-priced pepper spray.
© 2023 by Ericka Clay
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