Suppose you could pick your parents.
Let’s pretend, for a minute, that reincarnation is the one truth. You’ve gone though life 1. You learned a few things. This time you get to put an order in for parents. Once you are sent back into a womb, you lose all memory of that choice and you live the hand you are dealt.
So, who would you pick? Would you want parents as close to the parents you had to begin with, or did you opt for total opposites on the menu of characteristics you filled out before the trip back to a womb.
Previously in the blog I have shared some Mommie Dearest type memories of Dot, but I am feeling thankful by comparison these days, so I wanted to share a pleasant memory. I am wracking my brain and cannot some up with anything specific, but I think I’m being a little guarded. So many pleasant things intermingle with wincing memories. But, she did have wonderful qualities, it’s just that, oh well, this only my opinion, but she was a beautiful young woman, but was rather plain as she neared 30 and I think she was always bitter about that.
Dot was beautiful, but she was also a rebel. Not rebellious in a functional ways, but with an “I’ll do what I damn well please” outlook on life. She would not be told what to do, by gum. She was backed up by an adoring Paternal Grandmother, an indifferent mother and “Daddy”.
Her Dad died before I was born, but I heard about him all my life. It’s funny that the older she got, the more “Daddy” came up. She always said she was scared of him, but I also think she really loved him, and wanted his approval. About this, I am of course, I am speculating as I have no paternal memories, whatever. Step paternal, Uncle like a Father, had those, but no contact with Vi’s dad, as discussed in an earlier blog.
Dot quoted him daily. He had been a cook in two branches of Service and he was the highest authority on all things culinary my entire life until 2001. He was serious, forbidding and judgmental. He was an alcoholic though, and that was also an oft discussed visualization Dot passed down to me. In his defense I want to add that no one else I have ever heard of had ever seen him the way she did. Except for the alcoholic part, sadly, everyone agrees about that.
With her father, and if you ask me, her conscious gone, Dot went a little wild. She was young, beautiful and in Memphis Tennessee in 1957, a career girl from Attalla County Mississippi employed as a long distance operator for Southern Bell. Her Aunt Meriwether lived in Memphis, and of course, fresh off the farm, Dot went there and found herself attracted to her aunt’s newly begotten step-son. Despite being “cousins” and the scandalous fact that Kenny was newly divorced, they became an item. Kenny asked Dot to marry him, and she hadn’t given a reply.
“Oh, no you’re not,” Aunt Meriwether scolded. “You’ll ruin your life.”
And, because she was told not to, she did, every step of the way knowing she did not love this man and that the marriage was doomed for failure.
I guess I had a Bohemian upbringing at the hands of Dot. I guess that I have somewhat raised my kids that way too. I like the kitschy, I don’t really do “sets”, it’s more, pieces I like for one reason or another. Dot loved “sets” though, they were very important to her. Back to the Bohemian……I spent my teen years in Lafayette La, and my mother liked to hit the bars, that was her thing. My mother taught me how to drink. She taught me to appreciate a good looking butt on a man. She taught me how to be self sufficient and support myself as a single woman. One trait she and I share is that we have two failed marriages. She died before I had been single barely 6 months from marriage 2. She didn’t see me buy a house and wrangle a fast paced life. I think she would be proud, but I also know she’d be critical. Heck, the way she haunts us, I guess she knows all about it.
I think I’d like to come back pretty much into the same situation I was raised in. I really had two mothers, sisters. Isn’t it funny how you know so much about your mother’s sister (in my case) and absolutely nothing about your father’s family except what you were told by your mom. My father had a brother who was a famous crime fighter in Memphis. I heard about him on the news and read about him in the paper, but never got to meet him.
Which brings me to Dads, I’d get to pick that too, on my next life value meal menu. I know I’d pick my UncaHoney , with all his horns filed down. The man he was before he broke his back. I moved away to Louisiana soon after that happened and I really did not see him again until ’86 and this was not the same man. So, I’d like to take UncaHoney ages 23-37, and mix in Indiana Jones, only because I want a dad as bohemian as mom. UncaHoney could out McGuyver McGyver.
James Garner and Doris Day should play them in the movie. Well, if the movie was made in 1960s, we could use them, but I guess Harrison Ford and Meryl Streep. But no, that’s only cool for a 80s movie. How about…..Johnny Depp and Lois Griffin?