Every time my Mother comes to stay she leaves something behind, which is fine, as long as it’s not a prolapsed uterus.
Last time she left three pair of her undies on the trampoline. I don’t know why she didn’t use the traditional drying method of pegging them on the clothesline (3 feet away from the trampoline), maybe there was dog poo on the lawn, or she was afraid of sniper fire, who knows? But there they lay, three pairs of Granny britches, the kind that reach up towards the armpits, with reinforced gussets, one pair alarmingly black and lacy. They lay there for three whole weeks. Seriously, what was I supposed to do? Bring them inside? That would involve TOUCHING THEM. I don’t think I’m out on a limb here, but there is something really oogy about the under-dacks of other women, shared DNA or no. I would probably be more willing to subject myself to blind testing in which there was the vague possibility of contracting Anthrax.
When I was eventually able to muster enough maturity to bring the dang things inside (I was expecting guests) I tossed them in the ironing basket. Loads of washing have come and gone but those three pairs of gunders remained languishing there.
It’s Mum’s birthday next Monday. At some point today I’ll make it to the post office with her gift, it would be sensible to post the undies along with the gift, right?
My Mother took many opportunities to torment my sister and me. She hid in dark corners so she could leap out and scare the shit out of us. She made me listen to sex education type talk WAY BEFORE I WAS READY. She left a trail of mis-matched shoulder-pads in her wake during the eighties, poorly anchored under her bra-straps; they were forever escaping and embarrassing me in front of my friends. Lately she’s going through a phase of being platinum blonde.
But it’s not about revenge, that’s not my style. It’s about passing on her legacy to my children, to teach them to stand tall in the face of knee-buckling self-consciousness and shame.
Which is why I put the black lacy ones on my 14 year-old son’s cushion. (Scroll down, go on!)