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Friday, September 9, 2011

My Mother Will See You Now

Pearl, in an effort to distance herself from the pain, is home from work today and referring to herself in the third person.  It is possible that her brain is attempting to escape its cradle..

The playlist is fresh but the story is old.  Hope you enjoy!

It’s Friday, it’s summer, and frankly, it's a good hair day. Do I ask for much more? I do not. Ladies and gentlemen, join me, won’t you, in giddy anticipation of the end of the work day and the beginning of a two-day foray into unabashed revelry.

I turn to my iPod, Harmonic Harbinger, Aural Oracle, Tuneful Tarot, and ask it: this morning’s playlist? What’s it say for the weekend?  Because everyone knows that my iPod is potentially, arguably, quite possibly a window into the weekend's events.

Why not, huh?

Funky So-and-So by Sugarman 3 and Co.
Take Me to the River by Talking Heads
She’s in Parties by Bauhaus
Shadrach by Beastie Boys
Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk by Rufus Wainwright
Easy (Like Sunday Morning) by Faith No More
Nausea by Beck

First of all, I’d like to deny everything that the above list says about me and suggest that my iPod is a liar. While I may be funky and am definitely a talking head, and, okay, I enjoy the occasional party, have been known to shout along with the Beastie Boys, and have plans to – ah, rats.

I am not, however, all that easy; and I’m speaking particularly to my mother here.

Curse you, iPod!

And speaking of my mother…

When the weather gets warm, when the days get longer, I think of my mother and her unmet desire to become a medic.

Summer always provided ample opportunity for an unlicensed medical practice.

In her heart of hearts, my mother fancied herself a professional. She lived for the moment one of us would come running into the house – “MOM!!!” – shouting in that tone that makes women, mothers or not, stop what they’re doing, tilt their chins toward the sound, and consider getting involved.

She specialized in make-do situations. She once removed a perfectly nostril-sized pebble from my nose when I was five using nothing but her wits and her left pinkie nail.

And she loved slivers. Her eyes glittered as she’d go for her sewing kit.

“Oooh, we’ve got a nice one here,” she’d say, hunched over the afflicted spot. “Howdja get that? You climbing telephone poles again? Kevin, give me your lighter.” She’d hold her needle over the flame. “It’s sterile,” she’d say. “Hold still, now, we don’t want another incident.”

I once watched her pry a nail out of my brother Kevin’s tennis shoe. The nail had gone up through the shoe and well into the arch of his foot, the result of running across the top of the dump that ran behind the trailer park. I amuse myself by pretending to recall that it was terribly gruesome and that you could actually hear the nail rub against bone as she wrenched it from the bottom of his shoe; but the truth is less satisfying.

Kevin leaned against the trailer, his foot tucked firmly under Mom’s left arm. The hammer in her right, she appeared to be taking a shoe off a horse.

The operation was surprisingly swift.

Kevin howled, of course, but more out of the anticipation of pain than the pain itself. It was over so quickly that he stopped yelling, an abrupt cessation; and we all watched as Mom pulled the shoe and then the sock off.

It was disappointingly bloodless.

“Well,” she said, “I suppose you’ll be wanting new shoes then.”

26 comments:

R. Jacob said...

A better story would have been Mom nailing the shoe to his foot because the shoelace was broken. Hey, it worked with my kids!

Leenie said...

What'd you do NOW! For Pete's sake just don't bleed on the carpet.

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

Practical woman your mother...good to have around in an emergency. Brings to mind my own nail in the foot story...I smell a blog post coming on.

Simply Suthern said...

My whole family were/are medics at one time or the other. Unfortunatley the trained folks are limited by the number of tools they can use unlike your mother and her hammer and flame sterilized implements. However at home and on there own children they would break out the flame sterilized needles and drill bits tho deflated blisters and blackened fingernails.

They work and there are no HIPAA forms to sign.

Nessa Roo said...

My mom would have never mentioned new shoes. Your mom rocks!

Joshua said...

Nail through the shoe into the foot? Done that. More than once, sadly.

Matthew MacNish said...

Congrats on 1001 followers, Pearl!

jenny_o said...

Enjoyed! Sounds like your Mom was a capable DIY-er.

And here's hoping your weekend does not include the last item on your ipod playlist, because reading between the lines, or actually reading the lines, it sounds like your Friday isn't going so well. Feel better soon.

jabblog said...

I can relate to that! Splinters were and still are a challenge that must be met and conquered.

Shelly said...

I can remember as a kid seeing that episode of MASH where Father Mulcahey has to do an emergency tracheotomy on a person. Since then, I have been prepared to do the same thing myself, much like your mom!

Brian Miller said...

well any wound you can get new shoes out of or limp away from, for the rest of your life, is a good one...right?

the walking man said...

Pearl just wants to fight...fight for her right...to PAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRTTTTTTTTAAAAAAAY

Camille said...

Honestly Pearl - how many times do I have to tell you this?....If you blow on your clarinet too hard your brains may attempt to escape their cradle. Now you go lay down in a dark room and tell them to get right back where they belong. (Feel better soon sweetie)

ipenka said...

Wow...now I get an idea of why they say kids nowadays are spoiled...They'd want a new shoe even without the nail!

More out of the anticipation of pain than the pain itself, I feel like that every time I have to peel a band-aid off (not on the same scale?)

hocam said...

I thought this was a mother's role. Doctor nurse psychiatrist, cook, cleaner etc. Your Mum sounds awesome. kept her head in a crisis

Eva Gallant said...

I don't know if it's the chocolate milk and cigarettes that are making me nauseous or the visual image of your mother pulling the nail out of your brother's foot!

Diane said...

My Mom is your mom! Armed with the standard sterilized needle as well as the requisite bottle of Mercurochrome which, when applied, made the entire preceding operation seem more like a gentle brushing with a feather, or something equally not-hurty. So glad I found you! Loved this post!

Tempo said...

..it must be a woman thing..having had three daughters myself I found it very uncomfortable to do ever very minor surgical operations on my own offspring...women are obviously tougher

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

Your mother sounds awesome! I love your stories about family and life in the trailer park! Actually, I find all of your posts wonderfully fun and/or thought-provoking!

My mother was a nurse, thank goodness, because my brother spent most of his childhood falling out of trees and having bizarre accidents. His best one involved shooting himself in the eye with a bow and arrow he wasn't supposed to be playing with. I'll never forget the look on my mother's face when he came to the back door screaming, an arrow sticking out of his eye and blood soaking the white church gloves my brother had swiped from my mother's drawer. She was perfectly calm, whispering at him to stop screaming, be still, while telling me to get her purse, that we were going to the hospital. Only after Mike was seen in ER and sent off to surgery, did my mother go out to the parking lot, lean against her car and scream. Fortunately, Mike's eye healed very well and he went on to become an Air Force fighter pilot before becoming a doctor. Now he has his own rambunctious toddler to worry about!

I'm so glad, Pearl, that you had a day at home and that it's also a good hair day for you!

Cloudia said...

ah, mom


Aloha from Waikiki;


Comfort Spiral


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Vapid Vixen said...

"It was disappointingly bloodless."

It usually is. *sigh*

Pat said...

My Gran came from the same place as your Mum.

Dave King said...

I kind of suspect that everyone harbours somewhere a deep desire to be a medic. Great post, thoroughly enjoyed.

♥ Braja said...

Be still, my heart: take me to the river is it for me :)

River said...

Wouldn't have happened in my house. When we were little, shoes were for school only, so they didn't wear out too fast.

That gentleman's lady said...

I yanked a nail out my sister's foot once. She'd stepped on a broken wooden toy and jammed it right in. While she howled bloody murder, i reached down, yanked it out and then continued playing with my own toys. Parents came running in to find baby howling for no apparent reason.