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Friday, October 24, 2014

I'll Need You to Rebel in an Orderly and Dignified Fashion

From February of 2012, whilst I prepare for the spicy debauchery of Chiloween with Molly and Erin this Saturday.  What's that?  What's 'Chiloween'?  Oh, honey, just the best-decorated chili contest ever!  

I’ve written of my son before: the way he paid the electric bill at the tender and mature age of four, how I saved him from a life of droopy-drawered ridiculosity.

The time I listened in on him and his cousin’s late-night cabin whisperings.

But did I tell you about the time he rebelled?

Honestly, there’s not a lot to rebel against with me. I’m a listener. There weren’t rules so much as there were firmly held suggestions (the toilet seat remains in the “down” position when not in use, Cool Whip is not a condiment, young ladies who treat your mother with disdain are not really dating material).

The Boy bandied the words “liberal” and “hippie” about as if they were bad things. Meanwhile, aside from the aforementioned electric-bill debacle, I cooked from scratch (most of the time), cleaned (quite often) and was open to anything he wanted to talk about (always).

Eventually, of course, he began to get hormonal on me.

In subtle ways, he changed. But it wasn’t until I got into his truck that I realized how much.

A truck! Let us look at this first. A truck. In Minneapolis, a lovely area with mature trees and sidewalks. While the need for a pick-up truck was not clear to me, I played along.

You want a truck? Knock yourself out.

Where were we going the first time I got into it? I toss my purse in first, climb up into the cab of the truck, make a remark about the height of the vehicle. He smiles proudly and we tear off down the street as I am buckling up.

“Hey there, Mario Amphetamine! We’re law-abiding people!”

He takes his foot off the gas momentarily.

“That’s more like it!” I enthuse. With the departure of the G-forces, I peel my spine off the back of the seat. Secretly fearful I will find discarded condoms or evidence of Communism, I am careful about where I look.

One doesn’t want to learn too much too soon.

Dylan clicks around on his stereo, a piece of electronics that outclasses my first three sound systems in the same way that a house is an improvement over seeking shelter in a bush.

“You’ll like this,” he says, smiling. He turns it up to levels The Who would approve of.

But I don’t. It’s a twangy, predictable slice of Country Western music that I have a particular dislike for. Raised on swing and big band, my father was also partial to Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, and, so help me, Conway Twitty.

I know what Country Western music is, and this ain’t it.

I grimace and say nothing.

“Did you see my gun rack?”

I turn around. Sure enough, there it is. This is where the rifles go.

“You got a lot of use for that?” I say.

He shrugs, smiling. “Deer hunting.”

I nod. We’re very much alike, but we’re also quite different.

That’s what you get for procreating.

“I’m thinking of getting a cowboy hat,” he says.


The scales, as they say, fall from my eyes. I smile at him. “I know what you’re doing,” I say.

He turns, briefly, squints at me: Oh, yeah?

“You’re rebelling!”


“You’re rebelling! You, all rebellious with your two kinds of music – that’s right! Country AND Western! – and the hunting and the gun rack! You’re rebelling against your liberal mother!” I smile at him, secure in my interpretation.

He looks horrified.

I lean over, pinch the available cheek. “Oh, you are just so adorable! Yes, you are! Yes, you are just so adorable!”

He pulls away, shakes me off him, laughingly tells me that I don’t know what I’m talking about.

But we both know that I do.

You know? He never did get that hat.

But he never misses deer season.


Anonymous said...

to bad he didn't go all James Dean on you..now that's a rebellion I could get behind.

Shelly said...

He'd fit right in down here. And if patterns hold up, your grandchildren or your great grandchildren will be card carrying, hippie coutured liberals.

joeh said...

You had me at the title.

Best Title Yet!

The rest was good too.

jenny_o said...

He still hunts?

And does he still kiss his meat as he eats it? (For those who haven't read that post of Pearl's it's here:


and it's a good 'un too.


vanilla said...

What a blessing that each new generation is not simply a clone of the previous one. Otherwise, we'd all be, well, cats?

(As a Cash-Lynn-Twitty fan, I have to say I abhor this new so-called "country music.")

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Awww... bless.... YAM xx

Chicken said...

If that was the extent of his rebelling, you lucked out, Little Lady! My Chiliween invite must have gotten lost in the mail...what time? I'll bring beer?

Gigi said...

Well...as long as it was in an orderly fashion... ;-)

Jocelyn said...

You called his bluff before he knew he had one. But how can a mother let her son get away with both country AND western?

River said...

I bet he would have bought the hat if you hadn't done the cheek pinch, that was one step too many.
I like country, but the newer stuff by Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Faith Hill etc, country rock I suppose you'd call it.

Mac n' Janet said...

When I was young and liberal, and my parents were of course older and conservative I thought I was so cool. I loved rock, hated country. Now sadly that I'm older I'm much more conservative and my daughter is of course very liberal, and even sadder I now like country music.
Be careful it could happen to all of us.
Churchill, you'll have to forgive me I'm reading Manchester's biography of him, said that if you're not a liberal when you're young you have no heart and if you are not conservative when older you have no brains.

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

Oh my what a bloody great post, and a little funny at that

Linda O'Connell said...

Your kid got a truck and listened to country and western. My kid listened to a jerk and got pregnant. The boy got a motorcycle and crashed. You lucked out. My kids now have kids who are rebelling. What goes around...or something like that.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I like that kind of rebellion. Nothing wrong with a deer hunter who listens to C&W in a truck;)