My mother insisted upon knowing where I was at all times. You'd think I was on a chain gang. She had to know who my friends were and where we were going. She insisted if we said we'd be gone an hour, that we be gone one hour or less--not one hour and one minute.
I had to wear clean clothes and take a bath. The other kids always wore their clothes for days. Why, oh why, did I have to have a mother who made me feel different from my friends?
The worst is yet to come. I had to be in bed by eight each night and up at eight the next morning. I couldn't sleep till noon like my friends. So while they slept - my mother actually had the nerve to break the child-labor law. She made me work. I had to wash dishes, make beds, learn to cook and all sorts of cruel things. I believe she laid awake at night thinking up mean things to do to me.
She always insisted that I tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, even if it killed me - and it nearly did.
By the time I was a teen-ager, she was much wiser, and my life became even more unbearable. None of this tooting the horn of a car for me to come running. She embarrassed me to no end by making my dates and friends come to the door to get me. If I spent the night with a girlfriend, can you imagine she checked on me to see if I were really there. I never had the chance to elope to Mexico. That is if I'd had a boyfriend to elope with. I forgot to mention, while my friends were dating at the mature age of 12 and 13, my old fashioned mother refused to let me date until the age of 15 and 16. Fifteen, that is, if you dated only to go to a school function. And that was maybe twice a year.
Through the years, things didn't improve a bit. I could not lie in bed, "sick" like my friends did, and miss school. If my friends had a toe ache, a hang nail or serious ailment, they could stay home from school. My marks in school had to be up to par. My friends' report cards had beautiful colors on them, black for passing, red for failing. My mother being as different as she was, would settle for nothing less than ugly black marks.
As the years rolled by, I was put to shame. I graduated from high school. With my mother behind me, talking and demanding respect, I was not allowed the pleasure of being a drop-out.
My mother was a complete failure as a mother. I attained some higher education. I have ever been arrested, divorced or beaten my mate. And who do I have to blame for the terrible way I turned out? You're right, my mean mother. Look at the things I missed. I never got to march in a protest parade, nor to take part in a riot, burn draft cards, and a million and one other things that my friends did.
She forced me to grow up into a God-fearing, educated, honest adult. Using this as a background, I am tried to raise my two children. I stand a little taller and I am filled with pride when my children call me mean.
Because, you see, I thank God, He gave me the meanest mother in the whole world.
Happy Mother's Day!
(Adapted from ‘I Had A Mean Mother’ written by Bobbie Pingaro)