Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Answer Lady Knows It All

Jules was the first to pose a question to the self-proclaimed AnswerLadyMia :

Q : "Why, if my mother makes me crazy, do I find myself becoming her when I least expect it?"

A : We become what we are exposed to, for better or for worse. You know that stupid slang term that your best friend says when she's with her work pals? And you shit-talk behind her back and say how totally stupid she sounds when she says it? Yeah, I caught you slipping it in last week at a party... you also walk on dainty pointed toes like your aunt that makes your hips sway just so... maybe no one notices, or maybe everyone does... but you feel it when your pony tail swings side to side when you step. You feel tall and sexy, and that pony tail brushes your shoulders just so and sends goosebumps down your shoulders. You stand broad-shouldered like your father, you curse like your brother. You wince from loud noises like your sister, you cry like your mother. You fight back the tears and let them slowly trickle from the corners of your eyes but never let anyone see you sob and shudder the way you do when you're in the bath alone at night. People come to you for help, and you open your heart. You take in their problems and sleep with their troubles at night. You wake early, exhausted, with the weight of the world pressing on your back. You stagger to your car about to stumble, and then you find an injured baby mouse. You pick it up and put it in a shoe box... you carry it to work, buy special formula at the pet store, you coo into the box and encourage him to drink and add another bottle of hot water in the box to keep him warm... you stoke him gently with your finger and secretly pray to yourself that you don't get rabies. You hover over him every hour on the hour, all through the night, whispering to the Fates that this little mousie will make it to see a nice field someday. You're distraught when it suddenly stops breathing and it's tiny chest no longer rises. You make your peace with it's tiny body and bury it in the yard. You cry uncontrollably in your bath that night... no one understands, except maybe the hot water and the tiny bubbles.

We all go back to the lowest common denominator... what's comfortable, familiar. It's easier for me to follow in my mother's footsteps than to be strong enough to forge my own path. I hear the people tell me that the little mouse won't make it, that I should just let him go in the bushes and I get angry and I yell and I fight and I spit a little when I'm talking. At the end of the day, I knew all along that they were right... I just couldn't divert from the path, the plan, that stupid piece of DNA that ties me to so many nights of worry and sadness, but also so many moments of triumph and joy and exquisite peace after a sound cry and hot bath.

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