Portrait of Phyllis Schlafly reprocessed from a public domain image

A Mother’s Day

Holly says she doesn’t care about Jeremy’s lifestyle but she doesn’t understand is why he‘s proud of it.

Jeremy is her favorite son: a tall blond man who looks old enough
to be her husband.

People who are ‘not in the know’ say that Holly and Jeremy make a beautiful couple.

Holly prefers to believe that it’s her youthful good looks that fools people.

Holly says she loves her sinner but hates his sin and when Jeremy is ready to live God’s plan, she will accept him on his own terms.

It’s that other one; his partner:  a militant faggot that wants Jeremy more liberated.

Holly doesn’t think her son needs that kind of liberation.

Last week Jeremy’s ‘husband’ complained about the greeting cards
Holly sends.

Bob calls them Hallmark Torpedoes because Holly always includes Bob’s name on a yellow post it.

As Holly explains it,  “If those boys ever separate, and I pray they don’t–Jeremy can peel out the Bob’s name without destroying the meaning of the card.”

Bob  denounced Holly as a wig with teeth!

He demanded that Jeremy, “do something!”

Jeremy flew to Ohio from LA and invited Holly to a special
Mother’s Day dinner at the Airport Holiday Inn.

He accused her of covert homophobia.

Holly wept into her chef’s salad.

She reached across the table to take Jeremy’s hand and said softly through her tears: “Bob hates me. And he hates your family. I have always loved you as you are. Just as you are!”

Holly composed herself and pierced a slice of Blue Cheese covered ham with her fork.

She could almost read Jeremy’s mind: “How can I speak to my Mother like this? How can I make her cry?”

“I’ve already got your Christmas gift.” Holly said with a persecuted smile.

Jeremy’s face brightened at the chance to change the subject.

“Is it almost Christmas? I’ve been so busy . . . I‑Is the gift for both of us?”

“Oh, I saw something that was perfect for your Partner! Is that the right word?  Partner?””

“Yes.” Jeremy smiled.

Holly pierced another slice of ham: “Hickory Farms has an organic tea service with samples of over a hundred bags of tea! Does Bob drink tea?”

Jeremy gripped his Mother’s hand to support her inclusion of his partner in her Christmas shopping and smiled. “Our apartment reeks of peppermint tea.”

Holly released a long and exaggerated sigh: “I’m so happy!” she said. “It comes with a man-sized mug and one of those heating elements for boiling water.”

Holly beamed.

“And you know what Hickory Farms calls it? Solitaire . . . Isn’t that clever?”

(c) Rob Goldstein 2015-2017





20 thoughts on “A Mother’s Day

  1. Few lines that scream for attention-
    “She loves her dinner but hates his sin”
    Isn’t every mother like that?

    “a wig with teeth” – we see the world the way we feel about it.

    I loved the little details.. the way she is sobbing and yet continues to eat.
    And the human complexity described when she beams at her ingenious for finding “the right gift” for someone who she wants to peel away like a post-it from her son’s life.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you for the comment and the line analyses. I find it very helpful when people do that because I get a sense of how I convey the meaning of the line. Words are color and the line is like a stroke of paint…so thank you.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I saw that and looked to see if you were quoting a typo…I liked it so much I would have left it if it had been my typo…it seemed kind of off the wall and right: She loved her dinner but hated her sinner…:)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This is lovely! I loved ‘Hallmark Torpedoes’

    In simple words and a short frame, you presented us with something that looks very authentic. Is this based on a real person?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes…it is based on a real person. I once dated someone whose Mother did these things. She was constantly at him and no one was good enough for him. I considered it one of God’s little mercies that he was gay and that no woman would have to deal with his Mother.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It must have been equally trying for a guy (you in this case), as much as it would have been for a girl I suppose.
        Motherly love is complex and sometimes indecipherable. It is always their need to protect their offspring, but the way they go about it can really affect the child.
        I hope she grows to trust her son’s decisions and allow him to stumble and learn to pick himself up from that.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I always like it when you comment on a piece of writing. You are one of the people I have in the back of my mind when I write. I always wonder if you’ll see something you like. That woman, Holly, is based on a real person. I once dated someone whose Mother sent greeting cards with my name on a post it. It’s hilarious now that I think of it. I really did call her a wig with teeth.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Rob, I’m touched. Truly. Thank you, I’m honored. Putting your name on post its for easy removal from greeting cards…that’s horrible. It’s almost equally funny too. A wig with teeth is very fitting. I’m glad that she’s past tense in your life.
        Your writing is vivid and very enjoyable. Sometimes writing based on truth can be mire difficult than writing pure fiction. You did a wonderful job.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. A Mother’s Day was written in the first flush of separation, on the train from Los Angeles to San Francisco.

        I didn’t know what my problem was, I didn’t know that his Mother’s treatment of me was a dead on trigger–I only knew that I did not want to live under the tyranny of his shame and his inability to stand up to her.

        It took me 20 years to understand it well enough to finish it.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Rob, you’re on an amazing journey. Many of us go our whole lives not understanding ourselves or our environments. As a reader, I’m moved and inspired.
        I’m glad that you finished this one. It has an impact!

        Liked by 1 person

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