Posted on November 28, 2013 by Patricia Ann McNair11.28.2013 Journal Prompt Image from Mad Men November 28, 2013: She made me eat it. Share this:ShareClick to email a link to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading... Related
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We’re different. In so many ways we are different. Not just the separation of our years, that wide gulf that lies between parent and child. She is hurtful, sometimes. Eaten up with spite and her words all sting and stone. I see her sometimes, and I see the things she does, and I shudder, not liking her though she is my mother.
I watch as she pulls my father up short for some small thing he has forgot and his shoulders stoop and he is a boy again when she speaks to him like that. A sorry boy he is, a boy who does not understand the wrong that he has done, an eager-to-please boy who will never be lifted up. I feel for him and I slip notes into the books I know he reads, and I tell him he is the best dad ever and he should always remember that.
And my mother thinks we should like the same things, she and I. And it is something wrong in me when we do not, and something else that she blames on my father. Like films we disagree on or tv programmes. Or dresses she likes and she thinks will show off my figure, and why don’t I wear my hair brushed this way or that, and couldn’t I put on the blue shoes with the small buckles just because she thinks they suit me?
I try to tell her that I am me. I try to tell her that we are not the same and that we like different things. She says I am a child and how do I know what I like. She feeds me from her plate sometimes, vegetables that taste bitter and she says they are good for me and she says they taste wonderful; or pieces of fish in a pepper sauce or prunes cooked with meat. I want to be sick and I tell her. She says I am just being silly, and she is close to cross then, and her words have a sharper edge and so I say no more.
And Bobby says he thinks he loves me, and I think he does. He’s a boy from school and he’s so pretty and he thinks he loves me. But he’s heard something. His Uncle told him that if he wants to know the woman in the girl he has only to look at the mom. And Bobby looks at my mother and he sees the flint in her eye and the strings in her neck and her breasts sagging. And he knows she looks at him with distaste, and once he saw the way she spoke to my father, and so Bobby is not sure.
And I love Bobby, even though his father has a waist as thick as the old oak in front of the church and it has been there longer than a hundred years: and though his father’s words are all slur and spit, and he says things against women, and he drinks on a Sunday till he can’t stand, and he farts in company and laughs, and pinches the bottoms of girls and pretends it wasn’t him – even though that his Bobby’s father, I still love Bobby and I tell him in the softest of words, and I know he will be different, just as I am different from my mother and I will be still when I am grown. I have to be.