So over at Markreads.net I am going through his American Gods posts. In one entry he says
I was taught by my angry mother and my stoic father that I should bottle up any emotions that I might have. It was not becoming of a young man to be so emotional or to feel so many things. I don’t do that anymore, and I find that even with absolute strangers I meet during the course of my day, I am much more prone to telling them things about me without the slightest hesitation. I don’t want to deny that it’s quite cathartic and liberating to me to be able to do this.
I wasn’t taught to do that in any explicit sort of way, the way Mark was. Which is not to say I wasn’t taught to do that. I have a memory of being 7 or so, in the “dressing room” (the master bedroom was a 2 room suite with ensuite bathroom at this house), standing near the vanity, my reflection in the corner of my eye as my mother teases me for having a crush on a boy. Since puberty, it has been her constant complaint that I never tell her anything. When I was in college, I confessed that my birth control was not just for migraine prevention, that I wanted it for it’s eponymous purpose. Later, a few weeks or months, my mother and I were fighting and she told my father I was no longer a virgin, despite the fact that neither he nor I wish him to know. These are reasons why I do not tell her things.
Like with hugs, I found that it is easier to be open when you are doing it with people you like, but who aren’t family. I started by talking with a friend and coworker at Tower Records. I became more and more willing to tell people the truth rather than participate in the socially acceptable lies. (How are you? Pretty shitty actually. or Awesome!) I had to make an effort, when I took my gub’mint jobs, not to blurt everything out all the time, because that is Not Done Here, and I like working Here.
When I am alone, and not doing other things, even if I should be doing other things, I think about things. I hesitate to say I am daydreaming, because what I think about is often horrible, and not something I want to happen. But it is often something I want to be prepared for, like, say, learning about the death of a family member. Because I, like most of humanity, am somewhat narcissistic, I usually imagine these things happening when I am surrounded by people who have some sort of interest in me; when I am at work, say, or out with friends. It rarely happens this way, but in my head it always does, so I can be taken care of and also be the center of attention, despite the fact that it’s not really about me, when it happens.
On Saturday, I was talking with one of my bouncers, checking in to see if he needed a break, and about to ask merch if they needed to do a money drop, when I my phone rang. The armory is a loud place, and I headed out to the lobby to take the call. I waited, somewhat impatiently, for my mother to get to the point. And then I yelled at her. Which she took very well, especially for her, who assumes loud voices are meant to injure, rather than emphasize. She told me what happened and I used what I have come to call Catholic Mom Voice. I’m sure it’s not really specific to Catholic Moms. You almost certainly know it, even if your mom is not Catholic or even your mom (instead an aunt, or guardian, or whatever.) It’s that low, stern, “you are not behaving and though I am asking a question I am not at all in the dark about the answer and you had BETTER GET IT RIGHT” voice. “WHAT.” It has a finality to it, this voice, and humanity is trained to respond by cringing in fear. Moms, it seems, are immune, unless, I suppose, it comes from THEIR moms.
Dewey news from Linnea “I’m very pleased to say that as of today, we have raised a total of $3,565 from 76 donors – if we estimate that the average STAR book costs $5, that’s 713 books! We have also been sent 219 books, for a total of about 930 books! And, the money and the books are still rolling in – both Micki and I have piles of board books in our offices, waiting to go to at-risk families and babies in the DC area.”