This is a blog intended to bring the funny. I’m at a weird point in my literary career in that my mom just died, and that really isn’t too funny. She was an amazing woman whose life should be honored and appreciated. She was my number one fan, and the real reason anyone actually reads this stuff. In her honor- I will attempt to make lemonade.
When dealing with a person whose just had a monumental loss in their life (my mom’s passing), interactions can become increasingly complicated and difficult. In the this post, I will attempt to educate you on how best to deal with me. I’m a big fan of the top 10 variety of informational teaching tools, so without further ado – the 10 best ways to deal with me.
10. Do your best to avoid “yo mama” jokes.
This is a tough one, because, as we all know – “yo mama” is an invincible comeback. For example:
“Your breath smells.” Retort: “Your mama’s breath smells.”
“Your face is ugly.” Retort: “Your mama’s face is ugly.”
“I disagree with your opinion.” Retort: “Your mama’s an astronaut.”
It kinda feels like cheating for you to hit me with a “your mama” diss and have me respond with, “my mom is dead.” So, let’s just avoid the whole topic for the time being.
9. Think and pray about other stuff.
I have been blessed with a wonderful support group of family and friends. To a person everyone has told me that their thoughts and prayers are with me and my family during this difficult time. In response – thank you. In further response – when thinking about me think thoughts like – damn you’re handsome; or, man despite the dead mom thing, I wish I was you cause you’re so awesome.
8. Fuck flowers.
Flowers die, and then I need to throw them out. Also – I should thank you for sending them, but I probably won’t. Instead, send a donation to Playworks/eastbay. I don’t think I’ve worked for about 3 months. I can’t believe I still have a job. The only reason they keep me around is because people give money to the organization I work for. Sooooo, help me keep a job – and make a donation. Besides, you’re an adult – and adults make donations. Act your age.
7. Don’t be awkward.
There is nothing more awkward then trying to find the right words for “shit – your mom is dead and I feel bad for you.” Actually – those words are pretty solid. Say it early, and let’s move on . No need to wait for an appropriate moment – a quiet corner of a room, an intimate setting. I know you’re waiting to say it. I know you know I’m waiting to hear it. Get on with it. It’s not that I’ve moved on, but we might as well move on. I suggest we do it over a beer/whiskey/your drink of choice. And don’t forget to pay for it.
6. Laugh a little.
Dark humor was the cornerstone of my mom’s battle with cancer. As soon as news broke 3 years ago – the family asset liquidation began. Dibs on jewelry, furniture and accessories immediately ensued. It’s how I deal with things. (See this blog for reference.)
5. A little nostalgia works for me.
I like stories about my mom. I like to tell stories about my mom. You got a good one – hit me with it. Memories are what remains. I won’t experience new ones, so lend me some old ones. Shit – that one was depressing. My bad.
4. Teach my dad stuff.
My dad, a world class guy, doesn’t know doo-doo about surviving on his own. He recently made a list of devices he would need to learn how to operate. These items included the stove, the answering machine, the washing machine, his cell phone, “the interweb” and other technological marvels many of us take for granted. I spent the greater part of last night remotely explaining how to print an email. Old dogs can learn new tricks, but he’s kind of really old – so be patient, and give him a good scratch behind the ear when he succeeds.
3. Be selective with your empathy.
It’s not that I don’t care about your problems, it’s just that I don’t care right now. And I definitely don’t care if you had a family member survive cancer. If you’re going to start a sentence with something like, “my mom had cancer,” the next line should end with – “she’s dead.” Lot’s of people survive breast cancer. Save the stories for someone else, cause I sure-as-shit am not down to hear about it right now.
2. Tell me how great I am.
I was raised by the type of mom who loved and adored every single thing I did – even the stuff I sucked at. Bad art – displayed around the house; posted on the fridge. Dumb jokes - laughed at. Insignificant accomplishments – embellished and retold. Mistakes – apologized for. Bad haircuts – well – she usually gave them to me, so I guess that was more for her sake then mine, but in general – compliment my overall appearance. Shortcomings – ignore them. Especially the extra pounds I’ve put on. Although, the more I reminisce – she didn’t ignore that one too much. That’s not to say that you can’t though…
1. Have some fucking fun. And don’t curse.
If there was one thing my mom loved, it was having fun. It was central to everything she/we did. She’d hate the thought of a bunch of people sitting around sad-faced grieving over her passing. She loved champagne. Go drink some. She loved riding her bike. Go ride one. She loved her family and friends. Continue that trend. Go to a dog park. Take a vacation. Re-post this blog (honest to god – she thought I was the funniest thing since the whoopee cushion.)
In closing, when dealing with me, let’s just have some fun. She loved living more than most, and that spirit will live on with me.
Karen Percy Fox’s son – Stephen (with a “ph” – don’t fuck that up. That always pissed her off.)
AKA The Big Avocado
p.s. If we’ve already spent time together, and you haven’t followed these rules – no worries. And thanks for the flowers. They were beautiful.