Today is "Homage Friday." I just made that up. Because I do what I want and because today is my Mom's birthday. At first I thought: will she like this? Will she like being called out publicly on her birthday? Of course she will. She's my mother. When entering my intensely precarious teenage years, my mother made it very clear we were not friends. She was my parent, I was not to be her best friend, confidant, or equal. It seemed extreme and unfair at the time. Why couldn't we be friends, Gilmore Girls style? She was from New England like Lauren Graham and I had porcelain (read: translucent) skin like Alexis Bledel! But now I'm glad we aren't friends because without our relationship rooted in brutal honesty, love, and a little bit of fear I don't think I would be the kind of woman I am and still strive to be.
Thanks, biddie. Thank you for always surrounding yourself with smart, funny, assertive women who taught me what to look for in friends of my own. Thank you for being part of a mom club who referred to themselves as "Moms on the Loose," or MOL's. It's kinda cool you're in an acronym group. It's like a gang. But with less violence. Thank you for teaching (through effortless example) how to throw a dinner party on a whim with whatever's in your pantry and a prayer. Thank you for instilling in me the healing powers of hot cheese and raw brownie batter after a hard day. Thanks for loving Mexico and going so often that I always have an emergency and questionable z-pak in times of need.
Thank you for being a hard ass. You're right, most allergies are fake. And sleep away camp is for rich kids. Now, I know you don't think asthma is real, but some people do suffer from this respiratory condition. But it's your birthday, let's not fight. Thank you for always telling me it didn't matter if I was pretty, it mattered if I was smart. Thank you for introducing me to the calming qualities of diagraming a sentence. It still remains the quickest way to soothe my soul.
Thank you for always having my back. When I wasn't allowed to enter that 8th Grade Inter parish dance for NO REASON, you told that vile woman who kicked me out to "fuck off." Thanks for that. In the moment, I was mortified. But looking back, it was really cool of you. Speaking of being mortified, the day you and Auntie Nina locked me in the car to impress upon me that " giving oral sex is FINE, just so long as you always date a man who gives it back" was revolutionary. I was twelve. So...that was a lot. But, um, thank you?
Most of all, thank you for having the invaluable tool of finding the humor in any situation life has ever presented you. The longer I write, the more I write, I think about how much my voice is a product of yours. Not your physical voice. Love you so hard, but you have a tendency to sit on your chords. But your humor. Your distinct view of the world and people and your ability to be uniquely yourself, even when it's not necessarily the main stream. You are not my friend, you're my Ma. It's your birthday and I love you.
So if Mama Voth had a Facebook or Twitter or an Instagram or some version of social media, I'd tell you, dear reader, to find her and wish her a happy birthday. But she doesn't. She sneaks on my brother Eamon's accounts. So, like, friend him. She'll see it. She'll deny she saw it, but that's just part of her charm. Wish I could be there with you today Ma, but I'll power-clean the apartment to Peter Allen's greatest hits. I'll stop for a quick cry during "I Honestly Love You," chug a TAB, and buy a large piece of art no one likes but me. All in homage.
xx Bligh Blue
PS: a GIGANTIC THANK YOU for never letting me go to a prom or a Homecoming dance dressed like a miniature hooker...and that's all I really have to say about that.