Monday, May 12, 2008

Alternative Activities for Non-Mothers

A good thing to do on Mother's Day, if you don't have any kids, is go
grocery shopping when everybody else is waiting in line for the
buffets. That's what I did. The aisles at VG's around noon were
almost empty except for the abashed few running in and out furtively
to get that last minute cake and fistful of flowers. By the time I
swung past on my way to the checkout lane, the flower case was
stripped to the last petal. Ha ha, I said to myself, I'm glad I'm
free of this day's guilt and ambivalence, as I said in my latest East
Village Magazine column.

And then while you're shopping (preferably in the sweat pants and
"Minot Beavers" sweatshirt and no makeup that would make any
teenager connected to you grimace and run for her life), get all the
foods you like that children can't stand. Like organic carrot juice,
asparagus, brussels sprouts and maybe a hunk of smelly bleu cheese.
How about a big carton of plain yogurt -- really, PLAIN -- but the
kind with the cream on the top. Oh, lordy, I'm glad I'm an
unemcumbered grownup and can eat that stuff with a spoon out of the
carton if I want to.

And when nobody's looking, light up one of those sweet brown cigarettes from Paul's Pipe Shop on the back porch and blow the smoke over toward the house with all the little kids who're usually on the jungle gym but today are inside giving their mom painted macaroni and glitter-glue cards. Then pour yourself a generous jigger of Black Bush and make noises when you drink it like Jack Nicholson in Easy Rider. What the hell. Cut a fart or two if you want to, and let go with an f-bomb when you're talking on the phone. Say it loud.

I also recommend listening to Sam Cooke. May I say that "Little Red
Rooster" is one of the best songs ever recorded? Cooke laid down this
Willie Dixon classic in 1963, and in addition to the song's delicious
blues riffin' and salacious implications, Billy Preston's organ work
is rich and audacious, adding to the naughty tones of the whole thing.
What a great song to revel in on the day when non-mothers can rejoice
in this simple fact: we don't have to clean anything up for anybody.

Also, of course, that same collection includes a wonderful "A Change is Gonna come," which American Idol finalist Sayesha Mercado mauled last week. What a travesty -- I'm with Randy Jackson.

So that's my deeply sober offering for the moment. I hope every
mother out there got the love and thanks she deserved.

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