Rich usually doesn't like it when people's names are used. I shan't tell you my mother's full name, but it is important that I tell you her maiden name.
I love it. It is one of my alter ego's - a harbour from the connotations of Martin.
My Mother's name was Joan Sutherland Martin when I was born.
A little history for those of you not in the know:
Women have JUST received in my mother's memory - the right to control our bodies. Previously, a fertile and bawdy lass like me would have been a mother of seven by now (I have large birthing hips as well). Of course, having seven children would likely birth a bit of the bawdy out of me so to speak.
I tell you this because my mother never knew what hit her.
She was the oldest child of ann and joe in macon, GA. Of course my mother was born in Atlanta because my grandmother did not trust the hospitals of Macon. Neither of my mother's parents were from macon. They were both from north georgia. You know, work makes you move.
She actually was the first LIVING child of ann and joe. John Joseph Sutherland was born a year before my mother. My aunt and she still talk of him, so I feel he must have been brought up a lot in the family. He would have been the precious son. Fragile Ann was told to have no more children after my mother, but she did manage one more: beautiful Linda.
But this is not about beautiful Linda... Well in a big tangled way it is.
My mother doesn't think she's beautiful. Either that or she holds on to the supposition that she is not beautiful because she has grown so accustomed to the attention she gets when she refutes it.
For the record... in their youth, my aunt was a super star. She was hot, light blond (my mother's turned dirty blond), super smart, sexy, in a band, went to wake forest... married a grad student folk star....
My mother was the sneaky pretty. In any other family, she would have been the star. Perhaps when my grandparents knew it was their last child, they heaped it all on linda - never knowing that it would provoke my mother in a life-long spiral.
Beauty is a central theme in my mother's life.
I think you have to sort of know what it's like in the south. Although I used to think people were people and tv raised us all - I now feel that your region (or lack of one) imprints you as much as poverty.
The men are served. The women are sly and/or foxy and devoted servants. As with all servants, they have their jokes on the masters.
Of course I'm exaggerating for affect, but it is sort of like that/was sort of like that. [pb] Hair. That has been a big thing for my mother.
She will spend hours in front of the mirror fixing her hair. For as long as I've known her, she's wanted to grow it long. She bleaches it. She frosts it. She colours it. She hates it.
My sister and I bonded on the memories of mother when we were girls and used to watch her and tell her that she was beautiful. We would almost cry when she wouldn't believe us. Although, I always thought my aunt was more beautiful when I was a girl.
She was glamourous. She was rich. She had long hair. She was barren (which is why benjy is my only cousin).
When my mother divorced my father - or rather was separtating from him the final time - she had several men to woo her... Larry the younger man stoner was my favorite. He was quite nice. I never met the married man, traveling salesman dancer. I loved Terry... much more on that later. He bought me chocolate mint m&m's and a yellow bedroom suite. When Terry entered our lives, cornflakes weren't the staple of dinner.
My mother is proud.
When she used to get spanked (and linda never got spanked because she would cry), my mother never cried. Joe would spank her and tell her to cry - to say she was sorry.
My mother never cried. He gave up.
When my father spanked my brother and sister, I used to WAIL. I would BEG him to spank me instead. I would cling to his leg. It was always surprising to me - that as his obvious favorite - he never wavered in the belt whippings on the bed. (As an aside, my first 'painting' that I ever did was this scene - or was it the second).
My mother married terry and began (after a rocky start) her life of comfort and leisure and valium-like states.
In my early twenties, my mission was to get my mother to be real. She always seemed so fake. I would psychoanalyze her on our walks.
I didn't have much effect (fuck I never know the difference between effect and affect - aa). the one nugget I did achieve, I think stopped me in my tracks.
She told me that she didn't know what it was like to really feel an emotion anymore.
She's as mentally healthy as a horse - no perversion on her side of the family (all martin). She only takes pills for blood pressure and headaches.
I can't leave that out. It is central to the tale that my mother got headaches. These were not migraines. These were horrible headaches. She would just tell me to go away. She would lie in bed with her heating pad and suffer (she also had very bad menstrual cramps)... this was before modern medicine and fabulous pheorinal (not sure how you spell it but mom was always more fun when she had had a pheorinol. One of our jokes is "mother, have you taken one of your pills?")
So long this is. [pb] Hell, every female I know has mother issues. Women are -as a generality- pretty repressed and therefore fucked up. Your mother knows this... knows you have it luckier than her - you have the blessed youth. There is jealousy. There is pain. Their is love.
I used to have HUGE mother issues. HUGE resentment for the way she raised me. I perceived depression, isolation, and apathy.
It is one of my theories that we subconsciously live the life that we thought our same-sex parent would have wanted to live - until we get un-fucked up.
I have achieved - had achieved - a life with a stable husband who is fabulous, one marriage, no children. I'm somewhat of a writer and artist (my mother is a VERY talented unknown writer). I have very many friends (even more of a social set in my heyday). I am free.
I love my mother. I finally understand how hard it was for her.
She was so fucking valiant. She read to me every night - mostly nancy drews. She is amazing, and I pray that she feels emotions and feels freedom before she dies.
She was born in 1939 in September.
I'm sure there's more to say, perhaps I'll need an addendum.
As usual, I hope I haven't bored you.
The mother was very hard to write about.
I think I look nothing like her except the cheekbones (and oh in my youth how I wanted to be an ivory-skinned blond/blue-eyed pixie).