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all about my mother(s)
13 moms with meditations i've come to love and understand
by alex b (@Lexistential)

May is, as we all know, the Month of Mom. Aside from her birthday, Mother's Day is that time of the month my mom expects us to celebrate her; to neglect her is The Wrath of Khan personified in tiny little Asian lady form.

Trust me, it's more terrifying.

However, Mother's Day isn't just a question of my mom. I am who I am courtesy of all my mothers. They remind me of what they've passed my way— and, in a few cases, what I learned about them from other family connections that I'm still not supposed to talk about.

So, this past Mother's Day, I meditated over every single mother I've ever known. And, below are all the little things I'll carry with me through the rest of my days.

1.1. From Mom, I saw that a sparkly je ne sais quoi can capture the attention of an entire room. Accessorized with a smile, it's more potent than a spritz of Trésor, but especially deadly when wearing fuchsia silk shantung and presiding over dinner. Personality and persuasion can be difficult to capture, but it can be done effortlessly. Especially when wielding Christmas ham.

1.2. From Tita Lita, it's possible to terrify children and extended family adult members alike at 4'11" with a glare, pedicure, and well-cut size-two slacks, even up to and past the age of 70. It's likewise possible to pass on a love of travel and shopping by funding Christmas vacations to Hong Kong.

1.3. From Aunt Boch, giving your children insomnia happens by having the kind of noisy night where a headboard repeatedly slams against the wall of their neighboring hotel room. Traumatizing them is likewise inevitable by giggling about oysters the next morning.

1.4. From Aunt Belle, it's possible to never utter anything bitchy within children's hearing range, and to love a man who loves shoes more than anyone else in the family does. But, most of all, adopting the orphaned baby girl whose mother died in childbirth is one of the most gracious things to do in a lifetime.

1.5. From Auntie Babyling, deep-fried hair that resembles a Pinoy crispy pata dish will happen from repeated applications of perming solution. And while having five boys can be an adventure, it generally isn't smart to keep land near a simmering Mt. Pinatubo.

1.6. From Auntie Babylit, it really, really isn't smart to empty the entire house's supply of milk for a bath, especially when your dad is a gun-wielding nut who fires bullets in the air when irked. Nor is it brilliant to marry random, bongo-playing men in Atlantic City, especially when they sleep in their cars outside the house to stalk and protest the relationship's end. However, it's possible to convince nieces and nephews that Wet & Wild bubblegum-pink lipstick looks good with $10.

1.7. From Aunt Ditas, it's perfectly fine to acknowledge openly cheating sisters-in-law as such. It's also okay to take your terrified son on rollercoaster rides, even though he would rather stay home to play with his G.I. Joes, and doesn't let go of the rail bar when the ordeal is finally over.

1.8. From Aunt GingGing, one of the greatest and most compassionate ways to spend motherhood is to raise a developmentally-disabled child with an open heart and a whole lot of love.

1.9. From Tita Ann, it is actually possible to have five children with near-genius acumen, and to motivate each one to a fulfilling career. And, sometimes, convincing stupefied teenagers that adults really want to learn how to Roger Rabbit can happen without bribery.

1.10. From Chris McGlashan, I learned that riding motorcycles around Australia is a perfectly acceptable marital choice over having children right away. So is racing motorboats. Being a wife doesn't entail automatic motherhood, and adventure is a valid, solid option in marriage and relationships.

1.11. From Sandie Poblador, I learned a woman can be an effective Wharton Business College Alumni President, and that arranging to poach members of the opposition alumni basketball team during their games and while wearing killer heels isn't necessarily cheating. It is also especially okay to let a husband be Mr. Mom for the kids, and that wives shouldn't have to handle children by themselves.

1.12. From Wynn Wynn Ong, it's absolutely acceptable to be as blunt and direct with teachers and tutors, especially in the pursuit of a child's education. In addition, if a woman dresses like Betty Crocker and wears pearls while making verbal mincemeat out of an idiot educator who doesn't do his or her job properly, she doesn't lose a ladylike aura, but becomes more formidable.

1.13. From Gina, it's possible to retain a sexual sense of humor well into one's mid-fifties. And, it's perfectly legal for women to walk around the state of New York topless as long as they're not trying to make any money out of it. Oh, and it's always necessary to bring good binoculars to the beach to watch lifeguards doing push-ups, not the crappy ones from a dollar store.

1.14. Last but not least, from my mom once again, it's perfectly acceptable to tell a neighboring airline passenger in first class that she's the last living descendant of Emperor Pu Yi of China when questioned about her Asian background. And, if they also have uneaten gourmet cheese.


An expert in coloring outside the lines while reading between them, Alex B has a head for business, bod for sin, and weakness for ice cream during all seasons. Apart from watching Bravo marathons and enjoying haute bites here and there, she writes about TV, pop culture, and coloring outside even more lines. She sneaks Tweets via @lexistential.

more about alex b


talk nerdy to me
appreciating today's nerdy man
by alex b
topic: humor
published: 7.16.08

ethnically yours
beware, i'm a flip
by alex b
topic: humor
published: 8.8.06


sandra thompson
5.28.09 @ 6:58a

I loved this, Alex. You keep outdoing yourself. (Sorry I'm so late, but I misseed it the first time through the 560 emails for that day.)

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