Disclaimer: My mother doesn't use drugs recreationally and hasn't since college. But that doesn't make what her completely legal and totally necessary drugs do to her occasionally any less hilarious. Also, I am aware that this post is in poor taste, but she sanctioned it because she's a woman with an amazing sense of humor. Also, because she's sick of me nagging her for twenty-one years and now just caves. Now, time for inappropriate family anecdotes!
When I was about 15, my mother started to just really need some more sleep. It probably had something to do with raising me, but this story isn't about that, luckily. Insomnia runs pretty deep on both sides of the family, and I'm surprised she actually held out on medication for that long. Bravo.
Point being, when my bat-shit-ness got too wearing when I was in high school, her doctor prescribed Ambien, which is possibly the best decision a medical professional has ever made because it furnishes me with stories to tell when I'm feeling socially awkward, which is a lot of the time.
The first encounter with my Ambien-mommy-dearest versus my real mother occurred a few nights before my 16th birthday. I awoke to my mother bursting into my room around one in the morning, happily giggling. This wasn't exactly a normal occurrence in my household growing up, but I decided to go with it because she was holding a bunch of wrapped boxes. With little to no slurring, she presented me with my birthday presents, early! Then, she proceeded to unwrap them for me.
Somehow, I took this all in stride. I got some awesome new clothes (I believe this included a knitted blazer, that had a sort of tie-dye thing going on, and a pair of plaid shoes , both of which I had picked out. I hadn't figured out subtlety quite yet. Actually, it's possible I still have no clue.) and I was so excited to wear them to school the next day to attract some studly high school males (I assume.) My life was good. In the morning, I put on my weirdly fuzzy blazer and plaid shoes, probably with a jean skirt with the pockets hanging out, and walked out of my room to show my mom how fantastic and understated I looked. To my surprise, her mouth dropped open. Fantastic! I thought, I look even better than I thought! But then she started yelling at me.
She had NO recollection, at all, of giving me my presents. She thought I had snuck into her bedroom as she slept (so peacefully with her new medicine!) and taken my gifts because...well, anyway, I had. I couldn't get her to believe me. She went as far as to make me change so she could rewrap the gifts for my birthday, but never did she think she actually had anything to do with it.
There were many, many more encounters that are equally hilarious with Ambien-mommy-dearest, but they would take too long to relate here. But the thing was, each time, my real mother didn't believe me. In retrospect, this was during the time period she had to lie to the cops for me, twice, so, you know, fair enough. But then, there was THE POPCORN INCIDENT.
The summer after my high school graduation, I came home very late one night with a friend. Possibly one of the winsome high school boys I had attracted with my pocket-skirt. Anyway, I hadn't eaten all day, and as was typical in our house as two women living alone together, we had one food item: a single bag of popcorn (and wine, but at 17 I wasn't exactly drinking in the house...often.) I was making the popcorn as my companion chatted with me, when their talking stopped abruptly. When I turned my friend looked terrified as they stared at my Ambien-mommy-dearest, standing in the doorway, fully pajamaed and glasses askew.
The room was silent, except for the popping of the corn and the dramatic beeping of the microwave. As I took the bag out, my mother sprang in to sudden and surprisingly agile movement for someone technically asleep, and snatched the popcorn away from me, running down the hall at an alarming speed, giggling all the while. My friend and I went back out and got Mexican food (God bless Southern California,) trying to laugh the whole thing off, but when we returned she was there. Waiting to taunt me.
As we watched TV and ate California burritos, I heard that same, creepy giggle from the doorway, and I looked over to see my mother dangling a half-empty bag of popcorn as she laughed. I don't know what popcorn-loving demon possessed me in that moment, but I threw my burrito to the floor and made a mad sprint to the popcorn. But Ambien-mommy-dearest was too quick for burrito-laden me. She made it to the back door before I made it to her, and threw the popcorn out into the dark. I was on the verge of tears, but Ambien-mommy-dearest just laughed as she strolled back to her room in a disconcertingly casual manner. I'm sure my companion was stricken with confusion and horror, but I just passed out, emotionally and physically exhausted by the events of the night.
The next morning, my mother was enraged, and came out of her room in the morning screaming: “WHY IS THERE POPCORN ALL OVER AND IN MY BED?” But I was done. I exploded the story on to her with the rapid fire vehemence of those deprived of popcorn, showing her the sad, lonely bag in the backyard. I even had a witness, as reluctant as they were to tell my mother of her seemingly insane night romp. But finally, finally, she believed me.
Not that it did anything to stop it.
In conclusion, here is my mother and I:
|People love us at weddings.|
|The best part? Both of these are her sober.|
P.S. I never even got to the skype-dancing and cranberry-vodka story. Another time, perhaps. If she doesn't kill me over this.
The top, more professional-looking photo courtesy of my sister, who unfortunately missed the Amiben years.