If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance.George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)
In The Past
Before the 1950s things were very different from today, mothers were slaves, they didn't have jobs and nobody expected them to have their own lives. Today many mothers are also part-time divas, who take trips to New York for business and who are focussed on getting their nails done and ordering the latest push up, leopard skin, Wizard bra. And today the 'artistry' of doctors who perform silicon breast implants (which generally look like rigid plastic mounds stuck to the body) are discussed casually over day care fences, the same way mother's of the past used to swap recipes for meat loaf.
Families are also very varied today, single parenthood is common and kids can find themselves with two mothers or two fathers. Campy and talented, piano playing, Elton John, he of the 1970s giant glasses, is now a father of a young son with his partner David Furnish. I don't know who the mother is. Mother's in the past were deemed necessary, an absolute requirement; although it seems that love and care is more important than anything else and can come in many shapes and forms.
Mother's used to wear aprons and get excited about Tupperware parties in the not too distant past. Now some mother's like Kendra, the former Playboy bunny and Pamela Anderson, have sex tapes cannon balling about the internet. If such a thing happened to me (which it wouldn't), I would have a name change and extensive reconstructive surgery before moving to Siberia. These days however a sex tape can make you famous and give your family a leg up (or over), getting their own reality show.
DEFINITION of mixed emotions. Seeing your mother-in-law drive over a cliff in your new car. This popular joke probably says it all. Mother in-laws are generally only good in moderation. My mother-in-law walks through the front door and while still carrying her handbag, rearranges furniture and inspects all underwear for needed repairs. She is like a steamroller, nothing stands in her way. My mother on the other hand (who is probably still a virgin) is more concerned with the timing of the Harrods and Liberty sales, so she can buy me something hideous, involving frills and flowers.
Sheds and Dads
Sheds or garages used to be the place to find father's, working on cars, making a bit of furniture and listening to the races or football. Ok....that was probably other people's fathers. My father actually spent his spare time learning languages, making wine and listening to classical music, while reading "Scientific American". Other people's fathers would be off down to the pub, or in the case of the neighbour across the road, trolling the streets in his car for young, nubile high school girls he could drive around and oggle. But that's another story.
Some people are only children and in regard to a few I know, I can only say "thank goodness"! My brother is also a bit hard to take, but at least he is not a twin. I've also known a few people who have come from families of ten or more children. I have noticed they mostly fall into two different camps. The first is of the religious family style, where they sing "Kumbaya" around the dinner table. These kids remind me of robots programmed to do, or say the required things. The other group is of the Darwinian variety, the survival of the fittest reigns. You have to be crafty to survive in this kind of family and if you want to get at least one biscuit from the packet occasionally, devious measures are called for.
On the subject of mother-in-laws again, one thing has always puzzled me. How do those who engage in polygamy, manage all those renegade, rambunctious mother-in-laws?
Flickr Feeling my age
My mother is really not too bad in her mother-in-law role, but I do recall my brother's wife telling me, that she had broken her own golden rule, which was to marry an orphan.
The wife’s Mother said, “When you’re dead, I’ll dance in your grave.” I said: “Good, I’m being buried at sea.”