A Mother's Day Repeat. The Lesson She Taught Me Without Ever Trying.

Blogpost original air date, June 4th, 2008

It was the big pile of vinyl records that was key to me learning this untaught lesson. Nothing but good comes from vinyl records. Remember that.

My Mom gave them to me when I got my turntable, probably just glad to get rid of them, but what a gold mine. Time in a box from the pop crooner era of the early 50's. Lots of songs by guys who sang them wearing tuxedos, drinking martinis, and always with a proper band behind them. Trombones, clarinets, violins.....but absolutely no Elvis Presley.

I asked Mom about this. "Oh I didn't like him" she said, and I gained valuable insight into the youth of my mother. I was the child of a nerd. Who didn't like Elvis in the 50's?

I also noticed how the collection abruptly ended around the time my parents got married. Normal enough I suppose. People grow up and move on and the music isn't nearly as important as it used to be when there's a family to raise. Then I saw the orange label. Obviously out of place amongst the drab dullness of the others. The font, the coloring....it was immediately obvious this disc was from another era.

Helen Reddy's "I Am Woman," sitting right there next to Dean Martin. I started thinking about what could have possibly driven Mom to set foot in a record store 20 years after she had last been in one, and despite my absolute lifelong certainty that I knew it all and my head was secure, insight found a way to sneak in.

It seeped in actually. Slowly. In fits and starts like the gradual certainty of the change of seasons. By the time Mom told me she was donating to Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign I understood. More than I've let on, I understand that it wasn't that long ago that if you had both a brain and a vagina, pretty much your only hope was to pass some of that gray matter through the birth canal and hope HE would be able to make some use of it. Mom worked as a secretary for awhile 'till she found herself a man and started breeding. She's also one of very few people I'll concede is smarter than myself.

So I also understand why she cried when I got my sorry ass through college. I thought it was kinda weird at the time, but that orange record was the catalyst to a lot of insight.

Hillary was historic. More than I've let on. It'll happen Mom. And when it does it won't be because she married well.

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A Mother's Day Repeat. The Lesson She Taught Me Without Ever Trying.
A Mother's Day Repeat. The Lesson She Taught Me Without Ever Trying.
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