March 18, 2006

Revelations at 60+ m.p.h.

Car talk: some might consider it moments of intimacy demonstrating maturity in the mother-daughter relationship. That is, those who were not trapped at 60+ mph, when the inquisitive mother, circa 1977, decided on the moment to ask, "if you were pregnant, would you have an abortion?" (Um, yes, murmured the virgin daughter.) "Would you tell me?" (I don't know.)

This was topped only once, 10 years later, by the 70 mph trip on the New Jersey Turnpike when the IM turns to the non-so-virginal daughter for clarification of suspicion: "Are you a lesbian?" (Bisexual, says the daughter, to avert collision with other vehicles on the road.)

In neither of these cases did I have the option of running out of the room and shutting myself up, alone. We had too much ground to cover.

To think in 1968, my mother was too embarrassed to tell me how babies were made and so I had to read the books from the school nurse, followed by a post-cocktail pop quiz from mom.

How times change. I don't have a daughter, but apparently a good quantity of my parenting efforts have gone to raising my mother, more than I had bargained for. So much for the generation gap, which I preferred to leave the width of the Grand Canyon.

"Don't ask, don't tell," was invented just to prevent these generational Q&As. I thought I had it on good authority that I was conceived immaculately. After my dad died, my mother blurted out a few more details than I wanted to hear -- that is to say anything -- about their sex life.

In his most recent divorce wars, my brother openly confessed to my mother that he and his wife hadn't had sex in several months prior to the jump-or-pushed debacle that ended their cohabitation. My mom passed along this information to me. This is exactly where "Don't ask, don't tell" is a motto for the generations.

Robert Lewis Stevenson wrote: "To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive." Evidently he never got into a car with my mother.

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3 Comments:

Blogger sporksforall said...

I can't tell you how glad I am this technique has never occured to my mother. Not that she's any worse at cornering me. Given her suspect driving skills, there are many people in the southeast who should also be grateful. As to your mother, is it possible that as they get older the filter wears away?

6:40 PM  
Blogger scout said...

Hmm, my mother prefers the not knowing in just about every case (except where my health is concerned; she has M&M reports to prepare), so when I came out it hit her like an iron skillet upside the face. Good times.

2:51 PM  
Blogger The Misanthrope said...

I am glad that we don't usually have those kinds of conversations. I would lie anyway. I also don't tell daughter anything, not that she wants to know.

1:21 AM  

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