Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Look, Ma! No Hands!

I've done some spectacularly weird crap in my life.

And my mom, Blind Betsy, probably ought to have seen some of it coming along about the time I dyed my hair eggplant purple in junior high. Instead, she paid top dollar for me to have the most outrageous hair in town and simply said, "If the worst thing you ever do is dye your hair the color of an Easter egg, the least I can do is ensure it's done properly by a professional."

Unfortunately for her, hair dye would barely scratch the surface of a long string of worrisome interests that caught and held my attention.

In her defense, I am her youngest and, while my older siblings certainly had their moments, none of them dug nearly so deep into particularly taboo sub-cultures - the same ones into which I always seem to manage to dive head first. How was she to know I would be a deep-end swimmer in a pool of wade pool dwellers? Maybe because I could dive almost as soon as I could walk???


The point is I've seen and experienced, studied and been fascinated by, activities and people who others might cross the street to avoid. I've also rarely hesitated to share those same moments of my life with Blind Betsy who, in hindsight, likely wishes she hadn't issued an open invitation to disclose my activities and proclivities quite so freely. But she did and I did and so here we are.

I don't think about it much...how much I tell her. But then, Friday afternoon, it dawned on me...there is nothing left I could say, short of "I've been arrested and charged with a class A felony" (not that that's likely...still) that would surprise or shock her.


Blind Betsy:  What are your plans for the weekend?
Just Jane:     Oh! Uh...well...Locksport.
Blind Betsy:  What's Locksport?
Just Jane:     Um...we practice picking locks...for fun and sport. 
Blind Betsy:  Oh! [not missing a beat] Can you pick the lock to your own house?
Just Jane:     Not yet. I'm not quite that good.
Blind Betsy:  Huh. Well what good is it if you can't pick your own lock in the event you forget your keys?

She has a point.

She's also a very cool mom.

I'm also fairly certain, no matter how off-the-wall my interests seem to range, she now takes it all in stride, feigns interest when she has no idea what I'm spouting off about, and understands that, at 40, I'm probably not going to die from my past times. Not only that but, at some point, she came to the realization that there was little cause for worry. She had, in fact, raised me right and had, in fact, bestowed upon me a modicum of common sense. 

So, the next day, when I'm talking to my oldest sister, Rache, after we'd discussed the issues at hand with my father as it were, and she begins to fill in the sketchy details of my beloved nephew's shenanigans over the course of the last few months, I say to her, "Rache? Really. There is a light at the end of this tunnel. Sincerely. Call Mom."

Because I was 19 once too, you know. And I went off half cocked at 19 too. I filled Blind Betsy to brimming with fear more than once, I'm certain, but I came through it fine. I managed my 20's and my 30's and, thus far, my 40's with just the one scar on my face. Not too shabby for some of the battles I've waged.

That's how I know JR will be just fine too.

He'll be just fine. If I have anything to say about it, that is.

On second thought...where'd I put that rope to hogtie him until he's 30???


Anonymous said...

Beware! That last line was far too sensible-adultlike. Quick! Run naked around your block. Go!!!

Gaelyn said...

I like Blind Betty. Wish my Mom could have been a little more like that.

Very cool to learn to pick locks. My Dad was real good at it.

Now Run!

Anonymous said...

I think Blind Betsy and Emily Gilmore need to hang out together. And compare notes. Just a few of them, at least, while their daughters are off not getting arrested for being naked.



a.eye said...

Locksport? Where can I take that kind of course? Sounds cool!

Glad you can be a voice of assurance for your sister!

Graciewilde said...

I waited until I left home at 19 to really run off half cocked. I was 500 miles away from my parents and they nothing about my adventures. That was a good thing. And I was glad when Sonny Boy and his sister both went off to college at 18 and I could not know about what they were up to. Better that way.

Kelly Robinson said...

"I managed my 20's and my 30's and, thus far, my 40's with just the one scar on my face. Not too shabby for some of the battles I've waged."

I love how, in the midst of all the self-effacing hilarity, you always leave us with a true gem.

Lucy said...


Yeah, we just want them to come out of it 'just fine' don't we?

Lucy said...


Yeah, we just want them to come out of it 'just fine' don't we?

The Host said...

Funny, I find myself telling my sister (mother of four girls) the same thing often. Then she remembers the person at her side through large swaths of the trouble-making was me, and she takes my words of wisdom far less seriously.

I think we turned out just fine. She recalls some of the antics on the way to fine. I think we're both right to be assured and terrified at the same time.

Deb Stevens said...

My favorite part is that she trusts that she's done a good job raising you.

And you trust it too. So hobbies aside, you're not going to wage a battle that's going to make your life unbearably hard to live.

Masked Mom said...

This is something I struggle with on a daily basis. My phone rang Sun night/Mon morning at 3:15 a.m.--and it was a heartstopping moment before I realized it was just work. What the hell kind of world am I living in that I'm relieved when work is calling me at 3:15 a.m.?!

Let me know if ya' got any spare rope.

Sleepy Joe said...

Fantastic, and scary all at the same time. Just at a moment when I am panicing about my girls growing up.

I feel very sheltered and may have to refer back to this in later years, as the only off the rail thing I did in my youth was get a tattoo (semi-permanent and about 3cm square in a place no-one can see it). How will I cope without a rope given my lack of reference point?!?!

Neat blog, love the fact that your comment mob mission has led me to some great blogs to follow tonight!

Anonymous said...

My Mom become more Blind Betsy as she aged. We are, of course, talking about a woman who I used to call "Ava" due to her strictness. (Guess what I called Dad?)

I am trying to be more Blind Betsy with my own spawnling. I started off Ninja Mom, quick with the throwing stars of "NO!"

I think I am somewhere in between them. Which makes me....
Pai Mei, I think.

If I grow a four foot, white mustache I'm gonna be so sad.