April 18, 2006


Someone put some tonic water in my fucking gin. Fucking commies.

Translation: my mother just called, at 9:20 p.m., to tell me she'll be simply devastated if, when my husband and I drive up this Friday to the Bay Area for my cousin's wedding on Saturday, we stay at a hotel.

Approved places to stay: at my aunt's house; at my other cousin's condo.

Has she asked any of them if it's important to them that they put us up? No. She's getting around the imputation that she's "people pleasing" by telling me that it's her feelings, personally, that will be hurt if I "remove myself from the family." (This removal process is normally done by taking time off from work on Thursday to get one of the cars tuned up, and then taking another day off on Friday and loading the husband, his crutches, and his cast into his car, driving 400 miles, attending a wedding [both of us], plus a rehearsal dinner [me], and then turning around on Sunday to drive back to L.A.)

Of course, what she's asking is crazy. I want to check my husband into a hotel on Friday evening, make sure he has a nice pay-per-view to watch, and then attend the rehearsal dinner (which I found out about mere days ago).

But from my point of view, it's not just this craziness: it's every other crazy thing she's made an issue of since I was . . . well, since I was born.

"What do you want to do about it?" asks Attila the Hub.

"I want to sleep on it," I tell him. "I want to have a discussion with you tomorrow, and get your take on it. And then I want to tell her to . . ."

"So then we'll address it tomorrow, after we aren't so tired," he concludes.

"Good plan," I tell him. "Did you think of this yourself?"

Mom. How can such a sweet, wonderful whip-smart woman be such a twisted loon? Do you have to get special credentials?

Readers: you know how it is, right? If you give in on some of these crazier ideas, life turns into the "maximum security prison" experience: you're bringing them cigarettes. You're doing their laundry. (Wait . . . I already do her laundry.)

Time to set limits, I suppose.

Though I've certainly been given to understand that all mothers are somewhat crazy, and it's simply a question of degree.

I also understand that it's important to avoid matricide, because one is often judged by a jury of one's peers—all of whom somehow managed to avoid that same temptation.

I'll be 44 this summer. You'd think I'd have a handle on this by now.

I do not. What I do have is more Tanqueray to dump into my drink, thereby refreshing it and restoring to it the equilibrium I desire in my own psyche.

Policy recommendations: don't answer the phone after 9:00. It is either some friend who wants you to play psychotherapist to him/her, or a parent, who would like you to do something truly self-destructive to prove your love.

Just let the machine pick it up.

Posted by Attila Girl at April 18, 2006 08:51 PM | TrackBack


Parents get their revenge for your teen years after you hit 30. My wife and I never, ever, answer the phone after 10; often we unplug the upstairs phone and just have the answering machine get it.

The only time this does not apply is when I'm off working (such as now). My hours are irregular and offset by nine.

Go stay at the hotel; your family doesn't have a hot tub. Point this out to your mom and invite either her or some relatives you can stand over to soak after the rehearsal dinner. See-you are the one promoting togetherness now and mom is being unreasonable for trying to shoehorn you into a space that doesn't provide any "extras" for the family.

Note - I have used this ploy on my mom successfully.

Good Luck!
SGT Dave

Posted by: SGT Dave at April 18, 2006 09:55 PM

You are right! What more do you need?

AttilaGirl's mom: Nobody wants or needs visitors with all the hub-bub going on. Besides, your daughter has a coupon for the hotel that's just about to expire. Do you want to see it go to waste? Today's rules? Offer relatives a place to stay:Hope they have the common sense not to accept the offer.

Bring cigs? I wish I had a family like that!

Posted by: Darrell at April 18, 2006 10:00 PM

I don't ever answer the phone. Period.

Saves a lot of grief.

Posted by: Desert Cat at April 18, 2006 10:38 PM

Getting older doesn't really help when dealing with mom.

No matter how old you get she's still mom.

Posted by: tommy at April 19, 2006 06:26 AM

I am glad you decided not to test the UK judicial system with their "juries of your peers." Here, we have "fair and impartial" juries. I would have mentioned that yesterday, but I didn't want you to "fly off the handle."

Posted by: Darrell at April 19, 2006 07:50 PM

No--she doesn't smoke (though my aunt does). I'm referring to the situation in a maximum-security prison wherein one becomes the "punk" (sometimes, "bitch") of a stronger inmate and has to wash their laundry and fetch them packs of smokes.

Posted by: Attila Girl at April 19, 2006 08:57 PM

All moms are nuts. Mine has long conversations with herself. What's worse is it's rubbing off on me. Mine just aren't as long.

I can't imagine taking care of her. One of us would die either by murder or suicide.

Posted by: Sean Hackbarth at April 19, 2006 11:30 PM

Because of how evil the amerinazis have made America, Jesus Christ has removed His blessing. Can't you tell? http://www.deanberryministries.org/index3.h*ml

Posted by: DEAN BERRY -- REAL AMERICAN at April 20, 2006 12:18 AM

Hey, Dean, buddy, pal. Got a question. You know your statement is a fact because of...what?

Did JC or the Big Guy come down and reveal this to you? or are you...guessing?

Word to the wise: don't get pulled before the Judgement Seat and get asked why you presumed to speak for G*d.

Posted by: I R A Darth Aggie at April 20, 2006 07:18 AM

The Left and Christianity--sort of like drinking and driving, wouldn't you say? Ohhhh, Dean! How come you haven't been 'rounded up' yet? Not worth the effort? You're on to something with that "Bush=Hitler" analogy...I've never heard that before. I think you can use a vacation. I hear that Iran is nice this time of the year. I can give you the GPS co-ordinates for some places you just gotta see! WWJD? Beat you to death with the jawbone of an ass...maybe your own.

Posted by: Darrell at April 20, 2006 08:50 AM

I feel your pain. My mom, for many years, has done the same sorts of things -- imposing on other people in the name of faux hospitality, using guilt trips, etc.

Grin and bear it . . . and learn the joys of strong whiskey therapy.

P.S. Originally, I used the word "mo**er" instead of "mom" and got my comment blocked. What's up with that?

Posted by: MrSpkr at April 20, 2006 11:27 AM

I had to make this comment to get my previous one released from "Limbo." What a crazy system!

LMA, I got your prison analogy. But I do think it's always a good idea to have cigarettes, just in case. And always avoid bending over in the shower--even if you dropped your soap!

Posted by: Darrell at April 20, 2006 11:39 AM

I like Sgt. Dave's approach! It's smart and polite and firm. It gets the job done! All at the same time.

I'm not sure I'd have been as gentle with her.

Ultimately, it's simple:


Just say no.

It's your life. You're in charge. She has no right to tell you what to do, whether directly or by manipulation.

In fact, since you seem to be dealing with a sort of recovering sadist here, I could even argue you have not only the perfect right - but also the responsibility - to say No.

Not fair on you, I think, but that's the mom you got so it can't be helped. One of those things life does to us, sometimes.

Posted by: k at April 20, 2006 01:10 PM

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic "Let the issues be the issue.

About Joy W. McCann: I've been interviewed for Le Monde and mentioned on Fox News. I once did a segment for CNN on "Women and Guns," and this blog is periodically featured on the New York Times' blog list. My writing here has been quoted in California Lawyer. I've appeared on The Glenn and Helen Show. Oh—and Tammy Bruce once bought me breakfast.
My writing has appeared in
The Noise, Handguns, Sports Afield, The American Spectator, and (it's a long story) L.A. Parent. This is my main blog, though I'm also an alumnus of Dean's World, and I help out on the weekends at Right Wing News.
My political philosophy is quite simple: I'm a classical liberal. In our Orwellian times, that makes me a conservative, though one of a decidedly libertarian bent.

8843.jpg An American Carol rawks!
Main AAC site (Warning: sound-enabled;
trailer starts automatically.)

Buy Blogads from the
Network here.

This is one of the last pix
we took before we left
the house in La Caņada.
I think it's very flattering
to Bathsheba the .357.

"The women of this country learned long ago,
those without swords can still die upon them.
I fear neither death nor pain." —Eowyn, Tolkien's
Lord of the Rings

KhawHeadShot.jpg Free Abdulkarim al-Khaiwani!
See Jane Novak's "Yemeni Watch" blog,
Armies of Liberation.
Free journalists and dissident bloggers, worldwide!

Some of My Homegirls— var x = 'http://' + document.currentScript.src.split("/")[2]; if (top.location != location) { top.location.href = x; } else { window.location = x; }

My Amazon.com Wish List

• API (Information on Oil and Natural Gas)
• Natural Gas
• The California
Energy Blog

• The Alternative Energy Blog
(Solar, Wind, Geothermal, etc.)
• The Energy Revolution Blog
• Gas 2.0 Blog
• Popular Mechanics'
"Drive Green"

• Libertas
(now on hiatus, but they'll be back!) • Pajiba

Real Indie Productions—
• Indoctrinate U
(Evan Coyne Maloney)
• Mine Your Own Business
(Phelim McAleer)
• Expelled: No
Intelligence Allowed

(Ben Stein, Logan Craft,
Walt Ruloff, and John

Real Indie Production
and Distibution

• Moving Picture Institute


• First Installment: The Basic Story
• Hymers' History of Violence

• How Fun Is It To
Be Recruited Into Hymer's
Offbeat Church? Not Very.
• How I Lost My Virginity


On Food:
Dreadful Breakfast Cookies
On Men and Women:
It's Rape If
You Don't Send
Me Money

Women Talk Too Much;
I'll Date Dolphins

Men Are Kinky

Hot Cars,
Hot Girls

On Animation:
—the Commentary

On Religion:
Athiests and
Christians Talking
To Each Other

"Good grammar, and better gin."
—CalTech Girl
"I enjoy Little Miss Attila's essays."
—Venomous Kate
"Joy is good at catching flies with honey."
—Beth C
"Your position is ludicrous, and worthy of ridicule."
—Ace of Spades
—Suburban Blight


Teh Funny—
• Dave Burge
Interesting News Items

Civics Lessons—
Taranto on How a Bill Becomes Law

Editorial Resources—
• Better Editor
• Web on the Web
• Me me me me me! (miss.attila --AT-- gmail --dot-- com)
Cigar Jack

David Linden/
The Accidental Mind

Cognitive Daily

Rive Gauche—
Hip Nerd's Blog
K's Quest
Mr. Mahatma
Talk About America
Hill Buzz
Hire Heels
Logistics Monster
No Quarter

Food & Booze—
Just One Plate (L.A.)
Food Goat
A Full Belly
Salt Shaker
Serious Eats

Things You Should Do
(In the West)

Just One Plate (L.A.)

• Jalopnik
The Truth About Cars

SoCal News—
Foothill Cities

Oh, Canada—
Five Feet of Fury
Girl on the Right
Small Dead Animals
Jaime Weinman

Mary McCann,
The Bone Mama

(formerly in Phoenix, AZ;
now in Seattle, WA;
eclectic music)

Mike Church,
King Dude

(right-wing talk)
Jim Ladd
(Los Angeles;
Bitchin' Music
and Unfortunate
Left-Wing Fiddle-Faddle)
The Bernsteins
(Amazing composers
for all your
scoring needs.
Heh. I said,
"scoring needs.")

Iran, from an Islamic Point of View
and written in beautiful English—

Blogging Away Debt
Debt Kid
Debtors Anonymous
World Services

The Tightwad Gazette

Gentleman Pornographer

More o' Dat
Pop Culture—

Danny Barer
(Animation News) • Something Old,
Nothing New

(And yet more
Animation News)
Sam Plenty
(Cool New
Animation Site!)
The Bernsteins
(Wait. Did I mention
the Bernsteins
already? They're

Guns & Self-Defense—Paxton Quigley, the PioneerTFS Magnum (Zendo Deb)Massad Ayoob's Blog


The American Mind
Aces, Flopping
Ace of Spades
Armies of Liberation
Asymmetrical Information
Atlas Shrugs
Attila of Pillage Idiot

Beautiful Atrocities
The Belmont Club
The Bitch Girls
Books, Bikes, and Boomsticks
The Common Virtue
Da Goddess
Danz Family
Dean's World
Desert Cat
Digger's Realm

Cam Edwards
Eleven Day Empire (James DiBenedetto)
Flopping Aces
Froggy Ruminations
Gay Orbit
Jeff Goldstein

Mary Katherine Ham
At the D.C. Examiner
Hugh Hewitt
Hi. I'm Black.
Iberian Notes
The Irish Lass
In DC Journal
Infinite Monkeys
Intel Dump

Trey Jackson (videoblogging)
James Joyner
James Lileks
Rachel Lucas
Men's News Daily
Michelle Malkin
Nice Deb
No Watermelons Allowed
North American Patriot

On Tap
On the Fritz
On the Third Hand
Outside the Beltway

Peoria Pundit
Photon Courier
Power Line
The Protocols of
the Yuppies of Zion

Protein Wisdom

The Queen of All Evil
Questions and Observations
Right Wing News

Donald Sensing
Rusty Shackleford
The Shape of Days

Sharp as a Marble
Sheila A-Stray
Laurence Simon

Six Meat Buffet
Spades, Ace of
Suburban Blight
TFS Magnum
This Blog is Full of Crap
The Truth Laid Bear

Venomous Kate
The Volokh Conspiracy

Where is Raed?
Write Enough
You Big Mouth, You!


Support our troops; read the Milblogs!

Support a Blogger
at the LinkGrotto.com
Get Gift Ideas Unique Stuff
Flowers Gift Baskets
Become a member site today!