|Dangerspouse Rides Again|
Garage - Track
Mar. 21, 2004 - 5:12 a.m.
When we were growing up, my kid sisters and I could tell when my Mom had gotten laid the night before because she always wanted to talk about sex when we came down for breakfast that morning. By the time I was 15 I knew more about my Mom's sex life than I do about my wife's.
It's not that Mom was particularly liberal about these thing. In fact, quite the opposite. When it came to sex my mom was just slightly to the right of the Taliban. She loved the act, but insisted that it only be engaged in within the confines of a strict moral code. She tried desperately to instill these same values in her kids, but to her undying revulsion it eventually became apparent that we were not following in her bound footsteps.
I remember one conversation we had on a drive from New Jersey to Massachusetts. I was a senior in High School and she was taking me up to look at a college she wanted me to consider applying to. Well, not a "college" per se, but a School of Holistic Medicine.
My mom was apparently a brilliant student as a youth, smart enough that over the course of her childhood she was allowed to skip entire grades. She ended up graduating High School somewhere around her 14th birthday. Unfortunately she was anchored to a traditional Sicilian family who were horrified when she expressed a desire to go to college. Women just didn't do that sort of thing. The sent her to secretarial school where she learned to type 230 words per minute and make very good coffee.
As a result, although she had a lot of native smarts, she was relatively unlearned. Crackpot pursuits like Homeopathic Medicine, crystals, and parapsychology were all given serious consideration simply because she wasn't educated enough to know better. My father, a respected research scientist in the field of hematology, patiently tried to explain the fallacy of the more obvious frauds she would latch onto from week to week. But a lot of them he just ignored. He realized that distractions like these kept his wife from wallowing in despair over the fact that she was a 20-something stay-at-home-mom to 5 kids, and killing us. Besides, he worked from 9 - 5 and only had time for so much lunacy when he got home each night.
So that's why we were driving 5 hours through the snow to a school near Boston that taught things like "Healing Touch", Reiki, and Water Memory. ("Water Memory" is still one of the most bizarre concepts I've ever heard. The basic tenet is this: if you add a substance to water and then completely remove it, the water will somehow "remember" what had previously been immersed in it and behave as if it were still there. If it was medicine, you could then drink the water and get medicinal benefits without ingesting the medicine itself. The drug could then be submerged into another cup of water and removed, ad infinitum. It was the perfect perpetual motion machine - there is no loss. I wonder if all the pools I've peed in remember me?)
The trip to and from the school was actually much more educational than the school itself. My mom had apparently been waiting for some time to get me alone so she could ask me a few questions. The most burning of which was:
"Do you think your sisters would ever engage in oral sex once they get married?"
I paused a long time before answering. Any response other than "What's 'oral sex'?" would be tacit acknowledgement that I actually knew what it was. And that could mean a long walk home. But I decided to chance it.
"Well...yeah. Why not?"
My mom gasped, as if I'd just slapped her. Horror and dismay were obvious when she finally found her voice.
"But WHY? Don't they realize how degrading to women that is?"
"Degrading? Actually, I've heard that a lot of women enjoy it."
"That's bullshit!(This was the only time in my life that I ever heard my mother swear. It was almost more disturbing to me at the time than the actual topic of conversation.) NO woman would ever consent willingly to an act of subservience like that. Any woman who says she enjoys it has obviously been brainwashed by an abusive husband."
The first thing I thought of was 'My poor dad!', but I said "Well, what about when a woman recieves oral sex? Has she brainwashed her husband?"
"What do you mean, the woman 'recieving' oral sex?"
"Um...well, when the husband uses his mouth on his wife's genital."
On hearing this my mom literally screamed and looked like she was going to hurl. "That's DISGUSTING!! Where did you hear of that??"
I was in a quandry with this one. I mean, I'd been fantasizing about cunnilingus since before I'd actually heard of it. But if I told my mom THAT, I'd be branded a freak in need of an exorcism. Or a beheading. So I gave some pat answer about how I'd overheard some of the "bad" kids at school talking about it one day, and I was just as shocked as she was. I don't think she even heard me.
"I don't understand people! Why would anyone want to do anything other than Missionary Position? How can you improve on perfection?" (This was a sentiment my sisters and I were used to hearing from my mom on those post-coital mornings.)
We then drove in silence for some time while Mom chewed over her newfound knowledge and despaired at the degenerate nature of some people. After a while I got up the nerve to ask her why she'd brought up the subject of my sisters giving blowjobs in the first place (in so many words).
It turns out that my mom, at the age of 38, had just heard of oral sex for the first time the week before. There had been an item on the news about homosexuality. She was confused, so she asked my dad how two guys could possibly have sex. When he told her (I assume he was astute enough to avoid mentioning anal) she apparently had the same reaction that my suprise knowledge of cunnilingus produced. Here it was a week later and she still felt physically ill by the thought of it. Again, I couldn't help feeling really sorry for my Dad.
The discussion then turned to how my Mom had come to learn anything about sex in the first place. She told me that when she got married, not only was she a virgin, but she didn't even know what sex was. Growing up in an insular immigrant household ruled over by a devout Sicilian Catholic mother, the subject was forbidden. On their wedding night, my Dad had to sit down and explain the facts of life to her, and she thought he was kidding.
In a way it was almost a suprise that they managed to have any kids at all. My father had suffered a similar upbringing, in that any mention of unmentionables was grounds for a beating. My mother told me once that my dad's mom confided in her that her husband had never, in their 45 years of marriage, seen her naked. Fortunately my dad not only had a post-graduate education in medicine, but also a 4 year stint in the Army. Between those two he had figured out what goes where by the time he met my mom. He just had to convince my mom that it was legit. I guess he did, because she popped out 5 kids in the next 7 years. Such a good Catholic.
My mom died a few years ago at age 53, never having experienced anything other than Missionary Position. I know she was just fine with that, but I hope that when my Dad eventually kicks, god gives her permission to go down on him in heaven. And I hope she never looks down and sees what my sisters are doing to their husbands.
It's funny what reminded me of all this. Yesterday on the air, the headline at the top of every hour was the kissing toilet furor at Kennedy Airport. Not the worldwide anti-war demonstrations. Not the Presidential campaign mudfest. But a porcelain woman's mouth that Virgin Air clubhouse members could (hopefully just) pee into. And it got me thinking about how that story would be my Mom's headline story if she were News Director at 1010WINS radio also.
On second thought, she probably would have killed the story. Because women just don't do that sort of thing.
Have a great weekend, kids! Don't do anything my Mom wouldn't do....