The Way Things Are






Mothers Day, Schmothers Day
2005-05-09, 1:25 p.m.

Mothers Day, Schmothers Day

Nah, come on! It was fine. It was actually a good mother-son bonding day. Lil Guy and I sat around sleepy all afternoon, and when I noticed that his eyes were totally glazed over as he played the same stupid PS2 game over and over again, I suggested we go see a movie. We were home alone, because DW was working on the house and neither LG nor I felt physically up to it. We were a bit under the weather with allergies. Headaches. Eyeaches. Tiredness. Laziness.

The thing is, our neighborhood is a former pecan grove. There are giant pecans all over the neighborhood, and if you look at them right, you can see that the trees are all planted in rows. Old maps show that this was a big-ass orchard. Anyway, pecan trees=pecan pollen. Oy. I thought the oak was bad a few weeks ago, now it’s the pecans’ turn to be having rampant sex, and what is pollen? Yes, it’s tree sperm.

So all that yellow tree sperm gets up in your nose and your eyes and your throat and makes you feel kind of yucky. Whether you are actually allergic or not – that much tree sperm will give you a headache.

Plus, I was up in the middle of the night because our neighbor, known to us as Henry’s ex-wife, received her Mananita at 3:00 a.m.

Oh, you don’t know about Las Mananitas? You’ve never heard of this? It’s a Mother’s Day tradition in the Hispanic/Mexican-American culture (I’m specifying Mexico because I’m not sure if it is part of the Puerto Rican or Cuban tradition because, yo, we don’t have too much of that around here) wherein the mothers are serenaded in the wee hours of the morning. It is lovely, and I feel that since her Mananita is loud enough for me to hear, Henry’s ex-wife’s is partly mine. You can read about it here – I found a link that ‘splains it.

In fact, I learned so much reading the link above, that I could rewrite everything I’ve written here and give you the correct explanation, but I like it better with my own perception written out all clumsy and stupid, and then the link, wherein the author is baffled and then delighted by the serenade. And proceeds to tells you what it is much more succinctly and cohesively than I could ever manage.

Last year, about 5:00 a.m., I awoke to hear a chorus singing a lovely song in Spanish. I peeked through the blinds and saw a group of at least half a dozen young men, singing to Henry’s ex-wife’s front door.

I saw one of Henry’s ex-wife’s sons or brothers later in the day, (it’s a large family, and the sons and brothers tend to run at the edges, age-wise, and they all live in the neighborhood) and asked him what it was, and he explained to me the Las Mananitas tradition. I think I fell in love with him a little bit right then.

The one this year started at 2:45 a.m. when I awoke to hear a trumpet. As I listened, I heard voices accompanied by the trumpet and a softly strumming guitar. It was like Santa had shown up and I had heard him! Finally! I was so excited. I ran to the kitchen and stood on the porch, looking out the door toward Henry’s ex-wife’s house and saw two young men singing and accompanying themselves on trumpet and guitar. When it was over, they got in their truck, laughed and talked for a moment, and then sped away into the night, I suppose to their next gig.

I wonder if they have a list of houses to hit each Mother’s Day morning? However this is arranged, and whoever the men are who sing, I love it. I just love it. I realized, with a bit of sadness, that this is the last year I will share in Henry’s ex-wife’s Mananita because we are moving to the country and I won’t be there anymore to steal a little bit of her gift from her sons and brothers.

I have hope, though. Out of our neighbors in the country, the ones to the north of us are pretty close – we can see bits of their house through the trees. And they are Hispanic, so I’m hoping that the mom receives a Mother’s Day Mananita, and that I will be able to hear it. Plus, I have a son who is fast approaching teen-hood. I hope to be able to drop enough hints to DW to get him to get Lil Guy and his future high school friends to come out and serenade me. Hey, I can hope.

Y’all, I swear. It’s better than being 6 and being sure you saw Santa. It’s like catching him and receiving your gift, and being so sure of magic and goodness. Just magical – I feel blessed just to be able to secretly share it.

So anyway, I was tired all day. About 3:00 yesterday, we looked online to see what movies are playing in our little town, and found Robots. There was something about the combination of a dark room, a comfy chair, and a very boring movie going on…I slept through the first half, and felt infinitely better when I awoke. It turns out I didn’t miss anything plot wise, either.

Not that you would be able to tell, because “Robots”, while it is chock-full of good animation and a clever concept, sucked ass. Very boring. No real plot, and what plot there was, was very predictable.

Almost like the writers pulled out the “Plotlines for Dummies” handbook and proceeded to move from Point A to Point Z, including the requisite Point R: Hero is Temporarily Lost but Emerges Victorious From Rubble to Wild Applause After Shocked Silence. There was a Shrek-esque dance number at the end. Robin Williams tried to steal the show, but alas, there was no show to steal.

After the movie, we ventured to the grocery store, where as it turns out, NOT everyone in our zip code was shopping at the same time. So that was very good. It was a little gift from the universe to me. I made Lil Guy come up with a menu plan for the week, which served as a learning experience for him, and a brain break for me. Food was gathered, and chocolate cake was baked when we got home.

Which brings me to a tangent. Our good friend “Don” was laid off last week by the pest control company he has worked for the past 15 years. He does 3 peoples’ jobs, is on call 24/7, works weekends and nights and at 2 in the morning, and the company, let’s call them “Bugkillahs”, has decided that at $60k (or around there) per year, he is too expensive. So they are replacing him with 2 guys at around $25k a year each.

Anyway, I baked him a sympathy cake last week, and spelled out with pecans on top: “Suck it Bugkillahs.” Hee!

I also baked a sympathy cake for my friend whose mother died. I didn’t spell anything out with pecans on this one, though. No “Sorry ‘Bout Your Mom”. If y’all like, I can post the recipe sometimes this week. It’s a chocolately chocolate cake that’s chock-full of endorphins and pecans, and even if you are sad or worried or depressed, your mouth will be happy. And if your mouth is happy, hey. You’re halfway there.

To bring that tangent back around, the cake I baked last night was for DW, because he was jealous of all the other people who got cake from me last week – that sounds very sexual doesn’t it? – so I built him a cake. That kind of took the sting out of the fact that he worked on the house all day yesterday, and I didn’t do a damn thing for it.

Last night, after some surprisingly good sex (no surprise that it was good, but this was SURPRISINGLY good sex. his opening sex line, the line that got me to put down my book and turn out the light was “I’m all clean-shaven” [oh God, his face, y’all…his face]), he said “Thanks for baking me a cake.”

Well, thanks for building me a house. Now have some cake.

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