Great news! While listening to the radio, I finally heard the diagnosis for what was ailing our mother, Mary Jo! The ailment is named, “Honky Tonk Amnesia”. I was almost struck dumb when I heard it because it surely fits our mother to a tee…a dysfunctional, cross-addicted, very troubled tee, but nonetheless a tee! It also explains a lot of her failures in life. You know, little failures such as remembering that she had kids when she moseyed over to the neighborhood tap. Or forgetting it was never a good idea to leave a baby alone when Mother went upstairs to a neighbor’s apartment to “play Scrabble”. “Playing Scrabble” was, of course, Mother’s code for tipping ’em up and getting smashed.
Mother’s amnesia was how she was able to live a life filled with rewriting of history and refusal to acknowledge her shortcomings. I guess it is a pretty nice way to go through life if you wish to be irresponsible and undependable. Most parents (and most humans, I suspect) set their aspirations a bit higher. Mother never let that get in her way. She often told my sister and I that she was doing us a favor by expecting us to look after ourselves. OK at ages ten and twelve maybe, but certainly not at ages two and four.
Apparently there is a name for just about everything that may ail you. It is too bad Mother didn’t know about the ailment that best suited her “condition”, Honky Tonk Amnesia! Maybe she might have even been able to get a doctor to prescribe some “special medicine” to help her out.