Our mother Mary and our stepmother Beatrice had several things in common. One of the main attributes they shared was their weapon of choice. No, I’m not talking about guns and knives. Both of these women used their mouths which were deadly and when they fired, you had best step back!
We never knew when the stormy weather was headed our way.
Our mother liked to come at you with both barrels and you knew to move or face her wrath. Our stepmother Beatrice also used her mouth for target practice but if you moved fast enough, she would not hit you directly. Her aim was not as good as our mother’s, which I suppose is fortunate for us. Or perhaps my sister and I had gotten so much practice dodging Mother’s mouth missiles that Beatrice just did not stand a chance.
Either way, they both could raise their voices to a feverish pitch and I think could actually puncture your eardrums if they really focused. That must be the reason I have a 30% hearing loss in my right ear.
After their rage subsided, Mother would find her way to her big green recliner and a special calming down drink (booze) and Stepmother would head for her bedroom where she would slam the door so loudly your ears would ring. Neither of these behaviors were approved by the Mental Health Association.
As the children of erratic mothering, we all have tried hard not to emulate this behavior. My sister Abby is the most consistent and would get the award for the calming influence in our family. My other sister Sissy tries hard not to display any negative Beatrice behavior and is almost always successful. Our brother Kevin tries to stay above the fray and chooses the quiet approach rather than the psycho babbling we all indulge in periodically.
For me, I like to think that I am the voice of reason and while influenced by both of the “twisted sisters” (Mary and Beatrice), I try to keep the rest of us together at all costs.
You might say we strike just the right balance of calm, care and characters. Our weapon of choice would be forgiveness. It is a gift we give ourselves.