Dancing Queen

Remember the Abba song “Dancing Queen”? Well, I do too, but for a different reason. Once in awhile our mother would give us a little glimpse into her early years as an adult living in Chicago. Often the information she shared was not particularly age-appropriate for us to know as children or teenagers, but Mother […]

The Velvet Hammer

Mother not only enjoyed drinking, she also enjoyed hanging out in very seedy drinking establishments (aka dive bars). While she was between husbands and living the single life in California, she apparently frequented one of these bars so often that they offered her a job. The little joint was named “The Velvet Hammer.” Talk about […]

A Diller, A Dollar, What Crap Can I Buy For A Dollar?

The unique marketing idea of a “dollar store” was one of our mother’s many compulsions. She always favored for quantity over quality and loved nothing more than perusing each and every aisle in these bargain basement establishments. My sister Abby and I would cringe whenever she mentioned “running” over to “The Dollar Store” because we […]

Holiday Hopes, Dreams and Denial

More than anything I have always wanted a “normal” family, and since I do not have one, I find myself at times pretending that things are better than they really are. It was in this spirit of denial that I once suggested to my sister Lindy that we take Mother out for a day of […]

Husband Number Three

You may know the song, “It’s so nice to have a man around the house”; the song has been performed by Della Reese, Eartha Kitt, and Dinah Shore. Mother took those lyrics as her motto. She did not like responsibility, so she figured out that if there was a man around she could always blame […]

Normal Step-family

Once Dad married our stepmother Beatrice, my sister Lindy and I thought we would have a normal step-family. We didn’t actually know what exactly that would entail, but we had some ideas. In our “Normal Step-family” we assumed that we could have Coca-Cola whenever we wanted. That part turned out be true. In our “Normal […]