One Man’s Loss Is Another Man’s Mother; Lessons In The Key Of Remembering


So. What a week. I have been working hard on all the many aspects of buying a home out of state and I have been dealing with my mother in ways not before with dealt. Not dealt with before? Having never before with being dealt, maybe.

OK, whatthefuck is it with the dangling participle dealie anyway? Wait, stop another minute because I’m not addressing danglies, but rather tag-on prepositions—another preposterous pompous and pretentious grammar rule. Why can’t I say, “… dealt with.” to end a sentence and simply be done with it? When leaving a preposition at the end of a sentence conveys the precise sentiments, why, inthefuck, must we restructure to create words that sound as if they came from a snooty-nosed seventh grade English teacher’s mouth?

I’ve done many real estate sales and purchases in my lifetime, as part of my life and my business. Daddy told me early and often that real estate is the only asset worth owning other than your own business. Having spent that lifetime watching Wall Street and the assholes who run it, I have become a true follower of Daddy’s words. But I’ve never owned real estate in New Mexico, so I’ve needed to pay carefuller attention to this Santa Fe house dealio.

And “Paying Attention” is not my middle name.

Having said that, I reviewed the last of the documents and will be proudly owning our new place over there on Monday, July 30. And please allow me to say this:

“Hoo-fucking-yah, y’all!!!”

Then, on Friday of next week I’ll be headed over to start working on the house to get it ready to furnish in late September. The old place needs a few repairs and creature comforts to make it comfy for me and the menagerie of Johnsons calling it “Home, sweet second home”. I’ll take the dogs and the fucking cat on this trip and maybe I’ll have Mother in tow.

Yea, I know, I said maybe Mother will be along for the ride. Fuck me running.

My mother is the “not with having dealt issue” previously debated grammatically therewith herein. I’ve never before said anything about it here to the bloggie out of respect to Mother, but my batshit bigoted and right-wing conservative Christian asshole mother has dementia. According to her doctor it is, “Non-Alzheimer, non-specific organic dementia—what we used to call ‘losing it’ in the old days. And it’s progressing rapidly, Mr. Johnson.”

Said another way, Mother is getting to where she can’t remember shit. And I mean shit as in specific shit and likewise, shit in general. When it first started she made me promise that I wouldn’t write and tell you about it, so I didn’t. But it’s gotten so bad lately that I asked her if I could tell you guys what’s going on and she forgot how pissed she is at me and OK’d it.

This thingie started maybe five years ago when Mother’s usually sharp wit became less sharp and more pointed. As she began to forget things she seemed to become angry more often and with more edginess. Instead of simply snapping at you she would snap and then comment on you as a human. After that trend progressed for a couple years, she started snapping and commenting on her disapprovals of us without just cause.

In the last year or so, she has progressed to become the angry right-wing conservative Christian bigoted asshole I write about so often here—a trend that seems to be a contagion of sorts all across America. Makes me wonder if it’s dementia that is making so many formerly decent people into conservative assholes.

Anyway, ever the silver lining sort of guy, I’m seeing Mother’s memory losses as an opportunity. I was laying in bed last night and thinking about the dramatic U-turn Mother made with letting me discuss her “little problem with something”, as she calls it, and I had what might be a brilliant idea. I was thinking to myself, I thought, Maybe I can reprogram Mother’s memory and return her into a decent human being. You know, treat her mind like Herr Schmidt Rommel’s Etch-A-Sketch, and return her to decency.

So, we were at breakfast this morning and Mother had the expression plastered on her face that I now recognize as the look she gets when she’s lost cognizant connections with her memory. “Here, Mother,” I told her as I passed the biscuits to her, “I made these with your favorite recipe, just for you.”

She gave me the just-mentioned expression and followed it with one of confusion, then one of delight. “Oh thank you, son, you are such a thoughtful boy.”

I then handed her a fruit jar filled with deep purple goodness. “And I know how you love the blackberry jam Sister and Anna make, why don’t you slather some of that on to make it perfect.”

Mother popped a biscuit open with her fork, coated the top half with the seedy jam and took a huge bite. “Mmmmmm, that is a little taste of Heaven, Mooner.”

She chewed and swallowed the bite and washed it down with a sip of coffee and her facial expressions began a slow transformation from delight into abject hate. Her face turned red and her eyes bulged out. “I hate biscuits and I refuse to eat food prepared by homo-sex-u-als. You people are all alike,” and she stormed away from the table.

My Gram was watching this unfold from her perch across from Mother and on my right. “If’fn ya can git her ta eat liver an’ onions an’ vote Democratic, Mooner, I’mma nomilate ya to the Noel Peach Pride.”

“Hells bells, Gram, I don’t need a Nobel Prize. I’ll be happy if she’ll simply accept the fact that her daughter is gay and her son’s a liberal.”

But I lied. I’m now starting to think of Mother as my Eliza Doolittle, and I’m fixing to reprogram me a true progressive thinker. That’s why I might take her over to Santa Fe for a couple weeks. Get her away from her asshole conservative touchstones and get her to thinking straight. I’ve a lot to do but I can always find time for a little community service.

Manana, y’all.


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8 Responses to “One Man’s Loss Is Another Man’s Mother; Lessons In The Key Of Remembering”

  1. squatlo says:

    Aw, man, that sucks. About your mom’s dementia, I mean, not your reprogramming program. THAT is pure unadulterated Mooner brilliance! Whatcha need to do is start replacing the artwork around the chateau. Find the nearest and dearest homage to Reagan and replace it with a John F. Kennedy portrait. Start playing MSNBC on the television (muted at first, then gradually let the sound volume increase as she begins to accept the fact that Rachel and Chris Mathews are in the room). After that it should be easy. Point out unfair things that are happening in the world, make a point to discuss them with her as if she had ALWAYS supported Greenpeace or The Sierra Club, and make a donation in her name (like you ALWAYS do, right mom?).

    You’re either going to have constant battles or a liberal Manchurian Candidate on your hands in a few short months.

    The downside to this is going to be that you’ll feel too guilty about pranking your mom to share it with us as her illness progresses. And old folks know how to play their kids, because they’ve perfected it over the years. You better pack you bags for the coming guilt trip.

    Sorry to hear this is happening to you, man, especially since you’re in the middle of the real estate hell of closing on a house.

    We were wondering why your posts had dwindled down to one or two a week. Now we know.

  2. Cynthianne says:


    My condolences on your mother’s condition. My mother had the same increasing, non-specific dementia in the six years before her recent death (at 92). It can be really hard to deal with. I lucked out though- my mom was a holy terror in her younger days, both inside and outside the family, but she was a flaming liberal all her life, and her temperament mellowed a lot after the dementia kicked in. She became quite a sweet little old lady. (So there’s hope for me yet.)

    Trying to “reprogram” your mother is a great idea. Don’t think of it as “pranking” your mom… One thing that has always struck me about many fundamentalists (I have a few in my immediate family) is that they seem to be chronically discontented and angry, and your mother is Exhibit A. If you can break the “mean” cycle, you will be helping your mom to be a better, happier person. Think of it as a good deed.

    Good luck on your “community service.”

    Hope it works.

    PS- I’m a retired technical editor, and I think the no-prepositions-at-the-end-of-a-sentence is a really stupid rule, especially in informal writing- this is a blog, for bean’s sake, not an address to the United Nations! YMMV.

  3. squatlo says:

    I thought that rule dealt with “propositions” at the end of a sentence, not “prepositions”… Shit. That explains a lot of my problems with women AND English teachers.

    Damn myopia!

  4. Cynthianne says:

    LOL, Squatlo, propositions are DEFINITELY better at the end of the sentence.

  5. Parttime Texan, Mooner Johnson says:

    Squat and Cynthianne. Thank you for your kindnesses and humor. As a kid, I was mightily confused with Abe Linkie’s famous words, “… and dedicated to the preposition that all men were created equal…”

    Maybe that’s what has today’s modern American Christian assholes have been anchoring their idiotic viewpoints upon.

    “Prepositions… propositions, what’s the real difference?” asks Republican Presidential candidate Herr Schmidt Rommel. “With, at, to or of. I don’t really care about the truely poor so who gives a shit what happens to them with?”

    That said, my mother’s dementia is a mixed bag of tricks. I figure, so long as I have love in my heart, that fucking gray mattered Etch-O-Sketch is my playground.

  6. Katy Anders says:

    I try and write my blog like I talk.

    Which means I end plenty of sentences with prepositions.

    It’s not a legal document nor the Gettysburg Address. Ending a sentence is with “with” is okay.

    Fuck you running.

  7. Parttime Texan, Mooner Johnson says:

    Katy. If I get a sex change operation, will you be my girl?

  8. squatlo says:

    Mooner, just do what Eddie Izzard does and call yourself a male lesbian. That’s close enough. I have a lot in common with most lesbians. I’m crazy about women and think the majority of men I’ve met are complete assholes who wouldn’t know how to take a good shit, much less run a country.

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