Our mother was a self-proclaimed and actual rebel, sometimes with a cause. Sometimes the cause was herself. She went to high school and helped build airplanes during the war, and partied every night, as the boys left, one-by-one to go into the Service. She was the first female cheerleader at her college in 1945. She edited the RCA Plant newspaper in the early 1950’s meeting such celebrities as Phil Harris, Vaughn Monroe, and a little known guy named Elvis Presley. She was a divorced single parent, living with me, in a boarding house. How many people do you know have lived in a boarding house, I ask you? During that same time period, she sent herself to Law School for a semester, losing her job because her boss asked her what was she trying to be, the first female president?
There were other ways she was rebellious. She married and divorced three times, and had a child with each husband. She was NOT June Cleaver. She single-handedly put her three children through college on a teacher’s salary. She wrote her own ticket, and did things her way her whole life, and now even in the early days after her death, I feel the independence of her spirit.
I, on the other hand, have been a rule follower most of my life. Oh, I have veered off every now and then. I have made some unconventional choices at times in my life, not necessarily in my own best interests. But basically, I follow the ebb and flow of social conventions without question. I try to do what is expected, and to do the best I can. I am not ashamed of that, either.
But in these early days after Mom’s death, I feel a rebellious streak. I feel a little defiant. I want to turn on TV at 9 AM, and yes, damn it, watch Kelly Ripka’s mindless chatter and silliness. I want to eat chocolate truffles for breakfast, chocolate pie for lunch, and have chocolate pudding and wine for dinner. I want to read in the middle of the day, and sprawl on the sofa and drink coffee at 5 PM. I want to leave my bed unmade and my clothes in a heap on the floor. I want to ignore my puppy’s signals for attention. I want to drive to my mailbox, which is actually at my front door. I think I might be a little depressed.
Well, I have had many reasons to be depressed in the past year, and I did not succumb. I am not succumbing now. No, I may be a little depressed, and why not? But in actuality, I think I am feeling the desire to be defiant in tribute to my mother. For these first few days, I want ignore some of the rules, and to be just a little bit of a rebel like she was.