Thursday, August 07, 2008

I realized recently that I managed to keep some things secret from my mother her entire life.

That may not sound like a big deal. Some people pulled all sortsa crap when they were young. But I was for the most part a pretty good kid -- I usually just got in trouble with the teachers and the principal; law enforcement authorities rarely needed to get involved. And I was always really bad at keeping secrets, especially from my mother. As a kid, if I did something wrong, and maybe even got away with it, I still ended up spilling the beans because a) I felt terribly guilty; or b) she usually found out it somehow, so better she hear it first from me.

And it's not a big deal. I'm not talking deep, scandalous secrets here. Just little misdoings that she never knew about.

For example, my mom seems to think that I never drank when I was in high school (aside from the one New Year's party she caught me at 'cause I never come home and had to send my dad out looking for me, but that's another story). She knows I guzzled booze in college; she expected it; hell, she pretty much encouraged it, until she saw my first semester's abyssmal grades. But I was a teetotalling teen in my mom's eyes.

This misperception came from back before I had my driver's license. I had Mom drive me and some friends to a party, and shortly after, called her to pick us up. I explained that the party was justa buncha people hanging out and drinking from a keg. This became interpreted as me being some super responsible youth who didn't want to attend anything where alcohol was being served to minors. Mom talked about that long into my adulthood. Sometimes my worldly, wise mother's naivete was startling. I never had the heart to tell her -- we left 'cause that party sucked. I partook in plenty of parties with potable potions. It wasn't the booze, it was the lameness.

As I was thinking about secrets like these that I never came clean about, I thought about the un-truths I caught my mother in. Like for years we weren't allowed to have a dog because our parents lied and insisted we were all allergic. Or how for throughout most of elementary school, my sister's birthday was believed to be in November, when in fact it's in January. Mom and Dad wanted to get her into kindergarten early before the cut-off. My sister and I couldn't be trusted not to let the cat out of the bag, so we celebrated her fake birthday unwittingly, two months early.

Then it occurred to me -- these are only the deceptions I know about. What other, deep dark secrets did my mother take to the grave...?


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