Tag: mother/daughter relationship

Road Trip

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image via dirtrunner100.blogspot.com
image via dirtrunner100.blogspot.com

University of Baltimore MFA student Terri Steel recalls the childhood road trip that changed her forever.

Another one whizzed by; we’d been passing them for hours. Bright yellow bubble letters against a black backdrop reading “SOUTH of the BORDER” and “CATCH Pedro IF YOU CAN!” The signs were a welcome sight, standing out against a monotonous stretch of landscape unadorned aside from the occasional nut shop dotting Interstate 95. I looked down at the bag of Stuckey’s pecans I had been munching on since morning. “How much longer until we get there, Mom?”

A Finger on My Pulse

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image courtesy of irinagriskocritical.wordpress.com
image courtesy of irinagriskocritical.wordpress.com

University of Baltimore MFA student Tyler Mendelsohn has always understood her various disorders and neuroses — less so, her self.

When I was a kid, I kept my parents alive by finding all the spots on my body I could feel a substantial pulse, and counting and counting.  I still feel that the numbers 1 and 6 are neutral; 2, 4, 5, 7, 9 and 10 are lucky.  Three and 8 are bad.  Despite the overwhelming probability of anything I count ending on a lucky number, I often feel bombarded by 3s and 8s.

Both of my parents are psychoanalysts.  So are an unbelievably large number of my other relatives, but that’s a separate story.  When I was a kid, I realized that my parents were the most perceptive people in the entire world, especially my mom.  There was not a thing that slipped past my mom’s radar.  I always thought that all moms were like this, but I still believe that mine has a perception super-sense unlike anyone else’s in the world.  Sometimes, I feel like she knows what kind of trouble I’m getting into all the way from New York to Baltimore.  Over the span of my childhood, I was thought to have a cocktail of mental impediments to my highly praised and mythical potential: ADD, ADHD, Asperger’s, bipolar disorder, OCD, anorexia, body dysmorphia, narcissistic personality disorder, dissociative personality disorder, a whole host of learning disabilities, sprinkled with a healthy dose of paranoid delusions and separation anxiety.

About a Girl

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In which University of Baltimore Asst. Prof. and Bohemian Rhapsody Columnist Marion Winik introduces her best girlfriend forever.

When I was young, I knew I would never get married. I had the whole seven dwarfs of unwifely characteristics: Bossy, Macho, Driven, Ornery, Rebellious, Intemperate, and Whack. Still, I was boy-crazy from the get-go and hormones trump all cards. I spent my teens and 20s pursuing a series of mad loves, and then devoted my 30s and 40s to two passionate, screwed-up marriages. My first husband died young; the second and I nearly killed each other.

Hi, Ho the Derry-O

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In honor of Mother’s Day — which falls on May 13th this year — Baltimore-based fiction writer and Goucher prof Kathy Flann shares creative nonfiction that radically redefines the term soccer mom.

My mom bought me a toolkit and a train set, which, in the early 70’s, were pretty weird toys for a girl. It was a pre-plastic era, and all of the toys had the metal heft of the real article. They were miniature, yes, but didn’t have the garish colors or distorted proportions of today’s Fisher Price. I can still feel the boxcar wheels click onto the steel tracks and the serrated dial adjust the jaws of the wrench. “I wanted her to know she could be anything she wanted,” my mother likes to tell people. But when she asked me one day, in our avocado kitchen, what I thought that might be, I revealed a narrow concept of the word anything. “I want to be a farmer’s wife,” I told her.

When my mom tells this story at dinner parties, it always kills.

If I happen to be there, I protest, “But wait, you don’t understand–” I am drowned out by the laughter. And I taper off. I don’t really want to be the person to dim the white afterglow of a well-delivered joke. Plus, it would be impossible to explain the But feeling in my chest with same cha-ching as my mother tells that story.

If I did explain it, though, the first thing I would say is that, at five years old, I believed that farmer’s wife was a job. I developed this impression from my picture books and probably just from the air I breathed in 1974. Boys were farmers. Girls were farmers’ wives. Just like boys were pilots and girls were stewardesses. Boys were firemen and policemen. Girls were, well, missing from those parts of the books.

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