she’d have loved it, damn it! (a late mother’s day bit)

with mother’s day a couple weeks behind us i mentally revisited a plan i loved…

…and mom would have loved.

but i bowed to outside influence and, honestly, in the end it was best.

i’m talking about my mom’s perpetual tardiness.

my first day of school in lockhart (skip this paragraph if it starts to sound familiar) i swear mom had moved us to mexico. true story. my school in austin was all white. there was one black kid in my first grade class, but he kept getting beat up to his parents pulled him out and transferred him. there were no hispanics that i recall. so, then we get to the first day of second grade in lockhart. because i was forced to run on mom’s schedule, i was late. so i’m walking through this school’s empty halls by myself. i pass an “ESL” class, which stands for “English as a Second Language”, i.e. spanish speaking kids having to learn english in school because it’s not spoken in their home. i then get to class where all the tables hold four kids, and my spot is at a table where i’m the only white kid. i asked my teacher where mexico was compared to austin. she said, “south”. her response was the same when i asked where LOCKHART was compared to austin.

hence, i thought we’d moved to mexico and mom hadn’t told us.

a side note – i still regularly see two of the three mexican kids at my table in second grade – danny yanez is a postal worker, so he’s occasionally by with the mail, and joey trejo works for coca-cola so i see him regularly at the grocery store doing deliveries. the third, joe morales, works at black’s bar-b-que but as they’re a little pricey we typically eat at a different bar-b-que joint.

moving on…

so i never saw movies in order either. maybe that’s why pulp fiction hit so well for me. it was, to my recollection, the first film i’d seen with non-linear storytelling. i’d seen normal movies that way the whole time i was growing up – we’d see the movie from about fifteen to thirty minutes in, stay past the credits, on to the next showing, then see previews and the first bit of the movie. when it started to look familiar mom would get us up and we’d quietly walk out.

cinema, liz style.

when i got older, due to that “teenage embarrassment factor” i’d just leave with everybody else and be oblivious to the first part of the flick. an example – i saw “back to the future” the day after it came out, but never saw the scene with the giant guitar amp until almost twenty years later when i saw it on an hbo marathon of the whole trilogy (also my first viewins of II and III at that point).

once i was driving myself, it was a whole different ball game. i actually saw movies the way everybody else did.

so, when we were planning mom’s funeral, through the devastating grief, i tried to interject some humor and more than just suggested that we purposefully wheel in mom’s casket a few minutes AFTER we started, with me getting up and explaining to the mourners, “oh, you know my mom…she was never on time for anything!”.

my sister and grandmothers were DEAD set against this (pun intentional).

they made the better call.

not that the humor impact wouldn’t have been wonderful. even helpful. but the layout of the church as such that there was no “side entrance” up front – it was either through the choir room or the preacher’s study, both of which had stairs up the “altar level” of things, then stairs back down to where you would place a casket for the funeral. going through the back would have flown if we kept her stashed in the social hall (the room behind where we did church services where they would typically serve big meals) but mom was do popular we’d had to do additional seating in there which would have spoiled the “reveal”, as it were.

in the end i had to settle for a line in my impromptu eulogy, where i stated early on “you can tell my mom has left us, because if she was alive she would have been late to this affair, but with teri and i calling the shots she beat you all here – when did THAT ever happen?”

laughter and applause – intended result, less dramatic cause.

i still wish i’d gotten my way on that, though.

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