Friday, October 25, 2013

Mediocre Mama Strikes Again

(post and snapshot copyright 2013, Dawn Weber)
You're so splendid, in your ordinary costume.
You think so anyway. I guess you're supposed to be a grim reaper. Or a "Jawa." Or something. I don't know. This getup came from Walmart, of course it did.  I'm not paying any forty-damn-dollars for the fancy, bloody costume you wanted at the "Halloween U.S.A." store. You'll only wear it once.
Anyway, have you met me? Yeah. C'mon, son, we're going to Walmart.
"OK, Mom," you said.
Things are always OK with you.
A few days later, I help you pull the thin fabric over your head, and gently place the Made In China light-up glasses over your brown eyes. I have doubts that said Made in China light-up glasses will survive the evening. I am right.
Of course I am. Have you met me? I'm always right.
And before the night ends, your dad has to duct-tape the frames back together.
None of this concerns you. Pleased as pumpkins, you are, with this chintzy scrap of black polyester. I know this because I catch your smile, Little Reaper, when your Death Hood blows in the breeze.
"O.K. I'm all ready for the costume contest."
You're excited. I know you are, though you try not to show it much because you're practically a man now, being nine and all. You walk proudly and regally to the judging. Just the way a tiny Harbinger of Death should.
You're pretty sure you'll win.
Me? I'm not quite as certain. At the party, I look around and see scads of kids whose moms obviously either 1: shelled out forty clams for "Halloween U.S.A." offerings or 2: made elaborate costumes for their children, using actual sewing machines. The colors, money and effort put into these outfits sear my retinas, like a flashing neon sign.
A sign that says: "You suck, Mommy."
Still proud, still regal, you parade in front of the judges with the others, in a getup that was probably sewn by a little Nicaraguan girl in a sweat shop. Now I wish I'd spent the extra money, bought you the nicest, bloodiest costume "Halloween U.S.A." had to offer. Or at least busted out my dusty sewing machine.
Because you didn't win.
Walking back from the judging, we discuss it.
"Mom, do you think they let the younger kids win? You know, since they're little? Because my costume is pretty good," you say.
Right here, I am nearly pulled to my knees with the weight of my love for you, your kindness and your absolute confidence in your cheap-ass costume.
Next year, Little Reaper, we shall go to "Halloween U.S.A." with a giant wad of forty-damn-dollars in cash.
"Yeah, buddy, I'm sure that's it," I say.
"Aw. That's OK," you say.
Things are always OK with you.
Don't feel too sorry for that little reaper or Jawa or whatever up there and his mediocre mama, because thanks to the above post, originally written two years ago, guess who plunked down a stack of perfectly good US dollars - forty, to be exact - for a costume this year?
Yeah. You guessed it - me. He wanted a "Slenderman" (whatever THAT is) costume, from this year.
And so he GOT a "Slenderman" (whatever THAT is) costume from this year.
Though it was twice the price, it is the same crappy fabric as the Walmart costume from two years ago. Probably sewn by the same little Nicaraguan girl. In the same sweat shop.
Ah, but he wanted it - badly.
However, if I'd have said no, it would have been OK with him, and to be honest, that's the reason he got it:
Things are always OK with him.
As far as the book, listen up, party people, because I have this very important announcement: Forty essays done! Forty essays done! Do you hear me? Ten chapters to go, and I will reach my goal of 50 new essays in a year!
Thanks so much to those who've stuck with me, to read - and especially to comment - through some re-posts and the sometimes very loud crickets in here. I'm using my new material to bang this book out - like a boss, y'all!
Here is another excerpt, concerning one of the (many) times I borrowed My Buddy Al's umbrella:
"The last time I borrowed Al's umbrella, it was raining sideways. No such thing as sideways rain, you say? It's Ohio - it rains however the hell it wants, and often. On this particular evening, the wind kicked up, in a sideways fashion, and blew My Buddy Al's umbrella inside out, busting the hinges. Broke it beyond repair.
Soaking wet, I hunched my way through the rest of the trek to the car, where I climbed in and threw Al's now useless umbrella into my backseat. Then, before he arrived at work the next day, I snuck over to his file cabinet and slid its mangled, lifeless body back into the drawer.
Do not judge me. He never used the umbrella, so I didn't think he'd discover it anytime soon.
Covering your tracks: It's a Youngstown Thing.
No, I didn't feel guilty - just a bit nervous. The man is mostly a gentle giant, however, if he's in a certain mood, Al has been known to pelt me with stress balls . . ."
Stay tuned!


  1. Haha...always love reading it bad that I can relate to every issue you have?? It's great that you find humor in everyday things...thanks for keeping us laughing at ourselves!!

  2. Fantastic as always. I felt my own little creepers "everything is okay" words pull at my heartstrings. It's not fair to make a grown woman cry at Halloween.
    Now give me my new book, dammit.

  3. Oh, how do I get me one of those "everything is ok" kind of kids? Because I have the "nothing is ever ok" kind & the "completely indifferent" kind.

  4. Awww. Your little guy is the best. Treasure him. :)

  5. I remember all the bad costumes, dress like a ghost, like a tramp... I got over the embarrassment when the candy hit the pillowcase.

  6. You're anything but a mediocre Mom. This piece is filled with such love. You rock!

  7. Mediocrity is like so underestimated.

  8. "Probably sewn by the same little Nicaraguan girl. In the same sweat shop." <-These lines far exceed mediocrity.

    You're on a roll. I'm impressed. Keep on cranking 'em out, Dawn.


  9. What a cool, cool kid.
    And cool, cool mom.
    And that's a lot of OK,

  10. Gretchen - that's exactly what I'm going for, everyday humor. So I guess my work here is done. :) thanks, my friend!
    Wanda - Imma work on it! You'll get one of my first copies!
    Kerbi - I have one of those, too. They're called adolescents. ;)
    Linda - done.
    Ray - yeah, with candy you can pretty much get over anything.
    Jayne - mediocre mama feels better now. Thanks :)
    Barb - indeed.
    Robyn - I'm trying to keep my mediocrity ltd to motherhood, and not writing.
    Al - thanks :) you're OK ;)
    Cutella - thanks for stopping in!

  11. For me it was all about the candy. So what if my ghost sheet had a few stains? Besides, there was no such thing as Walmart back in the dark ages.

  12. Dawn, you are amazing. You can even make a story about the grim reaper tender and funny.

  13. They don't have to only wear it once. Usually they only GET to wear it once. Because the parents then stash it away somewhere in the depths of the closet, never to be seen again until it is outgrown. I say- let them wear it all they want. Why not? Let the little Nicaraguan girl be proud

  14. Nicely done young lady. Why do I have this overwhelming desire to go to Nicaragua?

  15. Jono - it is indeed ALWAYS about the candy.
    Lisa - Aw, but he's a cute little reaper. ;)
    Pixie - that boy spent all his days of years 2-4 as Batman, Spiderman and Buzz Lightyear, depending on his mood. I don't pack costumes away - they're too dang expensive.
    Humor - perhaps b/c you have a need for a cheap polyester costume? :)

  16. Hey Dawn! I'm with the others. You're an awesome Mom! And actually, I kinda liked the jawa reaper. Indigo x

  17. Two years old and better than ever. Kids are great and you Mama are awesome. your son will treasure these slices of his life.

  18. Well well well. Look who ELSE is slacking in the blogger department? I actually remember reading this when you first posted it and looked for my comment only to realize I never left one. What an asshole! And then I remembered it was because I was PMSing or something because the post made me tear up and I was trying to get my shit under control before Erik came into the room and saw me crying over another one of your damn blog posts. Which makes YOU the asshole. Doesn't feel too good, DOES IT???