Thursday, April 12, 2007

Arguments with my mother. Part gazillion and fifty.

I want you to read the following conversation in a pitch that dogs three countries away might hear, rising towards the end.
It is a sunny day, birdies are singing, a tabby cat is snoozing in a patch of sunlight, the smell of rich strong coffee fills the kitchen. An auburn haired woman in a black dress and a lilac sofa in comfortable shoes are having an argument. Nostrils are flared.

'What do you mean you don't believe in God?'
'What do you mean what do I mean? Anyway, I didn't say per se I didn't believe in God but I do have a super hard time with-.'
'That's nonsense.'
'What is?'
'Of course you believe.'
' I like the idea of it, but-'
'You mean to sit there and tell me your turning your back on everything you know?'
'Turning my-'
'After everything, after all these years you would do that!'
'How the hell does my wondering if a deity exists or not equal turning my back on everyting I know? What kind of stupid argument is that? Everything I know? Do you think my questioning a theory-
'Yes a theory, I think the idea that there might or might not be a god is pretty close to a theory-STOP BLESSING YOURSELF! Anyway, my questioning does not mean I suddenly forget everything else. I can still drive a car you know, I can still talk, I can still recognise people.' *
'Well I think that's outrageous. You and all your ould guff, this really takes the biscuit! You stick your head in all those books and come with this sort of thing on purpose.'
'I saw that book, what's that fellow who was on the Late late?'
'Yes, going on, spreading all his old shite.'
'Yeah, imagine someone going around spreading his views all over the world, next thing you'll be calling him a missonary.'
'Let me tell you something Missy, ** one of these days you'll realise your wrong. You're too big for your boots, that's what wrong with you.'
'Size 7 Ma, still remember that too.'
'Oh you're so-'
'-sharp I'll cut myself, yeah, looks like I haven't turned my back on everything after all.'
'I'll pray for you.'
'I'll exercise for you.'
'Nothing. More coffee?

* Yes, it was that ridiculous.
** Most hated name.
I would also like to point out that my mother bring her dog to a faith healer, but I'm the one who come out with 'guff'.

STONKINGLY GOOD, APT LINK AND UPDATE (stolen fully from Pharyngula)



Blogger hellojed said...

Brilliant. Fair play for even trying.

11:03 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I'm convinced if I don't fight with her she might give up the will to live, hummm, wait a minute...

11:13 a.m.  
Blogger Kav said...

That last bit "I'll exercise for you", a great way to emphasise the absurdity of the situation.

11:51 a.m.  
Blogger John Mc said...

I so look forward to your maternal posts.

"I'll exercise for you" :)

Personally I have decided that I would rather pierce my nether regions with a rusty blade than discuss religion with me Da ever again .. and he's isn't even in the same league as your ma!

11:55 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Bah! As usual I thought of my best argument after she had gone off in a huff-why does that always happen?
I wanted to ask her how my getting notions and guff from a book was any different from say someone reading the bible and coming up with a load of notions and guff.

11:59 a.m.  
Blogger Fat Sparrow said...

I deeply sympathize with you on the mother/religion issue. I've been dealing with my mother/religion issue for 30 years now. If I want to worship sticks and old bottles, or not, even, it's my fucking business. I got my mom to stop telling me that she'd pray for me by telling her "I'll cast a spell for you." She firmly believes that having people cast spells for you will get you escorted directly to the front of the line for the elevator to Hell, so that worked out pretty well.

12:15 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I always wonder why fok get so bent out of shape about people who question. Surely it is better to wonder than to accept things willy nilly just cause someone 'said so.'
My mother takes my questioning things as a violent affront to her sensibilities. But then my mother is another of those religious cherry pickers I so dislike.

12:39 p.m.  
Anonymous Annie said...

I've had the exact same argument with my mother a dozen times. Right down to the "Missy" bit. However, my mother would have finished off with, "You're so hateful." To which I would generally respond, "Thank you."

12:49 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice piece of writing. I just discovered your blog over the weekend.

Like most who grew up in I am burdened with all sorts of religious baggage. Like most, I ofetn wonder if there is someone 'upstairs' watching down on us. I think I've got the answer [and that answer is a resounding 'No'], but then I run my answer through the aeroplane test - If I was on a plane about to crash, would I bless myself?? The truth is that I probably would and I reckon that most others would too.

I don't know what that says about us all. Not sure whether I'd be hopping up on my exercise bike if my Airbus were ditching in the Atlantic, however! We're doomed, we're doomed!! Greg [not so annonymous]

1:32 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...sorry that should have read 'like most of us who grew up in Ireland'. I knew I should have used that preview button. G

1:33 p.m.  
Blogger finn said...

An auburn haired woman in a black dress and a lilac sofa in comfortable shoes are having an argument.

perfect, just perfect.

2:06 p.m.  
Anonymous jmae said...

..."I wanted to ask her how my getting notions and guff from a book was any different from say someone reading the bible and coming up with a load of notions and guff."

you know how it's different fmc? the bible is comprised of a book of stories, passed down from generations, and translated into how many languages? while it seems the books you take your "guff" from are written after at least some modicom of research.

2:15 p.m.  
Blogger Caro said...

I don't know which bit i like best, the lilac sofa with her comfortable shoes or the "I'll exercise for you". Inspired.

Could you not secretly record and podcast these conversations?

3:24 p.m.  
Blogger Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

You know, I read it at the pitch you suggested and now I'm in trouble. I've got a horde of Irish American mammies at my door querulously demanding the immediate seizing of my children by the local holy people. But its the sobbing I can't stand. And all the tissues on the lawn. And the opportunistic tea'n'scone vendor tents trying to serve them all. Once these went up I knew it could be days before they'd leave. The Great Dane next door is being treated for perforated eardrum and I've got a tongue splinter from gnawing the kitchen table-leg. You'll have the bill for all this at week's end.

This is brilliant! What a zesty piece of lilac prose to start the day. You rock, fmc! I love it!

3:49 p.m.  
Blogger Boliath said...

Might I respectfully suggest you avoid the subject with her in the future? My own Mammy is wonderful in this regard, she regards her faith as just that - hers - it's personal and although she did try to give it to her children, it didn't take for most of us so she quietly despairs, sprinkles holy water on our unbaptised children and leaves little bottles of it idden in our houses. I think it's sweet it shows she caires and because it means nothing to me I don't bother to challenge her on it. Now if she were to whisk my child away and have him baptised or start filling his head full of Jesus nonsense sure I'd be quick to put a stop to it. I suppose what I'm saying is can you just drop it? Let yer Ma have her fairy stories to give her comfort and as long as she doesn't try to bully you into abiding by them, let her off.

Is that possible or is yer Ma a bit more pushy that that? I have a feeling I know the answer to that question already....

3:59 p.m.  
Blogger aquaasho said...

Does she have similar 'conversations' with your sisters? Do you think where you are in a family affects how she treats each of you? I always think eldest daughters are treated like gods and the rest, well, just aren't.

Must be so frustrating for you, these kind of arguments!

4:31 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Evening folkies, golly, busy old day it turned out to be.
Ah yes my mother, I like to think she is like other mothers and sometimes I hear stories from other folk and think-briefly- that she is, but mostly feel the lilac one in a league of her own.
Aquaasho, yes, me and everyone else, no one escapes, no one.

6:15 p.m.  
Anonymous Primal Sneeze said...

She sounds like my neighbour, (old) Josie. She went on at me for years like that until the day I accidentally* mooned at her. Haven't spoken since.

*I thought it was the postman** walking across the gravel towards the door as I came out of the shower.

**Hey! Fek off! I'd gone to school with that practical joker. I thought it was funny at the time.

7:36 p.m.  
Blogger dublinnorth said...

hey hey hey
we could talk all day
because God is gay
but does he chose
to be that way?

2:54 p.m.  
Blogger Glinda the good witch said...

I get this too. My mother's favorite come-back, after asking for the umpteen millionth time if I ever go to mass (I am 37):
"Well, say a little prayer, even if you don't believe".
Cause then you're saved when the Four Horsemen ride up. So you either believe and all will be ok. Or you don't believe but you hedge your bets by saying a prayer anyway. I think it all fits perfectly with bringing the dog to a faith healer and other random superstition.

8:56 p.m.  

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