There's this old cliche about how women become their mothers as they get older--what did Wilde say? A woman's only tragedy is that she becomes her mother, and a man's is that he doesn't. Anyway, it's scary to see it happening to you especially when you have TWO mothers.
I recently decided that since I spend half my life in my pajamas, it's time to start investing in Great Jammies. I can't be wearing old jogging pants and t-shirts all the time. So I've been buying a few as I see them on sale - right now I'm wearing cozy flannels with ice skating monkeys.
But the thing is... my stepmother always had an Excellent Jammie collection. In fact, the only good nightgowns or pajamas I owned she always bought me. And so the inexorable process of turning into my step-mother begins... Thankfully I, you know, LIKE her.
Step-mommy is not the Intellectual of the family--she leaves the navel gazing to my dad. I mean, she's a smarty-pants... she's the type who puts all her work into something, so she's the top of the class in any schooling she does. She's a pilot, she's taught flying, she took aircraft maintenance, she did art classes, and God knows what else--she was taking courses when I met her, when I was 9, but I don't know in what. She taught herself to remove the paint on doll faces and she repaints them and sells them and gives the money to an orphanage in Mexico. She packs the boxes so well, they probably arrive at the buyer's home on the wings of angels. (She has 279 positive rankings on eBay - none negative. Here's her web site.)
Step-mommy is also a gorgeous red-head with a tiny little waist, and always had a snazzy wardrobe, and long painted nails and makeup. She's probably part of the reason I can't stand it when some of my guy friends are judgmental about things like makeup and fashion--my stepmother would have on her purple belted snowsuit with matching lipstick and earmuffs, and hauling her ass to shovel the snow in the drive. Or she'd be checking the oil on her engine, with her manicured nails and her fur coat. My step-mother is Dolly Parton.
She won't be the person to get the *heavy deep* advice from--if you go to her with a problem, she won't pull out the hidden psychological meaning, or divine the subtle social realities for you. She'll be sympathetic, and then she'll tell you to stop whining and get on with your life. (She's sort of Cognitive Psychology: I don't know what's causing your problem, but here's how you fix it--stop doing it.) And you need someone like that in your life too. While I love to Process an issue to death, I think she taught me to balance that with a good attitude--a sense of when it's time to stop talking and start acting. She went in for the whole Positive Thinking fad of the 80s, and I can't say that hurt me either.
Dolly Parton's put down in song her own life advice, and this is her newest release, and it really reminded me of Step-mama. Not only is my step-mother a small town family girl like Dolly, and a Fashion Chick (though thank God my stepmommy hasn't had all the scary face lifts), but she also apparently has the same Salt of the Earth approach. So here be my Dolly-steppy song.
You better stop whining, pining Get your dreams in line And then just shine, design, refine Until they come true!