We’re back in the Midwest after our month with the Jersey Shore in-laws. Looking over the posts I wrote while I was there, you’d think that the wedding was all that happened during our visit. Of course, there were lots of other things: going to the beach, going to the pool, eating good Italian food of the kind we can’t get in our town. O. and my Old Man rode their bikes a lot while I sat on my ass reading and gestating. I also spent the month in total denial about a significant thing going on back home: one of my best friends was in the process of packing up her family and her house to move far, far away.
Today, Feral Mom
and her feral family brushed the dust of our town off their boots and headed west to LA. My Old Man and I spent their final evening as residents of the Midwest with them last night. It was relaxing and fun, as hanging with them always is. But it was sad for all of us. We’ll talk on the phone. We’ll comment on each other’s blogs. We’ll make the long trip to visit when we can. But it won’t be the same as having the Ferals across town. I can’t say anymore about that or I’ll bust out weeping and never finish this post.
So instead, in honor of Feral Mom, let me sing her praises in one of her favorite genres, the list:Ten Reasons I Love Feral Mom
1. I have a creative bond with her that’s unequaled in my lifetime. Not only were we in a band together for four and a half years, we were in our
band together, creating songs together. We were the Lennon and McCartney of mid-nineties Midwestern indie rock, only without the late-career rancor. (We both agree that she was John and I was Paul.) I loved the songs she wrote, and totally dug writing, singing, and playing my parts for them. And she always got
my songs, and wrote just the right parts to take them to another level. I feel honored and lucky to have had a songwriting partner and band mate that I connected with so well.
2. There is no sweeter drunk on earth. Who else would call me at midnight on my birthday to (in her words) extol me, and spend the next half hour saying the nicest, most sincere shit about me? (Sentiments that were clearly no less heartfelt because she was in her cups.) Feral Mom knows how to make a friend feel appreciated, and never more so than when she’s tanked up on vino.
3. She knows The Big Lebowski
inside and out, alludes to it constantly, and gets every allusion to it that I or my Old Man might happen to make.
4. She makes a kick-ass mix tape. Many’s the mix tape (and, in recent years mix CD) that I’ve gotten from Feral Mom, and they are always full of previously unknown-to-me gems, they’re always eclectic and well paced, and they always contain a couple songs I already know but never appreciated enough ‘til I heard them on a Feral mix tape. (Recently she made O. his first mix CD, one that I hope will prove to be the first in a series.)
5. She’s the funniest friend I have. If you’ve read her blog, you know that she’s a comic genius and totally fearless in her form of expression. Believe it or not, she’s even funnier in real life (maybe partly because you can’t effectively convey a great impression in print, and more than anyone I know, she does hilarious impressions).
6. No one else appreciates my only impression (of the Irish angel from Touched by an Angel
) quite as much as Feral Mom. And to have my one decent impression garner approval from someone who does such great impressions has always given me a very special feeling. (It’s almost like God wants
me te do this impression, and he’s sendin’ Feral Muther te show me I’m luved.)
7. She’s an amazing mom. Her love for her girls is evident whenever she talks about them and whenever I have the pleasure of watching her interact with them. It’s quite a feat for a woman to be so raunchy and flat-out wrong in so many wonderful ways, and yet to evince a tenderness for her children that is so pure, sweet, and touching.
8. She has great taste in husbands. Mr. Feral is smart and funny, a loving partner and great dad. He’s unflappable, multitalented, and always looking for an opportunity to help a friend in need or to offer excellent advice that combines good sense with wide-ranging knowledge.
9. She knew before I did that my man was the right man for me. (For details, see part III of the How I Found My Old Man
10. She’s part of my tribe, in so many ways. She’s Irish, and like me, she’s a fallen Catholic who still maintains some ineffable connection to that kooky faith and culture. She’s not either-or, she’s both. I am drawn to people who are cool and people who are nice. But if someone is cool without being nice, forget it. And if they are nice without being cool, something always feels lacking. Feral Mom is really cool. And she’s really nice. She’s humble, but she knows her strengths and how to make the most of them. She’s funny, and not afraid to be funny at the expense of others. But, crucially, she would never make fun of someone who didn’t deserve it. She’s wrong (in a good way), but she’s caring. She’s a freak and
I could go on and on. Feral Mom, you are loved, and you will be sorely missed in this little Midwestern city. Give us a call when you get a chance. And don’t you let LA change a single one of your many rare and wonderful qualities, you Irish bitch, you.