Posted by: canaryinacoalmine | February 9, 2006

going to hell in a ball gown

Sometimes, I feel like there’s just more out there. More of what I know and less that I have touched. Forget “seize the day and make it your own” I’ve kicked it around divided by 28 years only to understand I can’t take my foot off the gas pedal. Morning workouts rush me home then off to work. I accelerate from 60 to 120 mph between 6a.m. and 9p.m. tapping my finger nails on the hour glass before my carriage turns back into a pumpkin.

Today, I’ll be counting down the hours and twirling my hair while staring out the window during meetings anticipating their arrival, Saturday night, and their Sunday departure. My parents fly in this afternoon. We’ll hug and kiss. Dad will ask about work and Mom will ask about dating. I’m learning how to navigate my way out of irritating conversations with the Very Holy Mother.

VHM: “Honey, when was the last time you went to church.”

J: “Uh, I don’t know Christmas?”

VHM: “You should go to church; maybe you’ll meet a nice man at

J: “Yeah Mom, meeting a man when I’m down on my knees is the
perfect time.”

Insert Dad laughing and Mom hitting him with, “Do not encourage her.”

Saturday evening I will accompany my parents to a Gala. I’ll sit in a sea of “do gooders” as they talk about assisting the poor and needy. My Mother will discuss her trips to Guatemala and practicing her nursing skills. My Father is one of the main attractions. He’ll tell the jokes my Mother and I have heard hundreds of times over. They’re still funny. I’ll twirl on the dance floor with strangers answering to Dahling while trying not to roll my eyes.

My VHM is involved with the cause for the organization. She annually makes the trek south of the border teaching those less fortunate how to care for themselves and others. To her, the two week trip is a capture of time. She’s reaching out showing strangers in broken Spanish that a small gesture can be a lifetime of lessons.

I’ve been preparing myself for my Mother’s visit and the endless questions making up rebuttals when she sees me walk into a room alone, (Relentless Catholic Mother comes to mind). Wednesday afternoon I took my foot off the gas slowing down long enough to leave a comment on another site. Once again, I heard my Mother’s voice in my head,

It only takes a moment to show someone you care.

I’ve never met this person but her reaching out and perfect timing quickly became my million dollar bank account.

Kendra’s email: You okay? Sounds like you had a bad day.

It only takes a moment. Go make one.


  1. Sass this was an amazing post!

    VHM – My children think I am a virgin…

  2. You have a knack for well timed comments. Have a great time w/ the folks. Hug your father twice, because you can!

  3. Everyone needs a lawyer of the naked variety.

    Denny Crane.

  4. Stopping in to say, your writing is a great tribute to the human condition.

    Thanks. I really enjoy reading it.

  5. you’ll make it through the evening…and weekend…in true sassy style…i have no doubts…unless you turn the event into another wet t-shirt contest…;-)~

  6. yup, been there plenty.

  7. Your dad sounds like Greatness! I hope that it is a wonderful time for y’all….


  8. I also have a VHM — they ARE a challenge, even though they mean well.

    Hope you enjoy their visit and that all is well…

  9. Nice post. Sounds like your parents are actually quite nice. Your mom sounds a little overzealous and man I can relate to that… I get the “You’re note getting any younger” thing. Ahhh parents.

    Anyway, have a great time at the “ball” I love getting dressed up and going to those kinds of events. They are always fun.

    Take care,


  10. First, you might meet a “special someone” at that gala. Hey, it could happen!

    Second, does finding someone a job count as a “moment”? I did that last week. Poor thing about to be a single mother, too. (Notice how I refrain from any jokes about Hoffman’s Home for Unwed Mothers… It’s a sign of my new emotional maturity. Stop laughing!)

    Enjoy the parents. I know I don’t get to see mine near enough. And, they do sound like fun people. Make sure to sho your mother that you carry your mace/pepper spray. So she knows you’re safe from the “nice” men in church. 😉

  11. VHM wants you to find a nice man!? Of all the nerve!

  12. You can’t see it, but I’m hugging your blog right now. 🙂 Thanks for such kind words!
    P.S. Hope the weekend goes well. Of course, I’ll need the deets on Monday.

  13. comments=moments of caring. no? yes? yes.

  14. Well-put. I hope you have a fun weekend. And hey, at least you’re going to hell in style, and I am sure in good company. If you are headed there than so am I and so many other!

  15. I have an aunt that always says I “just need to find a good religious girl and settle down.”

    I think that good religious girl wouldn’t last more than five minutes with this pagan wreck of a man!

  16. If you feel like being a smart ass, when asked about dating reply;

    “I’ve met an interesting guy. We met through a prison outreach. He’s up for parole in two months. Don’t worry! He’s got that fascination with matches under control.”

    One time I was asked if I was going to church, I answered that I was too busy starting my own religion with me as the diety. I guess I was the only one who found that amusing since my last name acutally rhymes with ‘satan.’

  17. I can’t wait for the ‘after posts’ when we hear how you danced naked on the tables…prompting your mother to drag you to church for an immediate exorcism.

  18. I guess a ball gown is better than a prom dress or a bride’s maid dress.

  19. Try having a Very Holy Father–whose Baptist! Arg! I think you’ll have a great time with them despite any horrifying conversations and Dahlings. Have a good weekend Jess.

  20. It’s Friday Funnies time …. Come on by for some classic comedy… I hope you are having a great day babe!

  21. Parents, mothers especially (whether of the VHM or not) don’t appreciate the finer nuances of light sarcasm to denote a polite ‘butt out’ or ‘we’re not discussing this’.

    I’m sure you’ll enjoy your time with your parents even while dodging barrages of maternal busibodiness.

    The gala sounds like fun. Could you slot me in on your dance card?

  22. Great post Jess, happy Friday 🙂


  23. Hey Beautiful! Thanks for checking up on me. Great post. I’ll be outta the loop a bit longer since I am GOING HOME!

  24. I have a very Catholic mother, who sounds slightly less holy than yours, but makes similar comments. In my last play, I actually had a character named “Holy Mom”. Wonder who that was based on…

  25. How did it go?


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