Pie – A Flaky Crusted Dessert….
“What are you a fu*%ing retard!?” ~ My Mother
Nearly every homework assignment I brought home, until I wised up and quit bringing my homework home, ended with my mother morphing into a crazed lunatic.
Eyes wild and foaming at the mouth, she would rip the pencil from my hand to violently scribble away any incorrect answers, often ripping holes in the paper in the process….then, in a fit of hysteria, she would tear the entire document into smithereens and hurl the pieces about the kitchen while ranting and raving like a mad woman.
Pets would cower, various boyfriends and step-dad’s would go into hiding, neighbor’s wouldn’t call the authorities and my dreams of getting to live with my dad, or becoming a ward of the state, would never come true.
Eventually, I started to hide my schoolwork from her. I would claim I didn’t have any homework, or that we had been given time to do it at the end of our class period and she rarely questioned it.
In reality, I would often hurriedly do it in my room when I was supposed to be in bed, or while on the bus on the way to or from school or during lunch periods and study halls.
It wasn’t a bad tactic, except with regards to the subjects I struggled in….I was never particularly good at anything related to science or math, two topics my mother excelled in and it was infuriating for her that I couldn’t immediately grasp the concepts of long division, algebra, geometry, biology and chemistry.
Without anyone who wasn’t on the verge of going bat-shit crazy to look over my homework assignments, I often ended up with poor markings, leading to failed quizzes and tests. By the time I was in fifth grade, I had mastered my mother’s signature, which was handy for signing off on all my failures.
This way, it wasn’t until report card time that I had to take the beatings for failing grades. I reasoned this was a much smarter approach….one bad night of screaming, hair pulling, rampaging, “go get me the belt you god-damn dumb ass,” was statistically much better than enduring the same thing on a per bad grade basis….plus, since my brother was typically in the same boat, we split her wrath about fifty-fifty….tell me I’m not good at math.
When I was in the sixth grade, my last year of elementary school before heading off to middle school, my math teacher was tasked with presenting her students with the extracurricular activities we could choose from in middle school, like sports, band and choir.
In order to be allowed to participate in our first year however, incoming students had to have at least a C average across all subjects….I did not….so when it came time to sign up for the programs we wished to join or try-out for, I selected none and made no mention of it to my mother.
Thanks to an invasive school system however, the same information was mailed to our homes.
Mommy Dearest: “You signed up to tryout for cheerleading, right? Why didn’t you mention it?”
Me: “Mrs. C said I couldn’t sign up.”
Mommy Dearest: “Why?
Me: “I don’t know why.”
Mommy Dearest: “Were other girls allowed to sign up?”
Cowardly, I know….but report cards were right around the corner and if I could just hold her off for another few weeks or so, we could go right on ahead and kill a few birds with one back-hand, I mean, stone.
It would be important for me to note here, my mother prized cheerleading as much Wanda Holloway….the woman who plotted to have her daughters cheerleading nemesis offed….it’s probably about the only thing my mother would have killed on my behalf for.
So, it should have come as no surprise when my mother gave Mrs. C a little ring on the phone the next day. I knew about it, because Mrs. C was hysterically crying to Mrs. K during our lunch recess….during her meltdown, Mrs. K called me over from where I was attempting to remain oblivious and, while consoling a sobbing Mrs. C asked, “Why did you tell your mother you were specifically excluded from next years extracurricular activities?”
Me: “I didn’t.”
Cowardly, I know, but I had to be a pathological liar in order to survive my childhood….sue me.
I rode the bus home full of dread. I knew by the time I walked through the door, she would have flushed out all my carefully constructed lies and it would not be good. I pondered the durability of my teeth, the thickness of my hair and whether or not I had enough to cover any bald spots that might be created….and I took it like a champ.
Moral of the story….When my step-daughter was doing her homework and asked me if I knew of any birds that started with the letters “L” and “M”….I just Googled it.