Friday, September 12, 2014

Playing Music Loud in the House

a nod to Jamaica Kincaid

Wear your hat in church; if you forget your hat, you must put a kleenex on your head; make sure your uniform skirt goes to the middle of your knee; when you dust the furniture, make sure you dust the legs too; when you mow the lawn, go from side to side and don't forget to overlap a little each time; why don't you play with Alex anymore? He has been your friend since you were two; I think he likes you; Is there another boy that you like at school? I heard Jimmy asked you to the prom; I will make your dress for you; we will go to the pattern store and pick one out; how about this one? it has a modest neckline and if we use yellow material, Jimmy can wear a matching shirt; I want to go to prom, but not with Jimmy; I want to have fun with my girlfriends; why did you break up with Jimmy? he is such a nice boy; except for his music -- so loud; don't play your music so loud in the house, it gives me a headache; it's not really music; why did you cut your hair? you look like a boy now; if you don't go to Mass every Sunday, it will be a mortal sin on your soul; when you go away to college, find a Catholic church and go to Mass; don't let hippies influence you; don't have sex until you are married; don't read The Godfather; don't read the National Enquirer -- it will be a mortal sin on your soul; it is better if you marry a Catholic boy; I don't want to marry a boy at all; when are you going to give us grandchildren? You don't ask my brothers that question! You should raise my grandchildren Catholic -- it is the one true church; which church is better -- the one Jesus Christ started or the one Martin Luther started? Why don't you quit working and stay home with your children; that's what I did when I got pregnant with your brother; don't breastfeed in public, go to the ladies room if you have to; come visit for Christmas; help with the dishes, and, no, the men don't have to help, let them talk at the table; take care of me now that I am getting older and senile; your brothers are busy, it is your responsibility, you are the daughter; but when do I get to do the things I want to do? Go where I want, play my music loud in the house? After I am gone, after your children are grown; it's a good thing I won't live to see you divorce, come out, good that I won't hear your music loud in the house; it would kill me.

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