Thursday, May 6, 2010
A Mind Freshly Boggled
A couple of days ago my son introduced me to one of the more awkward moments in the life of a liberal parent.
"Hey mom," he announced cheerfully, "I've been approved for Medical Marijuana!"
Well, isn't that just swell? My inner-voice supplied dryly, but what came tripping off my tongue was, "Okay. I wasn't aware you were applying. You know this carries with it the same rules as anything else, no driving while under any kind of influence, and you do understand the legal implications?"
He assured me he did. We did the entire "as a responsible parent, I tell you..." and "as a polite kid, I listen attentively and you'll just have to hope that's sticking..." verbal exchange. Every parent of a nearly full-grown adult out there knows all the steps, backwards and forwards to this particular Parental Polka.
Serves you right for voting for it, doesn't it? Ye olde helpful, inner-voice of self-questioning handily offered up, and I replied with a thundering eyeroll to myself. A tricky move to pull off, but I feel as if it was warranted.
Five years ago, at the age of fourteen my son crashed into a tree while skiing. A helmet saved him from any truly tragic injuries, but he did manage to rather thoroughly break his collar bone and the bone in the socket of his shoulder. It now requires surgery, but the Insurance Industry feels the need to try and pull out their extra-special favorite term "preexisting" to try and avoid this. We are engaged in a wrangling session that will doubtless end with said insurance ponying up the dough with as little grace as humanly possible. In the meantime my son's shoulder is in bad enough shape that a doctor approved him for weed. I feel certain my son finds reason to not exactly bemoan his fate, if you catch my drift.
In my annual phone call to my mother, before she departs the shores of the U.S. for her half year in Scotland, I informed her of this and discovered that there may be something to genetics. Her response was in line with my own, "Better that than prescription pills, I suppose." Seeing as my son can currently dislocate his shoulder with an overly enthusiastic sneeze, I'm sure it does pain him enough to warrant something. In the contest between prescribed narcotic pain-killers, sometimes referred to as "Hillbilly Heroin" or reefer, I'm going with the Chronic as the lesser of two evils.
I'm hard to shock. My mother is also somewhat difficult to shock. It seems she is more difficult to shock than I am, though. Must be something to do with age.
Prior to me telling my mom that my son would be a legally sanctioned stoner, my son ended up chatting with my mom for a length of time, and I went about my daily chores. Around the corner of the laundry room, his astonished face appeared for a moment, and then withdrew. I thought little of it. He might just have been astounded by the sheer number of words she can produce, after all. I'm a less wordy version of my mother. Contemplate that, and take a couple Advil, no doubt.
When I did fill her in, she had a bomb of her own to drop. Admittedly, it was not a bomb to her, but mine was a mind freshly boggled, and my jaw was still sagging a bit when I got off the phone.
My son went first, "Mom, did you know Grandma met the Beatles?"
Well yes, actually I did know that story. She met them before she ever came to the U.S. while she still lived in the U.K. A friend's father owned or was part-owner in a venue they played, and my mother and a friend were taken backstage to meet the Fab Four. I think one of them flirted a bit with her, causing the friend she was with to turn a decorous shade of green. My mom was really quite the knockout in her youth.
"That's nothing," I gaped, "My mother, your grandmother, watches The Daily Show!!"
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. The one that recently featured a story on Medical Marijuana in Denver. The one she brought up as soon as I told her that my son had a license to toke. If I'd been hoping, even on some remaining adolescent level to shock her with my liberality, I was the one who ended up flabbergasted.
The same show that recently had a choral arrangement, complete with robes, of Jon Stewart singing the Go F&^K Yourselves hymn to Fox News for almost ten full minutes.
Even my inner-voice of helpful suggestions and self-mocking was stunned into silence.
When I told my son this, he adopted his own fish-faced expression, featuring the Goldfish Mouth of O.
"I know, right?!?" Flint also watches The Daily Show. "And Colbert!"
"Get outta here!?!"
"I never would have guessed it." I was glad that he was also halfway between impressed and astonished. At least I had company on that.
He left to meet some friends, and I continued about my day in something of a haze.
My mother has always seemed vaguely prim to me. We don't have the sort of relationship where we trade jokes, or even talk that easily. I've always put it down to our differences.
Maybe it's actually your similarities, whispers that inner-voice of self-examination. I willfully ignore it, and get back to my day.