Monday, October 15, 2007

Asking Mother to Call

Last week, I called my mother, again. Now, I had an ulterior motive for calling her. I wanted something. My mother being how she is, she rabbited on, about this and that, leaving me little chance to get a word in edgewise. Those of you who know me may find that hard to accept. Anyone who's spent any time with me would probably expect me to dominate the conversation. I realize I am a bit talkative, especially for a man. It could be that it comes from growing up in a household full of women, or it could be genetic. All the immediate relatives, with whom I grew up, talked a lot. However, they were all female, so who knows what caused it.
So, my mother was talking away and I realized that time was passing without me making my grand request. Perhaps I was apprehensive and so quite happy to delay asking. In any case, my mother ended up starting to end the conversation, when I finally spoke up. "I haven't gotten to say what I called you about!" I said, with exasperation. She paused for me. Timidly, I inquired if, possibly, there might be a chance, however small, that she might call me on my radio show. As I think I feared, deep down, she said no.
I tried to talk her into changing her mind. With my mother, such persuasion has to be quite gentle. If she feels pressured, she'll stubbornly refuse and accuse me of causing her stress. "If you are so desperate for callers that you need me to call in, you're in bad shape," she said.
"That's not the reason," I explained. "You'd be very entertaining. Other radio personalities have their mothers calling. Howard Stern's mother used to call him and you have a much better voice than she does. Besides, you're very funny, without realizing you're funny."
"That doesn't sound good," she snapped back, starting to get her back up. Oh-oh! Time for a bit of back-peddling.
"But in a good way," I add, as damage control. Earlier in the conversation, my mother had mentioned that she'd like to do more background artist work. When I first started working in films, my mother decided to give it a try, much to my surprise. Most of my life, my mother has been the most anti-social person I have known, so the idea of her hanging out on a busy film set and putting up with cameras pointed in her direction came as quite a surprise. I was not above stooping to use her desire to rekindle her acting career to bolster my case. "You could call regularly, then use that on your resume." She wouldn't budge. I decide to let the matter drop...for now.
"What about getting Inez to call?" Inez is my mother's only surviving friend. She met Inez while working on her first film and Inez is a fellow actress. Maybe Inez would be more willing and could pretend to be my mother. As has been typical of my mother, throughout my life, she refused to provide me access to her friend. For the time being, my show shall remain motherless.

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