“Care For Some Crumbs?”

Two weeks back, on a Friday morning, I awakened to an email, posted by my brother on Facebook (which I don’t use except to post these posts) that my mom was in hospital. I learned later that day that she had actually gone in on MONDAY. My younger sister and I, who live at opposite ends of the country from her and my dad, talk with her on the weekends. Why would my older sister, who lives a half-hour away from them, not phone one or both of us the day she went in? I don’t want to think for even an instant it was because she didn’t want either of us flying out there just now:

Meg: Has Macy Girl called you yet?

Me : No…why,do you ask, my loving dimestore sister?

Meg: Because she called me yesterday to ask me if I wanted a setting of great-grandmother’s china, or a lamp. I told her I have no use for either, but that you really have a bad jones for lamps.

We both laughed. (One of my ideal jobs would be to rescue beautiful or interesting lamp bases which are horribly befouled by mismatched shades. I’d have my team of crack lampshade fabricators create the perfect shade for each base, and sell the resulting perfect lamps from my perfectly-named store: The Perfect Lamp.)

The Perfect Lamp

One Of My Perfect Lamps

Me : No, Macy Girl hasn’t called. So she and brother Paul have finished divvying up the folks’ goods between them?

(My elderly parents haven’t died: They’re moving from their house to a small Assisted Living apartment.)

Meg: Not just between THEM. This is what she said to me:

I took what I wanted, and Paul took what HE wanted, and (Paul’s wife) took what SHE wanted, and (my daughter) took what SHE wanted, and (my son and his wife) took what THEY wanted, and what was left over was the china and the lamp.”


Burnt Pizza Crusts

They Saved the Best For Last.


Sounds fair. After all, Meg and I, for good reasons, chose not to pay for flights and hotels to go pick through the loot (my mom is currently in isolation with an infection–there’d be no visiting). I’m sure that, had we done so, an equitable system would have been devised so that we got our turns somewhere among our siblings’ spouses, and their children, and their childrens’ spouses.


Red Me and Yellow Them

“But: How Are We Gonna Make It LOOK Fair?”               “I Can Still HEAR You, You Know!!”


Me : Well, Meg, it’s not like Mom would’ve felt any differently. Remember, she put even the dog ahead of me.

Meg: And who could blame her? I don’t remember you ever fetching a thing.

Me : That’s because you never scritched me between the ears.

Macy Girl and our brother are the co-executors of our parents’ will.

(My dimestore sister and I are the co-recipients of our parents’ won’t.)


Am I hearing something different than what you are hearing?

Is Macy Girl conscious of how she sounds? One hopes not. Does it come from the fact that she was raised by a family, and we were lowered by one?


I'm Brilliant

Hey! That’s pretty good! Did I just coin that, or has it already been done? Don’t want to google now and find out I’m not so clever after all…


Macy Girl acknowledges that she was (and is still) highly favored by our parents, but says it wasn’t her fault that this occurred. Meg and I agree. We hold Macy Girl responsible only for her behavior as an adult.

Macy Girl has expressed great resentment that she bears the brunt of helping our parents as they’ve aged. Meg and I feel that Macy Girl is an adult and makes her own choices.

Meg and I choose not to live near to, nor enable, our abusers. It is only due to our geographical distance that I have managed to establish a relationship with my mother.

Louis Sachar Holes

Even After Long Separation, the Parental Soil Remains Low-Yield and Weak


We would assist them as they age by providing information on how to obtain non-family members to assist them. (Meg’s career was helping seniors.)

If Megan and I WERE the type to weigh and measure rights to resentment, or entitlement… Well, let me just say this:

WHO has borne a greater burden from these folks: The favored, or the abused?


Cat B#tch Puh-leeze


This post was not intended as a statement of support that Meg and I have a right to our parents’ things just because they gave birth to us. If the post succeeded, you won’t have even thought about that 🙂

Macy Girl and Paul are actually the co-executors of our parents’ will and trust. Macy Girl was named first. When Meg and I gave our opinions that she wouldn’t follow our parents’ wishes to divvy things up evenly four ways, my father added Paul.

Per the will, all of the home contents are to be divided when they die by us taking turns and pointing to what we want. Now, there is no need for that.
Next post in this Mommy Hyde series: Hateful Mommy Hyde–Part 1
First post in this Mommy Hyde series: Dinner For Seven

Dinner For Seven

My parents had three daughters. One was wanted, and has always been cherished:

Their Macy’s girl.

Guess It Was a Florida Macy’s.


We other two are their dime-store daughters.

Pecked From the Nest.


I am now close friends with my fellow dime-store outcast. Surprisingly, her own daughter has been accepted as a good friend of Macy-Girl’s daughter. The nonexistent sins of the mothers are not visited upon the daughters.

Lawrence Block and Ruth Rendell Wrote Versions, Too, But Using Either of Those Would Have Classed Up This Blog Too Much.

Not too long ago, the two cousins, who live on their own in different states, met up at Macy Girl’s house. She served dinner to the young women, as well as to her husband and his mom, and our own mother and father. Dinner for seven.

The next day, my mother and I are on the phone.

“And your sister did an amazing job. She managed to put on dinner for ALL of us!”

EVERYthing Macy-Girl Did Was Always Awesome.

My mother has never praised either of her dime-store daughters for a single one of our accomplishments as adults. Many are significantly more impressive than cooking a meal. I couldn’t stop myself:

“Wait just a minute, Mom. What is so ‘amazing’ about her making dinner?

“Well, she works, too!”

True. Macy Girl does work. Two grueling part-time days a week.

Though, To Hear HER Tell It, Her Two Part-Day Mole-Hills Require Full-Time Mountaineering Skills

“Well, Mom, I worked, too—only I worked full time. And I had lupus. And I chaired the PTA. And I prepared Sunday school lessons. And I STILL managed to cook.”

Here’s how the woman who wombed me and birthed me responds to my own amazing accomplishments:

“Oh, yeah? Who’d YOU ever cook for?”

What I Should Have Said.

I open my mouth but no sound emerges. Unsurprisingly, I left home at 17. I relocated on the far side of the fifty States. I’ve had therapy. Despite this, there are times this woman still manages to shock me into silence.

She decides to fill this by adding, sneeringly: “…besides your family!”

I Gave Her That Sweater Last Christmas. I Thought It Brought Out the Red In Her Eyes.

And as if I, also, find my family insignificant and my achievements worthless, I (yet again) find myself spitting into that glacial unmotherly wind, trying fruitlessly to convince the unconvince-able:

“I also prepared meals for more than my family, Mom. We DID throw parties in the early years of our marriage. Until my abusive spouse succeeded in socially isolating me.”

Ever-nurturing Mom responds.

“I don’t need to hear this!”


“Don’t tell me any more lies about your marvelous ex-husband.”

Yes.  The Real Work of One of My Real Sons.

“I am afraid of the dark. I am also afraid of my dad.” (Written In 1st Grade By One of My Sons About My Marvelous Ex.)

She ends the call.

Only later do I remember that, although my two-faced spouse always jumped to impress most visitors,

Hurriedly lifting up a sponge or broom just as folks drove up,

Striving to do all the cooking whenever my parents or in-laws visited,

My parents did still savor a couple of outstanding meals prepared by my own terribly-inadequate dime-store hands.

Don’t Pictures Like This Always Make You Want to Either Run and Cook It or Run and Eat It?

But I understand why Mom was still not impressed by my skills in comparison to Macy Girl’s.

Around my dining table would have been seated my parents, my spouse, my two children, and I. Dinner for six, not seven.

All this time, I’ve been only one dinner guest shy of gaining Mommy’s love.

Born of the Devil… Never Fully Alive… Controlled From Afar… Be Afwaid!!!!

Next post in this Mommy Hyde series: Care For Some Crumbs?
Addendum Re: Emotional Abuse and Neglect
“That emotional abuse is more damaging than sexual and physical abuse may seem surprising, although they tend to go together.” [Yeah, our mommy and daddy whacked us, too. Meggie got her jaw cracked. You needed to be quick in our house!]

“A definitive analysis of the 41 best studies into the impact of childhood adversity on the risk of psychosis…broke down the role of different kinds of maltreatment. Emotional abuse meant exposure to behaviour such as harshness and name-calling from parents. Emotional neglect meant lack of love and responsiveness…emotional abuse increased the risk of psychosis the most (by 3.4 times), physical abuse and emotional neglect did so by 2.9, sexual abuse and bullying by peers by 2.4.”

“Similar findings come from studies of less extreme emotional distress. In the definitive one…90% of those who suffered early maltreatment qualified for a mental illness. Emotional neglect under the age of two was a critical predictor.”

Guardian article link
Next post in this Mommy Hyde series: Care For Some Crumbs?

Thumbelina Rashomon

Green eyes lead to dolly’s death;
Twice a dolly loses breath.
One girl delights, while one girl cries;
Each one’s truth, the other’s lies.


You are SUCH a liar.

Lies Vs. Truth

I’M the liar?

It is hard now to imagine, but dolls used to do nothing. No crawling, no digital burping.

One day, however, along came the doll of the future: The first doll to move “like a real baby”.

A baby who’d had Jack Daniels:

Ma-ma. Oooh, Mama!

The doll’s head would loll and droop and slowly roll around on its shoulders.

All you had to do was wind up a giant round crank on its back and ignore the giant loud cranking sound as the giant spring inside unwound.

And because all the moving parts were so giant, so was the doll. A shout-out to Ideal for their chutzpah in christening her “Thumbelina”—no bigger than a thumb.

She was two armfuls of HUMONGOUS.

A Thumb With Elephantiasis

The first year Jumbolina was marketed, I received her as my Christmas gift. Despite her typical German doll face—squinched and angry-looking—I was thrilled. I lugged her huge hulk with me everywhere.

This D#mned Doll-Baby Weighs a Holy TON.

Yet, by my birthday in January, she was nowhere to be found.

Days and then weeks of searching failed to find her. I was desolate. My family cared not a whit.

Only when the spring thaw came and the snow melted from our back yard was Thumbelina’s location revealed:

Her plastic head and limbs were distributed at far separate parts of the yard. Her empty cloth body lay limp at the base of a tree trunk, with her tossed stuffing looking like old dirty snow on the ground.

I Felt Like Someone Had Taken Out MY Stuffing.

What had happened? My brother spilled the beans:

My green-eyed younger sister Megan had taken my treasured Thumbelina, swung her by one leg, and bashed her repeatedly against the tree trunk until her helpless (yet zaftig) body burst asunder.

Her firmer limbs had scattered to seek shelter from further abuse.

Meggie did not deny her evil deed. Yet my parents did nothing. Nor did they replace my doll.

W. T. F.?? (Where’s Thumbelina Fairness?)

Worse, for Megan’s May birthday, they presented to her the later, greater Baby Thumbelina.

No creaky, cranky, monster, this was a wee-sized bundle of huggable, head-turnin’ love.


This Was The Last Straw. Baby Thumbelina Was No Bigger Than a BABY Thumb.


It is two weeks post-Meggie’s birthday. Visualize with me:

An older two-door car. To get into the back seat, you have to flip the front seat forward.

Your little sister is climbing in the back. While the front seat is forward to let her pass in front of you, there is a gap at the base of that seat.

A gap exactly the size of a Baby-Thumbelina head.

Mere justice mandated that I match one head to one gap before slamming that front seat to its full and upright position. Which is when a wholly-satisfying crunch restored order to the universe.


Recently, I learned that by the time of her birthday, Megan had entirely forgotten that she had destroyed my doll first.

All these decades, she has carried the memory of the day her big sister tore her treasured brand-new baby Thumbelina from her loving arms and crushed its skull, for absolutely no reason. And laughed maniacally when she began to cry.

Each time I think of this, I am, at first, overswept with just a moment of deepest shame.

I Feel REALLY Guilty For How Mean I Was…

Then I laugh my #ss off.

It’s a Good Thing My Sister Loves Me.


The Rashomon effect is a term that has been used by a number of different scholars, journalists and film critics to refer to contradictory interpretations of the same events by different persons, a problem that arises in the process of uncovering truth.

The phrase derives from the movie Rashomon, where four witness’s accounts of a rape and murder are all different.–Wikipedia

Girl Fight With Doll

Duel to the Dolly Death

2014-03-23–Added some pics, spaced out words a little better.
%d bloggers like this: