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Claudine Jones-Scene4 Magazine

Claudine Jones

So I'm sitting here knitting, binge-watching Star Trek and Twilight Zone, discovering to my chagrin that pay- walls have recently materialized effectively meaning you now might have to pay to see stuff you just spontaneously get a Yen for if you've seen it 20-30 years ago and you just want to revisit. But to my additional horror, say you don't have to pay and you get to the content, there's missing episodes. What the eff is up? It appears that if they used a piece of music and they didn't get the rights for it, or something, their money-grubbing lazy arses will just excise Season 2 and 3, episodes 7, 11, 15 and 22, interrupting the stream, the Arc of the characters' growth. Or if you find a list of best episodes say of Taxi for example, it's got 10 episodes that it considers to be the best and half of them are scratched. Episodi interruptus.

I clearly have too much time on my hands. Being stuck is the great inventor of occupations to pass the days of course. I spend lots on the phone and with emails trying to sort out technical aspects concerning doctors lawyers, or with brothers or mothers. After a particular grisly familial crisis I came up with the following:

While here in the hospital I have on multiple occasions by different people male and female been called mama as an endearment, because obviously I'm not their mother. That's okay. I'm okay with that. There is something very comforting and connected about that. Let's just go ahead and say the vast majority of humanity uses some endearment to refer  to each other. But I'd almost rather globally redefine those terms.

Whether you are still in your single digits or you're beginning to be referred to as elderly yourself, in generic control dramas I think you could posit a conversation going somewhat pear shape, like You don't own me. You refer to me as your daughter but I am also a person, I generally go by a name. You could probably make a case for this being such a long standing tradition we should stop troubling about it. Choose a more significant battle. However, it periodically feels important to have a discreet identity.

So try an experiment: what would happen if you were standing there with an elderly woman and another person approached and the elderly person next to you said oh, hello Linda it's so nice to see you this is my friend Claudine. You leave out the word daughter (or son), you drop the ownership. You could argue that just saying 'son' or 'daughter' doesn't imply you bought a person. But I would respond, it comes with baggage as soon as you identify someone as a member of your family. It means your obligations and other duties, perhaps onerous ones in the bargain. And it does come with some damn sense of okay, I made this, I'm proud of this, see what I did and isn't it well made. Like I knitted it

Now for a rare treat, I'm hanging out in the living room with the 11 year old I've come to know as my grandson who's here since we picked him up after school, and his mama comes pick him up an I realize we have a tired woman here. And I get a overwhelming urge to stand up and give her a hug; I can't move fast enough.  After 12 years I know her...but I don't know her that well. I know I could just spontaneously make a thing out of it, then I realize it's constant refrain that the clan rubs noses or families need to give each other kisses hugs but that's not the weird thing. The weird thing is I have a sense of hierarchy that comes unbidden. Just feels like it's in place and it doesn't acknowledge Humanity. It just lands kerplunk. She's tired she just wants to go home with her kid. Why would I want to pull rank?

These days I try to be quiet in the car when the old man's driving because it's a distraction. But I did start saying something, I started with you know I'm sad. I'm sad because I just suddenly realized that things are so horrible, I want to be one of those people who is intensely close to her mother, like Sophia Loren and her mama. I want that kind of relationship but the fact is we're driving down the street, and I know we could easily make a little detour, go by my mother's apartment, drop off the little gifty Jake made for her for (Grand)Mother's Day, and I know it's as much propaganda as a diamond on your finger.  Personally, I'd rather poke myself in the eye than make that detour.  Pisses me off. Makes me sad. So I shut up.

My mother's fantasy is Italian woman in the kitchen surrounded by children and grandchildren, stirring a pot of spaghetti—she  even stopped us one time on a sidewalk and pointed up at a huge house, almost Winchester House size, and imagined a wonderful family living in there... boiling pasta.

It's raining. Got my last in home physical therapy session today, this afternoon. We both will miss her, cuz she's the same PT that the old man had 3 years ago. We like her a lot.

Then I'll prolly go back to Kung Fu and knit some more. 


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Claudine Jones has had a long career as an Actor/Singer/Dancer.
She writes a monthly column and is a Senior Writer for Scene4.
For more of her commentary and articles, check the Archives.

©2019 Claudine Jones
©2019 Publication Scene4 Magazine



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June 2019

Volume 20 Issue 1

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