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Madonna and Child

November 7, 2009



Where to begin for an old gay man on this subject…her name was Marie and she was a Showgirl…she used say, “It aint what ya wear but how ya wear it” and with Target at her disposal she came up with some haute couture of her own.  Memories of her putting on the lippy in a small bathroom in  Murrumbeena.  I was fascinated by this ritual and this fascination has remained for more than 60 years.  I was an only child for 10 years, adored, indulged, pampered and given affection by grand parents, not my parents..I was the only reason they were still together, she pregnant and catholic and he middle class, army, and obviously somewhat genteel.  He had no occerisms at all.  Always the shirt and tie and jacket with a crisp handkerchief in the top pocket.  Thats what they did.  Thats how the men dressed.  It was so amusing years later to see him wearing a pink jumper/sweater…always a sure sign of effeminate the wheel turns..They were what is now called a funky couple.  Two fascinistas in a relationship.  No wonder I cant resist a scarf to drape with my own fascinista criteria.


Once she said to me, ” I am so sorry. but you are so like me”  I replied, ” I take that as a compliment rather than a put down”.  She also said, “Your brother is the good looking one but you are the interesting one”  How does a twenty something male react to that kind of comment from their mother?  Matricide!  She was a party gal.  People fired her like spinning Roman Candles on a fireworks display.  This I have inherited happily.  You know they always say, ” Mothers Know”…..and they do, how could they not know having carried you for nine months, expelled you from the womb and then craddled you


It was a battle.  ‘You need to see a psychiatrist.!”   Sixteen years of living in the normal dysfunctional family, a further 5 years living with men only studying for the Catholic Priesthood.  She might just be on to something.  It was appeasement on my part. The usual psychiatric tableau with mother and son on one side of the desk and the male, bespectacled, respected medico on the other.  I did not care for it much.  I got on with my life.  But the barbs kept coming from Madonna.  She just could not help herself.  She squirmed and laughed through a series of my relationships.  Was happy to dine at our table, drink the wine and pay the bill.


One of six children, two boys and four girls.  The boys died young, 3 and 5 respectively in the aftermath of the Maitland floods.  Her own father was there to drag the bodies out.  He died at 40 from a heart attack, she maintains it was from a broken heart.  Would not be the only time she spoke with wisdom of an old soul.  She never really worked outside the home but was a domestic goddess through and though.  The house was always immaculate which did not sit well with my tendency towards being slobby..she tolerated it but was not slow to point out to me my neglect of things that she deemed important.  She always said “Look after your teeth”.  Another sensible piece of advice whe dispensed with a level of seriousness.


She rightly suspected her elder sister of being addicted to something which was changing her behaviour significantly….she took me on a mission to visit said sister while I was to chat and divert, Madonna was to search the room for forenscic evidence.  She found it and had the elder sister hospitalise immediatimento, no fooling with Madonna, she achieved her mission and her sister was in care.  I found it quite with an element of heroine…there was no denial, not even in her final days.


She knew she was dying.  I knew.  We both knew.  She said to me, “You are my life line”…wow whatta trip to lay on the gay son.  The one she riduculed so often for his homosexuality both privately and publicly.  This was the bridge to peace for us both.  At the risk of sounding like the teacher I am, clean up any mess with either parent before you say goodbye.  It is an act of kindness on both parts.


She haunts me but not in a dark way.  I used ask her whats for dinner and she would say wrily, “A cigarette and a look around”…I thank her for her love of life and of people.











2 Comments leave one →
  1. Cactus permalink
    November 12, 2009 7:23 am

    Lola Darling, I am glad I found your blog. The whole time I was reading this, I could not push aside the expression, “hot pipes”.
    Jacobini xx

  2. dyoll09 permalink*
    November 12, 2009 3:34 pm

    Please feel free to interlocute on anything I may have written in the blog……Lola…xxxx

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