The Mother’s Prayer for Her Son [apologies to Tina Fey]

I’ve just seen Tina Fey’s ‘Mother’s Prayer for her Daughter’ again, which I first read in her hugely enjoyable Bossypants memoir, but it’s also done the rounds as a separate item in the media in recent months – including today via a tweet from the ever-lovely Letters of Note.

It got me thinking there needs to be a boy version, as that’s what occupies my mind. This is my first draft, copying shamelessly from Ms Fey’s style and content, with some original bits left in alongside some subtle (and not so subtle) changes. It may just have to do:

The Mother’s Prayer for Her Son

[With apologies (and grovelling adulation) to Tina Fey]

First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Celtic symbols for who-knows-what or the Southern Cross constellation stain his tender biceps.

May he be Handsome but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the needy bimbo’s eye, not the Fine Features of his Father.

When the Crystal Meth is offered, may he remember the parents who picked peas out of dinners. And stick with whatever is Legal, in Moderate Amounts.

Guide him, protect him
When he gets behind the wheel, is a passenger in a car, jumps off things into water, swims with sharks knowingly or otherwise, handles power tools, cycles for fun and recreation, curses under his breath at the big idiot who hears him, downloads one more bloody dub step mp3, sees the woman of his dreams, sees the woman he wants to spend the rest of his life with, and spends more than two hours in any bar ever, anywhere, at any age.

Lead him away from Writing but not all the way to Finance.

Something where he can make his own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes. And not have to wear high heels.

What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Life coaching? Dentist? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit.

May he play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of his Own Heart with the sinewy strength of his Own Arms, so he need not be teased by other Wannabe Drummers who don’t get to lie with Whoever They Damn Well Please cos they’re Hot.

Grant him a rough patch from 11 to 19, or thereabouts. Let him see dogs in clouds and be interested in learning magic for much too long,
For Childhood is short – a Lion Flower blooming burnt orange for one day –
And Adulthood is long and “I’m in my room, leave me alone” will wait.

O Lord, break the Internet forever,
That he may be spared the misspelled invective of his peers
And the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed.

And when he one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of someone who matters,
Give me the strength, Lord, to yank him directly into a car in front of his friends,
For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it.

And should he choose to be a Father one day, be my eyes, Lord, That I may see him, putting the kettle on at 4.50am, all-at-once exhausted and in love with the woman collapsed in bed next to his now-sleeping baby, who he has watched helplessly in awe for three hours trying to settle this new little life, knowing all he can do is … not much but be there. Being there matters a Lot, Lord, and let him Know It.

“My mother did this for me once,” he will realise as he gently moves the tiny sleeping form from the bed to the bassinet, and pulls the covers up over his beautiful, snoring wife. “My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over him as it does each generation and he will make a Mental Note to call me. And he will forget.
But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes.



(And if you have daughters, or just want to see how unoriginal I’ve been, why don’t you read Tina Fey’s original and you’ll see why I was inspired 🙂 )

Dedicated to Mr Becker’s pecker

In a world of war, ugly journalism and too much hot hair, this in today: Mr Becker, from Los Angeles, had his penis cut off on Monday by his estranged (and clearly emotionally unbalanced) wife. It’s a truly horrible thing to have happened, but to have such a good rhyming name? Not quite a Wiener, but gee it lends itself to a limerick …

There once was a woman called Becker
who cut off her poor husband’s pecker
On her way to divorce
she used drugs and some force
to become the ultimate home wrecker

Having lured Mr Becker to dinner
she didn’t want him fatter, but thinner
A long kitchen knife
won’t improve your life
as the garbage disposal’s the winner

From the Daily MailBecker is now being held at the Orange County jail, charged with aggravated mayhem, false imprisonment, assault with a deadly weapon, administering a drug with intent to commit a felony, poisoning and spousal abuse

Hegemony Heights is a metaphor

In honour of reaching 3000 views on HH, it seems like a good time to answer the question that I’ve often been asked over the past few years: why the name Hegemony Heights?

If you’ve ever driven past housing developments, you’d have seen the billboards advertising the wonderful attractions of their estates, with names like ‘Meadow Vale Waters’, and ‘Forest View Glades’, and ‘Blue Horizon Estate’, and they all offer your perfect lifestyle. How could you not be happy to live there?

Thinking about the definition of hegemony provided at right, a little bit down the page, it occurred to me that here in our complacent, fortunate, Western democratic culture we are constantly seeing the world as projected by the dominant players (I’ll resist class just for now). And the media and communication technologies play such a large part in that and many people really do accept it all as ‘common sense’ and ‘natural’. A bit like being sold your perfect lifestyle.

So is Hegemony Heights a great place to live? Absolutely.

Should we be complacent about that? Absolutely not.

And that should answer the other question:  is Hegemony Heights the name of my house? No, but it is ‘the estate’ in which I live.

If you want to know the name of my house, here it is:

And that’s not a metaphor – that’s irony.

New words*

* in the style of the Washington Post Style Invitational, where, in this case, one letter of a word is removed and replaced with another to create a new meaning:

Sacrilecious – the act of enjoying, against the will of its intent, the taste of any item offered in religious ritual; eg the Eucharist.

Ediot – someone you entrust with your writing to make comments, corrections and suggestions but end up realising they’re not as clever as they think they are.

Riputation – what big business, politicans and celebrities don’t want to lose in New Zealand (apologies :)).




[Thanks Adios, Nirvana for the image.]

Haiku for International Women’s Day

Greer. Steinem. Summers.
Wolf. Zimmer Bradley. Dworkin.
They all have brought me

here. Hell, I even
remember Helen Reddy:
I am woman. (Roar!)

%d bloggers like this: