Well, hi there! I am Commie Girl’s mom, Commie Mom.
Commie Girl has invited me to write for the Commie Girl Collective website because she loves her mama and I love her back.
I thought long and hard about what I was going to write for this first piece. After all, first impressions are important.
Well, nothing came to me. Maybe I should say many things came to me and it was hard sorting them out.
Do I tell you my history? Do I tell a joke? Do I slide seamlessly into storytelling before we get to know each other?
I have settled on telling you a little bit about how we, Rebecca and I, came to be Commie Girl and Commie Mom.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before. Or click the thingy. Or leave the room in a huff. Or make yourself read on because maybe, maybe, you’ll find out something new and intriguing.
So. How did all that Commie business start, you ask?
It began when Commie Girl was in high school. By then I had dragged all my children, from early childhood on, to innumerable marches like the United Farm Workers’ marches for workers’ rights with Cesar Chavez himself leading us, demonstrations against war and for peace in places like Nevada, political meetings of the anti-nuke variety which led us to people like Edward Markey, (do NOT say, “Who?”) Democratic candidacies of folks like Jerry Brown and Phil Angelides (don’t you dare say “Who?”), knocking on doors and standing on street corners, and all manner of what-have-yous, all in the Lefty vein. (Actually I didn’t drag my children. They went happily. Mostly. Because Lefty stuff is FUN!!)
An aside (and a parental tip): If you have kids and you’re politically active – and you SHOULD be if you want to be a good citizen in a democracy – always, always, take your kids with you when you go to political functions. They love it because they’re adored, being the only kids there. They also love it because they get to hold signs and holler at cars and march and meet cool people. And the BIG bonus is that they turn into people who know a little sumpin’ about politics.
But I digress.
So, because I was a big Lefty and all, involved in anti-nukes, anti-war, Mother Earth, the United Farm Workers and all labor unions including my own United Teachers of Los Angeles, and every election that came down the pike, Becca’s friends began to call me Commie Mom. Back then, the rightwingers of the Reagan era called everyone who was left of center a commie. Or a commie pinko.
Well, it turned out I actually WAS a commie. In the communicating, communion, community, communal, commonweal, common folks, “workers should own the means of production” sense of the word. I have always thought Karl Marx was right about corporations and capitalism and all its bone-grinding horror. Oh, I’ll spare you my lecture right now, but you know I will eventually get around to it.
You know I will.
Anyway, I loved the name Commie Mom. Seriously. It was as though I had been crowned with the most rebellious, sexy, cool, revolutionary, in-your-face powerful name! It was everything I had always wanted to be.
Thank you, teenage friends of my darling daughter, for giving me my name.
So then Becca got a car and they all called it the Commie Mobile. Why am I thinking it was an AMC Pacer? Becca? Huh?
Scene II: (It is years later. Becca now has a job at the O.C. Weekly. She starts as an assistant editor which she is REALLY good at – thank you, Catholic school – and now is about to have her first, very own, column.
Rebecca’s Editor: “So, Rebecca, what do you want your column to be called? Something clever, please. And something that will raise the hackles of the local citizenry.”
Rebecca: “Commie Girl!”
The rest is history.
If Commie Mom was a goofy mother to some teenage girls in Thousand Oaks, California, Commie Girl was the Super Heroine of Cool to the world. Nothing scared her. Nothing caused her to curb her words in order to stay safe. Her words flowed with our family’s customary artful cussing, all in the interests of free speech. Her thoughts bounced with brilliance and hilarity. Her passions rang with truth. And she even wrote about farting in bed under the covers.
If ever a daughter lived a life that more than fulfilled her mother’s dreams, it was Commie Girl.
What a kid.
So what the hell am I doing on her website?
Well, she asked me if I wanted to do it. She asked me to do it because I am her mama and she loves me. She wants me to have a way to support my commie ass now that I’m retired and poor. She is teaching me how to fish.
So here I am.
I will tell you stories of accidental and horrifying animal deaths that happen out here on my thirteen beautiful and hilly acres in Oklahoma. Or how our little band of feisty Democrats here in the reddest of the red states holds strong and true. Or how the sun slants through the sliding glass doors of my Housie in the morning. Or how the dogs have gotten into trouble or how the tape worms . . .
I’ll save that one. (Unless you’re very, very good. Then I’ll tell you the story of the tape worms.)
So . . . hasta manana, mi hermanos y hermanas.
You haven’t seen the last of me.