My mother loves when I write about her. She pitches stories about herself to me all the time. If I don’t laugh she says “Ok ok how about this one, ahhh you can probably tell it better but, I go to get a manicure, right? And the lady tells me she won’t give me tips. I can’t understand why because she’s Vietnamese or something but every few minutes she says “no tips” and looks me right in the eye like “ I have denied your request what you gonna do ?”. I kept thinking they should all wear those Vietnamese hats. Maybe even dress in traditional Vietnamese attire, I think it would be good for business. I want one of those hats. Do you know what they’re called? Oh forget it, you’re not even listening” .
Her best stories come out innocently. She got her palm read this weekend in Maine.
Mom : “ This lady was great! She says I’m gonna live to be 92. There are two men in my future, she gave me their initials and.. Oh! she said chewing gum gives me gas.”
Me:” Is that true?”
Mom:” Well yeah, it does but I like to chew gum sooo screw it! I thought it was weird that she picked up on that, though. ”
Me:” Were you chewing gum at the time?”
Mom:” Shit! I can’t remember. Ha ! Imagine that! ”
My family has always been big fans of fortune telling. I don’t know how many afternoons I spent at Regina Russell’s Tea Room in Quincy, Mass. waiting for a specific tea leaf reader to be available to describe in detail my next boyfriend. Then I would spend the next three months walking around dressed to the nines, ready for love, smiling incessantly. That was when I was always nice. Now you might catch me being bitchy but it never goes unnoticed. Anytime I let myself be in a mood, I get called out on it at least once but usually more. And it’s usually people who don’t know me well enough to expect me to confide my bad mood catalyst to them.
Guy I recognize but don’t know his name :“ Kendra, are you ok? You seem like you’re in a mood or something”
ME: ( internally) “I seem like I’m in a mood because I am in a mood. Why aren’t I allowed to be in a mood? Why is it when I’m in a mood EVERYBODY wants to talk about my mood? But when I’m not in a mood nobody is sitting around saying “ Kendra, what a great personality you have. It’s really fun to be around you. I’m glad you’re not in a mood “ That never happens, ever!”
ME: ( externally) “ yeah I’m tired today” but I don’t smile – that’s me being bitchy – no smile.
I got my astrological charts read for my birthday. She said I am going through a divesting cycle and I will no longer be drawn to men who are prone to depression and substance dependency issues. I hope she is right. I’ve spent most of my life saying “ Oh I want you to meet my boyfriend. Oh there he is- see the man crouched in the corner crying- that’s him! Excuse me for a moment, I should bring him some tissues and a Jameson. Don’t want him sobering up and trying to leave me! I’m kidding! I'm trying to ween him off the tissues. They're emasculating.”
Thanks for listening!
Kendra is a stand up comic living in Brooklyn where she owns a super comfortable bed. She spends most of her time wondering where the hell her sugar daddy is and hoping he didn’t settle.