When I was a young girl, my mother’s favorite method of discipline in public was to very slyly slip her hand around our waist and whisper in our ear quite gently that we’d better knock it off… as her index finger just as slyly caught the waistband of our undies, giving it a not-as-gentle tug upward.
Forget spankings, or yelling, or threatening. A public wedgie was the most effective way to shut us up when we were harassing her for a bucket of ice cream or the latest big-label attire she couldn’t afford- and it was her way of diffusing her frustration too.
She’d start to chuckle as she watched us try to continue whining for what we wanted, with our delicates practically pulled up to our ears. My mother was a domestic violence survivor, but she was gentle and lived to laugh. She found humor in the smallest things when life was at its worst. Sarcasm was her middle name, homemade parody ditties her hallmark.
Not surprisingly, being clever kids, one of us refused to wear underpants from thereon out. I still laugh with the memory of seeing my mother’s jaw drop as my young sister sailed by us in a cartwheel – bare legs, wearing nothing under her short skirt, and nothing to be disciplined with.
I do believe my mother is my guardian angel, so when she hauls a big tug deeply inside of me (usually publicly, because that’s when wedgies have their best effect) I know there is something wrong in my life I need to address.
Today I visited an ill friend in one of the hospitals my mother was admitted into before her final ascent. I held his hand and listened as I remembered being here for what felt like such a long time ago.
Honestly, I didn’t want to be here. Memories were distracting. The hall’s faint whiff of disinfected death was overwhelming. And my heart hurt, missing her. But I’ve been stronger lately and I held out for several hours, thinking to myself, “This is such a wedgie moment.”
I don’t know if guardian angels can be loaned out but I asked for it. Hopefully my voice was heard, and my friend will be saved with her cosmic wedgie – and my underpants can take a break.