I am a preacher woman
I have a congregation of one. My captive audience is composed of just my mum. Since moving back home because of the construction site that has become my place, she has endured sermon after sermon. When I stop to actually think about it, I think she has had to endure these sermons since I was old enough to have an opinion.
Every day I have a new message. The message varies depending on where I am at (in life) at that time. When my clothes start to feel a bit tight, for example, my sermon will be centred around healthy living, regular exercises. I’ll trash talk all animal products and even give her ‘the look’ when she seems to reach for that piece of meat.
But when I am just from a bout of sickness and recovering from loss of appetite and whatnot, my talk dramatically changes. I make a big speech about how there should never be any food restrictions. I say people should eat until it starts to hurt. I make a powerful case for all animal products and how they contribute to one’s overall health.
My poor mum listens unflinchingly to all this. She doesn’t call me out on my contradictions. She doesn’t stop to say, “Si the other day you were saying…”
Sometimes my sermon is on hair. When I was on the DIY natural products phase of my life, I would frown upon anything that came out of a bottle. My motto was, if it’s good to eat then it’s good for your hair. My shampoo was apple cider vinegar and aloe vera juice. My conditioner was avocado and yoghurt and sometimes mashed banana. I used cooking oil (coconut & olive) for my scalp and strands. The only recommended food I didn’t put in my hair was an egg.
My poor mum endured this one hour morning sermon. Needless to say, not long after, I got fed up of having food particles in my hair. I was afraid I’d wake up one day with an ant infested head. I abandoned this ‘movement’ that I was on the brink of spearheading. Now I preach about shampoo and conditioner from a shop; just ensure it is sulphate-free to avoid stripping off your hairs’ natural oils, I point out sagely.
Mum never argues. She listens attentively. Lucky for her my church has no follow-up ministry, save for the occasional judgy-eye and once the sermon is delivered, a new one quickly emerges. My sermons are so diverse, in topic and scope and in their measure of controversy they are impossible to keep up with.
Sometimes I see in her eyes that she is not 100% with me. “Mum, you’re drifting!” I demand her attention like an entitled little brat. Mum obliges and I can see she has made the effort to actually listen even if she is not entirely interested.
I wonder about that sometimes. I wonder if she feels she is duty-bound to listen to my endless contradictory sermons that are delivered with such passion, even if short-lived. It’s probably because I am hers. She almost has no choice.