Bad Girls Don’t Cry

Mom wore a tux as a chaperone to my prom. Zero fucks given.

My dad used to always say to me, “Do you know why that woman always wears black?” That Woman, of course, being my mom. This question was usually always asked after he didn’t get something. One time, he didn’t get a refreshing Diet Coke brought out to him in the backyard after he’d been honking an ah-ooo-gah horn on his riding lawn mower for 15 minutes.

Why, no. I’d say. Because I knew my part. Why?

“Because she’s a black-hearted woman, she is.” Then he’d shake his head and smile. Despite not getting whatever his spoiled, boyish heart wanted, he really did like the fight in her. Oh they made each other nuts — couldn’t be more different. But you couldn’t really have one without the other.

My mom did wear a lot of black. She had a lot of tattoos — one on every limb. For accidental dismemberment/identification purposes, she’d tell us. She’d cut her own hair super short, like a small boy’s haircut. She once sued a former employer because he “made her want to quit”. And she won.

Mama didn’t give a FUCK.

Mom cared about a few things: her babies, her animals, a few celebrities that for a long time we assumed knew us in turn, family vacations, dad (he often debated this), and trying new recipes on my poor friends if they should ever make the mistake of being in the kitchen when she was cooking.

Mama with dad (Papa) and one of my own babies. 14 years ago.

In a cruel twist of fate — in the way only a cruel universe can conjure — she would die when that heart couldn’t beat anymore.

I never say what I really want to say because we all prefer a badass black-hearted woman with tattoos.

Right?

I can’t say the soft things. The silly things. If anyone found out I cared, they might wonder if I cared all along, and then the whole thing could just come crashing down around us.

We want to make others comfortable so we keep our insides hidden. A hopeful heart is a frightening and foolish thing.

Nice girls finish last.

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