Sunday, September 12, 2010

Mary Karr's Lit: A Memoir (P.S.), Softening My View (just a little)

I just finished *reading* (Audio Book) Lit: A Memoir (P.S.), which I appreciated as much for it’s poetic prose as for it’s honesty, humor and the occasional use of the phrase “and I shit you not…”

Lit: A Memoir (P.S.) 
Her eventual coming to terms with her narcissistic all be it sober, still flakey mother I found hopeful.

One thing that sticks with me is her detailed description of her “sobriety support group” (AA) and it’s kooky characters, the likes of which I spent much of my childhood with, was heartwarming. Many an AA meeting I spent sitting in a bathroom, a kitchen, along a back wall or a parking lot of some church, while my mother ruled the tables. There is a tenet in the program that the newly sober do “90 meetings in the first 90 days” and I shit you not... she has gone to at least 90 (more like 120) meetings in 90 days every 90 days for the past 33 years. I have always had a certain amount of resentment about that organization, and about her lack of judgment in, say, inviting an entire men’s halfway house, home for weekends with a 10, 11 and 15 year-old in the house. But alas, May Karr does remind me that they were for the most part a loveable rag tag group that has enriched my life in some way by there mere presence. (Not a tradition I plan on carrying on with my kids, however.)

Most people get sober so they can get their kids back, not throw them away to foster care so they can have more time for their support group. Nothing is ever easy with the Koffrons.



Nice memories ha? Geez - These stories make me feel like a parental genius!

Sunday Kofffon Taylor said...

Lol, yes, I know. The bar is not set so high, right. You know I truly believe she had no clue. She was in foster care herself and then adopted at 12 by my grand parents to replace their 9 year old daughter who had just drowned. For a while when she was married to my dad she tried very hard, maybe too hard to be what she thought was a prefect mom. Not having any idea what a mother was or what a thankless job it is. When she realized that she wasn’t going to win the best mommy ever prize she just gave up. Kind of sad, really.

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