Who’s Your Mommy?

If you were on Facebook this week, you undoubtedly saw this:

I have no idea if this is a real Betty White quote or not, but I wouldn’t put it past the old broad. Betty is on my short list of celebrities who could be related to me if my parents would ever admit that I’m really adopted. I never fit in with my “real” family and “Mom” fueled my adoption fantasies when I was 14 by telling me this woman was my real mother:

Charo. “Cuchie cuchie!”

Charo is perhaps best remembered for her frequent guest appearances on the Love Boat. But it was her big hair, shiny outfits and constant hip-shaking that led my mom to finger her as my birth mother. That, and her (Mom, not Charo) total disgust over the fact that I tried out for the cheerleading squad and acted dumb so boys would like me. To this day, I’d say it’s a toss-up who clings more tightly to the adoption fantasy, me or my mom. When I was learning to drive at age 15, a limousine that said “Charo” on the license plates passed us on the road. I hit the brakes and Mom said, “She’s here! She’s looking for you!” I made a u-turn and we spent the next 20 minutes trying to find that limo, but it was gone.

To be fair, my dreams of having another family started long before the first episode of Love Boat ever aired. As the story goes, around the age of 3, every time I got in trouble or didn’t get my way I’d cross my arms, stomp my foot and say, “If you’re not nice to me I’ll go live with my real family in California!” I’m still not sure where California is, but it sounds like a place I’d be from.

In kindergarten I was convinced that my real family hailed from a place even more obscure and exotic than California. Themyscira is a small island nation of the coast of… ?, and is home to Diana (a.k.a Wonder Woman) and her Amazon sisters.

Mommy?

“Chicks Rule, Boys Drool” is the national slogan of Themyscira and if Diana herself wasn’t my real mom, one of the other Amazons surely was. I waited patiently for my super powers to kick in and for the invisible jet to show up and take me away from the idiotic mortals I’d lived with thus far. I waited until I outgrew the Wonder Woman costume my mom sewed for me when I was 4. Last year I started making a new costume for the adult size me, so the dream lives on…

By second grade, Lily Tomlin was my new birth mom. This genetic link provided a reasonable explanation for why I was so much funnier than the rest of my family. It also gave me my first career aspiration. If I played my cards right I hoped to become a telephone operator who spied on the misbehaving masses and put them in their places with my sharp tongue and quick wit.

 I rehearsed “We don’t care. We don’t have to. We’re the phone company.” until I had the rhythm and tone just right. Additionally, I was a natural eaves-dropper who spent years pretending to fall asleep in cars and living rooms so I could listen to adult conversations. Ernestine’s “I don’t give a fuck” attitude spoke to something deep within my 6 year-old soul.

By fourth grade a longing to be FABULOUS trumped funny and fierce. Enter The Divine Miss M.

Bette was doing mermaids in wheelchairs 30 years before Lady Gaga, btw.

Bette Midler did funny with song and dance in outrageous sequined costumes and heels. The lesbians raising me loved her too, but they were no help whatsoever in teaching me to walk, let alone dance, in heels. Don’t get me started on how alone I was in the hair and makeup department. I briefly fantasized about trading in the Potluck Crew for two fabulous gay dads, but feared I’d have to give up camping and long-distance spitting. My comedic showgirl dreams died soon after and I resigned myself to a life of simpler pleasures.

With Halloween right around the corner I’m inspired to find a new role model and/or birth mom to impersonate for the evening. It’s a lot harder than it used to be to find someone to look up to because famous people are so much less talented these days. That and…I’m older than most current celebrities, which makes the possibility of any of them being my birth mom that much more unlikely. The obvious solution: Twins!… separated at birth. I’ve been told I look like:

Nancy Botwin (Mary Louise Parker) on Weeds…

If we’re twins, she got the green thumb and I got all the junk in the trunk.

Some chick from a sci-fi show I don’t watch…

This twin got all the boobs and I got that funky rapid-aging disease.

Totally awesome singer/songwriter, Kate Nash…

I love her and I would make her my twin if I could, but no one knows who she is so she’s not a good Halloween costume.

Daria, when my hair was straight and I wore my glasses…

At this point I don’t even really remember who Daria was. You?

Well now I’ve gone so far down this rabbit hole that I have no idea where I started or what my point was. Let’s just wrap things up by saying, maybe it’s time for me to be my own role model of for my loyal readers to give me some fabulous Halloween costume ideas. Please keep in mind that this year I would like to (for the first time ever, whether or not you believe me) use Halloween as an excuse to dress like a complete tramp. Suggestions will be much appreciated by me and a certain hot potato I’ll be trick-or-treating with. More on that later…

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5 comments

  1. I’ll be your twin-separated-at-birth. 😉
    My mom used to threaten to sell me back to the gypsies… and I’d say YES, PLEASE!!

  2. It’s possible that I’m your mother – except that I’ve never given birth. RATS – I’d pick you out of a daughter line-up 🙂

  3. I totally know Kate Nash! Well, her music anyway. I don’t know if I would be able to identify her if I saw her.

    But middle school, Liam Neeson was my dad. That was before he had his role in Star Wars, so I was the only kid who knew who he was.

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