What do you gift your mother if her tastes are more like those of Morticia Addams or Lily Munster?
Two years ago, I hosted a baby shower for one of my daughters closest friends. Naturally there needed to be games and one of them was “Guess who’s mother you are?” Prior to the party, my daughter Alisha and her friend Emily picked famous mothers names and printed them on wooden clothes pins. As guests arrived, one was clipped to the back collar of everyones shirt. The object was to guess the mothers name on your clothes pin. It was a fun ice breaker and there were the usual suspects; Mother Teresa, Lucille Ball, Joan Crawford, Whistler’s Mother, etc. I failed to guess mine and Alisha was gleeful that she had stymied me. Pinned to the back of my blouse was a clothes pin printed with the name MORTICIA ADDAMS. If only for the afternoon, I was delighted to be sharing a parallel universe with Morticia, the exotic and iconic Goth mother of the 1960’s.
One Halloween, in the mid 1960’s when I was 12 or 13 years old, my mother cut and stitched a black dress, similar to Morticias for me to wear to a Halloween party. Black tendriles flowed from the hem of my form fitting dress and the the image staring back at me from the mirror was not the awkward teen age ugly duckling, but a poised and powerful woman with unconventional tastes. The transformation was more than external and at “midnight”, when my carriage turned back into a pumpkin (Am I confusing the the fairy tales?:) and I stepped out of the dress, the spirit of Morticia stayed with me.