Bad Mommy

November 1st, 2007

You guys are so sweet! So many of you have been writing in with tips on how to overcome my cough from hell! And I’ve been taking your advice (everything from dark chocolate to caffeine). I’m on the mend and can’t thank you enough!

And a lot of you wanted to know if you could link to my mom’s paintings—of course! She’s very flattered.

Spending time with my mom reminds me why we call her Bad Mommy—because she’s really not like other people’s moms.

When I was a kid, it was back when the idea of watching or recording a movie at your house was pretty much unheard of, because no one had a VCR. So if a movie or a TV show was coming on at a time when you weren’t going to be home, you just had to miss it.

Unless you were Bad Mommy.

Because my mom felt that movies were as integral part of her daughter’s education as math or social studies.

So whenever she read in the TV guide that an Audrey Hepburn movie was going to be playing on Channel 4, and it was during a time when I was scheduled to be in school, she’d call the school and tell them that I was sick.

Then she and I would stay home and watch it!

I was the only kid in my class who’d seen “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” “Charade,” “Love in the Afternoon,” “Funny Face,” “Sabrina,” “Roman Holiday,” and “How to Steal a Million.”

Of course, I wasn’t allowed to TELL anyone I’d been home watching the afternoon movie, and not sick with a stomach virus. Which was murder because I was bursting to describe the plot of the terrific movie I’d just seen starring a girl who’d danced to earn money for the Dutch resistance during World War II.

Eventually I did let my best friend in on the secret, and of course she got jealous and told HER mom, who let slip that she knew to MY mom.

But she still let me stay home when “War and Peace” came on, because that, of course, was educational.

Of course, the idea of keeping a kid home from school just to watch a movie might seem a little weird today. But back then, it seemed super special. It was a great way to bond with my mom over something she’d enjoyed as a teenager, and it was a fun secret that we shared. I didn’t mind making up the work I missed in school, and she didn’t mind putting off whatever it was she was supposed to have been doing.

Oh, Bad Mommy. Of course, the mom in my book She Went All The Way does the exact same thing, and the heroine thinks that’s why probably why she ends up becoming a screenwriter.

I don’t know if Bad Mommy’s letting me stay home from school to watch Audrey Hepburn movies turned me into a novelist, but I’m not saying it wasn’t a contributing factor. They’re still some of my favorite movies today, and I highly recommend the ones mentioned above!

I guess there are lots of ways to educate a child, and not all of them have to do with sitting in school all day. I can’t begin to tell you all the things I learned from Audrey. And my mom! (How to do my eye makeup is the least of it.)

I’m on my way back to Key West now, dahlings! I hope you have a lovely weekend!

More later.

Much love,

Meg