Becoming Ma.

Well, for Heaven’s sake.

No wonder I can’t sleep!

Every time I turn on the radio, or watch TV, or pick up the newspaper, or read the Huffington Post, I am reminded of one grim, inevitable, indisputable fact.

I am about to become Ma Joad!


You remember her, right?  From the movie “The Grapes of Wrath”?She was the long suffering, noble Mother in Steinbeck’s classic story of life during the Great Depression and the terrible Dust Bowl years. She was the strong, enduring symbol of love that kept her family together through economic disaster.

I can picture her right now, sweeping her empty, broken down house as the family packs its belongings onto the back of a truck, abandoning everything familiar to move west in search of jobs.

That is so me. Sweeping the floor of a deserted house…..

Why am I harboring the fantasy that I will turn into Ma Joad, you ask?  Well, I’ll just tell you why!

Because we’re about to go careening off the damn fiscal cliff, that’s why!  Every radio voice, editorial writer and TV pundit says we are, so it must be true!

Boehner and Obama are locked in a deadly battle of “No, you’re  a doody head!” and “Oh, yeah? Well, make me!”  They’re both independently wealthy, so they don’t actually care about the fiscal cliff or the monetary meltdown or the fact that the Dust Bowl years are going to look like a party compared to what’s coming. They just wanna win the chicken fight.

But I care! I do!

I’m just your average overweight, middle aged mother who is trying to hold onto her humble home, and I’m getting scared.  When we go off the cliff, you know, we won’t be wearing seat belts. From what the experts tell me (endlessly….) after January 1st, all the jobs will disappear in a puff of smoke, the stock market will crash, the banks will close, the sewers will back up and Facebook will shut down.  Disaster! The end of days!  All is lost!!

Nice, simple people like you and me will end up scratching and biting just to get the last loaf of bread off the store shelf. We’ll be reduced to hunting squirrels with rubber band slingshots, and pulling up dandelions just to eat the greens.

And when that happens, as it surely will, America will need another chubby old woman in frumpy clothes to symbolize our enduring strength.  Other than the straw hat, I totally fit the bill.  I even have the handsome son to match hers! See?

One of my good looking boys.

One of my good looking boys.

Ma Joad's good looking son.

Ma Joad’s good looking boy. Uncanny…….

So as I lie awake in the dark of night, worrying about the future, there is only one small ray of hope that flickers dimly in the gloom:

Maybe the Mayans were right, and we won’t be around long enough to even reach the fiscal cliff.

25 thoughts on “Becoming Ma.

  1. Hi Karen I agree with the handsome son reference!! I however am not worried about the fiscal cliff although I probably should be, there are worse things. But I also believe that at the last minute someone is going to cave, renegotiate and miraculously a deal will be had. I guess it’s all relative for me, I would rather go over the cliff than have Steve in Iraq again so for me it’s not too scary if we go over the cliff I will survivelife somehow probably better than I did during that time. So I say if it stresses you out, have an extra glass of wine (and buy a lot while you have a job to afford it) and try to enjoy the holidays and not worry too much about what congress or President Obama will or will not do. I have decided they are going to do what they want to do and not necessarily what is the best for the good of the country so c’est la vie. Cheers and I hope your sleeping pattern improves and is not interrupted by the crash of your Christmas tree thanks to the furry pets in your house which happened to us this morning at 3:30am:(


    • Thanks, Jean!! We could have had a cup of coffee at 4 this morning! My dog woke us up to pee…..we’ve had that tree thing happen, too…Yikes! I swear, babies were easier than animals…….
      And I’m actually not that worried; it just struck me funny to think I’m turning into Ma Joad! It was the picture of Henry Fonda looking like Tim that started the whole post!
      Merry, Merry!!!


  2. Chicken fight – perfect description. I for one am tired of hearing reports about it so I quit listening and/or reading about it. Amazing how much that has helped my sleep.
    Don’t go all Ma Joad (LOVE that book!) on us yet,(though you do have handsome sons). Momsheib is so much more fun! 🙂


    • Ah, such sage advice….stop listening! But you, my dear, are not a certified nutcake like me. The more upset I get, the more riveted I am to the coverage!
      Actually, truth to tell, I think the whole thing is partly hilarious and partly overblown.
      I just thought that picture of Henry Fonda looked so much like my son!


      • I live by the “ostrich rule” myself. 😉 I agree that the whole thing has been a bit overblown. I’m wondering if the planets are going to get out of line because of this cliff too? Hmmm.
        There is a striking resemblance between the two.


      • Well, I have to modestly admit I have been polishing my credentials for years….
        Perhaps it is my marriage to a psychologist that has made me sure that I qualify!


    • I know, I can’t see me perched on a chair in the back of a pickup (I’d be whining all the way that I want to stop at Starbucks). But the part where she makes stew at the campground and gives a tiny bit to every hungry child…that has ME written all over it!


  3. As the daughter of Depression Era folk, and another average, overweight, middle-aged mother, I will don my straw hat and weild my broom right along with you.

    And your son has much more than the mere (albeit, hubba hubba) handsomeness of Peter Fonda–he has the great sense of social justice and the steadfast bravery on behalf of common folk like Tom Joad–and he has the love of a tough-minded, strong-hearted Ma.

    And just like the Joads, no precipice, cliff, or cavern can rattle that!


    • Well, thank you! I must have posted an altered photo…..
      And I’m not actually worried about either of them myself. It just felt like a funny post!
      I don’t have enough money invested to worry about investments, and our jobs are pretty secure, actually. I just came across the Fonda photo on line, and thought of Tim. Hence, the whole post!
      But don’t you want to throttle those guys in Washington? I mean, seriously??


      • Absolutely, I am fed up at their basic inability to do their jobs. It is not what the Founding Fathers intended, and it is not how government was run when I was growing up, back when we had Rockefeller Republicans, and they weren’t crazy.


  4. Hi “Mom”!! — I am so technically challenged! Just wanted to say “hello” after reading your comment about me on Gabrielle’s post. Now, I found you and have enjoyed reading several of YOUR blogs. Thanks for remembering me from my TV News days. You have a new fan in me. Happy New Year!! Garry.


    • Wow, thank you for your kind words!
      My husband and I both remember you well and always admired your work.
      Happy New Year! Hope that you are well. And I can’t wait to tell my Mom about this!


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