It’s My Parents’ Fault

Blaming Mom and Dad for my…quirkiness…is way too easy. Psychiatrists could pull in the shingle and close up shop on most of their cases if they would just look at their patients and tell them the truth: your parents are weird, they raised you weird, now deal with it.

I’m the product of what happens when a Southern girl who did actually spend a couple of years on the cotton farm meets up with a man whose own parents originally hailed from not one, but two European countries before settling in a major city up north. I’ve got generations of Old Country chromosomes swimming around in my nuclei, paired up with chromosomes that came from ancestors who might have mated with their relatives from the backwoods.

That also means I have a dad who talks like Tony Soprano and a mom who talks like Miss Scarlet. That’s why no one takes me seriously in a fight, because I keep threatening to “cut yo’ f***ing ass,” but I just can’t be mean to someone without finishing with “bless your little heart, bye now!”

Then there’s the name. We’ll skip the junior high years when my classmates discovered that Lorca rhymes with orca, no, the abuse started long before that. It was back when my second grade nun needed her ruler to help me remember that the third letter of my name wasn’t a W. After all, every time I got in trouble, I heard, “Law-kuh! Getcha tail in heyah!”

The formative years were tough growing up in a mixed marriage (meaning one parent eats squirrel and the other does not). I can’t discuss my parents’ arguments over football and the Civil War, mostly because the judge ordered us not to talk about it. Most major holidays were ruined, usually by the fighting between my parents over the appearance of a leg of deer with the hoof still attached on the Southern grandmother’s table and a slab of pickled tripe on the Yankee grandmother’s table.

You would think this would make a lasting impression on me and I would choose my husband carefully based on our compatible upbringings, but no, I threw caution to the wind and married the cute boy. This time around, though, we’re careful about how we behave in front of the kids. They eat the deer hubby’s father hunted that morning while I read a book on the back porch, and the girls and I shoot the hand guns—held sideways, of course, cuz that’s how you demonstrate your bad-assedness before going for the kill shot—while he’s out of town. Hopefully, there will be peace in the family and no one will need therapy when she’s older.

I Might Have to Plead the Fifth

Handcuffs...not the schmexy kind.

Good marriages are the kinds of relationships where there is open communication between spouses, and where both partners have a clear understanding of what each expects from the other. There aren’t many surprise problems in a good marriage, because the partners discuss issues well before they come up. By that definition, I do not have a good marriage.

For reasons I don’t have to tell you about because you’re not the boss of me, I recently had a discussion with my marriage partner about how we would pay for an attorney if I were ever on trial. For anything. And nothing in particular. The discussion quickly evolved into more of an argument, because my marriage partner is a cheapskate who doesn’t see the need for paying for an attorney when he clearly heard the policeman say that one would be provided for me.

ME: What if it was, like, hypothetically, first degree murder?

HIM: Why would you have murdered someone that seriously? Shouldn’t you get your feet wet with manslaughter and work your way up?

ME: Maybe someone broke in when you weren’t home and tried to hurt us. Would you pay for my lawyer then?

HIM: That’s self-defense, silly.

ME: Well, maybe I did a really thorough job killing him and it looked a little overboard.

HIM: Easy. Insanity plea. Did you remember to make it look like you ate part of him?

ME: Well, duh, of course I would. I’m just saying if it looked like I was a little vengeful, my craphead free attorney wouldn’t know what to do.

HIM: I’m sure it will be fine.

ME: Okay, what if I stole something and I’m not actually on trial for my life. Do I still have to take the guy who sold his soul to the Devil to pay for law school, or can I have my own lawyer?

HIM: If you stole something, you’ve got it coming. I recommend confessing.

ME: What if I stole something because we needed food? Hmm? What then, smart guy?

HIM: If we needed food badly enough for you to steal something, we probably can’t afford a lawyer then either.

ME: What if I’m actually FRAMED for murdering you because someone wanted us all to suffer? You would let our kids go to an orphanage while I’m serving twenty-to-life, all because my free lawyer couldn’t spring me?

HIM: How did I end up the dead guy in this scenario???

ME: Honey, whenever I envision going to jail for murder, you’re ALWAYS the dead guy. Remember that.

HIM: Can you please sign these legal documents?

ME: What are they?

HIM: Oh, nothing, just something I had my lawyer draw up.

ME: Holy crap! How come you get a lawyer and I have to take the free guy???

HIM: ‘Cause I’m the dead guy.

ME: They call the dead guy a “victim” on all the cop shows.

HIM: I know. I’m definitely the victim.

It kind of went downhill from there, but fortunately my husband has too much pride to press charges against me for domestic violence. He’d hate for the entire world to know that his wife wiped the floor with him. At least that’s how it all played out in my head. I lost interest in the whole conversation once I realized I wasn’t getting OJ’s legal dream team if I’m ever arrested. It just means I need to pay the Mob to do all my dirty work. Too bad there aren’t a lot of Pro bono Sopranos.