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Writer's Block: All About My Mother

Who is your favorite mother (the character, not the actress) from television or the movies?

Morticia Addams.

Sensitive, compassionate, tender and loving, Morticia did not lose her sexiness or adult womanhood to motherhood. Morticia was a well-rounded personality still passionate with her husband, motherly with her kids, daughterly with her grandmother -- and so strongly herself, so clear and positive in her view of self and world.

I guess that makes me so goth.

The Addams Family turned the world inside out. It was in many ways the healthiest family ever portrayed on television. They were weird, knew it, liked it and were xenophilic. They welcomed anyone's differences and were accepting in ways that would scare outsiders. Most of all, the Addams Family just didn't believe in denial.

Other families might hush up the deformed child and pretend that kid was off in a boarding school and shuffle him to an institution. The Addamses thought the Siamese twin girls were cute and welcomed them and ignored deformity, accepted both deformity and great talents with equal cheeriness. They simply ignored conformity completely and were puzzled by it whenever it came up.

Most people couldn't bear any mention of sex or death. Addams children were given little guillotines and deadly weapons to play with, while Mom and Dad tangoed with the kind of fire that's usually more common in childless couples. There was no denial of pain or depression either. Everything was welcomed and appreciated.

Which meant that the grieving weren't disconfirmed and the deformed weren't disconfirmed and the sad or angry or hurting weren't disconfirmed, the dead weren't forgotten and sex wasn't eliminated from the role of woman just because she'd actually produced children from it a couple of times. She busted the Mom as Virgin Madonna thing all to pieces without being in the least whorish -- she is simultaneously a good mother and a passionate lover who could not imagine losing either side of her life without horror.

Who didn't make it some either-or choice between her mate and her kids.

To be fair, guys fall into this myth too and stop seeing women as sexy once they become mothers. I can imagine Morticia cheerily breast feeding her baby and being confused if people got offended at her doing it in public. Or if they got offended at Gomez being excited about her. While he would probably respond more to her French phrase than to whether she was feeding the baby and exposing a breast.

The Addams Family lived outside the bounds of "normal" life in a thousand healthy ways, and the influence of this great work of fiction on many goth friends is there often in the community. So I'd have to say the coolest mom is Morticia Addams. Her mom rocks too.

Look at any movie or episode.

See how many times the Addams Family members show appreciation for each other. How often they thank each other and how often they compliment and applaud each other. That family is supportive -- and Morticia is a lot like a purring mother cat, well aware her kittens have claws and teeth and appreciating those as part of their being as much as fluffy coats and big round eyes. She also had a sensible streak a mile wide.

It took me a while to think of her, because television and movies so often portray stereotype mothers. Either the Mrs. Cleaver type who's utterly submissive and conventional and too-too goody two shoes saintly, or the screaming harridan mother in law joke that's so hoary it's easily radiocarbon dated to the Pleistocene. I'm sure mother in law jokes got told at Lascaux, just not put on the walls.

Mothers get short shrift on TV and movies except in some genres that don't appeal to me. Even in those, it's often just the slant on the stereotype and "good mothers" are presented as sexless compassionate saints who never do anything wild or personal or individual, but may be brutalized by abusers instead of appreciated by equally bland Mr. Cleaver types.
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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 11th, 2009 01:55 pm (UTC)
Morticia was a great mom!
and Lily Munster

I loved it when they went to work to support their family

May. 12th, 2009 04:25 pm (UTC)
Lily Munster didn't really grab me the same way -- she and Herman were actually a lot more conventional, just happened to be movie monsters living the life of The Honeymooners or The Jetsons, were much more the typical television couple.

Addams Family was a bit deeper and had a lot more satire involved. But Lily was cool, she was one of the better TV moms.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


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