October 15, 2010

Mum's the Word

I have neglected you. I do apologise. England was as it has always been: vibrant, exciting, damp, a germ-breeding ground. I’m afraid it rather got the better of me this time, and something had to give. Now back in the land of the mullet and the sausage, things will settle down again. The motherland keeps a hold on me, nonetheless.

It is apropos that I mention mothers. Lest we forget, chaps, gallantry begins at home. For many a budding man, the chief experience he will have had with a woman will be with his mother. Please don’t allow your imaginations to run away with you here, but instead pause for a moment to consider how it is that a gentleman learns to treat a lady. The corrections and encouragements offered by one’s mother in early life – providing one’s mother knows how to be polite – become the model of acceptable behaviour for our later relations with the fair sex (for a moment I will bury the alarm wrought by the image of the mother who does not know how to be polite). I confess to be fortunate in this regard, and I dare to suppose that Mrs. VB is the happier for it.

I had the rare opportunity lately to return to the source, and dine out with Mother on a sort of date, if you will. Champagne a-plenty, five splendid French plates, and a dinner service that legitimately lasted for three hours. There was elegance, decorum, decency, and the kind of conversation that Brits can only have once the wall of inhibition has been razed by alcohol. The art of conversation is verisimilitude, but there is rare real truth to be mined under certain conditions, and why should we scruple to shun it when the opportunity arises? One’s own mother is a wealth of history in the autobiographical mode. I fear we seldom ask about it, and therein we risk a terrible loss. For what goes in to fashioning us came, in part, from what made her. To know these important influences is to better know oneself, and we can scarcely be the worse for that. So, dear readers (if you are still reading after I have treated you with such carelessness), I recommend you call your mothers and offer to take them out. Treat her like the lady who made you, give her a drink, and allow her to talk. You (probably) won’t regret it.


  1. Mullets and sausage?

    Good grief, where are you?

  2. Fair Germany, of course. Where else could that description fit?

  3. Well said...a young woman should always take note of how her beau treats his mother. If he's a gentleman and treats his mom with love and respect, then he's a keeper. :)


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