Family Scene

This week I'm spending time with the one woman in the world to whom I consistently and (mostly) ungrudgingly give up control: my mother. I'm sure there is something Freudian about the way I sometimes still behave as if this tiny little soft-spoken woman still had the power to ground me for a week.

For example: She's staying with us. So before she arrived, Max and I went around de-kinking the house. No simple operation, I assure you. And we're so used to seeing our kinky paraphernalia around, it's easy to overlook stuff. Like the Asian bondage tapes in the video cabinet, or the fetish-porn magazines, mixed in with copies of Vogue and Car and Driver on the end table.

At least those things, once discovered, are easy to hide. A bigger challenge: the cage in our bedroom. It's three feet high and two feet wide, and it is clearly not going to fit in my underwear drawer. I decided to rely on the fact that Mom and I have an implicit "don't ask/don't tell" agreement about certain things. So we just covered it up with sheets and shoved it into the corner. She hasn't said a word about it.

In return for this selective blindness, and since I am the bottom in this relationship, when Mom visits I devote myself to doing whatever she wants. Shopping? Fine. Dinner at home? Great. Visiting extremely boring distant relatives? Sure, Mom, love to. It's little enough to do, really, for the woman who raised me--I mean, imagine me as a small child. Frightening, isn't it? Like that time she caught me spanking one of the neighbor kids with a piece of Hot Wheels track. It was just a game, of course. Okay, so he was tied to a tree. But, hey, he was liking it--I know he was.

I'm also just plain grateful to my mother, because when I was a little girl she taught me that when I grew up, I could be anything I wanted. Of course, she was thinking of my being, say, a scientist, or an astronaut, rather than a dominatrix. Whoops. Perhaps I had a more literal mind than she realized. I'm sure Sigmund F. would say that all the nasty boys and girls who've been the recipients of my fierce attentions have, in some way, my sweetly dominant mother to thank for it. I'd agree with him on this one. The only difference is, I think it's great.