Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Confessions
Mae B. Yew

Momma and the Goose Egg
March 18, 2009

Well, I keep hearing that confession is good for the soul.

My soul needs a whole lot of good, so I'm going to start confessin'.

Let me start by saying that the sister you read about in What Had Happened Was, was me--Mae Bea Yew.

Don’t even start. I know. I know. My name is unique. So am I.

I'm not proud of my past, but it is my past, so don't hold it against me.

I'm a different person now…somewhat. Okay, I'm a work-in-progress.

What I tell you has to remain between you and me. Please, please don't tell Justine--my best friend--anything I share with you. I love Just to pieces, but I can't stand her. She's been a Christian for a long time and has a "You know the Word says" remark for almost everything. Sometimes, you just don't want to hear that. You know what I mean?

Anyway, my first confession is about something that happened between my mom and me. My mom is another Justine. She always has a scripture. She's always tellin' me what to do, and what I’m not doing.

Yesterday, my mom started in on me about my attitude.

Most times...okay, occasionally, I hold my peace and let her talk until she’s ready to rest her jaws. That day was not one of those days. I'd been stuck in traffic for over an hour on I-4. You know, folk can be so nasty. I lost count of the number of people I saw sending spit bombs out of their car windows onto the road. Yuck!

I digress. So, I finally make it to momma's house--hot, sweaty, and tired--to pick up a letter she wanted me to mail for her. I walk into the house, and momma’s sittin' in a chair like she's the Queen of Sheba, looking all cool and rested, and reading a book. I'm thinkin' to myself, now why couldn't she have mailed her own letter? She’s sittin’ there like my sole purpose in life is to cater to her needs.

The first thing she says to me is, "You're late." No hello. No how are you? No you look tired, baby. My irritation level went click-click, right up the scale. I knew I was late. I didn't need her to tell me that I was late.

I didn't think, y'all. Words left my brain and shot straight out my mouth. I said, "No, I'm not. I planned to inch along I-4 for an hour and watch people spit."

Mom looked at me for a long second, then slowly closed her book. "Your attitude smells like you had a bad day." She settled back on her throne with her sharp eyes fixed on me. "That remark was your freebie, Mae Bea. The next one will cost ya."

I huffed and sucked my teeth. "Look, momma, I'm tired. I don't want to go there with you, today." My neck did a smooth roll. "Where's the letter you want me to mail?"

Momma tilted her head down and looked at me over the top of her eyeglasses. "Child, don't make me get up out of this chair."

Now, when I'm well-rested, my mouth has a mind of its own. When I'm in a mood like the one I was in on yesterday, it's all go.

"Look, momma…"

Momma's hand sliced through the air and my words. "I'll remind you, again. If you coat your words with kindness, they'll go down a lot smoother."

I completely lost my mind. That’s the only explanation I have for what happened next.

I rolled my eyes. Yes, I did. At my momma. "I'm grown.” My hand found its way to my hip. “I say what I want to say, when I want to say it, and how I want to say it."

Listen, I didn't even see it comin'. One second the book was in her lap. The next it was connecting with my head. I didn't know the old girl could still move so fast or had so much strength in her right arm.

So now, here I am--a grown woman of…some years--walking around with a goose egg on my forehead because my mom beaned me with a book.

I want to do the right thing, not because I'm told it’s the right thing to do, but because I believe it’s the right thing to do.

Yeah, I'm a Christian and all of that, but I'm still human. Was I wrong to speak my mind? Was it such a horrible thing? The bible doesn't say I can't speak my mind…or does it?

Would somebody out there please leave me a comment and help me out?

Don't forget: Don’t breathe a word of this to Just. She doesn't know about my new “feature”, and I intend to keep it that way.

Until next time…

Written by Toni V. Lee


  1. Mae, I feel ya. LOL!

    Your mom sounds old school. They don’t tolerate disrespect.

    My mom’s gone home to be with the Lord, but she was old school too. :-)

    You asked if it was okay to speak your mind. Here’s my two cents.

    Sure, you can speak your mind, but when and how you do it is very important.

    The bible says to be angry and sin not. In my opinion, you sinned when you disrespected your mom. I say you sinned because you spoke to her disrespectfully and the bible tells us to honor our parents. When you spoke to her the way you did, you disobeyed that command.

    I’m not sure if your mom had an attitude when she said you were late, or if she was just stating the obvious. But when it comes down to it, it doesn’t matter if she had an attitude or not. You will answer to the Lord for what you do, and your mom will answer to Him for what she does. I don’t believe telling the Lord “Momma made me do it” is going to be a good enough answer.

    I like what your mom said about coating your words with kindness. I’m going to take that little nugget for myself.

    If you get the urge to go off on your mom again, make sure you put a couple of states between you first. LOL!

    I hope this helps.

  2. Mae,i must agree mom was out of line ,but remember what the word said Honor your father and mother that your days may be long .That the word girl .

  3. Hi May B., this is Will B. Wright, Clinical Counselor. In your letter you express how you have sometimes been dominated by your temper, due to the interaction with your surroundings.

    Before you go out and buy “How to get away with murder for dummies” or “Retirement Home: A comprehensive guide to payback your parents for the way they raised you” Let me share with you a couple things…

    First, we only take on people that we know we will have the least consequences with. I know how hard is to having a miserable day at work, you get out of work and get stuck on “The Highway to Heaven” better know as I-4. But you just discharged all your stress on your mom. But what if that would have been your boss, you would continue to smile and just hope the day would end soon, right?

    Second, just because you think it doesn’t mean you need to say it. It’s like when you go shopping, just because they sell it in your size; doesn’t mean you need to wear it. Not everything that comes to our minds is meant to be expressed, that is where self-control and a sound mind come into place. Stop giving people a piece of your mind, because at the end of the day you may have nothing left to give.

    Third, take a good look of yourself in the mirror. Tell me what you see? I see your mom 30 years earlier. That’s right, before you mom became the way she is; you may need to think that she was just like you are now, and her mom may have been the way she is now. Your mom speaks out of her strongholds and when she does that, she is just helping you to create the same strongholds in your life. But today you may have the opportunity to break those strongholds that have been in your family for generations.

    Fourth, buy her paperback books; they have a much softer impact. What I am trying to say is, work with your mom, be more patient with her. She has been living all her life doing the same things, most likely that is not going to change overnight. Pray with her and for her, God has great things in store for you and for your mom.