Pamela Painter

The Mother Test

Do you know the name of my English teacher?  My best event in high school swim meets?  My best time?  My favorite col­or?  Do you even know my best friend’s last name?  What’s my favorite band?  Which teacher gave me a C on my last report card?  How about the guid­ance counselor–the one you can­celled on twice?  What are the restric­tions for park­ing at school? For kids?  For par­ents?  Do you know they are dif­fer­ent for par­ents who are called because of an emergency?

How are you doing so far?

How often do I talk with Dad?  Does he send me mon­ey?  What do I spend the mon­ey on that you don’t know he sends me?  Am I like my Dad in some ways?  Any one par­tic­u­lar way?   Am I like you?  Is he going to mar­ry her?  Is he going to move to California or Thailand?  Are you going to mar­ry the man who calls me “hon­ey” because he can’t remem­ber if my name is Carol or Carla?  Is he ever going to take us both out to din­ner? Is the sex good?  Is he bet­ter than the last two guys?  Why don’t you read my diary when I leave it out?  What is the col­or of my Iphone?  What is my code?  Do I even have a code?  How often do I text my boyfriend?  What is my boyfriend’s name?  Is he in high school or col­lege?  Does he smoke? Am I on the pill?  Do you care if the sex is good for me?  If I am hav­ing sex?  Do I smell like mar­i­jua­na or bour­bon when I come home late and you are already asleep?  Are you asleep?  Is it eas­i­er to pre­tend to be asleep than it is to con­front me?

Should I go on?

Should you wor­ry about me?  Should you go through my draw­ers?  What posters did I hang on my walls?  How many screen names do I have?  Am I on Comcast, AOL or Gmail, or all three?  Do you won­der what I post on Facebook?  Do I have more than one tat­too?  What char­ac­ter am I in the video game I play?  Do you know the name of the game?  What grade would you give your­self – that’s the cut­sie ques­tion lazy teach­ers ask—if you were to give your­self a grade?  Do you know the grade I would give you?


Pamela Painter