Counting down the days to Max’s graduation,  our phone conversations  cover a lot of territory:  slogging through the last college paper,  enjoying senior week festivities, saying goodbye to friends and my son’s erratic job search.   On our last phone call, Max admitted he felt uncomfortable with my blog and some of its less than complimentary revelations.
     “All my friends are reading your blog,” he complained.   “Now they confront me and say they didn’t know I was a hypochondriac.“

      “How’s that possible?   Every friend I’ve met seems well aware of your health fears.”

     Max chooses not to argue that point.  “This week my friends are saying you don’t want me to come home.   Is that true?”

     “Did YOU read my blog?  Where’s your sense of humor? I was consoling myself that you weren’t home on Mother’s Day.”  

     Of course it’s true that I’m not looking forward to living with the mess and chaos Max brings with him, but that’s very different from not wanting him to come home.  I’m sure Max is not looking forward to being nagged to clean his room, lock the front door and take his key.  These parental demands are not new or startling news bulletins.

     “Okay, Mom, but do you have to post your blog on the alumnae site?”

     “He has a point there,” Henry interjects.

     “It’s complicated.   I’ll think about it,” I offer.  Max’s alma mater and mine are the same, so it’s not clear who has dibs on that site.  “Anyway, in another week you’ll have graduated, and your friends will lose interest in reading my blog—which isn’t only about you—and will move on to other things. “

     “Maybe you should skip the college site,” Henry suggests after we hang up, “if it bothers him so much.”

     “And maybe if he cleaned up his act—which bothers me so much—it wouldn’t matter.”

     Suddenly I’ve made up my mind.   I remember the famous quote by Virginia Wolf in response to a poem, “Angel in the House,” about a Victorian housewife.  Virginia Woolf said:  “Killing the ‘Angel in the House’ is part of the occupation of the woman writer.”  She describes the “angel” as “that selfless, sacrificial woman in the 19thcentury, whose sole purpose in life was to soothe, flatter and comfort the male half of the world’s population.”  So now that it’s 200 years later, there’s no way I’m going to play the angel.

     Besides, I’ve been a Virginia Woolf fan ever since reading “A Room of One’s Own.”   However, I don’t have my own office in our modern-day, cramped Manhattan apartment. Space is at a premium here, yet both of my kids have their own rooms. Please don’t be disappointed in me, Virginia, because I do have a desk and a computer of my own. This coveted space is all mine, even if it’s only a corner of the living room.  Max may be the stand-up comedian in our home, but I am entitled to my own sense of humor.  Of course, Max and I enjoy some of the same comedians, including Mel Brooks, who said: “Tragedy is when I cut my finger.  Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die.”  

     My son talks about his issues and sexcapades during stand-up comedy routines.  His material is graphic and outrageous, but college students (and his parents) find him screamingly funny.  Yet there has been the occasional unidentified student who realizes that he/she is the butt of a joke and is embarrassed or hurt, and Max has apologized.  But is he willing to alter his style or have his material censored?   The answer—his and mine—is absolutely not.   I may not have a room of my own, but I sure as hell deserve a blog of my own.



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