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The Electric Grapevine | The Column Every Columnist Has To Attempt | 05.09.2010

The day we're reminded incessantly about all year is upon us. The day that you cannot mistake what you are obligated to do because the bashfulness that comes with an approaching birthday is replaced by the directness only a mother can deliver. This directness normally comes in the form of a list that will consist of flowers, cleaning something no matter how arbitrary and likely cooking. The sheer nerve involved with my mother asking me to cook is comical and ironic. My mother's approach to raising me consisted of a lot of trial and error and in no place is this more evident than the kitchen. In her own words, "If I could cook my son wouldn't know how." This has proven true as I have become a rather deft cook and my mother got around to learning the ways of the kitchen after passing 50. Of late, she has cranked out an array of lovely meals that were nowhere to be found when I was young or living in the area for that matter. Great timing mom. To this day no meal has stuck in my mind more then some god awful concoction I was given whilst grounded once when I was really young. I had interpreted the meal itself as the punishment but as it turns out she did not see that as the case. It's that room temperature macaroni and mushroom soup topped with canned corn combination that has driven me to excel in the kitchen. Where's the poignant turnaround you ask? The point is, my mother's ability to know when to show guidance has been nothing sort of spectacular for my 32 years of life. The careful mixture of, "Let him screw that up he will learn," and direct guidance have led to me having a rather varied life that I rather enjoy. Creative writing and drawing are direct traits I have inherited from my mother's side along with a drive that can border on stubbornness. These have been characteristics I couldn't fathom living with out. The directness is something that will often take a second to digest as it can come across a little sharp. However, once you realize that we'd all be better off if everyone was as direct as my mother, it becomes quite refreshing. I was reminded of this by my mother's personal trainer just last week. I was also reminded that my mother has been hitting the gym more-so than myself which was a humbling experience but very cool at the same time. Between the drive and brutally honest opinions that will effortless fly my way from my mother, I have no choice but to stay sharp on my feet and continue to plug away through life with the given guidance or careful allocation of encouragement to keep my alpha male butt in check. The one drawback of this estrogen-powered guidance is the willingness to side with my girlfriend a little more than what I would like. Which leads me to address the long standing tale that men look for traits in their girlfriends that their mother possesses. I don't think it's so much of a want than a need. Once we leave home we are still the same jackasses we were, simply without the rails we so plainly need to stay on track. Without that passing of the testosterone torch, I'd likely be a mess, sitting in a dark room cutting myself by this point. As boys or men we all eventually realize our Dads are just older versions of our silly asses which is cool too, but Moms have a different role to play. They have lived with both you and them for some portion of their lives. That alone deserves far more than a column can deliver, but I hope I got a start on it. This completes the "columns for women whom I fear" trilogy that began with my sister, moved to my girlfriend and suitably ends with the one who started it all. With that, in the words of the random NBA player who in his broken street tongue put it so wonderfully on national TV... "Happy Mother's Day......all you mothers."