Happy Thanksgiving to all our
beloved liked respected tolerated readers. Some of you may know and others may not. But I, Rory one part of The City Fathers, was born in New York Cizzy back in 1985 to an American Mama and a dirty Mick Daddy (I’m a mutt and a narrow back to boot) Growing up in Ireland we never celebrated Thanksgiving, probably because we would have been ridiculed if we did plus my mother was suppressing her traditional values as a way to cope living in the west of Ireland, thousands of miles away from her celebrating family and back before the Celtic Tiger when Glenroe and Blackboard Jungle were the cutting edge in Ireland. (Now it’s Jedward..have we moved forward really? At least Mick had talent)
Having moved thousands of miles from my own family now to try out this living abroad shite, I am experiencing the difficulty of being alone in a strange place. I can’t imagine what it was like for my mother moving from New York City to The West of Ireland in the 80’s. I know she told me before she moved to Ireland she came over on her honeymoon, she looked at some sheep in a field that had been marked by the farmer and asked about the sheep being painted for Christmas. My move can’t be nearly as traumatic as hers. Ireland progressed exponentially with the economic up turn, so it’s not that big of a gap or change between Ireland and Arizona in terms of culture. She had to convert to catholicism to appease the family in the outdated Ireland of old. Despite her hating life in Ireland during the 80’s and early 90’s she put her own wants and needs aside and provided a great life for my brother, sister, father and I. And the rake of dogs we had because she was the only one taking care of them too! That’s why I am Thankful for my mammy. For the record I think she likes Ireland now, though she would never admit it. A somewhat happy rut she dug herself into. If not you’re welcome to move over to Arizona if you read this.
My mammy as with most I guess was the biggest influence on my life and shaping me into the man I am today. I was a total Mommys boy growing up. I was a very shy boy, every girlfriend I have ever had has described herself as shy but then that’s contradicted by stories of their youth going out getting drunk, high and fucked etc. When I say I was shy, I didn’t talk to people, I didn’t like people. I kept to myself, I stuck to my mother when out like shit to a toilet brush. I later came out of my shell ever so slightly thanks to her also. A turning point in my life was when I got home from work one day when I was about 16 or 17, I did my usual pissing and moaning because I hated the job. At this point I hated the job, didn’t work all that hard, I did a lot of hours for my age but was just about showing up and did what was expected but nothing else. My mother got pissed with me one evening and told me to shut up because nobody likes their job, you just do it to get by. I guess depending on your personality that could work one of two ways. Completely crush your spirit realizing life wasn’t going to get any better or in my case it loosened me up a lot more, I started to try and do things to the best of my ability and slowly started to come out my shell socially too. By the time I left that shitty job I was working in each sections of the place, doing dogs hours and from what I hear the customers still remember me because no matter how shitty I felt I always made the effort to be nice and polite. This helped form my work ethic which is the main reason for the success I am currently experiencing.
Also growing up I think she wanted me to have some sort of connection to the American family because she sat our asses down to watch Wrestling. My cousin in New York, Ricky was a huge wrestling fan and so I guess she binded us to that side of the family. Ricky and I are still both big into wrestling and we’ll be attending the Royal Rumble in January and Wrestlemania in April next year. Ricky has great memories of my mother bringing him to Madison Square Garden in New York before I was born and when he was a little boy to go see the old WWWF wrestling shows. He has told me how she would ask him who the bad guy was and curse them out as they walked to the ring. When I was very young the then WWF came to Dublin (the show was so unpopular in Ireland at the time that the attendance sucked and they didn’t come back for over 10 years) She also brought me and my siblings to a WWA wrestling show in Dublin which featured two wrestler in pink trunks called The Hollywood Blondes, who’s gimmick it was to hug each other if one got hurt and oil each other down etc. The kids behind us are probably still traumatized from her shouting “FAGGOTS FAGGOT FAGGOTS!” as loud as she possibly could. So Rick, if you are reading this, I experienced the Cindy Wrestling experience. (She lived with gay guys in NYC, she was just being as shitty and loud as she could.)
A day out with my father usually consisted of getting yelled at out on a boat on the lake or sitting in a smokey pub, he didn’t really have the patience for kids until now that he’s a grandfather. My mother use to bring us to the cinema, into Galway, to Alliwee caves, bowling, Peter Pan funworld etc. She would allow me to watch soccer on tv and even feign an interest. A few years after we moved to Ireland, we were living in Westport Co. Mayo. The very first McDonalds was set to open on Shop Street in Galway. My mother made sure we were down there for it, I can’t remember because I was too young but we were the first in the door from what I’m told and she had to drive us down there very early to get down before it opened. I can remember being too young to tie my own shoes and having Nike Jordans with the basketballs on the tongue. She kept us Americanized and also gave us the best of the best when she could.
My taste in music was also influenced heavily by her. When she was getting drunk she would usually put on Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young and The Beach Boys. When I had the money a few years ago I brought her to see Crosby, Stills and Nash down in Cork. I also brought her to see The Who in Dublin. We had tickets to see Brian Wilson too but ended up not going. I still, to this day listen to that era of music. My sense of humor today is likely a product of her also. She was always loud and boisterous, unlike the Irish she didn’t need drink to be fun and laugh at herself. I now try to maintain the same fucked up sense of humor when sober as I do when drunk. i.e. I fuck with people when I’m sober as well as drunk, I’m a complete smart arse.
My father retired in 2000. My mother has been the source of the only salary in the house since then. She wakes up between 3:30am-4:30am every morning without fail. She gets paid a pittance compared to me and works a much harder job for a much more admirable cause. She continues to be the rock of not only our immediate family but I believe at least that she is important to both the Monaghans and the Clarks. She took care of my elderly relatives on the Monaghans side, I know she has tried to help out on the Clark side in the past also. With the way Ricky talks about her, she obviously left a lasting impression on him and his sister. I could write an entire book of examples of how good a person she is. We were never a very emotive family, never the type to say I love you all that much. But I do love my mammy. Thanks for giving me the life and opportunities that I have had. It took a few years to realize how good I had\have it and I am very greatful and thankful. LOVE YA MAMMY!