When I was very young, probably about 14 years of age, Ma Nomates told me she was going to watch a program on the telly about the Lebanon.
I read the TV Times and boy was she in for a shock.
‘Lesbians are not necessarily from the Lebanon’ I whispered in an attempt to enlighten her without my younger brothers hearing.
‘But I do like geography’ she insisted. ‘But mother, the type of exploration in that programme will not be about sand and Arabs’.
Honestly, there is nobody in the whole world as naïve as my mother. Again recently she has got her knickers in a twist.
I choose those words carefully as you will gather. ‘I don’t see what all the fuss is about’ she said. ‘What is wrong with Polish people dancing?’ I tried to explain that pole dancing was different and that ladies danced around poles to keep fit.
It sounded better than saying fit women dance round poles. Again misunderstanding me she believed it to be ‘a little like dancing round the Maypole’.
I thought she had forgotten all about it until the other day when I received a call from a club in Liverpool asking if I was related to a ‘Hot Mamma Nomates’.
It couldn’t be? It was. Don’t ask me how she got there I have no idea and neither had she.
Senility has its own power source. Armed with nothing more than her bus pass and a voice in her head she made her pilgrimage to what she thought was Lapland but was in fact a lap dancing club. All I can tell you is that it comes as quite a shock to see your 84-year-old mother in her underwear gyrating, bumping and grinding around a silver pole, miming to ‘I’m A Barbie Girl In A Barbie World’ with what seemed like the whole world watching in amazement.
‘I didn’t think fitness clubs were like this’ she shouted, flaunting herself, annoying the regular girls who earned their living from tantalising men.
They sat despondently in the corner while my mother had the shocked audience spellbound.
I don’t think even my father saw my mother in her underwear in all the years they were married.
My mother had four kids by immaculate conception. Well, we all believe that of our parents don’t we? And what was worse, she was drinking while she was cavorting around the pole. Men were buying her glasses of sherry and she never ever used to touch a drop of Bristol Cream unless it was Christmas Day and even then one would last her all night.
‘Mother get dressed and come home,’ I yelled. ‘Who are you?’ she said. ‘I’m your son’. I said. I have no son’ she cried. ‘I have had a dozen proposals from men and they wouldn’t want a woman with a child in tow’. ‘But mother, I’m in my 60s’.
‘Maybe so but you’re still a big baby, now push off!’ I think there comes a time when you know your mother is ready to go in to a home.