“You don’t believe in evolution?! I shouted.  I shouted. "It’s all around you mom! Plants, animals... PEOPLE! You’re literally surrounded by evolution!” I didn’t expect to get as high as I was. I knew better, but I just wanted one little hit to make the food taste better. I can’t smoke at my mothers, I mean I’m allowed but I shouldn’t. The majority of people in the world would agree that you shouldn’t smoke, f**k, or heavily drink at your mother’s house when you visit. I am not in that majority.

Thirty two years old and there I was, bent over my dresser drawer like teenager protecting my nudey magazine collection. I kept looking over my shoulder, pausing to listen for footsteps, feeling like a criminal.

Mom had asked me not to smoke in the house, she could always tell too. She had the nose of a basset hound. So I had found a way to respectfully ignore her request... I would crack windows, spray cologne, hell I'd even light candles... I was prepared to do anything. Anything except go outside in the freezing temperatures to take a measly hit of weed before dinner.

As soon as the spark hits I hear a pounding on the hallway walls. It was our poor man’s intercom system.


“Michael... Supper is ready.”

There was a brief pause, and then...

“Is that smoke? What did I tell you about that in the house?”

Fuck. I panicked. I slammed the window shut and began fumigating the room with axe body spray. 

The relationship with my mother has changed so much over the years. The turning point that I think we all share, is the moment you realize that they are only human. Trying to make it work. Trying to figure it all out. Just like you.

My mother found herself back in the pew after my stepfather and her husband of seventeen years, Wayne passed away. She needed it. She needed a sense of belonging. Wayne and my mother were together for almost twenty years, and then one day he's just gone. Mom felt ripped off. She needed something or someone to be mad at because she couldn't be at just nothing. She felt like someone messed up the order and took my step father too soon and now mom wants to speak to the manager.

“We were NOT monkeys!” My mother screamed. 

“I’m not saying WE were. Not US mom, no you and I have always been human. I’m talking about where we came from.”  

“No. We were never monkeys Michael. God made us in his image and HE is NOT a monkey.” She argued. 

“Maybe he is... Or was.” I responded.

My mother shook her head at me in anger and disapproval. I was too high for this conversation. My speech was sloppy, my words chattered and sentences would drag on way too long. I found myself rambling, grabbing onto figurative roots and old bricks as I descended down an abandoned well of conversation... Much like what’s happening now.

Too. Many. Words.

The way she was so sure that God was real (and not a monkey) sent shivers down my spine. They got to her. I believe that Christianity spreads the same way vampires do. The strongest one will sink his teeth in, you’ll drink some blood of Christ and then BOOM you have a craving, nay - a hunger for the holy spirit for the rest of your days.

My mother was never an overly religious woman. No, she was in a rock band. Well, she ran the lights for one. Mom was cool. I guess the older you get the more religious you become. Makes sense. It’s scary getting old. I'm just not scared enough to believe. I think belief in the supernatural is almost well, supernatural.

Think about it, everybody’s invincible at sixteen. It get's harder to run away from Vampires once you get older. They tend to prey on the elderly. We tend to block out the idea of our parents getting older. We think of our parents as super hero's when we are growing up. Bulletproof, and with the strength of ten men. Then you grow up and you come to realize just how fragile they really are.

Fear; the ultimate motivator.

My mother was one of the strongest most independent women I've ever met in my life. With that being said, if you were to ask me for a third descriptive word about my mother, it would be "Terrified." She feared the most mundane things. I wasn't allowed to drive if it was heavily raining outside until I was nineteen years old. Go ahead and re-read that last sentence, I'll wait. She was crippled by fear and it just got worse after my stepfather Wayne passed away. I know she was scared. Lonely even.

 She was crippled by fear and it just got worse after Wayne passed away. 

It scared me. I quickly found myself worried about her.

I can’t leave. I can never leave. She won’t make it here on her own. Suddenly I was having flashbacks of her selling all different types of technology because “They didn’t work right anymore.” She still used a flip phone for God’s sake.

We argued, passionately for a good ten to fifteen minutes. Finally I changed the subject. She got angry talking about it as well. And the next one, and the one after that. Her words dripped with venom, they stung. She would swell up like a dog who wanted you to know that it's not safe to come near it. She was hurt. Wounded. The irony was, she was dealing with it like an animal in the wild would. Who if you remember from her adamant arguments, have no relation to us what so ever.

She was hissing and growling so no one could ever get too close ever again. Because if anyone would get that close and hurt her as bad as the pain from Wayne passing away, well, then she’d probably die too.

She never said it out loud, but I saw it in her eyes. She was... Alone. Left behind. And very, very angry about it.

Mother's Day

I know I share stories on stage about how fun and wonderful my mom is, but the truth is; She's much more than that. We all think our parents as super hero's when we are young. Bulletproof, and with the strength of ten men. Then you grow up and you come to realize just how fragile they really are. 

The relationship with my mother has changed so much over the years. The turning point that I think we all share, is the moment you realize that they are only human. They are just like you... Trying to make it work, figure it all out. We forget there was a time when they were young and full of hope and curiosity. They stayed out past curfew to go to concerts, dive bars and even had a few walk of shames. We block that out. We think there was no way mom would understand, she doesn't get it. She does.

I played a college last fall and it was "Mother Daughter Night." There was an entire showroom full of awkward moms nervously awaiting to see what their precious daughters were gonna laugh at, and the daughters feeling the exact same way about the moms. I stopped mid joke and addressed the room with the advice to relax. I reassured the crowd that it was okay for both parties to laugh at the dirty jokes. I expressed that I thought it was hilarious that all weekend the daughters have probably been thinking "Oh my God, I can't til Mom leaves so I can get drunk." and the moms are thinking, "Oh my God, I can't wait to leave so I can get drunk." So just be honest with each other. Drink with your mother this weekend. The sooner you are open and honest about who you really are, the sooner you will find out who they really are. You only get one life, so get drunk and laugh at some dick jokes with your mother. 

Now I don't think I'll be asked back to give a commencement speech, but I think I made my point that night. The more open and honest you are with them the better your relationships will be, trust me.

It's hard being a parent, I know because I'm not one. On purpose. The amount of dedication, sacrifice and unconditional love that gets put upon their shoulders is truly unmeasurable. So to all you Mother's out there; Thank you. 

And to my momma; I love you. It's been a long and fucked up road we've been on, but I couldn't have asked for a better chaperone on this journey of life.