Tuesday, August 28, 2012

iPads and Ass Hats

I've been showing my mom how to read the L.A. Times on the iPad. She gets it.

She's been telling me about things that happened long ago. Tonight as I prepared our mushroom and broccoli quiche for dinner, she told me about St. Anthony's school where she went until 5th grade "when the nuns kicked us out." Her parents could no longer pay the tuition. But, showing a more generous side, the nuns also took my mom and her siblings into the convent kitchen and fed them when their mother had nothing to pack them for lunch. "Two of the richest kids in Dubuque went to that school," she said. "They were delivered by a  chauffeur." She told me how another rich girl often wanted to trade lunches with her and her twin. Jelly sandwiches for sausage--which must have seemed like caviar. But I'll bet my grandmother's jelly was homemade and pretty damn fabulous.

My mom told me how her first grade nun was a terror. I'd heard some of these stories before. How she caught your tears in a bowl to humiliate you if you cried. How she'd put you under her desk and kick you. She put my mom over her knee and spanked her once, but my mom says she doesn't remember what she did to deserve it. Her older sister ran home to tell their mother, and their mother came running. "Our mom showed that nun where her hat was at!" my mom said. I'd never heard that expression before, and the Google gods have not revealed its origins. It could be that it was martini-inspired. Or maybe one of my currently favorite pejoratives,"ass hat," bears some relationship to it. But I guess if you're an ass hat, you know where your hat is.


Suz said...

wow, she's really ready to tell
I love it...and the ass hat...priceless
Where did these nuns learn to do such things to kids....the convent?
Love reading about your days with mom

Birdie said...

My fiancé went to a Catholic school and hated it. He tells me stories of beatings and belittlings. When I press him he won't tell me all that went on.

With all due respect for Catholics, I wonder how a people who believe in hell can act as they do. (However, I have a very devoted Catholic aunt who is just lovely and if there is a heaven I have no doubt she is going to make it in and have her Master be proud of her.)