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The Bad Mamas Crew

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First Sight

I saw them as they boarded, six older women wearing tee shirts saying; "Bad Mama Crew," on the front, and odd names on the back. They were all bursting with enjoyment.

I rarely saw people so happy and I truly wanted to be happy.

It wasn't hard to discover they were billeted in three suites on 'B' deck on the other side of where I was in my little room.

I had booked the cheapest I could find. Instead of being down below the waterline, there was this tiny room and I took it. I'd of taken a space in a lifeboat, for I needed to be away.

There was so much I didn't want to think about, maybe being on this cruise ship I would be distracted, think I had a life. Maybe even smile.

Seeing those women I had a strange sense of connection, as if they would understand my situation and perhaps guide me out of it.

I don't know, I just needed someone to talk to.

The Meeting

They were sitting by the pool, talking in fragments, laughing. I didn't think I was obstreperous until the one wearing the tee shirt with the name "Sharpy" said to me;

"There are two reasons why you're watching us. I like the first... you share our experiences..."

"I..I..am... I don't..."

"Let me guess..." said the one with the name 'Toothpick", "You have kids..."

I nodded.

"And they hate you..."

The tears burst from my eyes.

"Get over here!" said "Spite", and the one "Sloth", came to me, held me, walked me to the chaise lounge.

"I'm sorry...I.."

"Hey! Don't be Sorry, be Elated. You've just met your soul mates..." said "Me One."

"Listen....Crybaby..." announced, "Myway", we know exactly how you feel, and tell you..." and turning to the others, "All Together Now!" And in unison they said; "Eject!"

They laughed and Toothpick said; "My daughter will always do the opposite of what I say..."

"Tell them about the wedding!" the others chorused.

"My daughter was getting married. At the time I held high place in society and could have had the Prime Minister at her wedding, but she..." and they all chanted, "Want my wedding the way I want it!"...and laughed.

Toothpick went on; "I was elated! Imagine, I didn't have to lift a toe nail! She had one of those horrible weddings at an All Inclusive and I'll never forget the other guests shouting to each other, drowning out the ceremony. I choked on laughter."

I wiped my tears, confused.

"You see anything we suggest..." and she pointed at the crew, "out kids will take the opposite. Meaning we own and operate them."

"Sloth is priceless!" said 'Sloth'.

"Imagine..." Sharpy said, "having to plan a wedding. Do you know how stressful that is? It eats years from you life and things always go wrong and it is, of course your fault! But! If you are blessed to be left out of that water boarding... give thanks!"

"You have to catch reality," Spite offered, "You have a life. You have just as much right to be happy as your kids. In fact, even more right. After all, you're the one who carried them, who gave birth, who took care of them, who was always there until they decided to flush you down the toilet."

"Take it as a ride on one of those water slides... a wonderful, exciting trip to the pool!" Me One tossed.

"In fact, take every slight, every exclusion as a gift," My Way stapled on, "grasp the fact that Mommy didn't run away, Mommy was chased away. Mommy didn't neglect the Munchkin, the Munchkin evicted her!"

A server came and they ordered drinks and I just asked for an orange juice.
Everything felt surreal.

More Juice

"I thought I was alone..." said Me One. "I thought I was the only Mommy whose children pushed her out of their lives. Then, I overheard Sharpy describing an event which sounded as a plagiarized version of my life."

"I thought I was alone in it. All by myself," said Sharpy, "and because it hurt and I needed to excrete it, I was talking about it, as if therapy."

"When I heard her, I immediate came over and said; "You're me, right?" and Sharpy said..."

"Sharpy looked at you, got deep into your soul, and said, "No, you are me!"

"It was after that we went to find others and created the Bad Mama crew, each of us taking a nickname..."

"Why did we do that?" Sloth explained, "so that no one can use our names and open the door for our creatures to jump up in our face and whine and pout and cry and babble about how we shouldn't tell others about their lousy treatment of us."

"You can join... you're practically a member... all you have to do is pay your dues by dumping all that rubbish you're carrying."

I was going to ask what rubbish, then realised they were giving me a platform to empty my soul of all the negative attacks I had experienced.

Elevation

I began to relate my life story... they added bits, defined others, and the more I spoke the more it came clear, I wasn't the only one.

Each of these women had been shoved to the side by the children. And Toothpick said;

"You're somebody, right?"

I nodded.

"So are we. Each of us is somebody and our kids may have thought they would grow up to be us. But when they realised they would never be...they developed a resentment, an anger, which they expose by rejection."

Sloth added; "Imagine a top bass player whose son dreams of being him and maybe when he is eight or ten or twelve, realises he will never be as good as Daddy. So he rejects Daddy and all music, in a kind of 'you can't deny me, I don't want it.'"

It all was making sense now.

One of the phones rang, it was Me One. "Aha! Shh... putting it on speaker..."

The angry voice came bursting out of the phone. It was her daughter, angry that Mommy went on a cruise and didn't tell her. Using a voice so dumb and confused, Me One said; "It was a last minute thing..."

The daughter went on as if her mother poisoned her dog and Me One said..."You're breaking up..." and cut the call.

"The kids are angry that we are spending their inheritances on ourselves!" My Way tossed.

I smiled. It felt strange, considering everything, but suddenly I felt whole and happy and could, as they said, 'Eject' all the negativity.

This was going to be a great time.