A Mother’s Tough Love and a Bar of Soap

By Dan Schmitt | November 19, 2016 |   I’m pretty new at the Facebook thing, but I like it. It’s been especially useful during th...

By Dan Schmitt | November 19, 2016 |  

I’m pretty new at the Facebook thing, but I like it. It’s been especially useful during this election season. Talking to people I don’t know about all sorts of political issues sure has shown me that I don’t have a monopoly on ideas. That was a real shock to me!  Like my idea that it was inappropriate and hurtful for our now President-elect to publicly demean women during the campaign. And, when the news came out that Trump was recorded 15 years ago claiming he could grab women’s private parts and they’d like it because he is a celebrity!  Wow, my ears burned, and I thought that would be the end of him. Even coming from someone who was only 55, which Trump was at the time, I thought most folks, especially women, would find that unacceptable.

Yep, seemed like a slam-dunk to me, but that shows you what the hell I know! Oh, most females who contributed to the Facebook discussions had a problem with Trump’s disparaging remarks and his potty mouth.  But some of them didn’t seem to mind much. And the men contributing to the conversations, who as best as I could ascertain we mostly White males, mostly thought it was “much ado about nothing.” Makes a momma proud! I wonder if Trump’s disparaging remarks were directly aimed at their wives or their daughters if that would make a difference? Who knows?  
I’ll tell you about someone, if she were alive today, who would have a big problem with that kind of talk - my mother, Avis Georgia Schmitt, that’s who. And I know first-hand what I’m talking about. I guess I must have been around 11 years old and in 6th grade when it happened.

Us three older Schmitt boys went to Catholic grade school. It was the kind of 1950’s Catholic school that was short on history, science and critical thinking but long on religious and moral instruction. At lunch recess one day, one of my male classmates introduced me to the “F” word. Not knowing what it meant but knowing it was a bad word, I went around the playground sharing my new word with the girls. So much for all that moral instruction. 

Unbeknownst to me, one of my older brothers heard me talking to the girls, got home from school before I did, and told my mother. When I arrived home thinking I was going to grab my fishing pole and head down to the lake, there was my mother, all five foot two of her, with a bar of Ivory soap in her hand.  She grabbed the nape of my neck with one hand and promptly jammed the soap into my mouth with the other hand yelling, “Never say that word again in front of girls!”  (Those were the days before parents attempted to reason with their kids.)  Well, I can swear on a stack of Bibles I never did say that word to girls again, even during my four years in the U.S. Coast Guard.  I can also swear that I’ve never used Ivory soap in over 50 years!

Anyway, back to our President-elect. I’m thinking if my mother were alive today, she might have a sit-down talk with Donald Trump’s “mother”, Kellyanne Conway, and say something like this, “Ya know Kellyanne, Donald’s mouth is a real problem. Real men don’t talk the way he does about women. Why don’t you have a little chat with him?” Then, my mother would offer Kellyanne a bar of Ivory soap.

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