Quotes from Ariel Gore’s The End of Eve: A Memoir:
My mother stared ahead into the rain. I knew her well enough to know that she always had an agenda, but sometimes part of her agenda was pretending she didn’t have an agenda.
I thought of my Gammie, and the way she’d pour herself a nice, tall vodka tonic whenever she saw my mother enter a room and sip her drink and whisper under her breath, “If there isn’t chaos, there soon will be”.
I didn’t know if the cure for my life was to lie to everyone about everything or to become brutally honest.
And I didn’t want to say too much because, inexplicably, I still wanted people to like her.
This was supposed to be a book about a typical caregiver – a daughter with children of her own trying to help her terminal if eccentric widow-mother through a final year. But now here we were mid-narrative, more than a year gone by, and no one had died and I didn’t have a mother anymore and the semester was wrapping up.
Family and strangers sharing a meal; toothy smiles as if we weren’t all in it for the kill.
Maia lifted her Bloody Mary and shrugged. “Let’s not even list what we’re thankful for this year”.
I remembered when I was pregnant with Maia how terrified I felt that I would abuse her. That I would torment her. And I remembered the flood of relief when I realized unabusive motherhood wasn’t so very hard. That sure – it took a diligence, problably more diligence when emotional violence was my first language. But that in the end it isn’t so hard not to ruin everything we love. It meant deferring to my child when I felt that wit’s-end rage bubble up, meant stepping back to remind myself that she was the baby here, that I was the grown-up. It meant reminding myself to behave in a way I would be proud of. It meant not always needing to be right, apologizing when I was wrong. It meant a lot of pause-taking. But it wasn’t so very hard.
This book was such a great read.