With entries like the one Paulette just wrote (following those links resulted in uncontrollable spastic laughter, in my third day on the job), f.a.n.s. is sure to be a huge worldwide hit by, like, next week. Until then, we apparently have a huge readership at the Williams-Sonoma call center in Oklahoma City.
That is, of course, where The Judy works. The Judy is, of course, my very own personal mother, the woman who gave birth to me lo these (almostbutnotquite) 30 years ago. So you can imagine The Judy’s pride (The Judy’s Pride being one of The Judy’s great and unassailable qualities) at her very own personal son’s very own personal blog with the son’s very own personal writing up there on the World Wide Web for anyone with a browser to read.
I mean, it’s not like her very own personal son is an actual published writer with a loving remembrance about a mother bearing an unmistakeable resemblance to The Judy on the New York Times Best Seller list for 87 weeks in a row, but clearly having a weblog is really really close to that kind of literary mega-celebrityhood– just with no royalties, no publicist, and no pied-a-terre overlooking Central Park.
Anyway, having told several coworkers about this website that is really much better than filial megacelebrity what with all the lurking media attention that would entail, The Judy found herself having to explain this week why her very own personal son referred to her as The Judy in this post. Which was a challenge, as The Judy has never really understood this particular nomenclature system and has (on occassion) seemed fairly nonplussed by it. One coworker in particular, Albin, whom The Judy adores immensely, took some umbrage to The Judy being called The Judy (by her very own personal son, no less). According to The Judy, he said something along the lines of, “Don’t they know that Judy is this sweet little thing we all have to protect and take care of?”
So here’s the explanation, for Albin, and others. It’s well timed, as The Judy is about to visit Seattle for her very own personal son’s 30th birthday (which hasn’t happened yet, not quite).
My sisters and I (whom, I should point out, are sometimes referred to collectively by The Judy as “The Porter Sisters,” which I actually kind of like but which, you know, sort of makes you feel not too bad for calling her something funny, too) have had this thing for some years where we call each other Woobie. (This comes not from the rather obvious potential source Mr. Mom starring Michael Keaton but from my college roommate Sara, but that’s another story altogether.) Or Woobs or Woobina or Woobster or some other permutation of the word. This is our collective term of endearment for each other, permissible for use by nobody else, and accurate in reference to nobody else. It’s not like we three have some Jodie Foster “may tay in whinnn” idiolect or something, but if we did it would be known as Woobish. (Things can, by the way, exhibit woobish or woobitudinal qualities or act woobily.) Various significant others have at times felt somewhat excluded by this, but even they have had to learn the hard lesson that love alone cannot make one a Woobie (just a Woobie-lover). Woobiehood depends on blood and a deep shared experience of childhood at 8233 (to wit: avocado shag, schnauzer high-fives, and a deep hatred of umbrellas). Clearly, none of that made any sense to any of you, which is why we’re Woobies and you’re not.
All that to say, we kind of thought our beloved Mother felt left out of this world of Woobieness. And back about five years ago, she was going through a bad time with a bum hip and a lot of pain. It was in this time that the Woobieumvirate had a collective epiphany about the power, beauty, and grace of the very small woman who bore and birthed us. Mother, Mom, and Mommy seemed commonplace, inadequate monikers. In this moment, we realized that she is The Judy– larger than life, action-packed, and robo-hipped. Able to cook for 25 while on powerful (perscription) narcotics, undaunted by the loudmouthed opinions of the children she raised to be fiercely independent, and just generally kick-ass in every way (even at those rare moments when she doesn’t quite believe it about herself).
The Judy is our ultimate term of endearment. Truth be told, it also captures that ur-Mother element in her personality, her sense of drama (Drama!), and the John-Hancock-shaming sweep of her magisterial signature. But rest assured, Albin, and all lovers of The Judy everywhere: no one loves The Judy more than her Woobies three.
And that’s why we call her The Judy. Any questions?
(Thanks to the W-S Posse for reading f.a.n.s., and to some of them for saying in The Judy’s earshot that I’m “so hot!” and most of all for loving The Judy in an appropriate-for-the-workplace fashion. Apologies to David Foster Wallace for the appropriation of “my very own personal” and the highly appositive style of this post.)