gypsies, tramps, and thieves

People frequently ask me about my harrowing, hilarious upbringing in Fresno — and I always try my very best to explain the felonious family in which I grew up:

We were raised, hopelessly out of place, in a rigorously middle-class, upwardly mobile neighborhood — because, you see, my parents were movin’ on and movin’ up from the impoverished lives where they had each started. They were like reckless, young pioneers who liked to fuck, fight, gamble, shoot guns, and make babies – sometimes even with each other. Despite my overabundance of sisters (6 or 7. I always forget which. No, seriously.), my house wasn’t anything like “The Brady Bunch” or “Little Women.” We were more like “Eight is Enough” meets “Reform School Girls.” We were OUT OF FUCKING CONTROL.

My ten siblings and I were like a gang of renegades, raised fearlessly and recklessly in a dysfunctional Wild West sort of a childhood — of which cardsharks, rogues, sheriffs, showdowns, showgirls, shootouts, saloons, vigilantes, and firearms played a large part. We were the SO-NOT-O.K. Corral.

We were like a Mongol horde…a pack of Comanches…a thundering herd…The Plague. We were audacious, impervious, and most of all, notorious — descended from criminals, rogues, shitkickers and thieves. But, we hung tight – and, for the most part, survived.

In my family, you are born and bred to be a badass — because you have to be a badass just to fucking SURVIVE my family.

This is my amazing sister, Jenny, when she was a teenager. My book opens with her…because of all 11 of us kids…Jenny is THE BIGGEST BADASS OF US ALL.

You wanna know where I come from?

THIS IS WHERE I FUCKING COME FROM.

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About muffybolding

Muffy Bolding is a mother/writer/actor/knitter/feminist/withered debutante who likes the smell of asparagus pee, and remains obsessed with the bathroom hygiene of her three children -- despite the fact that they are 23, 19, and 16. She is blissfully married to a cute Jewish boy who looks like Willie Wonka, but remains tragically in love with the dead poet, Ted Hughes. She has the mouth of a Teamster, and her patron saint is Rocco (pestilence relief.) Ms. Bolding lives in Southern California, where she enjoys typing words, making movies, and plucking the rings from the fingers of the dead. She was the co-creator and Editor-in-Chief of the award winning satire zine, Fresno Lampoon, and in between writing screenplays, carnival barking, and savagely threatening her trio of darling larvae with a wooden spoon, she currently publishes the zine, "Withered Debutante." More of her work can also be found in the anthology, "Mamaphonic: Balancing Motherhood and Other Creative Acts", the compilation zine, "Mamaphiles III: Coming Home", as well as in The Cortland Review and hipmama.com. She is currently writing and producing for film and television, and working on a book of essays entitled, "Inside A Chinese Dragon." She has slept around, but not nearly as much as she would have liked.
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