Thursday, August 23, 2007

Mixed messages

Thank goodness for caller ID. It has helped to keep me sane this summer. Because my mother likes to call four times a day. I have learned that there is a reason for both caller ID and voicemail. That way I have limited exposure to her twisted mind.

Many years ago I was living in San Francisco in my first post-college apartment. My mother was still working so her calling was limited to the evening hours during the week. Missed her first call? Don't worry. She'll call back several more times before calling various family friends and my father. Because I could have been abducted. Or maybe I've suddenly died of some mysterious disease. You know. That one that makes your mother's calls a non-priority in your life. Because you finally have a life of your own now that you are free of her.

One weekend I decided that I actually should speak to her. (I usually do this right before she has planned to call the police. Because *gasp* it's been 24 to 48 hours since she last heard my voice.) Our conversation was going along nicely until I mentioned what I had been doing over the past few weekends.

"How are you ever going to find a husband if you keep hanging out with gay men?"

"I'm not looking for a husband. I just want to go out and to have fun."

Her displeasure about my choice in friends continued for another ten to fifteen minutes. (Another reason to avoid conversations with her is that they can easily last 45 minutes. And it's hard to get a word in so about the only way to end it before she is ready to is to hang up on her. I've tried that and don't really recommend it. Actually yes, I do. I didn't have to speak to her for at least two weeks after that.) Once she felt she had exhausted that topic, she was ready to move on. Next topic? Whether I would be attending her co-worker's ceremony in a couple of weeks. This would be a marriage ceremony for her gay co-worker. My friends and I laughed over this one for weeks.

This summer she has a whole new theme. I think she has given up on marriage and/or kids. (You do not have to have one to have the other. And I bet you just thought that after taking biology.) Nope. This summer's theme has been "You drink too much." Yes, I do on occasion. Because sometimes I just want to get wild and crazy. And I'm a grownup, damnit. And of course, there is the shifting definition of what "too much" can mean. Often it means anything more than one drink.

But now the tides have changed. Now it's, "You know that red wine that we like? Well, Bevmo has it on special. You should go pick up a few bottles. I have already." Or "What kind of whites does two-buck-Chuck come in?" At least she knew to ask the expert on that last one. Because I think I have sampled every incarnation of Chuck at some time or another.

So now that she has let go of this topic, I can only worry about the new one. The good thing is that I am limited to phone calls because she won't come to visit. Something about not liking cats. And of course there are the occasional jabs about how I had to have thought about this before getting Natasha.

*sigh* There's the phone again. Guess I should answer it since I've been avoiding calls all day.

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