taking the passive out of passive-aggressive

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Mother's Day 2005 began with the familiar wailing-from-the-crib. The Queen doesn't mind sitting in there alone in the morning squeezing her duck and chewing on board books--but when she's done she's done. And she lets us know. I was a little rough around the edges at first. I went out last night with the mother of one of Panda's best friends and I think I drank two beers for every one she downed. On the plus side: I did get to see the results of her tummy tuck. Remind me never to get a tummy tuck. It's flat all right but she's got a scar from hip to hip.

We headed over to my sister's for some serious eating. My neice made a feast involving eggs and sausage and millions of bread products. There was champagne available but I avoided it. The Mother waltzed in late with her boyfriend. Let's call him White Tennis Shoes. Because really there's no better way to describe him. He's very friendly but in this way that makes me uncomfortable.

Or maybe the idea of The Mother with a boyfriend makes me uncomfortable. The word boyfriend is so inappropriate for White Tennis Shoes anyway. He does drive a sporty car but he's bald and... he's..... Dating. My. Mother.

You know--even from a young age I understood The Mother was considered rather attractive. Maybe it was the way six men at the gas station had to attend to our car at every visit. Maybe it was the times men approached her when we were out (yes! with me there!) and tried to make conversation. Maybe it was the time the photographer we went to--to have our mother-daughter portrait taken--asked her if she'd like to do some "solo intimate shots"--you know--for "your husband." I mean really--if I learned nothing else from growing up with The Mother it was that men can be really icky.

But all those years I knew it was all okay because even if she was hot--and even if men wouldn't leave her alone--she was MARRIED and so she clearly couldn't be Having Sex. Married people after all didn't have sex. And if they did it was probably just to make more babies. But now? Now she has White Tennis Shoes. And what am I supposed to make of that?

Of course I'd forgotten to buy gifts in advance so we had to hit the grocery store for plants beforehand. The card rack was picked-over. Mostly what was left were sympathy cards. I thought I might be able to make something out of one of those. "In your time of need.... know that I am deeply sorry" and then I could write underneath "...that you had to suffer me as a daughter." I bought a hydrangea. I didn't know it was a hydrangea until The Mother said "Oh is that hydrangea for me? I was hoping it was when I saw it!" So I guess it was a good choice.

I wonder what people with more traditional mother-types do on Mother's Day. Do they get all warm and gooey feeling? Do they think "When I feel alone all I have to do is think of Mom!" Do they hug their mothers in a way that's not kind of air-kissy? Do their mothers say to their white-tennis-shod boyfriends "Honey--get me a drink" at brunch? Do their mothers invest in real estate and seem to be more interested in their window treatments than--say--their work and marriages?

I'm not knocking The Mother. She's a great lady. She's like someone I met at a fancy restaurant one night while waiting for a table at the bar. She's impeccably dressed and a ton of fun and generous to a fault. She's just not... I dunno... momly. And I guess neither am I. I suppose that in twenty years the Panda will show up in May with a hydrangea and a card and we'll air kiss and have a glass of wine and laugh together. I actually look forward to it. But I do wonder if there's some Mom gene that's inexplicably missing from my DNA.


At 7:49 AM, Anonymous tbtine said...

Oh, honey, I can so relate to what you wrote. Not in a my-mom-was-hot-too kind of way, more like a dude-it-terrifies-me-that-I-might-also-suck-in-the-Mom-department-just-like-dear-old-Mom-did kind of way.

It's hard when you start seeing that they're humans and not Moms, because then you realize that your own kids will look at you like that one day.

At 3:14 PM, Blogger The Cybrarian said...

But here's the mystery... she's hot, she's well-off, smart, funny, classy... if she's all that, why is she dating Mr. Members-Only Jacket? I sooo don't get it. Bachelors (or sort-of bachelors... Dutch batchelors?) must be really scarce in her demographic or something. Heh heh, my typo made me think of something funny... when you date a string of guys in rapt succession or lots of guys at once they're "batchelors." Get it?


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