09 May 2011
Post 380: S'Mother
My mother and I have a tenuous relationship at best, which explains some of my reluctance at moving back in with her due to my finances and general lack of success in finding a job. The truth is, our relationship works best at a distance, particularly when I am also able to completely support myself. It has been incredibly difficult to go from Successful Grad Student Paying for Program on Own with $10,000 in My Bank Account to Broke Ass Dead Beat Mooching Off Family and Friends.
My mother and I are both very... particular people. We like our lives, especially our private lives, to function a certain way, and having someone else around the house automatically interferes with that set plan. It does not help that both my mother and I are hypercritical of each other. We are still more or less stuck in teenager mode, and that has caused both of us to be very defensive when we point out Things That Make Us Nuts.
However, I am trying to be better, and I think my mother is trying too. I have only been out of my teen-ages for 7 years now, and my mother is still dealing with that. She has gotten a lot better at recognizing that I am a mature adult, meaning several things: I drink, I have sex, and I pay taxes.* My mother has had some problems with those first two in the past. There was the time she caught me (at the age of 18) with my first boyfriend naked in bed together. That was a huge blowup and resulted in us having sex in much riskier places than we would have otherwise. Her un-adult reaction to my adult behavior resulted in me...well, fucking like a teenager in a parked car to be honest. While I now understand why she reacted the way she did, it was not healthy for any of us as it put me in danger of being arrested for indecent exposure among other things and of completely destroying any hopes of having a good relationship for the next three or four years. I also took the opportunity to throw my sex life in my mother's face at the drop of a hat, and had quite a bit of fun at her expense when I was dating multiple people. Capricorns can be bitches like that.
In 2005, I moved in with my mother for a 10 month stint in order to complete my co-op program. I was in Germany. I was 20 years old. I drank like a fish. Now, I am a fairly moderate drinker, but there was this bar in Mittelbrunn within walking distance and I had something of a "sponsor" who bought me drinks frequently (so I drank more than I usually do). This resulted in me staying out far later than my mother was comfortable with, but since it was within walking distance, she really couldn't do anything about it except trust my good judgment and hope I came home at night. She was pissed that I often came home late, but really, what could she do about it? Kicking me out of the house would only mean I'd be on the streets in a foreign country with no one to stay with and not even a car to take shelter in. These are the ways in which I grew up and forced my mother to recognize that fact.
My mother and I are doing better living together this time around. There will be problems. I will occasionally have to confront her with the fact that I am an adult, most likely in a shocking and unpleasant manner in order to get it through the whole Steve Martin Father of the Bride seeing daughter as a child haze. Desperate times and all that.
But as desperate as my times have been so far, I don't think I would ever say or publish something as hurtful and demeaning about my mother as this book is. And if I ever have, I am truly, truly sorry. I love you, mom.
My review can be found on Goodreads.
LibsNote: Review copy provided by NetGalley.
*Taxes representing all the things adults are supposed to do because they're supposed to do them.
Hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day.