I’m going to blame it on the drugs, I think. This morning, I’m still downing my OTC cold meds (Robitussin & Aleve Cold&Sinus are my friends) in order to cope with my body. The suck-ass thing is for the majority of it, I feel fabulous. Except for this cough and randomly first-thing-in-the-morning sinus drain I’m perfectly fine. I don’t feel achy and sick and not wanting to do a damn thing. I just keep coughing, and therefore breathing is occasionally complicated. (Which, has kept me out of the gym, annoyingly enough.)
Here it is though, Sunday afternoon, and the world looks pretty damn good. It’s cool outside, and feels like the start of fall (about time, it’s October) which puts me in a great mood. My cats are all napping all over the place and my show is over.
Yep, IT is done. I have some loose ends to tie up (stuff back to some theaters, a post-mortem to conduct…) but pretty much my commitment is done with that show. Excuse me while I sing from the rafters my joy.
Now I feel the need to religiously clean out my apartment. I keep getting this urge to do this, but it keeps getting blocked by work, lack of time, or having a boyfriend that wants to spend time with me. None of those are a bad thing, but I really feel the need to seriously get down and get clean. I have a month where the only commitment I have is to go to my day-job. And, it being that time of year where retail goes into hell-mode, I fully expect the boyfiend to be otherwise involved. I’d much rather have him around, but the money rocks and we could use it if we’re going to do everything we think we’re going to do in the coming months.
In my need to clean, I also cleaned out a bit of an emotional closet. I had another conversation with my mother about her issues with my beau. See, he’s pretty permanent and it drives me up a frickin wall that the best I seem to be able to hope for between the two of them is a guarded neutrality. I’m not so silly to think that they’ll love each other, but I’d like less obvious veiled hostility. She wants him to support me in a style she would like me to become used to. Notice there that my opinion doesn’t seem to matter much. Granted, there are things we can’t do right now because it’s held up by money, but none of it is super critical. I want new cushions on our couch and matching chair. But that’s about a thousand dollars and not really high priority. So yes, if he made more money we might have been able to save up and get it. But you know what? I’m not home enough to enjoy the fact we have a couch…so I’m not really going to worry about the darn cushions. He gets irritated with her because he says “hello” and “You look great” and she doesn’t respond. Apparently, my mother is minimal on the whole greeting and salutation thing to everyone. I never noticed, because … well, I guess because I grew up with the nutter. The “you look great” issue is because of low self-esteem. Despite the fact that my mother managed to raise me to be comfortable in my own skin, be a moderate feminist, be able to take care of myself and hundreds of other things…she can’t do it herself all the time. Her mis-wired brain hears “you look great today, Ms. Z” and thinks “does this mean I looked like shit before? holy hell, I’m a wretch and the only reason people like me is I managed to get to the idealized version of what is beautiful and healthy – and therefore I must rigorously maintain this AND because I’m not comfortable with it I’ll keep dressing to blend in with the woodwork.” My mom has a smoking body right now because she decided that she was tired of being winded walking the dog, going upstairs and didn’t want to take as much meds for high blood pressure. So she did something about it, for herself. But the fact that other people notice and compliment her on it she can’t handle. She doesn’t realize that she can wear nice, flashy clothes because she looks in the mirror and sees the body she had for 25 years. I get it, I really do, but that doesn’t mean that she should take her psychosis out on everyone else – especially when we’re trying to reinforce within her a positive self-image. Arg.
There’s other things, like she’s got a new teacher across the hall from her. She thinks that you meet people in life in order to learn something – this new teacher is helping her understand D. Supposedly. He physically reminds her of him – shaved head, my age, tattoos (a sleeve up one arm), piercings…the whole nine yards of “disreputable biker – stay away!” in her mind. But she’s been talking with him, and they share viewpoints on education, on the world … and he seems normal. She’s finally learning that outside appearances are not always what you think they might mean. Something I learned way long ago, but I digress. She’s starting, through this guy, to think that D might have redeeming qualities. You think? It’s not that I’m dating him because he’s crazy. If this was something not cool, don’t you think this would have ended so long ago? Hell, Ben and I pretty much ended because he practically moved in with me & Jules in college and I learned a lot about him. I’ve learned a lot about what is good for me along the past ten years of dating various types of men…and I’m very happy now. Why can’t she see this?
I told her one of the things that likes about D is he makes me laugh. Mom’s comment? I’ve never seen you laugh with him. I then had to explain to her the very difficult position I’m often in when I’m with the two of them. I have two people I love who can barely be in the same room together. Bound to make me feel uncomfortable. But she can’t loosen up and he’s not about to do all the work. And he does try, it’s just that he’s getting to the point where if she’s not willing to meet him halfway that he’s going to stop trying. I know this, and I can’t explain why I do…but I’m pretty certain that that point is closer than I want it to be.
According to Mom, Dad also isn’t sure of D…but because Dad is so non-confrontational, he’s not going to say anything. Well, fuck…how do you expect me to deal with something and get it out in the open if nobody says anything? If Dad tells Mom about it, but it falls into that spousal confidence category, I still can’t deal with it but now I know there’s something and my mind is just going to sit here and try to come up with what it is. And of course, I doubt that putting the two of them together will solve anything. Because Dad won’t say anything about it and D won’t have a clue that something’s up.
Mom pointed out several things early in our relationship that bothered her – like a comment about “not having enough money to drink that week” and how it bothered her. It’s a social thing, and I really don’t think I could ever explain to her what it’s like because she wasn’t that type of social person. She doesn’t get drinking. Hence, why I’m so not having a all-out friends “reception” ever in my mom’s presence. Because she didn’t deal well with D drinking at Mike’s wedding…and he wasn’t really that drunk. Granted, he was…but I’ve seen him worse. I don’t get drinking to get drunk, but I do enjoy a good glass of alcohol. She doesn’t…and therefore will never get it. But she thinks that one comment reflects heavily on D’s ability to manage finances. To be honest, the boy doesn’t do it that fabulously. I love him, but his mind doesn’t work that way nearly as well as mine does which is why I do all of our finances. There’s no crime in that – I can’t cook nearly as well as he does, so that’s his strong suit. Does it matter that those are the non-traditional roles? Not for us. I wasn’t managing my money spectacularly in college (hence, my high credit card debt) but now I am. Just because my parents weren’t told every detail of it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. I had points in college and the first year I lived here I was balancing the need to pay a bill versus buying cat food and me eating ramen. There were times Edana ate better than I did. But you know what? It happens in everyone’s life at some point. My dad pointed out once that my mom doesn’t remember being young and not well balanced with money. I was talking about having to replace two tires, and then having to do the other two the next pay cycle…and she was complaining that I needed to do it all at once because…blahblahblah. And Dad got on and told me that she doesn’t remember counting pennies so that we could put tires on a car. I think we’re doing really well. Our bills are getting paid, we don’t have any creditors calling threatening to sue or any such nonsense because something is being ignored, and we’re not making it worse by spending like fools. Yes, we do spend money on frivoulous things at times (like new towels this weekend) but I think that we balance that very very well with getting everything paid. In three months, my car will be paid off. We’ll have a bunch more money to throw at other bills…and we’re being good about it. We know we want to do this right now, so that in the future we can do some things with a lighter heart – like save for retirement, go on vacations and have children that we can actually afford instead of taking the route too many people do. Arg.
She’s not here. She doesn’t see the way that he makes dinner during the week so I can come home and eat before running back out to the theater. Or how he keeps house. Or the fact that he takes care of me and I take care of him. Or that we really do love each other…despite her trying to push him away. So why do I let her bother me so much.
Oh yeah, because she’s my mother.