My beautiful, fabulous, opinionated 87 year-old Mom has arrived in Marin to be with her baby. This is a big deal. She usually only comes west every August to see her sister in Los Angeles. She stays for a month and reconnects with her LA roots, a place she used to call home when it was still fields and farms. And then she jets back home to her nest, rested and relaxed. But she couldn’t wait for August this year. She needs to make sure I’m okay. She wants to be here to support me. To make me feel special and loved. And she wants to make sure I am taking care of myself, I imagine. I am still her ‘baby’ after all. And now I am her divorcing baby.
She never thought that was going to happen.
I picked her up at the airport on Thursday night, along with my oldest brother (Have I mentioned I am the last of eight children?) and we immediately hit up Joe’s Taco Lounge in Mill Valley. I could eat at Joe’s every night. It’s tiny, quirky, the food rocks and they have Jesus and Mary statues everywhere, which really pleases my Mom. (By now you have picked up on the whole Catholic – big family thing, right?) The hot sauces please me and my brother. No offense meant to the religious artifacts, it’s just that I have recently fallen in love with hot sauce. Dr. E. turned me on to it back in the fall, when my world was falling apart, and he came to watch the sun set and the moon rise with me. I haven’t stopped experimenting since. That’s what you do with hot sauce. You experiment. (I’m experimenting with a lot these days, but that’s for a future post.)
We had a curfew of 9 PM because The Genius needed to depart on a 7 week trip the next day. Typically, I get to stay out till 10. Unless, of course, I don’t get my home work done on time or I fail to clean my room. Then I’m grounded. We rushed home in the pouring rain to meet our deadline, but not to meet The Genius, who was spending his final hours with the boys.
See, my Mom hopes to never see him again. Unfortunately I couldn’t swing that. The best I could do was open the garage door and have him walk right in front of my car, right past my Mom and right on out of our lives for the next several weeks. It killed him. But, so what, he almost killed her.
When I called her to tell her of The Genius’ double life she was blown away like a grain of sand in a hurricane. She was altered. On so many levels. She felt betrayed. She was heartbroken. She was angry. She was all the things I was trying to tamp down so I didn’t vaporize. And then she got shingles. The worst case her doctor had ever seen. Honestly, one could argue that she was more upended than I was by The Genius’ affair. The shingles flattened her for two months. We’d never seen her in so much pain.
The fact that his double life (and being very concerned about my health and well-being) had made her so ill, caused her such physical and emotional pain, made me want to rip his face off. But not before I took a nail gun and affixed actual shingles to it. Just to make a point. And so I didn’t have to look at him. And because I could rip his face off one shingle at a time.
The Genius was not comfortable with how I arranged the whole ‘hand off’ experience. He wanted face time with my Mom, and he’s wanted it for a while. He probably wants to apologize to her for hurting her. And for hurting me. He wants to shed some ‘tears’, have her hug him, prey on her Christian values of forgiveness. She’s Catholic, yes. But she’s no Saint. She’ll put off forgiving him like she’s put off mammograms. “At this stage, honey, breast cancer isn’t what’s going to do me in. Why bother?”
Not forgiving The Genius isn’t going to take away her VIP access to the Pearly Gates.
As her arrival approached, I let The Genius know that she didn’t want to see him. She hasn’t changed her mind. She doesn’t want to talk to him either. She has nothing to say. It unnerved him. His mouth got small and tight. His stared at the floor of the kitchen with eyes that screamed, “I cannot have someone think badly of me.”
“She is only just recovering from her shingles and she will have had a long flight. It’s not the time to talk to her.”
I could have added, And that’s just me giving you excuses because she hopes to never have to talk to you. I don’t blame her. She’s 87 and she doesn’t need this crap at this stage in her life. To know that she will eventually leave the Blue Marble and her daughter will be flying solo, well that’s not how she anticipated exiting. Dirt bag.
Oh, and in case you conveniently forgot, adultery is a mortal sin in her world. Not something that you get a free pass on because you just couldn’t help yourself. Worse than that, you hurt her baby. She just feels it’s best to ride out her days without committing a mortal sin of her own: murder.
So stay away.
My Mom isn’t going to give you a hug and say, Son, I’m not happy with what you did, but I’ll always love you. Yea, no. Not happening. She’s not going to scold you and then tell you she’s there for you. She’s not going to enable you to continue to believe you were completely justified in cheating on me and your family for four years because I created a void in you. She’s not going to call you her sunshine.
You don’t want to hear what she would say to you. And you probably wouldn’t listen. But above all, you wouldn’t understand her, because she would talk to you like a mother, and make you accountable for your actions. That’s something that would be foreign to you.
Have a nice trip.
So, for the next three weeks I will take in all the wisdom and guidance and love my Mom has to offer me. I’m sure there will lots of ‘DOs’ and ‘DON’Ts’ to come my way also.
Like how I should absolutely not date until one year after the divorce is finalized. Not one year from the Pocket Call, not one year from our separation. One year from the date upon which the divorce is finalized. And that I shouldn’t have sex until I’m remarried.
This is going to get interesting…
Friday night posting is going to be fun. Fridays are fun. Posting is fun. Doesn’t take a Genius to figure out that the best way to post on a Friday is with a large dose of fun. And pondering the things that drive me crazy is actually fun for me.