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Friday, December 09, 2005

Don't Worry, You'll Meet a Man

Why is it that every time I call my mother she asks whether or not I've been on a date lately? Is this typical mom-behavior? At one point I told her that no, I've decided I will never date anyone again for the rest of my life. I said it with utter conviction, too, as though I was telling her about some cult I'd just joined. My answer cut her, and I felt awful for doing it, but I couldn't help wanting to cause my mother pain. Her response was that I shouldn't worry, that some day I'd meet a man and marry him.

I can't begin to explain, no matter how often I say it, that I'm FINE. That happiness is possible and even likely if I don't spend one night a week trying to eat in front of someone else. Sure, maybe he'll love the awkward way I hold my chopsticks, then he'll ask me to eat with chopsticks again and again until finally, months later, he'll get down on one knee and propose. And I will have to say no, I'm sorry, I can't go on pretending I'm fine with this whole chopstick-fumbling thing. I will not marry you.

Or maybe I'll say yes. Yes, because I'll have the image of my mother's disappointed face in my mind. I'll marry some stranger I've dated because yes, it would make my mother so happy.

I may visit my mother in January or February, and I have a sneaking suspicion that she'll try to set me up on a date, which she'll disguise as something else. It will involve plates of cheese and crackers in front of her fake fire, the doorbell, a male guest. I will get absolutely plastered, of course. He'll be a divorced dentist who wears a heavy cable-knit sweater, he'll be stone-cold sober, and he will eat a LOT of cheese and crackers before he leaves. After he's gone, my mother will exclaim that he's very NICE, isn't he? The next day I'll wake up with a hangover and we'll walk her pooping dog. The air will be fresh, the sky blue. She'll tell me how sorry she feels for the guy, whose wife left him for someone else.

I know, I know: my mother loves me fiercely. She just can't stand that I'm alone, and have been for a while, and probably will be for a while longer. It kills her. But can't moms who love their daughters see that aloneness is just this condition, that it doesn't have to be awful -- it just happens? Can't they have more confidence in their daughters? I LIKE being alone. I'm getting used to it. Maybe it even suits me.

17 Comments:

Blogger Karen Little said...

You're not the only one who has this problem - for ages, after every party, barbeque, pub-outing, trip to the supermarket or trip to the service station, I knew I could count on my mom to ask 'Did you meet anyone?' the next morning. It finally ended when one morning I snapped 'You know, I go out with my friends because it's fun, not because I'm freaking desperate'. I got the silent treatment for a few hours, but she got the message. Or, maybe the questions stopped because I finally did her proud and 'found a man'. Sigh.

What my mom also does, which I find quite special, is the post-being-dumped advice. In books and movies moms always say nice things like 'he doesn't know what he's missing out on' or 'you can do better anyway'. Not my momma - she doles out pearls like 'Maybe it's because you don't always wear makeup when you go out' or 'Well, you are a bit chubby at the moment...' Thanks, ma.

Remember the knife Vernon Gregory Little says his mom has buried in his back? I think we've all got one of those stuck in us - the blade of all of our mothers' hopes and dreams that turns every time we feel like we let them down. But still... we love 'em anyway huh?

4:06 AM

 
Blogger Chuck Dawson said...

being alone's not so bad. Most of my ex's were psychos and/or drug addicts. I mean, don't get me wrong, I love drugs and all...
shut-n-up

5:18 AM

 
Blogger ginab said...

Oh, your mom has a short sense of time. I've always told you: use me as a placard when alerting your mom to certain facts. Some people are alone and they're fine. A man does not make a woman, so much as....where's she been to not know that much?

My mother, on marriage numero three, comes from a different generation. She has changed physically like a chameleon, and mentally like a drug-addicted lunatic according to each. At least my mom isn't vindictive to say negative things (or anything) to me about my appearance and the reasons why I don't have anyone in my life. Let me just be a little telepathic, and get into her head to give you advice (she has been married three times): you must want to get married, in order to become married; you've got to want it, in other words; marriage is companionship and an economic partnership; you got to want to share coins.

Realistically, my mother would determine that the good ones are always taken. More, there are more women then men everywhere. More, a few good men missed out because they were impatient and the last thing you (or I) need is an impatient man.

Oh and be proud of your education, that thing your mom and mine alike cannot begin to comprehend. The pictures of me in cap and gown are enough for my mom.

I like your posting here, otherwise. Now to turn it into an as naturally telling (and showing) personal narrative...

7:55 AM

 
Blogger davi said...

Every time I come into contact with the ol' mother figure she likes to make sure I'm not getting too involved with anybody. She knows how quickly and absolutely I dump the contents of my... self... onto a girl's lap for her to sort through while I make myself comfy in her bed. Instead she nags me about school.

But she did apply her matronly pressure to this last relationship of mine, and despite my fierce feelings of independence combined with the persistent conviction that because I am young and modern I really know what's going on in the world -- more so than she does -- I was surprised to find myself feeling guilty about drawing out the relationship. She heard all about my agony and used her unequaled and unrelenting power of suggestion to wear away at (or build up) my courage for action.

You gotta appreciate their good intentions, though, and underneath every tacky or obsolete or woefully naive attempt to set you up is the desire to see you happy and secure, which must be rewarded.

So lie to her. You're engaged!

11:21 AM

 
Blogger lryicsgrl said...

Hi ing,
off topic.
i justed visited SEYCHELLE's blog.
Guess what? It is Joan Armatrading's 53rd b-day. Isn't that weird? & cool that you should be discovering her now.
I can't get any samples of Will Oldham, but i am trying. I did find out that he has been "classified" as "alternative country".

2:50 PM

 
Blogger lryicsgrl said...

ok
Just heard samples.
No way is Will "alternative country"
ALTERNATIVE, yes, country, no!
I can't really get a feel from the little I have heard.
What is your fav. cd from him?

I am a MOTHER & a daughter. Notice I emphasize the MOTHER part of me.
So this is a tough one for me.
Ah, I look at life from both sides now.
Your mom loves you. It comes from that place of love. But it is making you feel bad.
She doesn't realize that identifying you as unhappy, just because you aren't "mated", is hurtful.

Marriage is NOT a recipe for happiness. Trust me.
You can be just as unhappy or happy in a marriage or out of a marriage. There is not ideal.
Stay strong.
I will keep this post as a reminder.
I will have grown daughters (I pray) one day, who may or may not end up married in my lifetime.

3:05 PM

 
Blogger lryicsgrl said...

ps
My childhood bestfriend, is not married.
I still have my group of girlfriends from childhood. She is the only single, never married one. I think she is the happiest of all of us, this year.
It is a cycle, some years I've been happier, she envies me. Some years, I envy her freedom, her independence.
And so it goes, round & round.....

3:09 PM

 
Blogger Zombie Lou said...

You didn't think you could hide from Lou Reed forever did you? You owe Lou Reed 20 bucks. Lou Reed never forgets a debt. And in the spirit of not forgetting debts, Lou Reed kindly requests you to name the person that saved you from that homeless guy in Haight Asbury back in '82.

That's right. It was Lou fucking Reed.

Pay me.

Also, it pleases Lou Reed to find you well.

8:15 PM

 
Blogger ginab said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:20 PM

 
Blogger ing said...

Lou, that man in Haight-Ashbury was you. Not the homeless guy, but the other one. The hero, my old pal, Lou fucking Reed. Your Koga moves are lightning-fast.

I've been meaning to send you that twenty, I have. But I ran out of cat food, and then when I ran out of that I had to resort to eating a package of sponges.

Would you mind, old friend of mine, if I slipped you a gram in lieu?

1:18 AM

 
Blogger wind-up-man said...

How did I end up here??? Strangely enough I think I like it...

1:50 AM

 
Blogger Calzone said...

By the way Lou owes me 20 so I'd appreciate it if you would money him up som he can money me up.

5:54 AM

 
Blogger Crick said...

Hey buddy! I just noticed your comment on my log, the one where you're asking about my wife. Unfortunately, I'm not supposed to talk about her since the accident and all, but I can tell you that she does not (did not) share my crick enthusiasm!

7:07 AM

 
Blogger ginab said...

Don't be nervous! It's Lou fucking Reed!

8:05 AM

 
Blogger Zombie Lou said...

Lou Reed is just a regular guy now, he mows his lawn on the weekend.

Your couter-offer is acceptable to Lou Reed.

9:14 AM

 
Blogger matty said...

Moms are problems the world round for all of us. Mine is a total goof --- so I am spared much of what my friends go thru. I am more the parent -- always have been.

But, stick to your own path. It is yours not her's.

...but at some level (beyond the annoyance factor) it must be nice to know that your mom worries for you.

11:39 AM

 
Blogger nanette said...

I have always coveted a mother like yours and the one in the Cathy cartoon - the one who cares about my feelings i.e., wants me to have love. My mother, is the exact opposite. She is unlikely to even ask how I am, much less how is my love life. I have come to realize that I may have been conditioned to fall into bitterness at times by this lifelong emotional neglect by my Mom (who actually absolutely loves me desperately, she is just kind of emotionally and socially anorectic, I guess). One thing that helps is to imagine her as her opposite and realize that my bitterness is optional and not based on her or any other plotline any more at all. And yes, I really want to meet a man, which may be in part a reaction to my mother's blankness on this topic and in part that I want love and happiness.

12:02 PM

 

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