water under the bridge

I called my mom today. I try to do this periodically–I want her to feel loved and accepted, and she struggles with that. There’s also the whole “phone does not get coverage unless she’s outside” bit, which makes actually catching her rather tricky.

Ususally our conversations are fairly benign recountings of our latest thrift store finds, books we’ve read, lovely dishes cooked. Those are all things she taught me, and we share those mutual obsessions.

Since I’ve been married, however, she always asks me about how marraige is going. She’ll ask how we deal with this situation, what happens with that. And somehow these discussions always segue into “principles of marriage” or something like that.

I’m not sure why she asks me these things. She’s always seemed to think I’m inordinately spiritual, though. I’m not sure why. I don’t mind the detours, as long as they don’t veer into discussion of my parents’ deceased marraige. We just don’t go there–it’s too painful.

So I’m not sure how it happened today–one minute we were talking about expectations and her friend who’s husband is not living up to his end of some agreed-upon deal, and the next she’s making some statement about being committed to a relationship for twenty years and giving it her all and getting kicked out of the house.

I had to stop and clarify on that one, make sure we weren’t still talking about an unknown friend. “Are you saying you got kicked out of the house?”

“Yes. Yes I did.”

“Um, Mom. You weren’t kicked out. You left.”

“No! That’s not what happened.”

I’m willing to give her the benefit of the doubt on the last time–I wasn’t there. But before that?

“Mom, I was there on Porkchop’s sixteenth birthday. I don’t remember any kicking out. You left.”

That’s when our phones cut off. Or maybe she hung up, I don’t know. We’d gotten cut off several times in the conversation already. Normally she’ll call me back. This time she didn’t.

I should have called her, but I didn’t. I should have at least given her the chance to explain what exactly she meant. But I didn’t.

Maybe I’ll call tonight.

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~ by wildeyedwonder on August 17, 2006.

One Response to “water under the bridge”

  1. One thing I’ve learned about family, the power of denial is amazing. And the threat of that denial being exposed is never greater than when confronted by family, because they know you and they know the truth better than anyone else. It can be especially hard to understand when it’s a parent doing it. But there’s only so much that you can do. You know what the truth is, but if it’s too painful for her to hear then she just may not be able to bear it right now. Maybe it’s regret?

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