~Monday, February 25, 2008

A Family Affair

"Mom, Scott's moving in this week."

That's right, I still haven't told my parents that I'm living with Scott and there really is no excuse. I knew if I didn't force the words out, they'd never come. In addition to being judged and feeling regulated, I don't want to tell my mother things because I simply don't trust her.

After revealing to her my medical problems, my mother immediately called my father. "I haven't spoken to Sarah in two days," she told him. "The last thing she told me is that she has a strange lump in her throat that was impeding her breathing and she's not answering the phone and I'm afraid she's dead." Which in turn caused my father to dial non-stop, and then my mother sent my brother over to my apartment to make sure I was alive and kicking. And when I didn't answer the building call-box, my mother called the police.

I just didn't feel like talking on the phone.

More recently, my brother called to see how my UTI was coming along. Then my step-sister did.

And this is normal for other families, I get that. But my family, we don't talk about anything. If we're offended by one family member, we tell all the others, but we never tell the offender. Thanksgivings and Christmases are masked in polite niceties, but not any real joy. We smile for the pictures, but the following day is plagued with phone calls about who said what, and who ruined the day. My sister-in-law ruined last Christmas, but not without my help.

There was silence at the other end of the phone. There. I finally said it, even though it was still a lie. Scott isn't moving in; he's already here.

My mother sighed. "Sarah, it's about time you settled down." What? Wha? In the midst of my fear of living in sin, of not being perfect and living by the book, I completely forgot about the part where my mother was aghast at the fact I am 26 and unmarried. That all five of my brothers and sisters were married off long before my current age. That for years, I've never even mentioned a date to her. Scott has stuck around long enough and I am finally settling down. My mother was happy.

"Scott just has to settle his debts and you two can get married. Then you buy a house and finally get all of your stuff out of my basement," my mother chirped. "Wait, how much stuff does he have?"

I can't fucking believe this.

"I mean, I can't tell you I approve," she continued. "Because I come from the old school and you aren't married. But this is great for you business-wise. You can finally afford a new car with the $500 a month you're saving. However, I will tell you I'm talking out of both sides of my mouth." She used the southern idiom to express that she doesn't mean what she just said about not approving.

I could hear her rustling on the other end. It turned out she was digging a pen out of a drawer and clicked it open. "So what's Scott's last name?"

I really must not tell her anything if she didn't know his last name, but I had a feeling she was doodling our names together by the end of the phone call.


SuvvyGirl said...

Well I'm glad it went well. Sorry about your first Valentine's Day together. For the most part we kind of forgot it was valentine's day. Since I got out of school I don't put as much pressure on the day as I used to. It's just another day to me. Hope you are feeling better!!

>*;* said...


kristin b said...

that is funny, sarah! and the whole time i was reading that it sounded like my mom.. cause i could definitely hear her talking out of both sides of her mouth if i were in your shoes!

and 5 siblings! whoa!!

treacle said...

Well its great you told her and she has taken it so well a very funny read...but what of this lump in your throat???

Sarah said...

It's my swollen thyroid. They still don't know what's wrong with it.

Vi said...

God, I know that feeling! You think what you tell your folks is earth shattering, and they bloody take it well! (I had the same when I said I was pregnant - it was like - about time!!!!)

dont eat the token said...

That's a nice surprise amongst all the pain & sickies.

TC said...

I feel like she MUST know my Mom.

Diane Mandy said...

You're a better woman tha I am. I never did tell my parents Max and I lived together. I still can't believe they never found out.

Single Girl said...

LOL! All that worrying for nothing! Isn't it funny how it usually works out that way?!

Eileen Dover said...

Ooh, we're swollen thyroid twins.

I'm going to have surgery to remove mine. I have a 5cm mass and a 2cm mass sitting next to it, and have a totally inflamed left-side of my thyroid.

So, anyway, I love how your mother is. Mine do the same. "Don't have sex.... but do you know what contraception is?"

Appletini said...

WOW! What a shocker! You have been dreading this converstaion for ever :) Glad to see that it didn't turn out so bad :)

M said...

hahahaha typical!!

Your fam and my fam deal with things in the same way. How nice for us! ;)

Peach said...

ha, you're funny - do you think it's only matter of time before she's duting off the pink hat for the wedding for real?

Hope your lump gets lost soon, sounds yuck...

J said...

Glad to hear the revel went well! Parents are funny that way.

Not so glad to hear about the health issues. Take care of yourself and make sure you keep me updated!

AmyD said...

YAY! SO glad this went well. It's good to know that eventually, even our parents grow up. ;o) Congrats, Sarah!

hollly said...

That's funny! Sometimes parents exceed our expectations.

It's like the time when I'd just gone to college and I broke the news to my rather conservative father that I'd pierced my nose. Instead of being shocked, appauled, and angry with me, his casual retort was, "Well, I pierced my ear." I suppose it was kind of like a "Welcome to my mid-life crisis" but I had expected a little bit of "Aw, Hollly! That's bloody stupid!"

Amber said...

Yay! I'm so glad everything went well and you finally crossed over that hurdle you've been dreading for so long. You've got to be feeling some relief there!

Proud of you, chica! I'll try and give you a call this weekend so we can catch up! :)

PS: Your mother and mine should take notes from one another about their common ground: wanting to see their daughters happily married, with kids, settled down, and all of our extra things out of their storage spaces, haha.

general_boy said...

But this is great for you business-wise.


And you were so worried about offending her moral sensibilities!!!

BTW how's the throat now?


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