"So have you heard from anybody?" my mother asked me on our daily phone chat.
This is code for something. She's asking about someone in particular and I don't know to whom she's referring. I don't think I told her about Valdosta. Actually I'm pretty sure I didn't because otherwise I would have to disclose the story surrounding the DTR, or non-DTR as it turned out to be. (And for those who are keeping count, last contact was made by him Friday night saying we would get together this week. I'm staying strong, but am getting a little antsy.)
"Um, no?" I said.
"Oh," she said flatly. "You didn't hear from the wine guy from Saturday?"
I groaned. "Oh god no, Mom," I said. "I told the Internets that I didn't want to date him anymore and I closed out the match."
She gasped. "When did you do that?"
"The very next day."
This exemplifies the attitude of dating that I grew up with. When I was in therapy, we discussed extensively my mother's attitude that it was better to be with a man than without one. I remember a time about six or seven years ago that I wanted to break up with my then boyfriend because I wasn't happy anymore.
"Just wait it out," she said. "He's got a good job and comes from a good family; he may be the best you can do."
And so I did. And so he dumped me four months later via text.
I'm over it now, but when I was growing up and my mother and step-father were fighting, she'd tell me the only reason she married him was to give me a father. She stayed in that marriage for 17 years, 10 of those years being after I moved out, so I acknowledge it wasn't all about me.
Even now, a year after the divorce, she's unhappy with The Doctor, but doesn't do much about it. She avoids his phone calls for the most part, but she hasn't cut the cord.
I can feel her disappointment through the phone. "You didn't even wait to see if he liked you," she said.
"It doesn't matter," I said calmly. "I don't like him."
To put this in context, I had a bit of a breakdown on Christmas morning. It was just my mom and me at her house. Christmas lasted about 15 minutes as we each handed our gift to the other person. I was loading up my car to drive to my father's house. It was snowing heavily and I was wearing my Uggs, which are not waterproof. I was balancing my bags as I fought my car keys to get my back hatch to unlock. As I tried to lift the tailgate, the Christmas dishes that I just unwrapped a few minutes earlier tumbled out of my hands and broke in the driveway. My mother had been more concerned with keeping the kitchen door closed to save on the heat than she was to help me.
"You're not mad at me, are you?" she asked.
I kind of was. Anytime she needs anything heavy lifted or carried or moved, it's my job. I had spent that morning hauling an antique desk up a wooden staircase while she hollered after me to not scratch anything. Anytime she needs something looked up on the Internet, it's my job. Anytime she needs anything, it's my job.
"No," I responded. I bit my lip to fight back tears.
"Go ahead and let it out," she urged.
And so I dropped the f-bomb on Christmas. I said I was tired of f-bomb being alone and tired of shouldering all of the f-bomb burden. When something is too heavy for me to lift, I have to get creative. I have to figure out a way. I don't have anyone to f-bomb lean on.
My mom cried. "Don't you think I feel that way?" She opened her hands and motioned to the giant house that surrounds her.
I sighed and looked at her, "But you have me."
And so she wrote a check to cover the broken dishes.
It explains why she has taken a sudden interest in my dating life, suggesting web sites that she sees on TV commercials and asking why I didn't like the wine guy from Saturday.
I guess my Husky just doesn't need a dad.