“A man’s biggest mistake is is giving another man an opportunity to make his woman smile.”

2 Nov

That’s my mom’s current status on Facebook.

Really, mom. How old are you. Thirteen?

This is why I don’t advocate friending your parents on Facebook. If you can help it.

* * * * *

My mom told me she had left my father on a Tuesday in October 2010. She called me at 8:20 in the morning, which is odd because she knew I would be at work at that time. Was she planning on leaving me a message? Odder still, I’d called in to work that day – as if I knew preemptively my world was about to fall apart. She told me she’d moved into her boyfriend’s apartment, who she swore she’d only been seeing for about three weeks. So in addition to the break-up of their marriage, I had to then process either my mother was a) still lying (seeing this man for much longer), or b) stupid (moving in after 3 weeks?). I was also insanely, irrationally pissed-off. Really, mom? I just announce my engagement and impending marriage, and this is the perfect time for you decide marriage is unimportant, fine to trample on? Husband was still sleeping, so I climbed into the bathtub, lie down, and cried. For who knows how long. Which I don’t recommend, because it became a guarantee that I’d always think about my parents divorce when I needed to shower.

I had just been home for my engagement party the prior weekend. I remember looking to my husband and saying that the current state of things seemed weird, my parents seemed off. My mom wasn’t asking to see my ring, wasn’t engaging in conversation about he wedding, went on far too vehement a rant about how things should be how I want it, it was my wedding and my day and I should do what I want no matter what other people think. He brushed it off, but he didn’t know. I’m the one who lived with them. I know their patterns, I know how they work. I’m an only child and I’m acutely observational. I knew it was wrong. Friday was the party. Sunday afternoon we left. Sunday night she left. Tuesday I was told.

The thing about your parents separating when your older is it’s so unexpected. It seems everyone’s parents get divorced when you’re a child. When you’re younger, you’re home constantly, so you sort of see the natural progression. You’re forced to be a part of the process, you’re a consideration, you’re present. I’m removed. I haven’t lived at home full-time since I was 18, and when I am home it’s the focus and everything’s so happy – there’s no opportunity to see chinks in the armor. Also when you’re older, they feel they can say things to you, you’re an adult, you “get it.” My mother told me she’d left my father because she was “bored.” She felt old, always sitting at home reading, never doing things. This? Is your problem. My dad has friends, my dad has hobbies. She’d driven away all her friends, she’d stopped wanting to do things. That? Is your fault, and not a legitimate reason to end a marriage of 25 years. These are things that should have never been said to me. Further, these are things that should have never been cited as reasons for anything, if your plan for excitement and adventure is to move into your boyfriends apartment and play games on Facebook all the live long day. Excitement! Adventure! Farmville!

However, one bonus to the whole situation is I am an adult. I am not forced into a blended family situation. I do not have a step-father. My mother has a boyfriend. I am nothing to him, he is nothing to me. I relish that, almost as sort of revenge as well, childish as that may be. I refuse to meet him. I refuse to talk of him. Because I don’t have to.

Will I feel differently in five years? Perhaps. But that’s up to me.

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