Friday, August 5, 2011

Here comes the bride. Again.

Since my grandmother was diagnosed with cancer, a temporary "truce" has settled between my mother and myself.  Maybe not so much a "truce" as it is me not ignoring her completely.  She'll attest to the fact that I give an impeccable performance of the silent treatment. 
And I was happy to do so, because I didn't feel she deserved my acknowledgment.  She'd hurt me in a thousand ways, and depriving her of my attention was the kindest thing I could think to do to her to hurt her in return.  It worked.  We existed, absent of one another.  Happily, on my end. 
But the fact is, someone I love now has an imminent expiration date, and I don't care to hurt her with the coldness between my mother and myself. 
So I am personable.  I am pleasant, sort of, and instead of spitting my interpretation of "the truth" at her like venom, I now make an effort to soften what I have to say. 
It's uncomfortable.  But I love my grandmother.  And for her, I can be civil to my mother. 

My mother. 
If there were a broke, trailer-park version of Elizabeth Taylor,  it would be her.  With a lust for the most flashy and expensive things, while only being able to afford an occasional Wal-Mart knock-off. 
And an apparent wedding ring hording issue...

My father was the first one she married.  They went their separate ways before I was old enough to remember anything, and for the longest time, I didn't even know he was my biological father.  She didn't want me to know.  I remember him as being a man that I visited a couple of times a year, who let me pick the seeds out of his pot stash. 

And then my second father.  She led me to believe that he was my "dad."  I don't remember the precise moment I found out the truth.  I can, however, remember very vividly the day that he told me the truth from his own lips.  We were swimming, and I said "hey, Daddy, watch this!"  He froze, as if he was suddenly remembering for the first time himself.  "You know I'm not your real dad, don't you?"  I knew.  But it was alarming to hear him say so. 

Number three was sort of an arrogant bastard, and the one I think most suited my mother.  He liked to be called "The King Daddy."  He wasn't.  He was an emotionally cold, and ego-centric asshole, and his brother was the creature who preyed upon me when the sun went down.  I think he might have stayed with my mother forever, were it not for the fact that she began an affair with number four. 

Number four...possibly even more convinced of his own importance than his predecessor, and possibly the most unusual man I have ever met.  He and my mother separated within a few years, however their divorce drug out for a decade, in what looked like a pitiful attempt to hold on to one another, without being obvious. 

There was also an engagement, one hundred years ago or more, to a man before my biological father. 
I don't know anything about him, except for his name. 

It seems apparent that my mother is either very bad at marriage, or very fond of wedding cake. 
(Not that I fault her for loving cake.  I love cake.  But when I have a hankering, I run to the store, not to the altar.)

Today's news shouldn't surprise me, really. 

"I'm getting married tomorrow." 

I literally had nothing to say, tho I might have a bruise on my chin from my jaw hitting the floor. 
Because I said nothing to say, she began explaining her reasoning behind her new nuptials.  There were insurance reasons, military benefits, medical reasons...but never, "I love him." 
Never, "we love each other."  No mention of love, whatsoever. 
Finally, I said to her, "this isn't my decision.  You don't have to keep trying to justify it to me.  If you think you're doing the right thing, then that's what you should do.  At the end of the day, it has nothing to do with me." 

Which is true. 
And I don't know why it's so hard for me to accept that. 
She could shave her head and join a cult, and it would have nothing to do with me.  It would have no affect on my day to day life. 
So why do I care?  I'm not fond of the man, it's true.  But I am not the one who has to sleep with him.  It doesn't affect me. 
I'm cringing at all the jokes that I know are coming. 
I'm embarrassed.  About what, I'm not sure.  As I said before, I'm fully aware that this has nothing to do with me.  Being embarrassed about it seems a little egocentric on my part. 

Part of me wonders if this absurdity isn't lurking inside of me somewhere, buried in my DNA, and waiting to leap out of me at an unexpected moment, destroying my marriage, and forcing me to begin hording wedding dresses. 
Silly, really.  My first and only marriage has probably lasted longer than all of hers put together.  But every time there is a bump in the road, I wonder, is this the day my maternal genes ooze to the surface, and ruin everything? 

My marriage has nothing to do with her.  Her past is not mine, and her future does not paint mine. 

But, fuck.  Five husbands?  Really?
How many weird step-dads do I need? 

1 comment:

  1. I think at a certain point, maybe some time in your 20s, men who marry your mother stop becoming your "step-dad." I also think you're lovely, and not absurd at all. Except in the loveliest of all possible ways. :)