This was a weekend for firsts for me.
First time someone called me ma’am – AND MEANT IT – the first time my mom came to visit for an entire weekend and we didn’t fight and actually had a great time, the first time someone read something of mine and understood the characters.
So. Let’s start from the top and go from there.
While Mom was here, Tucker and I went to Barnes and Noble so I could get some work done. Since Darwin the Laptop needs his battery replaced, it is crucial that I sit right next to a power outlet and remain connected to the wall until I’m ready to leave. Since it was Sunday at 3pm, the book store was beyond packed and it seemed as if every person had decided to sit at a table that had a power outlet within power cord’s reach.
I eventually found a bench over in the knitting section of the magazine area and settled myself in next to a couple of nicely dressed chicks.
I am a horrible judge of age so let’s just say these chicks were somewhere between 16 and 26. I’m not playing around here. They could have been anywhere in that range. Their makeup was tasteful. Their clothes were fashionable but not “old” or “young”. I kept listening to them as I tried to figure out how old they were. They were working on some sort of video project for a class but that class could have just as easily been a high school class as a college class.
I got my work done and since Darwin’s cord was plugged in between the chicks, I was just about to ask them to unplug the cord when the girl closest to me turned and said, “OH! I’m sorry, ma’am. Did you need me to unplug your computer for you?”
That was hella nice of her to realize I was ready to go and to offer to unplug Darwin before I had even gotten a chance to ask but where the fuck did the “ma’am” thing come from?! I mean, REALLY? Ma’am?!
Of course, instead of just thanking her, I asked her, “You didn’t really just call me ma’am, did you?” And I laughed this nervous “too cool for school” laugh and mentally crossed my fingers [well, mental fingers…cause my brain has appendages and stuff] that I looked young and cool, that I had misheard her and that the chick would laugh.
None of that happened.
A look somewhere between awkward uncomfortableness and out-and-out fear crossed the chick’s face and she kind of mumbled, “Excuse me?”
Since she was mumbling and she obviously wasn’t going to say she had just been joking, I mumbled a “Thank you” and turned my back to her so she couldn’t guess the moment when I would crawl under the bench we were sitting on.
For the rest of the freakin day, I chewed that over and here it is two days later and I’m still talking about it.
I’m sure a large part of my preoccupation with the whole incident is I still have this unrealistic expectation that younger people will think I’m “cool” and possibly interesting and if you really want to get down to it, a lot of the reason for my fixation is I don’t want to accept that I have officially moved out of being one of their peers and have moved into that dark grey area between being the cool older sister and being the extremely uncool and not-to-be-trusted mother.
I don’t feel like the mother. I feel like I’m still in my early twenties. Granted, I do have two young kids and I’m not saying I want to shirk my responsibilities and go out partying but I do want my cake and I want to eat that damn cake too [whatever the hell that means].
I KNOW I am not the only woman who feels like this. You should comment and share how you dealt with this inevitable suckitude.
Like I said at the very top, Mom came for a quick visit this weekend and we had a great time.
We didn’t fight, I made a fantabulous dinner which Mom loved – and that’s damn cool since Mom is a fabulous cook and tends to set that bar rather high. Sunday night Mom, Tucker and I stayed up until 1 am talking about nothing in particular and that rocked.
If you compare this past weekend’s visit with visits in the past, this one gets a gold star. With glitter. And maybe even some LED lights with sound effects.
While Mom was here, I mentioned something that probably won’t ever happen and I’m not going to really mention it here because I don’t want to jinx myself and no I’m not teasing you I’m just being paranoid and cautious and above all I’m being superstitious.
Mom hadn’t read the two things that might be involved in the aforementioned thing that I didn’t really mention, so I sat her down at our dining room table, showed her how to move the page up and down on the laptop monitor and left her to it.
Those two pieces led to her reading both The Note and the Johann stories and Mom was actually excited. She called Johann “interesting” and then started discussing which character was “the bad guy”. The reason this is such a big deal to me is because my mom doesn’t read.
I mean OBVIOUSLY she CAN read but she chooses not to. If she told me that she had read 10 books in her entire life for pure pleasure, I would probably call her a liar and then bet the number was closer to five.
If she called something I wrote “interesting” then I consider that a big ass vocal pat on my back.
If Mom was interested enough in a couple of my characters to start dissecting them then maybe I’ll steal dinner’s sparkly gold star and put it on my t-shirt.
Then again, Mom might be a bit biased.