Day 2, The Trouble With Mother (CONT)

“Look. You get ready for work. Don’t worry about anything. Call up those amazing friends of yours and go dancing. Mama will fix everything else for you. I have already discussed it with Ben and Judy. They are coming to my house for a few days for some grandma time. They need a vacation from you and Jeff.” Mom wags her finger in my face at that line. Gee thanks mom for making me feel even less like a person since I can’t mother my babies at the moment. As I peer back at this moment, mom really is a blessing. She doesn’t have to take Ben and Judy, but is so willing to.

Mom is right about one thing, go to work. It sure didn’t help my esteem any. I ended up accidentally spilling coffee all over Mrs. Perkins. Her husband, Tommy, laughed quite loud. They are considered very wealthy people in my area. What does that mean? Well they make 6 figures while the rest of us make minimum wage.

I couldn’t wait for my 5 hour shift to just end already. Too much going through my mind and wiping tables wasn’t helping my mental health. When 1 o’clock came, I threw my apron in the basket and clocked out of there. I am sure I ran out of there.

Thankfully,  my really great friend, Michael, works at the salon right at the end of the block. If you look at our work spots, I am on one corner and he is on the other. Same block. Don’t even have to cross the street, just walk a few stores down.

I super had to talk to him. So I waltzed right through the door. Skinny little Megan was there. God she is such a charm.

“Well hellloooo.” There goes that fake sing-song voice of hers. “Are you here to talk to Michael again or actually get some work done? You would be a lot prettier if you did your hair.” Well dig me a grave won’t cha. I hate that she gets those digs in. She tries to act so nice and sweet but if you listen to her, you know it is a facade.

“I just need to TALK to him for a BRIEF moment.” Must have been something in my tone or the look on my face, but Megan went pale. She turned, walked over to Michael, said something to him, pointed at me, then she walked over to her station and stayed there. Michael finished with his client as I waited silently.

Finally Michael walks up to me and says,”Hey you. What’s going on?”

“I can’t tell you right now, but will you call the others. I want to tell you all at the same time. I will be at our favorite spot.”

“Ok. I will make those calls. Are you ok?”

“I’m fine. For now. Just get everyone together and I will talk to you all then.”

“Ok love. Will do.” Michael gave me one of his bear hugs. Which I really didn’t know I need and I felt like I was gonna cry again so I hurriedly pushed him away and as I turned to leave I said, “I know it won’t be til around 5 or 6 when you all get there, but I will be sitting in our spot waiting.” and I walked away. I never looked back to see if anyone was watching me. I must be very transparent right now.

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Day 2, The Trouble with Mother

Everyone has one. We call her Mother or Mama or Mums or anything like that. Mine is an independent soul. She has been married 4 times and I can’t count the boyfriends or manfriends as she calls them. She has had more men in and out of her life than anyone I know. I never wanted to be her. I wanted a strong, everlasting marriage like my grandparents had. My mother has always had her own house, career, and life. If a man didn’t like the way she lived, it was goodbye man.

Judy called her last night and told her everything Jeff had said at dinner.

“Don’t worry about anything.” He said to our children. “Jenni will make you an awesome home and be the best mother ever!”

That was when Ben exploded. Ben has known Jenni since we moved into this house. Mike and Carol were the first people on the block to welcome us to the neighborhood. Jenni was always a cute baby with all her curls. She would run around the neighborhood on her tricycle to visit all the other kids. She still is a social butterfly. She became head cheerleader when she was a freshman. Quite a feat for a tiny child.

“JENNI! MY MOTHER! ARE YOU CRAZY!” He sure does know how to yell. Sometimes I think Ben has spent too much time at my dad’s house. He has more of my dad in him than he does of Jeff or even Jeff’s parents. ” I THINK YOU NEED YOUR HEAD EXAMINED! WE HAVE A GREAT COUNSELOR AT SCHOOL! I DON’T THINK MATT IS GONNA LIKE THIS AT ALL. HE GAVE JENNI A PROMISE RING 3 WEEKS AGO! WHY CAN’T YOU FIND SOMEONE YOUR OWN AGE LIKE MOM?”

“Jenni is fun and she knows Matt is just a cover until she is 18 which she is now.” At that statement Ben stood up, grabbed the knife next to him, looked at it, and decided to punch the wall instead.

Judy and my mom where on the phone for hours or so it seems when you are still in shock and running around your house like a zombie.

This morning, I really didn’t feel like getting out of bed. I heard the kids downstairs and a very familiar voice.

“Damn it” I said under my covers.

The voice came up the stairs and into my room. There is a tug at my blankets.

“Go away and leave me alone!” I told the voice.

“I will not, Alice Eugenia! Get your ass out of bed this instant.”

“I do not wish to leave my bed at this moment, and you can never make me.”

“Oh really?”

Ok. I may be in a bit of trouble with that tone. I peaked a bit out of the covers. Then I told the voice, “I am not leaving my bed, you can’t make me, and all I ever wanted was a marriage like grandma’s!”

“Oh my gawd, seriously! Your grandparents did not have a perfect marriage you know. My father had affairs on my mother all the time. She just stayed with him like an obedient dog.  Stop acting like her. I raised you to be a worshipped goddess not a dog to some filthy man. Men stray all the time. They never stay with one woman. The sooner you realize this, the better your life will be. You can’t be basing your whole life around a man or even your children. You have to live your life for yourself. Your children grow up and have their own lives eventually and men, well they find perkier breasts to hold. ”

At that she grabbed my covers again and we played the stupid game of tug of war with the covers. A game I haven’t played with her since my school years. She succeeded in dragging me and the blankets to the floor.

“There.” she said, “Now get up and make us all breakfast. I for one am starving. And I believe it is time for you to follow your dreams. Time to stop being a barista or whatever they call you down at that coffee shop and get a career you love. Time for you to stop being an obedient dog! Men come and go, you will always be with you. Now chop chop. Get up, get dressed, and get downstairs. Life awaits you!”

At that the voice left my room. I heard her walking down the stairs and talking to my babies. I pulled the blankets off my head and stood up. My mirror sure didn’t hide the ugliness of my hair. I walked to the bathroom and started showering. I walked back to my bedroom and got dressed in my sweatpants with a baggy shirt. Not what my mother would want me to wear but oh well.

I walked down the stairs and into the kitchen. Ben and Judy were already making some sort of breakfast with my mother’s guidence.

“You call that dressing?” She says to me giving me that look.

“Its not like I am going to school.” I snapped back to her.

“Doesn’t matter even if you are. You should dress more appropriately and put on some makeup. You can’t attract a man without looking your best.”

“Mom, I just found out less than 24 hours ago, I am getting a divorce. I really don’t want a man right now.”

My mother decided to do one of her dramatic sighs then says, “Fine. But do go to that nasty job your so called husband wanted you to have.  You have bills to pay right now. Then make yourself a spa day. Oh never mind, I will do that. Time for some mother-daughter time. I think you need a whole new routine. Call your friends up. I know they will help get you out of this slump.”

“SLUMP! MOTHER IT HAS ONLY BEEN 24 HOURS!” According to Ben and Judy, I looked like some freaky teenager doing some wild child thing to my mother since I had a wild look on my face and I was swinging my arms around.

“Stop being so dramatic!”

Leave it to my mother to think I am being the dramatic one.

 

 

Day 1, Jeff’s Exciting News

Have you ever had one of those days? You know, the really life changing, OMG what am I going to do now days. This is one of those days.

It started just like every day has with me rising out of bed. My hair looks like Medusa. It has always had a mind of its own. I stumble my way to the bathroom where I can get some sanity from the heat of the water running over my back. I just love showers. The way they make you feel. Not like a bath where you float in it, but you stand there in a nice warm rain. Finally, the water gets cold. That is when I know my calming time is over. Life now begins.

I stumble my way, slightly more awake, to my bedroom to get dress for my day.  Today is a Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 day.  My mom played 3 songs daily. One is Aretha Franklin’s Natural Woman, two is Peggy Lee’s I’m A Woman (who can ever forget that model with the frying pan commercial), and Dolly’s 9 to 5. These are her all time favorites. Today, I am humming 9 to 5 since I have to go to work at the crappy coffee shop I work at. My husband was quite insistent one day that I get this job. My old job was as a CNA for a nursing home. He didn’t like the hours or the fact that I could  bring home so much money putting us over a certain tax bracket. So lousy, little pay job it is.

I get my uniform on and then smell something amazing. Eggs, bacon, and I hear the kids chattering away downstairs talking to their dad. My eldest is Ben. He is 17 and a Senior in High School. My baby is Judy. She just turned 16 and is a Junior.  My dear husband is Jeffery, Jeff as everyone calls him.

I head down the stairs walking toward the wonderful smell of breakfast in my kitchen. I love my kitchen. It is so bright with all the windows. It took Jeff and I forever to agree on a house. We looked at over 100 houses when we first decided to get out of that little studio. Of course we really needed to with one baby almost 1 and another on the way.

This is our compromise home. It has the kitchen I adore and the everything else Jeff wanted. I enter the kitchen to laughter and my amazing family. I always feel so blessed at home.

Then Ben says, ” Oops. Judy look at the time. We have to fly or we will be late for school!”

“Crap!” Judy exclaims and she grabs her backpack.

Ben grabs his and they rush toward the door.

“Hold on!” I say. “Come here and give us a kiss and hug!”

They both run and exchange parents as they do my bidding.

“Goodbye my babies. I love you. See you after school.”

“Bye, Love you.” They say simultaneously.

Jeff then grabs my arm. I figure he wants a kiss before work, but instead he says, “We need to talk.”

“Ok” I say with a bit of suspicion. Jeff really never talks to me. He usually just tells me what is going to happen and if I don’t like it he throws a fit like a 2-year-old til he gets his way.

“This is serious Alice.” He always starts this way when he wants me to just go along with something. “I want you to sign these divorce papers.” All of a sudden my chin hits the floor.

Jeff then starts talking with a gleam in his eye and excitement in his voice, “Jennifer and I have found the perfect place and we are moving into it today!”

“What?!” I finally find a word in this fantasy. I am flabbergasted and amazed. What the hell is going on here.

Finally reality hits and a wave rushes through me. “Who the hell is Jennifer? When did you get divorce papers?” Anger starts swelling in me.

“What do you mean?” Jeff asks like an innocent child. “Jennifer is Mike and Carol’s daughter. She really loves me and I really love her. We are going to live together forever.”

“Are you on some kind of drug? Are you crazy? Jennifer just turned 18 yesterday. What the hell made this come about?”

“Oh well you see. Jennifer and I started to date 4 years ago after Ben’s birthday bash.”

“WHAT? When she was just 14. Ben’s birthday is 3 months before hers! What are you a pedophile? Does Mike and Carol know about this?”

“Well Mike did. He never cared that Jen and I are together. Whatever makes Jenni happy makes Mike happy.”

“Oh my gawd. You are a pedophile and Mike is allowing this!”

“Well she is 18 now and legally nothing can be done. Nothing you say matters anyway. Sign the damn divorce papers. I will come home for supper and explain it all to Ben and Judy. But as of right now, I am no longer living in this house.”

With that Jeff turned and headed toward the front door, I assume to go to work, but really, I have no idea where he is going. At this point, I don’t even want to go to work. So I picked up the phone and called my boss. I told him I was sick and needed a couple of days. What I really need is some sanity.

I went upstairs, got out of my uniform and into my sweatpants with a baggy shirt. I laid upon my bed and cried. Then I slept. I got up thinking it was all a bad dream. Went downstairs for some coffee. Couldn’t bring myself to drink it at all. Then back to bed. I was awaken by the sounds of my babies coming home from school. I laid in bed a while more.

Jeff came to dinner just like he said he would. The blowup between him and Ben was very scary. Jennifer is in Ben’s class. They will be graduating together this year. Judy is still crying as I write this. I called a few lawyers today. I am not just signing divorce papers without some idea of what I am signing.

I am sure after I get a good nights sleep maybe the shock of it all will diminish. I still feel like I have the flu. I need to let this all sink in.  Tomorrow, I will call my parents and friends. Today, I just can’t deal with anything. Emotions have gotten the better of me.  I guess I will head back to sleep. I pray this is just a bad dream and I awaken soon.