(Photograph copyright 2010, all rights reserved.)
What a week! I get back from vacation, hoping for warm weather because we had sleet in Oregon fercryinoutloud and look what happens! For the entire week we were gone, the weather was lovely. NOW it's downright chilly out there. In the 50s-type chilly. Yeesh. Oh well. Good thing I didn't put ALL of the sweaters away, right?
This week is all about Mom. Good Moms, bad Moms, indifferent Moms, oddball Moms...they're everywhere.
We all know Mothers Day is this Sunday. How can I tell? Well, there's not a restaurant reservation to be had anywhere in this town for the next week. Plus there are a gazillion flower ads all over the place....and Prudie does only Mom-related letters. Read them here .
1. You poor little darling! What a terrible life you've led. Why, I'll bet you suffered so, what with the supportive parents, the love and care, the tuition they're no doubt paying.......
Please explain to me in detail why it is that your mother's FORMER, LONG IN THE PAST job is somehow a problem for you? Or did you just not want to know? Do you think she became a porn actress because she somehow psychically knew that you were going to be embarrassed by it all these years later and she wanted to do that to you? Are you so dense that you're willing to toss away your relationship with the two people who care about you most in the entire world?
Listen, kid. Your mother is the same person now that she was before you graduated high school. She is the same lady that changed your diapers, wiped your nose, made your lunches, and made the Closet Monster run away. In fact, the only reason she told you that she did work in porn is that she didn't want you to find photos of her online and have to deal with it when she wasn't close by for you to ask her about it. Damned considerate of her, don't you think?
The correct answer to the above is YES, dippy.
Get past this adolescent jackass bullshit and do it NOW. Your mother's life in porn is OVER. It was a JOB. It's how she made a living, as in a roof over her head and food on the table. Your father has always known about it, and has never stopped loving her or held it against her (because THAT you would have noticed). They BOTH have spent the last 18 years making sure that your life was happy and healthy.
NOTHING HAS CHANGED.
If you let this revelation affect your relationship, then you are a fool, little girl. Instead of freaking out over it and writing to the internet lady, why the hell don't you TALK to your mother? You know. Sit down at the kitchen table or on the couch and start by saying, "Holy crap, Mom! I had no idea!"
2. Another letter from a kid. Well it stands to reason, what with the Mother's Day theme and all.
You just graduated with an undergrad degree. Congratulations. You are also aware that it has little to no value in the marketplace (political science and history - nothing good there right now) so you want to go to graduate school. Congratulations again.
Your mother's cancer IS going to complicate your life for the foreseeable future, so
...for a minute and listen.
I can tell you all kinds of stuff here. Like Washington is NOT the only place to get a graduate degree, no matter what your political ambitions are. In fact... there are no doubt schools much closer to home that will serve you as well. It's the PERSON that gets hired, not the degree. If you want to go to school, then consider that.
You can take a year off, live at home, and get a part-time job. The academic world will not cease to rotate if you do that. In fact, some universities will allow your acceptance to remain valid so you can go the following year. It's a way to stay close.
Your mother's cancer IS very serious. Metastatic breast cancer is deadly. The fact that it's in her bones is not a good sign at all. You say in your letter that she will have to have chemotherapy for the rest of her life, and you need to know that her life may not be that long. Survival rates are virtually nil for this kind of cancer, and it can (though not necessarily) kill very quickly.
You need to TALK to your mother. It sounds like you haven't bothered doing that - in fact, all you say about her is "...deep down I think she really would like me to be close to home."
Did you ASK her flat out if that's what she wants? Some parents would rather their kids never saw them suffer and would prefer it if you went on with your life. Others would sooner have their kids close. You're an adult now, and now's the time to act like one. You aren't some little kid to just coast along - you have decisions to make and they are based on her life right now. What do YOU want?
Your mother is a grown-up human being. She is NOT her cancer and she is NOT just a diagnosis. This is the same woman who gave you hell for being out too late and forbade you to date the 30 year old guy whose wife "didn't understand him" when you were 15. She isn't going to break. TALK TO HER.
3. Ok. This is truly a fucked up mess. Seriously. How the hell do people let things get to this point before they actually do something about it?
Right. You know your mother is one truly fucked up, miserable specimen of a parent who probably should never have been permitted to reproduce in the first place, right? You knew that.... so....
Your question is what to do about your sister, and the answer to that one is easy. You jammed out on cleaning your mother's apartment after you said you would help, you sister is pissed at you and she has every right to be. Apologize, tell her WHY you jammed out, and let her decide what to do. You're both adults, so get a grip.
As to your fucked up, miserable specimen of a female parent... you have every right to resent her. I see some people over on Slate that are willing to make excuses for her. They seem to think that she's just a poor, mentally ill darling that needs to be taken care of. I guess they subscribe to the fantasy that anyone past the age of sixty automatically deserves different treatment than the rest of the world.
I am not of that school of thought. AT ALL. I'm here to tell you that your mother is nothing more than a lazy bitch who is taking advantage of you like a leech takes advantage of any mammal foolish enough to walk through the water. So there. I don't see her any differently than I see a forty-year-old kid that squats in Mommy and Daddy's basement, paying no rent and living on Cheetos and video games, sucking up his parents' pensions because he/she is too fucking lazy to get up off his/her ass and work.
I'm going to give you the same advice I'd give those parents.
You need to cut off the money train as soon as possible. You don't owe this idiotic woman a single thing. You did everything you could to get her off her ass and I have no doubt that all the counseling and medical bills came right out of yours and your sisters' pockets. YOU ARE DONE. This woman is not mentally ill, she's a lazy bitch who has a good deal going. She's got you and your sister on a string and she's going to take advantage of that until she dies.
Remember this. Your mother CHOSE to stop working at an age when most people are at least 15 years from retirement. She CHOSE to live on money that was no doubt meant to take care of her in her old age. 50 to 61 IS NOT OLD AGE. Now she has you and your sister somehow convinced that you owe her a living? What the fuck is that? It's pretty ballsy on her part, don't you think?
Tell your sister AND your mother that you just don't have enough money to support another person right now. Let them know that you will honor the agreement you made, but you'll have to cut it off after six months or a year. THEN.... tell your mother that you're going to give her share of the rent directly to her friend/landlord. Her reaction to that will tell you just how much she's sucked you into overpaying, right? Because you ARE overpaying. This isn't just about rent.
I know this hurts, but consider this. NORMAL parents want their kids to succeed and would NEVER demand that their kids support them. Good parents want their kids to be happy, successful adults, not ATMs with feet.
4. You're just sooooooooooo special, aren't you, you psycho-bitch-demon-mom? Just what the hell did you do to your girls? I'm surprised that you didn't force them to shave their heads and wear ankle-length calico dresses for their entire lives - because it wouldn't be fair for them to, say, have friends or normal social lives, right?
I was with you when you told Prudie that you tried to raise the kids to be unprejudiced and not to hassle other kids at school. Most parents try and do that. Very few would actually want their kid to be a bully or even a big meanie. Fair enough.
Your girls are doing all right. They're a couple of reasonably attractive (I'm guessing), well socialized kids who are nice to others (for the most part) and therefore have friends and acquaintances that like them.
Here's where you lost me:
"I resent popularity and have rallied against it both at work and when I was in school."
What the fuck is that? What did you do? Sit in a corner and pout? Put up signs that said things like "Popular people have cooties"? Try and convince the Chess Club to arm themselves and clobber anyone who cracked a smile during the day? Run around your office telling everyone that so-and-so shouldn't be promoted because everyone likes them? Quit your job in protest because one of your colleagues got invited to all the fun parties?
I really would like to know the answers to those. Dipshit.
SHADDAP! Again, dammit!
Yes. Your kids engaged in standard kid-like assholery when they were snickering about the kids they decided were "weird" . I get that. You found out that someone had rejected a friendly gesture by one of the kids and that was the reason for the nastyish hilarity and you no doubt over-reacted.
What you SHOULD have said is that not everyone is going to adore them all of the time, and that some people just don't want to be their buddy. There's nothing wrong with that. All people do not automatically like each other. I'm guessing that your kids are pretty nice and that being rejected like that stung a bit. That's no reason to behave badly, though.
That's beside the point, though, right? You resent your kids because they aren't the social cripples that you were at that age and are now. They get along with people because that's what YOU TAUGHT THEM to do. You don't get to crap on them now because of it.
Moron. Send them to boarding school NOW. Hopefully they'll unlearn your paranoia and the distance will keep them from outright hating you until they're old enough that they don't have to live with you any more.
Oh, and the picture... It's a barn door. Get it? It's a closed barn door! And the barn is empty! *snicker* I kill me!