Or, What do I say, and What do I leave out?
Well, Gracious Reader, I’m home in Dallas on something I never thought I would take. Not Peyote buttons, but almost as unlikely. A business trip. Me. It’s a pretty weird feeling, though it’s slightly different a normal business trip, if there is such a thing. I drove my own car, for one thing, as it is also a delivery. Anyway, none of that really matters as far as this conversation goes, none of it except that it’s a trip to Dallas, and therefore I am (pocketing my hotel per diem and) staying with my folks. Staying with Mom is a lot like staying in a hotel, actually. The room that I sleep in is extremely clean, extremely generic, and I don’t have to make the bed. There are also free breakfasts, and cable TV, though for my stone age parents, this is a new thing. Sadly, there is no Wi-Fi, so it’s like a kind of lame hotel, but whatever. It’s nice to get caught up with Mom, and we’ve joked a little about the fact that we’ve seen a lot of each other lately, since I started this job, as the more regular schedule lets me come “home” more often. Sometimes I even get paid to do it.
But it’s been interesting this time in a new way, because it’s the first time I’ve been home on a weekday that wasn’t some sort of holiday week in maybe 10 years or more. It’s the first time I’ve seen my parental units going about their day to day lives, and it’s a little bit odd. Mom washes her hair in the kitchen sink, for example. She also almost never cooks anymore, since it’s just the two of them, and they no longer eat at the kitchen or dining room table. They eat in the living room, in front of the television. Easting in front of the TV was one of the great joys of moving OUT of my mother’s house when I was 18, and now I come home and it’s their daily M.O. Weird. I don’t want to tell her that I think her daily life is weird, though, that just seems rude, and I am very glad to see her, as she is my best friend in the whole world.
There are things, though, that I wonder about whether or not I can talk to her about, still. We are pretty open, mind you, we talk about things that only two people as close as we are can talk about. So far, I revealed the funny moment that I had with one of my roommates recently that I wouldn’t be able to recount here, out of respect for her privacy, but I am pretty sure is not the kind of story most people tell their mothers. My best friend’s little sister was once horrified that I openly discussed, in the presence of my mother, the fact that my serious girlfriend and I used birth control while we were together. This was, in her mind, an admission to my mother that I engaged in S-E-X, and was somehow an awful person. My mother, meanwhile, is no idiot, was not remotely harboring the mistaken impression that I was a 28 year old virgin, and is, in point of fact, proud of me for being responsible and open with my partner at the time. Mama didn’t raise no fool.
But there are things I don’t tell her still, likely for her own good. I try to be positive around her, and not let her see that there are parts of me that are still vulnerable. I’ve made a serious effort to stop talking about Jessica with her, as it only make my mother dislike her all the more. Mom never liked her, I don’t think, but only in that way that all Mother’s think no woman is good enough for their son. Then, when things were bad with Jess and I, Mom got my side of the story, could tell that I was in pain, and made her mind up pretty quick. But I’ve found that the more that I vent about these things with Mom, the more she just cements herself in one place on the matter, and I know my thoughts about it are changing, so I don’t want to gravitate towards one spot, even if it is Mom.
There are other things, too, that it becomes unusual to talk to Mom about these days. The new things in my life are coming fast and furious, and she’s so averse to taking risks or doing things that she feels are frivolous. If she knew some of the things I am planning to do in the next couple of weeks, she’d shake her head in disbelief and disapproval, I am sure.
I think I am writing this, and addressing it directly to you , Gracious Reader, for this reason. Mom reads the ‘Wrangler (when Ron will let her,) and she’s just about the only filter that it has ever had. There are things you haven’t gotten to hear because I didn’t want Mom to hear them. There was one other filter once before, a friend whose wounds I didn’t want to salt, but mostly the only person I ever hold back for, here, is Mom.
And I think, sooner rather than later, that this is going to change. “Write without Fear” is something I really, really believe in, especially in this type of open publishing. To not do so is disrespectful of you, Gracious Reader, not fair to my own voice, and frankly, cowardice. If I’m not afraid to write and speak, and willing to do so to the rest of the planet, from spammers to friends, ex-lovers to current lovers to employers to nieces and nephews, then I shouldn’t be afraid of Mom. If people who do read are afraid of me, or object or agree or whatever, they have a spot here to say so, and I opened it to them for a reason. Clouds are difficult to wrangle, and I can use all the help I can get. I’ve never been afraid of disagreement or argument (ask Mike), but I have been afraid to some degree of Mom’s disapproval.
Except that she’s Mom. She disapproves and still loves, unconditionally. So no more Mom filters, because I love her, too. I remembered to day that no matter how much I think I can’t, if I really need to, I can talk to her about anything. It’s really nice to be home.