(Warning: another novella-length post.)
When you go home, do you look around and wonder, ‘Who are these people? Where did I even come from?’ I mean, you look at them all, sitting there, and, they look familiar, but who the hell are they?
Holly Hunter in ‘Home for the Holidays’
For the record, I will not be dealing with my family tomorrow. Except for phoning them. My dad’s family, anyway. I haven’t spoken to my mother since the beginning of the month when my roommate and I went to get our free living room set from her. When I phoned her at 7.50am to find out if she was still drinking decaf coffee so I could bring her some from work, she was drunk. She’s been an alcoholic for as long as I’ve known her. We don’t talk about it, of course. That would be too adult-like. She’s been better recently–though I also no longer live at home so the improvement may very well be all in my head. Indeed, I found out that day that my step-father doesn’t allow alcohol in the house anymore. So much for doing better. It could have been a lot worse than it ended up being but it was, needless to say, not great. I have enough issues with my mother, never mind her day drinking on the day that I’m coming to visit and haven’t been home in almost 8 months.
She phoned me a week later to ask me about iPods, since my little brother wants one for Christmas. No hint of apology or even reference to the previous weekend. Just the iPods. She phoned me again a few days after that to ask me again about iPods and to make sure that I was okay since I hadn’t returned her first call. (Just to make this even more insulting, I’ve asked for an iPod for Christmas every year since they’ve come out–never really expecting one since I realise it’s a big ticket item, but still always being honest about wanting an iPod when I was asked what I really wanted for Christmas.) She phoned again the next day, finally clueing in to the fact that I wasn’t returning her calls. She finally sort of not really apologised in that call. She said she was apologising, but did so in a bitchy ‘I’ve not done anything wrong’ tone and blamed ‘whatever it was’ that she had done on menopause. Mon oeil, as they would say in French. My ass, as we would say in English.
She left me the option of not phoning her back. And so I haven’t. That was a week ago. I thought I would phone her back on Saturday but I didn’t feel up to it. I thought I would phone her back yesterday but again didn’t feel up to it. Now I’m thinking that I’ll phone her tomorrow. Dramatic, yes. Probably it will get the point across, though. Problem is, I don’t really know what to say. Probably I should just go with what I want to say. Tell her that I think she’s really something else for phoning me about iPods twice before phoning to apologise and even then clearly not really meaning it. That instead of buying iPods, she should be apologising to my little brothers for putting them through the same crap that I had to grow up with. That she really ought to admit fully to herself and to the rest of us that she has a problem, that she is an alcoholic, and to do what she has to do to deal with that. I suspect that this will lead towards lots of yelling and probably her hanging up on me–I never hang up on her because she usually beats me to it.
So, I guess I will speak to both sides of my family tomorrow. I’ll phone my father first so that I’m not over-emotional already. Other than that, it should be a fairly relaxing day. I’m going into work for a few hours to get up the Christmas decorations which should be fun. And much easier to do without having to worry about moving around customers and dealing with placing a milk order. I TRIED to do this on Monday, you see…. Then, I’m getting together with some friends to watch movies and order Indian take-out. Yum. Oh, and be thankful that we’re not with our families of course.
In other news, I’ve gone from feeling somewhat ambiguous about the minister as of about a week ago to can’t-stop-thinking-about-him. I’m really trying to calm my addled little brain down. The hairdresser has recessed further into the back of my mind. The minister is away this week which is probably a very good thing since it’s giving me a chance to gain some distance from the heady events of the weekend.
I had a date last night that was pre-arranged before this weekend with a fellow that I met a couple of weekends ago. I had been perfectly happy for it to have been a one-night only thing but then he got his friend, an acquaintance of mine, to get my number. He was certainly a nice enough guy and easy on the eyes so I didn’t really think it a bad thing to see him again, although I really didn’t expect anything to come of it. More so now, given the events of the past weekend. So we just met up for a drink. Literally a drink. The conversation was painfully stilted. He made the mistake of asking why I was interested in the history of masculinity and gender more generally and so I blabbered on for probably close to ten minutes. Drawing connections to today, talking about class issues, linking the growth of the history of masculinity as a field to the firm establishment of women’s history, etc, etc, etc. I basically got a blank stare back. My blabbering filled the silence at least.
Especially given last night, I think I’m well on my way to accepting the reality of the minister being interested in me. It still certainly has a too-good-to-be-true sheen to it. And I’m really trying to refrain from getting too excited about it. After seeing the hairdresser for the second time, I said that I had a really good feeling about him. And then he broke things off. It’s a different situation, obviously, with the minister, though. I’m going to see him almost every day just like I have for the past almost four months. He’s a smart boy. He acknowledged the dangerous ground he was stepping on to when he worried about the potential post-breakup awkwardness when he gets his coffee. He doesn’t strike me as one to jump lightly into something that might endanger his caffeine supply. Still, I know I need just to pull back and to take the situation as is and to let it develop as it will.
Just don’t mind me if I’m a little starry-eyed for a while.