Just got off the phone with Mom, who refuses to admit to how ecstatic she really is about the impending return home. No matter how adamantly she proclaims to support her children’s hopes and dreams, at the slightest inclination of a return home she immediately adopts an ‘if you say you’re coming home then you’re damn well coming home’ air. Snippets of the conversation went as such:
Mom: You still have clothes in your closet here, by the way. You’d better decide what you want to do with them.
S: I haven’t been home in over two years; I highly doubt I’d still be able to fit any of those.
Mom: Oh God, how much weight have you gained?
S: It fluctuates. My point is, I don’t need them anymore. Just get Tini (the maid) to clear the closet and get rid of them.
Mom: Well, we’ll take them out of the closet and you can take them to wherever you want to give them away to.
S: Do you really think I would know where your version of the Salvation Army is? Just get Justin to take them away or something. I’m sure the clothes I ship home will suffice.
Mom: You could clothe a whole third-world country, I should think. Will all the clothes you have now fit in that closet?
Mom: So where will it all go?
S: I’ll put what I don’t wear very often in Justin’s closet. He’ll be gone soon anyway, and don’t pretend his closet is so full that it’s creaking at the hinges.
Mom: (Ominous pause, and then very quietly…) And what about your shoes?
Mom: Oh, dear…
Mom: Just so you know, she (grandmother, Dad’s side) thinks you’re really coming home because you couldn’t find a man over there. And before you exclaim at how primitive she is, I need to ask: how many tattoos do you have now? And how many more are you getting, only because I know you are?
S: I’m getting the sixth one before I go to Boston, and that’ll be the last one. And how is this relevant to what she thinks of my going home?
Mom: Once she sees your tattoos and your piercing she’ll be more determined than ever to ‘put you right’ by finding you a husband whom she thinks will have you.
S: Unless I prance around the house with no clothes on, she won’t see my tattoos or my piercing. And I’ll tell her I don’t want to get married. Speaking of which, what was your scary age, Mom?
Mom: (pause) My what?
S: Your scary age. You know, that age where — if you were a single woman — you start worrying that you’re doomed to spinsterhood.
Mom: Hmmmm…. I suppose whatever age that renders me too old and decrepit to work anymore.
S: You were going to start worrying about being a spinster at 70, then?
Mom: OK, well… 50. In which case I just hit it four months ago.
S: But you’re married. You don’t count.
Mom: With a marriage like mine, I do.