Next time I’ll take as many photos of my mom as I do of phalluses
My mom came to visit recently and we zoomed all over scenic New England in autumn, starting in Massachusetts and venturing to Vermont and Rhode Island, too. Because yes, I’m a 30-year-old single woman who lives alone with cats and vacations semi-annually with her mother. You probably could have inferred most if not all of that from the name of this blog.
Because of a weakened immune system, she’s forced to pass on plane rides and instead drive the 10-plus hours on Interstate 90 from Cleveland to Boston. She’s become more germ-phobic over the years, and when we’re in public places and someone sneezes or wheezes or so much as takes a breath too labored for her liking, she yanks up her shirt over her nose and mouth and wears it like a surgical mask to completely mortify me.
Mom always insists on sleeping in my bed. With me. Together. Even though it’s only a double. And I own a perfectly good futon. And the cold, hardwood floor would be an acceptable alternative to slumbering with a parent. Despite my objections, she gets her way. Which means the only person who has shared a bed with me in almost five months is my mother. Oh, self-esteem, how I wonder what it’s like to have you.
Unfortunately, every time she makes the trek to my town, I end up coming down with a cold. Working in a newsroom teeming with bacteria that predate cable television, ratty stacks of newsprint and actual rats, I’ve built up a robust immunity and typically never get sick – except when she’s here. It’s been suggested that my symptoms are psychosomatic. I tried to subdue my sniffles, but by mid-vacation, fear of illness overpowered her warped maternal instinct to bunk with her adult daughter, and she booted me and my virus to the futon. Even my mom won’t sleep with me. That came out wrong.
We didn’t so much as bicker during her weeklong stay, and the only disagreement we had was actually after she returned home. After spending the afternoon shopping and lunching in Coolidge Corner, she gassed up her SUV, burst into tears saying goodbye and headed back west. We spoke a few more times that day, and in the evening I told her I wouldn’t be able to call again because I was having dinner with my ex and her partner, followed by a phone date with
the future stepmother of my cats my pen pal in Canada. Because I interact only with people sexually off-limits to me thanks to established or international boundaries. These were, however, not good excuses for not calling.
The next time we spoke, Mom was at first standoffish and then I got an earful. “You didn’t call to make sure I got home safely,” she said curtly. And I was all, “I told you I couldn’t call because I’d be on the phone with someone else. That’s how phones work.” She huffed, “I could have been lying dead in a ditch on the highway, and you wouldn’t have known.” And I was like, “If you were lying dead in a ditch on the highway, you wouldn’t have been able to answer the phone.” So she seethed, “The police would have picked up.” “But you wouldn’t have known I called because you’d be dead,” I argued. And she was all, “Well, you wouldn’t have known I was dead unless you called.” I was like, “I think I would have found out eventually that you were dead. Dad or the hospital or a nearby woodland creature that came across your blood-spattered cell in the middle of the road and pressed and held the 1 button with its hoof to quick-dial me because I’m No. 1 and you love me more than your other child because I’m better would have let me know with words or somber bleating. And no, I don’t know why Dad bleats all the time. You’ll have to take that up with him. BUT YOU’RE NOT DEAD BECAUSE WE’RE TALKING NOW.” “That’s not the point, Jessica Anne.” I thought it was.
I’d post a few photos from our adventures, but we totally forgot to take any except for this one I snapped with my iPhone at the chichi Simon Pearce glass gallery in Quechee, Vt. During our second stop there in two days, as Mom, a tireless shopper, was pestering the sales staff while trying to make a Sophie’s Choice between a clear centerpiece and a frosted bowl, I was busy contemplating how much these candlesticks look like dildos.
P.S. Andrea, one of the bloggiest babes I know who writes Crazy with a Side of Awesome Sauce, needs our help. Her cat Jete was recently diagnosed with cancer, and the cost of surgery and treatment will be in the thousands. You can read about Jete’s plight and prognosis here, and while you’re over there, perhaps you can send support, scratchy-tongue kisses or spare cash via PayPal her way. Also, all proceeds from her uber-cute Etsy shop go to fund Jete’s care. It would mean a lot to me. And Teva and Isabel, too.