Lose Your Shit Day Triumphs: Volume 1
Hi and Happy Lose Your Shit Day,
Our paperback giveaway is still in full effect. So write me at furymemoir(at)gmail(dot)com and tell me how you have addressed/readdressed an outstanding conflict in your life. The first ten people who write will get free goodies via the U.S. Postal Service.
I’ll also be posting your tales of inspiration here. Here’s the first installment
Hi Ms. Zailckas Hamilton!
My mother, intrepid reference librarian and control freak extraordinaire, called me three weeks ago with that. Tone. In her voice. Her call was to inquire, very intensely and without time to waste asking me how my new job was going, why I was engaged to my best friend and roommate on Facebook. No amount of good humor or practical explanation could lighten the tone of the call. Her anger was palpable and the problem of my fake engagement needed to be dealt with one way only, to her way of thinking: with repentance from my black, possibly lesbian soul and with urgency from my fingers and Wifi connection cancelling the relationship. I tried to explain that people marry their dogs on Facebook, but she is extremely religious and couldn’t believe that I would associate myself with homosexuality. I cancelled it for her and made myself both publicly SINGLE and INTERESTED IN MEN while she was still on the other line, frantically refreshing her browser. She ended the conversation by telling me that
a.) I am far too thin, it makes me look old,
b.) she just noticed that I have a “nose from her side of the family” and that the bump would be far less noticeable if I gained weight,
c.) my black Calivin Klein peacoat makes me look like a Holocaust victim leaving the concentration camp with their nice items of clothing on emaciated frames (since apparently the Nazis compartmentalized and preserved the Jews’ belongings and thoughtfully returned them once they were liberated
and d.) that I smelled like smoke every time she saw me, so she knew I was smoking more than normal. Her sense of smell, which she does not have anymore, magically returns when we smell any way she does not approve of.
I created distance between myself and my mother for two weeks. This past weekend was her 60th birthday and I realized that I wanted to see her, and I really did want to. The truth is, I don’t want to have her life when I’m her age. I want to be happy and I want to make the people around me happy because I love them, they love me, and we want to be around each other. But there are times that I do want my Mom and I do need her love. So, when she became critical at lunch after church on the day we celebrated her birthday, I gave her a hug and told her I loved her and excused myself and went home. I decided not to use my presence or lack of presence as a tool to punish or reward her, but I will choose to be around her when I want to be and she wants me to be too. When I don’t want to be around, I won’t let guilt convince me to spend time with her. It’s not fair to me, it’s not good for either of us, and I think our relationship will improve. I know that she knows I love her—and I know she loves me too.
Photo Credit: Flickr/Huling Justin