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Today, at work, on my telephone job i was listening to a lady telling her mother about how she was getting trained for working the customer service phones for a health insurance company in a city here in this very state i live in.

it wasn’t just any insurance company. it wasn’t just any city here in this state i live in. It was THE insurance company my mom worked at in THE city she lived in. This lady i was listening to was getting a job at the place that i had driven by, had heard my mom talk about, and i actually have met/made crafts for some of the people she met at that job! yes, i thought of her.

So i texted her to let her know, cuz ha-ha, serendipity! I also mentioned, as an aside, that this woman on the phone had been bitching and moaning for the 25 minutes i’d been working her call so i could forsee her not lasting long before totally telling off an insurance client and getting fired (that didn’t happen to my mom; she quit that job of her own choice)

and she got insulted by it!

What!?

i mean, my wording was perhaps a little iffy, but with 160 characters you have to condense a bit. And the hell, i’m not going to text her just to insult her (that’s what i have this blog for, ha-ha). I was texting her to let her know that i had thought about her randomly throughout the day and to share in the ha-ha-ness that maybe this lady would be sitting in her old cube, chatting with her old coworkers.

nah, that doesn’t fly in mom world.

eggshells much?

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The last time we talked about all this, perhaps the last time we will ever talk about it, i told her i would likely always be angry with her. by the end of the conversation i had retracted the statement because i could clearly see that she could not or would not understand.

I am not angry about the past; it is what it is and i am me because of it. all i want is to be treated with respect.

i suppose it may be a lot to ask that she be the mother i wish she were when i have refused to be the daughter that she wishes me to be. but honestly, at this point, i’m not even looking for a mother. she can be like an aunt, or a friend.

But i have given up on potential friends sooner than this for lesser crimes. i won’t be made to feel bad or angry or frustrated by a person i call friend, so i break the ties and let them go on their way. we’re better off not together.

I’ve been through childbirth too, but i wonder how much foundation, how many retries that really entitles a mother to. I think i have given more second chances than required and even still i want to continue to try, even if i know it will only end in more pain.

That’s more than she deserves and she doesn’t see. and that makes me angry.

I’ve been fuming for days. or is it weeks? Years.

It’s such an insult when you say “Gotta walk on eggshells when yo’ure talking to Sahara” because really, that’s how i feel about you.

you claim you want to have a better relationship with me but how can you do that not knowing ANYTHING about me? And so i try to inform you. and not just superficial. what’s my favorite color? Do i like knitting or crocheting better? What am i doing this weekend. No, i want to share real, emotional things.

And here is where the eggshells come in. because i try to tell you how you’ve hurt me. how if you want to have a real relationship with me you have to stop insulting me all the time. if i were to tell my father, my husband, my best friend that they had hurt my feelings they would say “I’m sorry.”

You say, “Get over it.”

And so it is I who walks on eggshells, scared shitless of saying what i really feel for fear of being dragged down into a battle of nonsense over the past when i am only interested in the present. the current insult, whatever it was, is what i want to talk about.

And the current insult? the refusal to understand this very concept right here. that getting to know me means i’m not going to just share the sentimental stuff, the superficial stuff, but also the painful stuff. Maybe you bailed before you realized that those three things, and more, occur when you have kids. maybe your mom baild on you before she could teach you that. I’ve only been Mom for a year, but honestly, i learned about all the facets of having relationships with people long before i had a crocodile daughter of my own.

I’m stepping out of the line of succession, breaking the chain of abandonment (even if you refuse to admit to that word). I’m staying around. i’m listening to the good and the bad as well as the inconsequential. and i will not base my hopes and disappointments on teh imaginary children i want to have, but instead on the flesh and blood children who actually find their way into the world from the place where i formed them, not as part of me, but as part of themselves.

and those who matter don’t mind.

That was the saying on the facebook image i shared… that she then shared too, not realizing when i posted it i was thinking of her… how she’s one of the former, not the latter.

I’m not the girl that grew up planning her wedding. i had a barbie but she never married ken (or gi joe or the ninja turtles either, for that matter). she didn’t have a wedding gown. my favorite of her party dresses was black and shiny silver.

I told the husband when he was still the boyfriend that i would never be married in a church, that i would never wear a wedding gown or a diamond ring. that i would not get married in front of people for what i feel is actually something that is very private. Hell, i said, let’s just not get married at all! The paper has no bearing on the love.

But after six years we started to hear the demands and thinking of the money we could save to combine insurance and file taxes differently we thought “eh, what the hell?” (romantic, no? Neither of us has every claimed to be) I repeated my restrictions and he was right behind me. Save the money for the house we’re planning to buy. Keep it small.

So we had a miniscule ceremony; me and him and the judge and two witnesses in the just recently cleared-of-protestors state capital building. We had considered strangers for witnesses but felt that to be too much unpredictability. so we settled for a friend of mine and a friend of his who would leave work for a few hours on a cold, raining, wednesday afternoon in March. There was a chorus on the level below us and they sang songs from Disney’s Little Mermaid as we were getting married. Afterwards the four of us went out for BBQ and then they went their way and the newlyweds went on theirs really no different than they’d been.

not even in name. i like mine. i kept it fiercly and protecively, not something to just sling away like you could ever be “done” with it.

We went on a tour of a nearby cave. we had a Dairy Queen ice cream cake i ordered with a ball and chain on top (romantic? no, remember? Hilarious? You betcha!!) we played some video games, watched a movie and got my pregnant ass to bed at a reasonable hour (a pregnancy brought on by the engagement, not the other way around which carries an Irki-itude of a whole other sort).

No family; and not an elopement. this was not a surprise, we planned it this way from the start. Did we have fun? Yes. Did we miss out on anything? Not. A. Jot. we had two parties later with the whole family and we don’t regret not spending even half as much money as we could have.

But then there is this one single voice that says the same thing over and over no matter how many times i relate how much it hurts me. who reiterates the same hurtful words when i tell how much those specific words hurt me. this voice telling me about the disappointment of not getting to be there, of not getting to help me plan a wedding, of picking out a wedding gown.

A voice apparently without desire to take in and understand that the disappointment is not my fault in the least. because that daughter who was fantasized about trying on dresses, planning, standing before everyone she knew on that particular day? That’s not me. That has never been me and it never will be me. that is a fantasy daughter created out of thin air and make-believe and i will never stop being myself in order to be her instead.

And every time i am told of the disappointment that she feels in the way i planned my wedding what i’m actually hearing is that unless i live up to the standards set out for me by the invisible fantasy daughter then i am a disappointment.

of course that’s how i’ve always felt. there has to be that disconnect, though, between the truths and fictions between far-off relatives. But does that make it hurt less? Not a jot.

but if i can’t even express my emotions to the one who has abraded them then why express anything at all?