Weaning [ 2005-09-20, 10:19 p.m. ]

My mother in law has bad hearing so talking on the phone can sometimes be hard and frustrating and about a year ago, she discovered how easy email is and how much less shouting and repeating it requires compared to regular old talking, and so every now and then, I get an email from her, usually two or three paragraphs with a proper salutation and fond closing, along the lines of “Love and Prayers” or “Thinking of YA!” or “Love, B_____ (Cincy Mom!)” She averages about 4.8 exclamation points per sentence and is able to keep that average above 1.0 partly by sticking the occasional exclamation point inside of parentheses for emphasis. Like, if she’s telling me that my sister in law is teaching four (!!!) art classes this semester! She also tacks on many exclamation points at the end of sentences to differentiate between regular sentences about which she is displaying a baseline of Exclaim (one exclamation point, as she is always a little excited), sentences that need a little emphasis (three exclamation points!!!), or the REALLY BIG NEWS/STATEMENTS that need six or seven exclamation points, like, Did Kent tell ya that we’re going to be spending Thanksgiving in California with the “whole gang”!!!!!!!

She also likes ‘ya. And putting things in quotation marks. She is a sweet, sweet person. Who is driving me to drink. More.

And in case you missed it, yes the “whole gang” will be getting together for Thanksgiving this year, at my parents’ in California. I am so excited (!!!) to be spending a holiday with both my husband and my family that I don’t care who else is there, save maybe for anyone having anything at all to do with Being Bobby Brown. Because that shit is baaaaaad.

I started bringing up our holiday plans back in oh, January, I think, because it is always a struggle to settle on what we’re going to do, partly because I am stubborn and hate traveling for all holidays and party because my husband is a total baby ass who needs to snuggle with his mama before going nighty-night on Chwistmas Eve. I had the brilliant idea that if we invited Kent’s family to join us in California, I could take down a whole flock of birds with one stone. First, the invitation would announce that we would not be in Ohio for Thanksgiving and end any discussion thereof. Second, I would not seem like the heartless shrew whole stole mama’s baby, but like an ambassador of goodwill, much like Angelina and all the African babies. Third, my parents are skilled and adept in the ways of Making Uncomfortable Social Situations Smooth and Pleasant, Even For Their Tense Daughter and her Intimidated In-laws. I will happily step aside and let my mom work her cocktail party magic and station myself on their couch reading all their home and cooking magazines while my dad hauls wine from the wine cellar [Ha! Look how fancy I made my family seem! Because you are reading this and not standing in their house! Otherwise you would know that the wine cellar (!!) is really a wooden box/shed thing (!!) in the garage/storage room and that we are not fancy at all! (!!!)] Fourth, the weather in California is bound to be better than either New York or Ohio, come late November, and fifth, if I could sell my in-laws on the idea of Thanksgiving in California, it means there is a very good chance I could still swing Christmas in New York, with just a little skillful maneuvering, namely that we would visit Ohio the weekend before Christmas, key because there is a big family party of some sort and no church or requisite visits to nursing homes (See? I am a shrew. I hate visiting all the old people. I am going to rot in hell. Exclamation point.), and therefore more time for visiting and whatnot. Which leaves Christmas weekend free for Molly’s Goddamn Christmas Tradition Whether You Like It Or Not, which is going out for nice dinner on Christmas Eve and then sitting on our asses and watching movies on Christmas, taking a long walk and being thankful for Jesus and the Winter Solstice and amazon.com gift cards, yadda yadda yadda.

But first, we have to get through Thanksgiving, and while I have no problem with the holiday or with having my in-laws join us in California, I do have one concern:

And it is the alarming rate at which my husband regresses into a twelve year old turd BOY when he is around his family. Specifically, the female members of his family.

Is it all sons and mothers? Or is just mine? When we are around his parents I swear that Kent is just a few short minutes away from rolling over and letting his mother rub his belly. He preens in the roll of the prodigal son. He lets his mother fuss and Oh My Gosh! and Aw Jeez! and Golly! all over him and he prefers to do so while sitting and stuffing any number of sweet treats in his face, all provided by his mother, with no consideration given to the fact that no one else in the household prefers something called BUTTER CAKE for breakfast because what her precious baby boy wants, her precious baby boy gets. He doesn’t clear his place at the table. He sleeps late. He just sits. And lets his mother adore him.

Even better, he then gets mad at me for NOT fawning all over him in the way to which he has become accustomed, thanks to mommy dearest. And as much as I want to live in a world in which all of the sitcoms are CBS are pure bullcrap, sometimes I fear that I have trapped myself in a Midwestern version of Everyone Loves That One Guy. Please tell me, is it all mothers and sons?

Do other sons spare their mothers’ feelings at the expense of their partners? Do other sons remain blind to the MIND NUMBINGLY OBVIOUS passive aggression that is the whole “Oh, don’t mind me, I don’t want to be a BOTHER” shtick? Are other sons crippled by the Kryptonite which is their mothers’ tears? I have both brothers and a mother and I don’t really see the same behavior with my family, but maybe it’s something I need to take up with my sister-in-law (to be) for some perspective. Still, I worry that I managed to find the biggest baby ass out there and marry him.

The flip side of the Mommy Issues is especially fun, because whenever he and I argue, I get to be Mean Mommy, and as Miranda so eloquently put it on Sex and the City, No one wants to fuck Mean Mommy.

Mothers and sons. Sons and mothers. Pass the vodka.

For every time I ever yelled something to the effect of YOU WANT A MOTHER NOT A WIFE (See! With the rotting in hell and the being an awful shrew? I am not nice. I am mean. I am MEAN MOMMY), I now have visual ammunition. IRONIC visual ammunition:

Because if you are married to me, you get a Boob Cake for your 30th Birthday, and if you are married to me and piss me off, you get to wonder if I am sending pictures of you with your face in the Boob Cake to your Aw Jeez mother in Ohio.

My mother, by the way, thought the cake was fantastic. She did not see the back side of the left boob, which more or less crumbled and then slid, not unlike bad cheek implants, and had to be reconstructed with icing and tin foil underwire.

When Caroline comes to visit me, things like Boob Cake have a way of just happening, and it was a happy accident that she was in town on the weekend of Kent’s 30th birthday, kismet even, since it meant that Kent and her husband could get the hell OUT OF THE KITCHEN while we made the Boob Cake and complained about feeling fat and simultaneously trying to achieve the most anatomically correct nipple possible with pink icing.

Then all our friends came (well, almost all *cough*EMILIE*cough*) and it was a thousand million degrees in the apartment and the Boobs melted a little, but you could tell they were real by the way in which the Boob pooled on the sides of the platter.

Our boobs are also made of sugar and spice and everything nice:

By midnight I had taken off my heels, put on flip flops and eaten Boob Cake. By 1:30, almost everyone was gone. By 2:30, I was standing on 9th Avenue with Kent, Jay, Caroline and Michael, back in my heels, back in slinky purple top, staring with disdain at the crowds around the velvet rope at some bullshit club across from Pastis. I thought I was getting ready for bed, but when I came out of the bathroom an hour earlier, I found a pair of my heels standing all alone in the middle of the living room, pointing towards the door, and Jay and Caroline giggling and activating some sort of Wonder Twin powers which made ME leave MY APARTMENT and then THE BOUROUGH OF BROOKLYN at 2 a.m. on a Saturday night. Caroline can be very bossy. And persuasive. And I was coming down from a wicked Boob Cake sugar high, so my defenses were weakened. And, it was my sweet husband’s 30th birthday, and so I figured that just once, I shouldn’t be Mean Mommy.

We stayed out way past MY curfew and wasted lots and lots of cab fare, and the next day Kent slept until noon. Then he got up, had a Snapple and slept until 10 p.m. His mother would never let him do that.


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