Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Ignoring things, another skill my mother is a master of

On New Year's Eve I finally decided that enough was enough, I was going to start this year with a clean slate and as a part of that, I came out to my parents.

There were several reactions I could have gotten...most of them were not so good when I imagined them. I psyched myself out for the absolute worst reaction possible; among the things involved where yelling, thrown objects and being disowned. By psyching myself up this way I did two things...A.) Took a year or so off my life through stress and high blood pressure and B.) Made any other reaction seem like a cake walk as long as my imagined reaction didn't occur.

I use this same strategy when getting a piercing. I imaging gushing blood, ear lobes being yanked off, etc. The actually piercing is a walk in the park after that.

Regardless of how unlikely my scenario was, I still expected SOME reaction from my parents.

I basically got none...

My dad just said "alright" very quietly. I'm fairly certain he had already guessed and he has never really been one to judge me. It was my mother's reaction that I was really fixated on and it was one that was just...a lot less than expected.

She looked at me and said "Okay" or "alright" I can't remember which and then she made a face like she had just smelled something disgusting.

That was it.

For someone who had been agonizing over this particular moment in time for YEARS...well, it was just downright anti-climactic. I'm not sure what I would have preferred...but something a little less like "Oh...great, the milk has gone sour. Can we still use it for baking?" would have been nice. Screaming, throwing things, hugging, crying...all show a bit of comprehension.

However, I figured 'they need time to process, give them a week or two and then they will react.'

I was wrong.

It's been nearly two weeks since my statement and my mom (and dad, though if I had the guts to bring it up he would probably discuss it) has fallen back on her old standby of "if we don't talk about it, we can pretend it never happened." It's what she did when my brother said he was an Atheist. She is very very very good at ignoring things that make her unhappy.

In an effort to test the waters today I brought up the girl I'm dating. It was all in very general terms, I just mentioned something about a conversation we had had when she was over at my place. I said "I had a date the other night and she said..."

No response...thus proving my mother's strategy for this situation.

I predict that 10 years in the future when I am, hopefully, married (civil unionized, whatever). I'll come home for Christmas with my wife in tow and my mother will introduce us to people as "This is my daughter, Meredith, and her friend..."

Yes, mother, my friend...who I live together with...have married and (possibly) have children with. Yes, we are just friends.

The sad thing is...I'll let her get away with it. It's better than rocking the boat.

One last thing.

It's worth mentioning that both my mom and dad have gone out of their way to tell me they love me, call me and hug me a lot more often in the last couple of weeks. Not sure if they are reassuring me or themselves at this point...

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