On Sunday my mother called to ask me to lend her $3,500. My husband called her and made her cry, thus necessitating my calling to smooth things over.
On Monday, my mother called to say that she wanted to fly to Columbus next month to be here to celebrate my 30th birthday with me. I was put in the awkward position of being the adult and explaining that it would be madness to spend an absurd amount of money when she obviously didn’t have any. I cried all through my ride home from work because it broke my heart that I had to be the one to sacrifice and stand up and be reasonable when it’s my birthday. Both of my brothers got to have our mom with them on their 30th birthdays and neither one has ever been asked for money. Just me, the baby of the family, the one who was kicked out at 18.
On Tuesday I received my mother’s reply to my e-mail in all of its self-pitying glory. I was right, she said. She couldn’t look J in the eye anyway, now that he knows about her financial difficulties, she said. But she is never the practical one so she would, she stated, still feel so upset that she couldn’t be with me on my day. Nothing about how I might feel. I cried all the way home from work, shouting out loud all of the things that I was upset about, letting it all out in one cathartic commute.
And today, Thursday, I find out that a job opening that I’ve been interested in is not quite what I thought it would be. Half of the job description is half of my current position, the half that I love and that I’ve built up and turned into what it is today. So I will have to apply for my own fucking job and just hope that I can get it and that it will pay enough to make the more worthwhile. Otherwise, I won’t simply be stuck in my current job with a colleague I despise and another that irritates the fuck out of me, but I’ll also have to train someone else to do the fun and stimulating parts of my job.
J surprised me this evening when we went out to dinner (at Bob Evan's; for some reason I didn't want to say that part but I don't know why so figured I'd better just go ahead or else risk becoming a snob). Earlier that day I'd asked him if he was going to watch the Phillies-Giants game and he said 'no.' I assumed he just had a lot of work to do, as usual. Over dinner I told him that I would be watching and he said "no you aren't" and pushed two tickets over the table. They read "An Evening with Matt Groening."
I was shocked. J picked the tickets up the day beofre and had it all planned that we would go to an auditorium at teh Wexner Center at 7PM to listen to this discussion with Matt Groening and Tom Gammill. He'd been trying to figure out how to surprise me with the tickets from the moment he'd picked them up so I think he was pretty relieved when he finally got an opening. He knows that I am frequently bored and unhappy with the lack of social interaction and fun in general in my life so he was very excited to surprise me.
And it was great. We arrived early as we are unaccustomed to doing things like this and wanted to ensure we'd get parking and get seats together. We got to the actual auditorium 45 minutes early and chose seats well in the back so that we could leave with minimal fuss if we decided to leave early (which we are always likely to do given our attention spans, discomfort amongst crowds, and neuroses in general).
The discussion was fun. It went back to Mr. Groening's cartoonist father, Homer, and covered Life in Hell, The Simpsons, and Futurama. J and I both enjoyed ourselves and laughed a lot. We took pictures of one another with my camera phone after J said "I think we should take pictures of one another. Have you ever noticed that people do things and go places and take pictures of each other and put them on Facebook? Maybe we should do that."
We left after an hour and a half, a bit before the QA portion, which we were not interested in. As we left the auditorium, we were both super stoked that we did something so normal, so usual for people our age. I always get really thrilled when we act in accordance with what I think people our age do. I know it isn't perfect since I actively appreciate our behaving normally, but when we do this sort of thing, I'm so proud of us for getting out of the house and engaging with the world like everyone else. It makes me feel less freakish.
Until, of course, I skip and sing about how I've done something normal, at which point I give myself away.