Sunday, May 11, 2008
Confessions Of A Bad Son
I’m not a very good son. I tease and torment my mother every chance I get. Many of my run-ins with her date back to my college days. Part of the problem was that in my sophomore year, my family got transferred to Italy and that made communicating more trouble than just picking up the phone.
She wanted frequent letters and I would get behind. She once sent me an entire book of stamps with no note or explanation. I wrote back explaining that I could buy my own stamps. She wrote back smugly that at least it got me to write.
Another time she had sent me a copy of Space by James Michener because one of the main characters was a Georgia Tech grad. The book was truly dreadful and I wrote a ten page letter explaining in excruciating detail just how bad it was. Rather than be impressed with the effort I had put into the analysis, she took it as a personal attack on her and broke down into tears.
Yet another letter from me was a long rambling April's Fools joke hinting that I wasn’t who I thought I was and that my whole life had been a lie. I was going to break up with my fiance because I needed to find myself and women just didn't interest me anymore. She completely missed the April 1st date on the letter and called international long distance to make sure I was okay. I could hear my dad in the background saying, “I knew he was just joking.”
That led into another running gag. My college roommate was gay (see this post for that story) and when my mother would visit us, she would pick up a slight tingle in her fairly unreliable gaydar. Anytime she hinted that my roommate might be a little light in the loafers I reacted in feigned ignorance. I would deny it and kept insisting that it was all part of her over active imagination. I kept that game going for several years.
I just loved playing on her trust and gullibility. I don’t know why, it was just fun to do.
And it’s not that she has ever been a bad mother. Twice she has had to emulate a single parent for a year while my dad was on assignment overseas. The first time was with toddlers. The second with teenagers. I’m not sure which was worse.
I still like to tease her when I can. I make fun of her bland New England cooking. I blame my bad driving habits on her easily frightened reactions while she was teaching me. I tell her that her 85-year-old neighbor with artificial knees is faster than she is (because it’s true).
I tease because I love.
BlatantCommentWhoring™: What have you done mean to your mother?