13 May 2009

Family Obligations

Sunday was Mother's Day, which meant a trip out to my parents house. Technically I had a Get Out of Jail Free card due to the plague but I figured now is not the time to punk out on my mom.

Also, on Mother's Day, I get a Free Day as well. As I am unable to be a mom, I kind of get to do whatever I want. Sleep in? Sure! Be just a little pissy? Absolutely. Sit on the couch and watch television? Okay. There are no comments from the peanut section.

This has taken years to cultivate. It took a tantrum to get Kevin's family to understand that I am not a mother.

Just. Because. I. OWN. a. DOG. Does NOT. NOT. NOT. make. me. a. Mom.

Because fur bearing creatures and babies are not the same thing.

I'm just saying.

That hits a nerve, did you notice?

Kevin's mom, bless her, just so wanted me not to feel left out or sad that she couldn't bear to give my sister-in-law and eventually niece a gift on Mother's Day. It's a lovely thought but really, really, it just felt like a consolation gift. A "participant" ribbon. "You haven't won the game today Miss Firegirl but you get to go home with this fabulous toaster!"

So, the day does not go acknowledged other than whatever present we give her...which is usually plants or flowers for her. This year, due to unknown cosmic forces, we didn't have any family functions on Kevin's side of the family. BLISS!

So out to my parents we go. Always entertaining.

My eldest brother & the girls were already there...this was timed on purpose. He was happily digging in Mom's flower boxes, replacing all her flowers. Luckily for me, I ran into him at the store the day before & he gave me the idea of flowers for her gift.

As a professional dad of teenagers, my brother has taken to exclaiming "Word!" at the end of conversations. Resulting in frustrated whining of "Daaaaadddd!" each time, which was endlessly entertaining to Kevin and I.

My niece is graduating high school in three weeks and is in full Drama Mode. As I've mentioned before, she's usually an angel so I have to forgive the melodrama but that doesn't mean that I'm not getting tired of it.

Turns out that there was a Mother & Daughter Tea this week for graduates. The Niece invited my mom and me to attend as her mother is a narcissistic psycho bitch from Hell.

A sidenote: I hate things like this. Baby showers, bridal showers, house warmings...just let me give you a gift & don't make me come to the party. Mkay? I'll give a great gift in return for my absence.

I know it's not about me, it's about the bride/mother/homeowner but I just detest them.

So, I went. Whining. Because it was important to the Niece and my mom.

My niece goes to my rival high school. It's a little weird walking on that campus. I've been there quite a bit and actually know my way around now. But weird, all the same.

It's amazing how walking through the cafeteria door, I am transported back to 1987 just like Erica in the "Being Erica" show. It's instantaneous. The noise...OMG the noise...the smell, the kids.

The girls are dressing EXACTLY the same as when I graduated high school. Lace, layers, boots, too many accessories, the hair is getting bigger. I saw espadrilles and candies shoes.
It was CRAZY. It was like being in a episode of LOST. I kept waiting for a blinding lights.

There was food...standard party fare...and pictures were taken of the families. This would have been sweet but the Niece insisted that her advisor be in the picture too. We've never met her advisor. But oh well. I'm thinking I can photoshop her out.

They provided a little quiz for the daughters and mothers to complete. Favorite colors and the such. One of the questions about the daughters was "Who was your daughter's first kiss?"
My mom had to swallow a few times to get past that question.

Mom & I did okay on the quiz about the Niece. My niece and I, however, bombed the mom quiz terribly. We knew nothing. Favorite flower? Nope. Favorite color? Nope. Favorite room in the house? No idea. To our credit, my mom had to think about her answers too.

Then, one of the graduates mom sung a song she wrote when her daughter was born. It was lovely, if you could hear her because cafeterias have such *awesome* acoustics. And, you know, teenagers are all about sentimentality.

Then there was a small Powerpoint presentation that had some, but not all of the graduates pictures. Interlaced was the graduates sending messages to their moms. The odd thing was they included boys in the presentation. And again, not everyone was included.

Because the Niece's mother is not a participant in her life, I was actually a little relieved that she was left out.

(Best moment: One of the boys in the presentation said "Hi Mom. It's been real. Thanks." Priceless.)

And that was it. One hour exactly. Kevin told me "Be glad it was ONLY an hour!" It was such a letdown. But I fall back on the It Makes Them Happy.

In our wedding album there is a picture of The Niece and one of our dearest friends daughters. They happen to be in the same graduating class. We also used to be friends with a couple whose daughter is in her class as well. I think it's even more poignant seeing them graduate together. It's amazing that these babies are now adults.

Three more weeks and I'll be sitting in a hot, crowded auditorium watching her step into adulthood. I am sure I'll have flashbacks of my graduation 22 years past. And I'll make sure I have kleenex.

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