My mom's best friend, Julie, has three sons. My mom has two sons and a daughter. The two families merge together every year to celebrate Thanksgiving and usually add a few extras in addition to Julie's mom and Daisy the Dog who are also regulars. This year it was my best friend, one of her son's friends, the Genius Bar employee Julie met at the Apple store and... well, who else? the Genius Bar guy's roommate.
Dinner each year starts with a few words from Julie, followed by shots of Wild Turkey for everyone! Even my mother grimaced through her shot this year, which, by law, anyone who opts to sit directly next to me at the Thanksgiving table, is required to do. Which brings me to her bizarre decision to plop herself down in the seat on my left. When she headed that way, I looked at her quizzically and said, "Really?" There was a bit of back and forth of "Why do you not want me to sit here?" but I reassured her that she was welcome to sit wherever she wanted, but that she should be prepared for inappropriate behavior/conversation. Because me + Wild Turkey + the fact that I'm too old to keep giving a shit what she thinks about me = authentic daisy. Like it or not. (GUESS WHICH ONE SHE'S GOING TO VOTE FOR? JUST GUESS!)
So anyway, dinner went rather smoothly; I only took two shots of Wild Turkey because, well, you know: everything in moderation or whatever, and then we cleared the dishes, did a bit of clean up and watched my mom engage in a solo Usher dance party right in front of the window, much to the delight (that's definitely not the right word, but horror seems too strong, and in all honesty, it was kind of amazing) of all the passersby.
After dishes and dancing, it was time for dessert. Note: In Thanksgivings-past, I've either been too wasted or too full to enjoy dessert, but this time (keeping that whole moderation thing in mind), I was ready to go. Bring. On. The. Pie.
So there I was, shoving pie in my face like a fat girl who didn't get asked to prom, when I heard my mother rambling on to someone who was pretending to give a shit about how much she loved being a mother.
Cue: Daisy guffawing.
"What? I loved being a mother," My mother rebuffed.
And then, with a smile on my face, and truly no harm (okay, fine, very little harm) intended, I said, "Right. Which is why you sent your only daughter to boarding school when she was fourteen."
Oh god. If I could take it back, I would. Believe me. I KNOW that the reason I got sent to prep school against my will is because I was difficult, and stubborn, and miserable, and angry, and tortured, and a pain in the ass, and a complainer, and a whiner, and rebellious, and resentful, but also... unfortunately for everyone around me: smart. Believe me. You have no idea how many times I've heard the myriad of reasons I had to go to school 3000 miles away from all of my friends. In short: I was a horrible person, but I was too intelligent to just lock up in the garage until she could marry me off.
And hey, I'm not saying I'm *that* smart, but it seem to me that if you LOVE BEING A MOTHER, then maybe you wouldn't, oh, I dunno, get rid of your daughter at the first opportunity and then flee to Italy for months on end, while you leave your son, who is a sophomore in high school, at home with a "babysitter."
But, again, what do I know? I'm not a mother. I just see them played on TV.
What happened next is not really funny... unless you consider me bawling at the Thanksgiving table while my mom goes on and on about how actually it was my brother (and not her) who insisted I go to boarding school because he couldn't take me for one more minute, amusing. Which, okay, fine. It kind of is, but nonetheless, I'll spare you the gory details.
All you need to know is that it went on for a while: my mother coming up with new never-before-been-heard excuses as to why I was sent away (I've got to say: blaming the other child is pretty genius, although does make me question her "love of mothering" since she was apparently letting her teenage son decide her daughter's fate) and reminding me again what a nightmare (read: teenager) I was, while I just sat there and cried. IN FRONT OF THE GENIUS BAR GUY. AND HIS ROOMMATE. Who had an amazing Thanksgiving? WHO DID?
Anyway, eventually, after a bit of hostility on my part, I convinced her that I loved her and that it wasn't an appropriate time to have this conversation and between bites of pie, I managed to dry my tears. At which point...
My mother looked at me long and hard, let a look of utter disgust/elation cross her face, and asked, "Is that a grey hair?!!!!" while simultaneously trying to rip it out of my head.
Yes Mother, it is. I can't IMAGINE where it came from.