Wednesday, July 12, 2006

unconditional, with occasional exceptions

My mother hung up on me.

She hung up on me. Right when I was in the middle of confessing something really unpleasant, something that casts me in so bad a light that I haven't and will not tell any of my friends. The kind of thing you can only tell parents because animal instinct mandates unconditional love of a child who confesses something so deeply unflattering. Animal instinct, or at least stubborn hope that their twenty-five years of moral instruction have gone the way of the carrier pigeon and dodo.

She was in her hotel room in Hawaii. Yes, my mother is on vacation in Hawaii and is too busy to talk to her daughter, or even to listen. She was trying to figure out why their hotel room's DSL connection had suddenly broken and called the customer service line on the room phone.

Then the customer help line finally clicked over to an actual human being ready to help her solve her computer issue, and she hung up on me.

Look, she's very busy and important. She works hard. She needs that email access so that she can keep up on work and receive her well-deserved accolades. She also deserves what little relaxation she can get. I don't begrudge her that. And for the record, I'm really good at not minding when she can't talk because she's tired and frustrated and rushing from one city to another. She's got lots of balls in the air, and I don't mind that, now that her kids are grown, we're not on the top of her to-do list. I'm an adult. I know this whole "grownup" thing sucks the life out of one, and, well, generally just sucks.

But some days, this grownup just needs someone to unconditionally listen and sympathize and love. Somtimes, after a bout of unpleasantness, I want my mommy. The bratty child in me wants someone who, by genetic pull or at least the forces of guilt, does not, at the very effing least, hang up on her upset daughter to talk to the Dell service rep.

I had a great little monologue in my head for when she called back, basically consisting of the text of this entry. Something to let her that even thought I respect her time and the many demands on it, I was hurt.

She hasn't called back.

I've stopped holding my breath.

And because I'm too stubborn/wary of appearing needy to my own mother, I shall instead bitch about her on the Internet.

Yes, that whole maturity thing is coming along smashingly.


sparkles anonymous! said...

Oy. I SO hear you on that feeling of being let down (and yet, hope springs eternal, for some strange reason.)

Trite, but -- hugs to you, babe.

Anonymous said...


Not to diminish whatever issue you are alluding to, but I must say I am happy to see: 1) that most of us do always return to moms for things like this (even, I think, when we ourselves are parents) - to me it says something wonderful about the power of motherhood and the tenderness within us all; 2) and you have a mom you can turn to in times like this (at least usually!).

Now, I’m not trying to take sides or anything, but let’s face it - if after 20+ years this is one of the few times she’s let you down - hey, consider yourself lucky and blessed. Make all your readers happy and hug her next time you see her, will ya?

Stillwaters 20007

PS - Does Mommy EJ know about the existence of this blog?

PPS - “Confesses something so deeply unflattering” - EJ - you sure do know how to rachet up that suspense and keep your readers at the edge of their seats. I suspect that whatever it is, as with almost everything, time will be a wonderful tonic.

ejtakeslife said...


It's a testament to what a good mom she is that, on the rare occasions she lets me down, I am so surprised and completely lose my shit. She does know about this blog, and at my request does not read it. My friend Sitemeter keeps her honest.

And sorry, but that secret is not for sharing with the Interweb.