My parents swung through town today and bought me dinner on their way to visit my aunt and uncle.
I was wishing pretty desperately that I had a partner to drag along as a buffer (I don’t think The Bunny and I are in that kind of place, and also he would have been at work). But it went okay.
Because I only see my parents every couple of years (and had a long stint in my early 20s of not seeing or speaking to them at all), their aging occurs in big jumps for me. My mom is shrivelling in on herself (will that happen to me, too, or will my bone structure and healthy habits preserve me?). My dad has somehow turned into a softspoken, harmless-seeming old man full of whimsical anecdotes. I can’t remember the last time he made an inappropriate sexual comment to or about me; possibly not since I cut ties and moved from my hometown at 21 (I imagine my mother might have mentioned that his stupid comments wigged me the fuck out, and he made a conscious decision to stop). It’s becoming difficult to connect him with the tyrant who terrified my mother and I. But he is that guy, and as much as he seems to want a closer relationship with me, I don’t want one with him.
If he would acknowledge what a flaming shitbag he was the entire time I was growing up, and apologize for it, I might be willing to start over and try to foster some sort of relationship. But to the best of my knowledge he either doesn’t remember any of the shit he did, or rationalizes it away. So as far as I’m concerned he’s just this inoffensive but uninteresting guy my mom is seeing who keeps hanging around even when I want time alone with her.
So, dinner was…okay. The food was good, and they paid for mine. We talked a lot about movies we’ve enjoyed and my parents’ recent trip to England.
By the way, for years now my parents have been dumping boxloads of crap from my childhood off at my place. It frankly irritates the piss out of me: their excuse is “This stuff is too precious to just throw away” but come on. If it were that precious you’d keep it. Especially since I end up throwing 99% of it away. This time they gave me (among other things) a crunchy vinyl throw pillow with a photograph of three-year-old me printed on the front. What the fuck am I gonna do with a pillow of me as a toddler?!?! Oh, and a box of 25 year old mix tapes I recorded off the radio when I was in high school. I don’t have a cassette player. I just…I get it that they’re pack rats who have a hard time throwing things away, but it’s bullshit to make me do it for them. Pack-ratting is their issue to work through and I resent being used as a crutch.
But no. Instead of confronting their issues, they take huge banker’s boxes of stuff from their three storey house to my 400 sq ft apartment and make me deal with it all. It seems a bit insensitive.
Speaking of insensitive, my mom had talked a while back about purchasing one of my paintings, and I could really use the $600 (which she’d know if she’d been paying attention today – I made a point of mentioning that work has dried up for the summer, I’m dipping into my savings to survive, and the outlook is a bit scary). So I invited my parents up to my apartment after dinner so mom could take a look at her two possible painting choices in person. My place is a horrific pig sty though and I insisted on leaving mom and dad in the hallway for a minute while I assessed the state of the hall/living room and maybe put some things away. My parents acquiesced to this, although my mom kept saying it was fine, she doesn’t mind a little mess, I shouldn’t worry about it. Well that’s great but a) sometimes I bring sex toys to The Bunny’s place to use on him, and when I get home I get lazy and just leave them in the hallway and b) my parents have a tendency to fucking pick my shit up and look at it. I didn’t say any of that out loud but I did insist on having those few minutes to better prepare my space for company.
And I’m just now noticing that I left a hot pink rope flogger hanging from my door hook. See, this is what I’m saying, I live alone and I’m messy and things like sex toys and naked portraits of me are so commonplace to me that they just become part of the landscape. I have to consciously think about what is or is not okay for company to see. It’s a miracle neither of my parents took the flogger off its hook and asked about it. A few visits ago they noticed some spare change on my floor from where it fell out of my pockets and for the whole rest of the visit they made jokes about how I’m so rich I can afford to throw my money away. Har-de-har-har. Comedy gold.
Anyway, I sorta thought that my mom had offered to buy a painting basically just as an excuse to give me money, but when I showed her the two she was interested in, she hemmed and hawed and couldn’t make up her mind. She ended up not getting either; she said she needed to think about it a bit more. So maybe she actually legitimately wants to buy a painting from me, and it’s not a pity thing. That’s kinda cool. But honestly the $600 would’ve been cooler.
Bastardcat was happy to see his “grandma” and “grandpa” (because Bastardcat loves every human ever) and they’re always really sweet to him, so that was adorable to see.
Every time I see my parents, I hug my mom goodbye at the end and I can tell my dad wishes for a hug, too, but I won’t do that. My general rule in life is that people who have made inappropriate comments about my tits don’t get to press up against them. One time a few years back there was a round of picture taking and when my mom went to snap a photo of dad and I, he put his arm around me and yanked me closer to him before I had time to do anything, which is not cool. So now I always worry that he’s gonna just take a goodbye hug without my permission. He hasn’t, though. Yet.
I guess that’s about all I have to say about this visit.