Monday, January 22, 2007

If Isn't One Thing, It's a Mother.

I have a stepmother. She's not an evil or wicked stepmother. In fact, as stepmoms go, she's really good.

I didn't really know her until I was all grown up, though. Then, in the 80's, I really got to know her because I'd spend a week every year alone with her at the family beach house down on the Delaware shore. She was (and is) lots of fun. We'd go out to dinner a couple of times and she'd get pretty looped on a single cocktail. My drinking hadn't yet progressed to the uncontrollable phase, so I still could be "good" for a little while every evening.

But that was then, and now is now. For the past six years or so I'd fly down to Florida every President's Day weekend for an extended 4 or 5 day "mini-vacation" with she and my dad, at their winter quarters near Ft. Myers. As much as they'd want me to come, though, I could tell that it was getting increasingly strenuous on them to have a house guest for any length of time.

Then, last year, my dad and I, on the very last day of my visit, got into a minor contretemps over a non-existent issue. I asked dad, nonchalontly, so I thought, that "if I had a boyfriend, would it be okay if I brought him down with me?"

Well, I might be able to have a boyfriend, and I might be able to bring him to Florida, but we would most definitely NOT be able to stay together under my dad's roof.

Now, before you go charging off in all directions on this, be aware of the fact that there isn't room to swing a cat in my folks' "double-wide." I sleep on a fold-out mini-sofa on the sun-porch of the place. There wouldn't be room for anyone else on that cot, believe me. But, still, we were exploring theoreticals, not practicals.

Naturally I immediately copped a resentment against my father. He was a homophobic heathen, I thought. I'll never darken his door again. Yada, yada, yada, high-horse, etc.

Nothing more was said about it, I was leaving on a plane to come north a few hours after that and it would be a whole year before the non-existent non-issue would become an issue (in my mind) once again.

Then, in November, something came in the mail. It was an invitation, by a former summer intern of mine from my Wall Street days, to attend his upcoming wedding in Las Vegas... over President's Day weekend! I WAS OFF THE HOOK!!!!

Except, going to Las Vegas for a recovering drunk is never a good idea. Even though there is some kick-ass sobriety there.

Then, something else came up and, it turns out, I've booked myself to attend something called a "roundup" (which is a 3-day event for recovering drunks like myself, who are members of the LGBT community), to be held, where else, at the Delaware shore over, you guessed it, President's Day weekend. So I signed up for that.

So, last Thursday, when I got an e-mail from my stepmom wondering if I was coming this year, I wrote back that I wasn't, I'd gone and made other plans.

Now, this is the cute part. She wrote back with all the nonsense a mother tries to pull with some kid she actually raised. "Oh, this is so disappointing... what will I tell your father?.... we were counting... who knows how many more years?..." etc., etc., etc. Like that'll work. She forgets that she doesn't get to push my buttons because she didn't install them.

I reject guilt as being a tool of organized religion and birth mothers to control and manipulate their "children". It serves no other purpose than that.

She's going to have to come up with something better than guilt to get me to come down there for yet another tour of Ding Darling (the wildlife refuge) or another "Early Bird" dinner special at one of the half dozen restaurants they eat at, over and and over and over again.

It's going to take cold, hard cash.

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