These days, my mother usually has the decency to self medicate into complacency early in the day, saving those around her from her full-blown hysteria.
Every once in a while, however, her chemical balance is altered just slightly, and I am once again subjected to her unmitigated, misplaced wrath.
Today was one of those days.
It all started at 7:30 AM, when she called me in tears because she had read one of my blogs, and felt it was necessary… AT SEVEN THIRTY IN THE MORNING… to talk to me about it’s content.
From what I could make out through the tears, it was important that I understand that I sounded “exactly like those kids from Columbine”, and that I was going to spend “the rest of my life in prison.”
For about a half of a second, I got very upset. I desperately tried to figure out what the hell she was referring to… I don’t really remember the kids from Columbine saying anything about wanted to get breast implants, or loving Starbucks. I know they, like I, wore black all the time… but I doubt they did it because it’s slimming.
I know my writing is sophomoric at times, but criminal? That seemed a bit much.
Then I remembered… hey, my mom’s fucking crazy.
I forget that from time to time because I don’t live with her anymore. Gone are the days of coming home to a woman whose maternal instincts are learned directly from the mother in Carrie.
Another reason it took a moment for me to realize I was conversing across parallel dimensions is that my father was in the background supporting my mother’s insanity.
After my mom was done telling me about how I needed psychiatric help, my father got on the phone to tell me how sad it was that I was so angry, and how he just wanted me to live a happy, contented life.
Now, my father knows a great deal about happiness and contentment. After this second massive heart attack, he was very laid back and relaxed for almost an entire week, so I can see where he’d feel like this was a field of expertise for him.
Despite the fact that I would sooner take marital advice from Scott Peterson than life advice from my parents, I tried my best to handle the situation as calmly and maturely as possible.
I tried to bear in mind that I wasn’t the easiest child to raise. I mean, parents are equipped to deal with a fairly wide range of issues, but I still managed to score way off the charts.
When your daughter comes home and says “Mom, Dad, my boyfriend Spike and I are going to take his motorcycle down the coast to get matching tattoos, I’ll try to make it home in time for school on Monday.” What are you really supposed to say? “Well, don’t forget to take a jacket.”
Maybe I just broke them down too soon, and that’s why their responses to everything are so over the top. I tried to remember that, and respond with as much love and understanding as possible.
That lasted about three seconds before I told them I hated them, slammed my phone shut and went back to sleep.