Thursday, February 7, 2008

Revised Script

I am. So. Confused.

The last time I had spoken to my mom, she had just returned from her first meeting with a divorce lawyer, with the intention of being officially unburdened of my step-dad as quickly as possible. (If anyone is here for the first time, the "my folks are splitting up" tag will give you the story so far in installments. He left her for another woman; she's devastated; etc.) The visit with the lawyer upset her so much that she could barely think straight.

Understandably. I mean, this is it. The end of a 27-year marriage, a 32-year overall relationship. Done. Finished. Kaput. We had even gone out for a very creepy Last Supper, the night before my step-dad flew off to live with his mistress in a rented condo in Florida. At a fancy Indian restaurant, my mom sat silently and picked at her chicken Biryani while Ken and I tried to carry on some semblance of a normal conversation with my step-dad. It was draining, but we got through it. That was supposed to be The End.

Throughout this whole process, my step-dad has cherished the notion that perhaps he and my mom can Still Be Friends. This was the whole idea behind the final dinner; it was supposed to affirm that our bonds as a family can transcend his decision to move in with another woman. He wants to have his cake and eat it too. We all humoured him, because my mom didn't want to fight about it while he was still in the house. My mom said it would be easier if we all just played along, and so we did.

He's been living with his mistress for more than a week now, and my mom has been adjusting to living alone. I speak to her almost every day, and she has commented frequently on how deluded my step-dad is to think that we can still play-act at being a family when he's in town. She's all about how he's made his bed and he must sleep in it, and he'll find out the hard way that he can't have everything, yadda yadda.

So imagine my surprise, my complete incomprehension, when my step-dad called me up to invite Ken and I out for dinner on Sunday (he's commuting to Toronto for business), and said it would be nice if my mom came too. I didn't call him back until the following day. I said that we were free for dinner, but I didn't think it was a good idea to ask my mom. His reply: "I talked to her last night and she said she'd like to come. She said it sounded like a nice idea."

A nice idea.

???!!!

Now I didn't know if she'd had a change of heart, or if she was toying with him, or what, but GAWD! I had a headache. And a dinner date on Sunday. I had no idea what was going on.

Finally, after a full day, I did have a chance to speak with my mom. Her explanation was that she thought she should agree to go because I might want her to do so. Why would I want her to do that? She thought it might make things easier for me. How would it make things easier? She wasn't really able to clarify that for me. Is this her way of trying to hang on to the relationship? (I didn't actually ask her that one.)

Anyway, I let her know that I didn't expect her to be going on any more such dinner dates. And she said she'd let him know that she's not going. That's the story so far. Who knows where it'll be tomorrow.

12 comments:

Warped Mind of Ron said...

The mind is a tricky thing. One moment you think you know exactly where you stand and the next you're clinging to whatever scrap of what you wanted with all your might. Trust me on that one. I hope things work out for the best.

Karen said...

Just my opinion, but your mom might be trying to hold on to whatever your step-dad is offering. It one thing to be all strog, super-woman when he is not around, but as soon as he calls, she is likely to go running to him - for whatever little scrap he is willing to give her.

Don't tell me that I am the only girl who has gone through this cycle of crap with a guy who dumpped me?? Just be there for mom. She needs you.

Nicole said...

Oh man,.., I think she might still have a tiny flame of hope that he has a change of mind and come back?
Sad :(

Like Karen says, she's fishing for the scraps.

I hoe she won't go, it will only make her more miserable :(!

Hugs to you both!

Aurora said...

Once again she seems to be leaving the big scary messages to you. Is there a way you can be there for her without speaking for her?

Sparkling Red said...

Ron: That's so true. Letting go doesn't happen all at once. She's probably more confused than I am.

Karen: You're right. I'm definitely too close the situation myself to see it clearly. I will be there for her. Thanks for spelling it out for me - I truly need it!

Nicole: Yes. This is giving me some much-needed perspective. Even if she does end up back with him, I'll have to hold my peace and not judge her for it.

Aurora: Unfortunately, it doesn't seem so. In every situation so far, when she's wanted me to speak out for her, it doesn't seem worth it to fight with her. Or maybe I'm just used to protecting her, as I often did when I lived at home. I dunno. I'll keep taking each incident as it comes up, and try to manage.

Everyone so far: Your feedback is immensely helpful! It's blowing the fog out of my brain and helping me to see clearly. It's all welcome!

Keera Ann Fox said...

Divorce is messy. It's messy for everyone involved with the divorcing people, not just the divorcing people themselves.

Jenski said...

I've found it hard enough to make a "clean break" (if ever there is one) after only 3 1/2 years, nevermind an entire life. I am sorry your Mom seems so torn about what is going on and hope that with time she'll be able to figure out what she is comfortable with as far as her interactions with your dad!

Good luck with dinner.

Sparkling Red said...

Keera: Yeah, no kidding.

Jenski: Thanks. It's such a screwed up situation right now. I only wish it were as simple as a "clean break". I suppose there's no such thing.

jameil1922 said...

sigh. i really hope she doesn't go if she's trying to move on.

Tink said...

I think you ALL need to cancel... At least until everyone can get over the shock of what's happening.

Sparkling Red said...

Jameil: Yes, the experience of yet another mockery of a "family dinner" would just twist the knife for all of us.

Tink: I love that suggestion. That's what I might do if I find that my mom hasn't told him she's not going. If there's a "next time" I'm going to be better prepared to deal with it. It all caught me by surprise this time.

Sparkling Red said...

Jameil: Yes, the experience of yet another mockery of a "family dinner" would just twist the knife for all of us.

Tink: I love that suggestion. That's what I might do if I find that my mom hasn't told him she's not going. If there's a "next time" I'm going to be better prepared to deal with it. It all caught me by surprise this time.