Monday, May 20, 2013


I was 22 when my mother, in her gravelly voice, called me to tell me it was time to get married. Unfortunately, the call came at about 7 A.M. on a Saturday morning after a long night of drinking with Elaine(?). The call went through on speaker phone. Elaine(?) was able to hear what I heard and right after I said hello in a groggy voice, my mother made her demand.

"It is time for you to get married." After that statement, Elaine started running for the door. She didn't even put her clothes on. Just pushed her way out of bed, grabbed her dress and ran for the door. I never saw her again. Oh, well.

My mother continued (like the first statement wasn't enough) "Your sister is married. Your brother is now engaged." My sister, Janie Mae, was two years older than me and got married about 9 months ago. My brother, Joseph, is 19 which is very young to be getting married.

My father (my parents are long divorced) always told us growing up to not get married (sometimes he stopped there) until you are at least 28.

My mother, upon hearing this piece of advice, told us not to listen to... (Well, she started speaking in angry German and I couldn't keep up) but I am guessing it wasn't polite. After this the calls started coming in fast and furious.

Okay, the calls came every three months. My mother operated on a set schedule. I quickly learned not to answer the phone on those days. Okay, I ignored the phone as a general rule. Nothing good ever happens on the phone. Perhaps I am being too cynical but there is only so many times one can get phone calls from telemarketers and doughnut salesmen before one loses faith in the device.

My mother invariably called when I had a woman over. Whenever the lovely young lady would hear my mother demand I get married, she ran. Some women have the walk of shame. Women who hear my mother's demand do the dash of disgust.

Then the calls stopped. Almost overnight. Or, to be more specific, three years later when Janie Mae gave birth to her first child. As time progressed and the family swelled with more children it became harder and harder to get my mother to call me. I realized that once my mother had grandchildren I was irrelevant. Not that I have ever established relevance before but this really, really hurt. I cried gigantic tears. (Those who know me doubt I even have tears. I don't).

I was replaced by little beings who drool, speak a lot of gibberish, and live in the moment since they don't have plans for the future. My family says the kids are mini versions of me. I don't think they mean that as a compliment.

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