I'm staying with my theme of love and acceptance.
I say I love a man and then I hate everything he does.
My mother did this to my father.
My father did not respond well to this kind of treatment.
My father did a lot of crazy insane stuff and drank a lot around my mother.
He really loved her, never cheated on her, but she wore him down.
And she told me crazy stories, I mean really crazy stories, about things he was doing to her in the middle of the night, which I see now were not true.
She is telling me the same stories now, that the people in her building are doing shocking and crazy things in the middle of the night.
My mother left my father for his best friend when my Dad had trouble with his business and was desperately running out of money.
My Dad disappeared, we never saw him again, but later he remarried.
He married a Yale professor his same age.
They were married for ten years, the last ten years of his life.
I spoke with her only once, after he had been dead a while, I found out about them, I found out he had died of a heart attack. and I contacted her.
She was lovely and kind and intelligent.
She told me that he had been very loving, generous, funny.
She told me that he never mentioned children, not me, not my brother.
But the thing is that she said he was a great guy.
He didn't do any crazy stuff at all.
So there you have it.
The mystery of my life, solved.
My brother once told me that his first novel was going to be called "My Dad Drinks, My Mom's Crazy".
I remember I laughed that it could just as well be the other way around.
He said, "No it couldn't."
I didn't understand how he was so sure about that.
I was five years younger and all my loyalty went to the female in the house, my mother.
The men were not to be trusted, which honestly turned out to be true as well.
All that's left now is to not let my mother's calls in the middle of the night get to me.
I think about shutting off my phone, I think about not answering.
But at this point she has no one else to call.
Wisely, Rob has made sure that he has never given in and given my mother his phone number.
She'd be calling him all the time.
My ex-husband thought he was being the better person for a long time by being kind to my mother and answering her calls.
She gave him power of attorney on her personal stuff.
Ask me if I care.
But now he wishes he hadn't because nobody wants to answer her crazy calls in the middle of the night.
I'm her daughter.
It falls on me.
I can turn my back like my brother did.
He wasn't strong emotionally and her craziness crushed him.
I can do it.
Last night at 1:30am she called to ask me if I was screaming "I want my mother" down in her front hallway of her building.
I wanted to fuck with her and say, "Yeah Mom that's me. I'm down here screaming. Yep."
But I didn't.
I said, "No Mom I'm home in bed trying to sleep. Everything's fine."
There's no humor to be made of it any more.
My brother and I called her The Vom.
When my phone rings at 1:30am the screen lights up and says "The Vom".
That's a tiny bit funny.
It's an ode to my brother and me and what we survived together.
He made it up.
He said to me one day, "Sister C, I have a new name for Mom. Her name is Vaughn and when you put it with Mom you get Vom. We can call her that but secretly it's really going to be short for Vomit."
I thought it was brilliant and I always went along with it, unless she was really really mad and had the dog's leather leash in her hand to hit you with, or the bar of soap in her hand to hold you by the hair and cram the soap into your mouth to "wash your mouth out with soap" for saying something she didn't like.
I hated her then, I sort of hate her now, and I love my mom, and that's just the way it is.
Love and acceptance with a dash of bitters and a twist of irony is making a pretty good cocktail these days.