Try Again Next Year

“The danger of motherhood – you relive your early self, through the eyes of your mother.” ~ Joyce Carol Oates, The Gravedigger’s Daughter

Belated Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there, to all the mothers-to-be, to all the mothers of angel babies, and to all mothers who are struggling with infertility – you are all amazing.

My mom is in the Philippines, so I called her Saturday evening to greet her.  I wasn’t able to get through to her, but I did leave her a message on her phone.  By tonight (Sunday evening), I still have not been able to reach her.  It’s one of the many struggles of transatlantic communications – especially to a third-world country such as the Philippines.  While they are advanced technologically in the bigger cities like Manila, many of the outer provinces still have spotty telephone and internet service.  Unfortunately, the corruption in the government does not allow for a complete overhaul of the country’s infrastructure that is desperately needed.  There are still many areas even that do not have running water.

Surprisingly, the Philippines was one of the richest countries in Asia following WWII.  However, years of economic mismanagement and the corruption of the Ferdinand Marcos regime and martial law, led to the Philippines becoming one of the poorest in Asia.  Further economic stagnation and decline continued during the years even after Marcos due to political instability.  The country now largely survives on the money brought in by OFWs (overseas foreign workers), to the tune of approximately $31B/year.

My own mother’s day celebration was a bit of a disaster.  G had promised to make me breakfast, but in typical tweeny fashion, she wasn’t paying full attention, and was instead focusing on a video on her phone which she had placed on top of the kitchen counter, and she dropped a whole carton of eggs on the floor.  It took me nearly thirty minutes to fully clean up the gooey mess on the kitchen floor.  By then, I had lost my appetite, so I made oatmeal for us instead.

I took the opportunity to turn it in a lesson: Don’t half-ass anything in life.  Whatever you do, do it fully and with commitment.  

Lessons learned.  And, there’s always next year.

Penguins

“They (penguins) then fall madly in love and live happily ever after.

And so you ask yourself: “If a penguin can have a worthwhile, stimulating relationship, why the hell can’t I?”

Or maybe you ask yourself: “Would I be happier if I started dating a penguin” ~ Bradley Trevor Greive, Looking for Mr. Right

Last week was a tough week.  I worked extremely long hours, even more than I usually do.  One night I was stuck at the office until 2:30 a.m., and then I was back at work by 8:00 a.m.  Thankfully, it was spring break for LittleG, and she was at her father’s house, so I did not have to worry about her.  However, I broke my gym streak and I did not work out even once last week.  Hopefully this week will be better.  Working out at the gym is my one real “vice” and I feel irritated and short-tempered when I don’t exercise.

I had lost a bet to a friend last week as well, and so I was obligated to perform an act of her choosing.  As luck or misfortune would have it, my obligation to fulfill the bet was to go on one date.  Where would I find a date?  She suggested that I create an online profile.

Over the years I had created dating profiles only to promptly remove them.  This time was no exception.  I find it unnatural to offer yourself up to others like an item on a restaurant menu, and to initially be judged by a few photos that only give a glimpse of who you really are.  I am definitely not judging those who do internet date, and I know it has been successful for many people.  I am speaking solely for myself, and for me, it feels unnatural.

And unsuccessful.  While I did get many likes and messages, they were mostly from old and fat men, and one lesbian who offered to paint my nude body.

Profile deleted.  I’ll have to find someone the old-fashioned way, I guess.  Does anyone date the traditional way any more?

Oh, and yesterday, LittleG officially became a young woman.  She got her first period, and as her mom, I congratulated her on her first step of her journey towards adulthood, but secretly, I cried for the end of her youth (and the official start of my old age).

Mom

“When you look into your mother’s eyes, you know that is the purest love you can find on this earth.” ~ Mitch Albom, For One More Day

When I was younger, I did not think much of my Mom. I grew up wanting to not be like her, a stay-at-home mom who had given up her teaching career to raise my siblings and me. I would watch her go about her day, making breakfast for my family, cleaning house, doing laundry, cooking, cleaning, more cooking, more cleaning, and I grew disgusted at how her life had turned out. I used to wonder if my Mom had any ambition at all for her life. Did she not want more, desire more, than to just be a Mom and a wife?

My Mom did not start to work until my sister was in high school. By then, she had been out of the work force for so long that she had to start at the very bottom. I’m not sure why, but I had been angry at my Mom for not doing more with her life. I felt as though she wasted her life just staying home and doing nothing all those years.

It was not until I was older that I realized how wrong I had been about my Mom. She was not just home and doing nothing. She had sacrificed her own dreams and ambitions to always be at home, ready and available, to care for us, nurture us, feed us, and love us. She had the most important job of all. But yet she never complained about the hours she worked, the lack of vacation time, or how she never was monetarily compensated. She just showed up, every day, with a smile on her face to encourage us to go about our own day, and she never asked for anything in return.

It is only now that I understand that she has achieved more with her life than she may have done if she had stayed with her teaching career. She took on the harder career, the one of being a full-time Mom. She successfully raised three children and even had to endure the tragedy of losing one of us. She was damn good at what she did: the best Mom I ever could have had. It is ironic how I grew up not wanting to be like her, and now, I could only hope to be like her.

“For the hand that rocks the cradle – is the hand that rules the world.” ~ William Ross Wallace

Underage

On the phone with my financial services company:

“Yes, I’d like online access for my account.”

“Could you please verify your information?”

I give my name, social security number and address.

“Well, it appears that your mother is the guardian on this account, and you are not the person that can make any changes on this account.”

“Okay… you mean even if it’s MY account and I just gave my Mom access to MY account, I can’t even apply for online access?”

“That’s right. Your mother is the Guardian on this account and since you’re underage, we can’t even talk to you.”

WTF???

Although I am 37, apparently I cannot be trusted to handle my own finances.

“Mom, help!!!” (She so loves being needed.)

This reminds me of when I tried to rent a car last summer. El, you’ll remember this:

“Hi. I’d like to rent a car please. Could you please tell me what’s available?”

The woman at Hertz looks at me and says, kindly, “Honey, I’m sorry, but I’m afraid you can’t. You have to be at least 18 in order to rent a car.”

After showing her my driver’s license, we determine that I am actually older than she is.

Looking young and sounding young doesn’t always have its advantages.