Being in my late twenties, my mother has come to view me more like a friend. Or, at least, she speaks to me that way. Unfortunately, or hilariously, depending on the situation, this leads to interesting conversations.
Today we had one that made me nauseous.
In brief: my mother almost married my elementary school principle, and we almost moved to Kentucky.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but this sounds like the plot of a chessy comedy.
At the time, I was five or six years old, so I have no recollection of any of the examples she gave: the three of us out to dinner; the Easter weekend she went to Kentucky to meet his family; the new wardrobe he bought her.
I don’t think it’s disgusting because of his age. Already having a father 22 years older than my mother would have transitioned me nicely to having a step-father 33 years older than my mother. And school wouldn’t have been an issue, seeing as he planned to move us out of state, and, I assume, me into a school he wasn’t running.
No, the disgust was because it was my principle, my hairy, old, mean, crotchety principle. According to my mother, he was a perfect gentleman. “I’ll never do anything so I couldn’t look your father in the eye,” my mother quoted him. (Oh God, I think he was probably my grandfather’s age.) In my youth, he, along with all my other teachers, doted on me. But the idea of coming home everyday to this man in my house, this man being my father, and my mother and him, dare I even type it, having sex…
I just gagged a little.
As if I don’t already have a wealth of family drama to write about, this would have been a whole book.
But, it didn’t happen. On my Mom’s trip to Kentucky, his family rejected her. They thought she was too young, being the same age as his children. His previous wife had passed away, and, I suppose, they didn’t want him replacing her. He wanted to keep his family happy, even though it seems he cared for my Mom. She avoided him at my school, which I attended for another six years. He was nice to me; I got good grades and was never a discipline problem.
I suppose, in all this, along with my dry heaves, I feel very sad for my Mom. Her life could have been so different, so much better. I know my Mom could have used his loving support, seeing as her relationship with my father most likely wasn’t healthy. And my principle had money, so I doubt she would’ve worried about bills ever again.
The only reason she brought it up at all is because he died this past summer; she didn’t learn about it til last week. Time drew our lives apart from his. And, even though we tried to keep in touch with my elementary school, a small family of people we knew and loved for so many years, time has a way of distancing all things.
She’ll want to visit the school sometime soon. I hope it will be good for her. Me, I’ll go because she wants to. But I have a feeling they won’t know how to react to one of their star pupils showing up with a rocker style haircut, tattoos, and a tongue ring.
Boy, how kids grow up so fast these day.
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