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Meeting the parents

The day came to meet his parents and I was a little anxious as I knew I would be.  His daddy was soft spoken and cordial but aloof, like him.  He had salt and pepper hair and you could tell that he had suffered with acne when he was younger, just as J*** had.  I had very little interaction with him.  I’m not sure he knew exactly what to think and he didn’t seem to be very interested in knowing anything about me or even having a casual chat.
His mama had a whiny, “I’m all sweetness and light” voice that was nauseatingly pretentious and she was not successful in fooling me for one minute.  She had black hair and a huge gap between her front teeth which were brown and slimy.  The protuberance that masqueraded as a bottom lip was packed with snuff and made it necessary for her to talk with her head tilted back so the spit wouldn’t dribble down her chin.  She was far from what I would describe as beautiful but not what I would describe as ugly and she looked younger than her age.
There was the initial and expected “third degree” from her…wanting to know everything about me and it made me uncomfortable but I obliged.
There were pictures all over the house of J*** and his wife.  There was a huge picture of her in her wedding dress hanging over the piano in the living room and I wondered why it was still there.
What was going to become another lifelong pattern in my life with J*** had already begun to emerge.  He had brought me there and had essentially left me to my own devices.  He spent the entire visit out on the back porch talking to his daddy while I sat there and listened to his mama talk about his wife.
His mama dragged out the high school year books for J*** and his two brothers.  I had to watch her thumb through every page of his as well as both of theirs.  I really wasn’t interested but I didn’t want to be rude.  After the year books came the scrapbook.  It was full of pictures of J*** and his wife.  Every birthday and Christmas was documented in pictures with little comments his mama had written and attached to each one.  She smiled as she recounted their lives from high school until they got married and she talked about how much she loved her.  I just listened and wondered why she felt it necessary to describe their relationship to me.
I had expected the snuff dipping but J*** didn’t tell me that his mama was a drunk.  She had been drinking since we got there and hadn’t stopped.  The more she drank, the more apparent it became that she was not pleased with who her son had brought home.
J*** mentioned to me that she sewed and I, thinking that it might be a common factor, mentioned to her that my mama was an excellent seamstress.  I told her that my mama could make anything, was a wonderful cook and that she and my sister kept such clean houses that if I was invited to dinner and they served me on the floor, I wouldn’t hesitate to sit down and eat.  She got up and snapped “well, I happen to know that nobody keeps a cleaner house than I do.  I’m a perfectionist, you see.”
I wanted to say “if you’re such a perfectionist, why are there nicotine stains running down the walls in the bathroom and and inch of dust on top of the magazines that you have piled up almost to the ceiling in the living room?”
She didn’t like it when she found out that she and my mama were the same age.  She wanted to be younger.  She also wanted me to understand that SHE was the best seamstress, SHE was the best cook, SHE kept the cleanest house and that this was going to be ABSOLUTE LAW.  The superiority sniper was rearing it’s ugly head.
Mercifully, the visit was coming to an end and it only took that short period of time for there to be no doubt that there were only three things that were going to be important to her.  Those three things were…..drinking as much Vodka as she possibly could…..being the only woman who mattered in her oldest sons’ life….and making sure that she made me feel as worthless as she possibly could.
And he said I reminded him of this woman?

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