As I was making my oatmeal this morning, one of those crazy, random memories popped into my head.
My mother divorced my dad after 30+ years of marriage. They had four kids. My younger sister and I were already married. I was totally shocked and somewhat devastated. It changed our whole family dynamic. Our family never felt the same again.
Daddy’s idea of relaxation or entertainment after work was to have supper and then read a book, watch tv or listen to talk radio. There was no abuse or infidelity in the marraige…just inattention. Daddy was as shocked as I was. He never realized how dissatisfied Mom was.
She had started taking square dance lessons to have something to do with her time. One of her partners was B. After her divorce she lived with B for over 20 years until his death. My Dad called him a gigolo, but Mom never went out with him until after she was divorced.
I was the last of the 4 kids to know Mom was seeing someone. Somehow I’ve always been the “straight-laced” child and always find out things last. When I first met B I was shocked. He had red hair and a beard and was many years younger than my mom. I thought he was a redneck, a moocher and a user because he had trouble keeping a job. Of course, most of the flaws I saw were because B was not my father.
It took me many years of disapproval to figure out what my mother saw in him, but I finally saw it. He was attentive to her. He kissed her goodbye every time he left, even if he was only going up the street to the corner store. They spent time together, and shared hobbies. They did things together. And I saw that she was able to give of herself to him and that fulfilled her.
During this memory, I remember one time they came home from a take out restaurant. I looked on in horror as they showed the handfuls of napkins and condiments they had. I told my husband in shock and disgust, “OMG. They are stocking their pantry from the fast food restaurants!” I was so judgemental! B was not perfect, but he loved my mother and made her happy.
The end of this crazy memory? Hubby and I eat a lot of fast food or take out these days. And you will always find at least 10 napkins and 6 ketchups, and handfuls of salt in your bag, which is way too much for 2 people to use. So guess what? Even though I didn’t grab it myself to bring home, we now have excess napkins, salt, pepper, ketchup and take out silverware packages piling up. Funny…