“What do you think you are doing?”
Why don’t you look good?
Why do you look so fat?
Why can’t you do what we say?
I don’t understand, why do you have to shout?
Get out of my room.”
This is what Jane thought of when she thought of her mother. The woman she spent almost half her life with, she never felt loved or wanted. She felt like whatever she did it would never enough. Never!
And today she was going to come to her apartment, the one she bought two years ago. Her mother spent the first month with her, in the name of helping her to move. All she did through those thirty days is criticize every piece of furniture Jane bought for her apartment. When asked to keep her opinions to herself, she would say in a defensive voice, “I am just telling the truth and I am not going to apologise for that.” And she never did for anything she said. All those words that left her heart as if it were going to burst into a million pieces. And now she was coming for dinner. Jane looked around the house, her one bedroom apartment was fairly neat. But all the furniture was old, the yellow colour of the sofa was faded. The plain curtains she had bought from the thrift store looked dusty. The centre piece that her best friend gifted her was hidden under a pile of her magazines. She needed to get out of this situation and fast. She had lost the habit of listening to criticism. Everyone who came to her house always said that it’s not pretty but its home. And all she heard was “its home”.
Jane craved for her mother’s approval for the first ten years of her life and then she gave up. But it always bothered her.
What is the perfect excuse? She kept thinking to herself. Hey maybe I will tell her one of my close friends died, she thought. Oh no! But she wouldn’t buy that and even if she did she would want to come along. Meanwhile she started off with cleaning the apartment for her OCD stricken mother. She started off with the dishes certain to find a perfect excuse. Then she went on to clean the tiles of the toilet still clueless about the excuse. Then she scrubbed the floor disheartened and now certain she had to live through the evening. Then when she was vacuum cleaning the entire apartment an idea popped into her head like fire cracker. She could invite someone, “I can invite someone” she said loudly with a large smile spreading across her face. “I know the perfect person who can take my mother. And he is Kevin.”
At eight Jane was ready to welcome her mother, she was more excited than nervous. She thought it was war and today she was not willing to lose. The doorbell interrupted her string of thoughts, she almost ran to open the door. It was her mother, she stood there with that plastic smile on, the one people manage to put in front of the camera. “Hi darling” she said with a ringing voice. Then she looked around the room and Jane knew she had scanned the living room. Now she knew exactly where what was wrong and Jane waited for it begin.
Just then the doorbell rang again, Jane almost hurt herself while getting to the door. She opened the door, there he was or she was, as he preferred to call himself. Kevin was in the middle of a sex change operation, he was not a complete woman yet but he chose dressed like one. He came in and looked at her mother and a smile spread on his clean shaven face and flashed his perfectly curled eyelashes, while he said, “hi!”
The look on Jane’s mother’s face told Jane that it was going to be an interesting evening and she had the perfect bottle of wine for it.