I talk to my mother quite a bit on the phone. So much that sometimes it feels as if neither one of us is retaining much of the conversation.
“What are you doing tonight?”
“I just told you, I have a show”
“Oh, that’s right. That should be fun”
“Did you return that shirt?”
“Yes, I told you, they would only give me a credit”
“Oh, that’s right and they had a bunch of junk”
“Crap. I said they had a bunch of crap”
The odd thing is I can recite a conversation I eavesdropped on verbatim. Eavesdropping is hereditary in my family. Everybody has a genetic inclination towards tuning out of the conversation they are currently involved in so that they can pay better attention to the dialogue between the strangers at the next table. There are times when my sister and I go out to dinner and habitually sit in silence, until one of us leans in “ are you listening to this?” Inborn eavesdropping.
I’m going to be in Boston a lot in April and my mother kept asking me “When are you coming home again?” so I told her I would email her the dates.
I emailed her and my sister so they could both clear their calendars accordingly.
Later I talked to my mother and confirmed receipt.
“So, you got the email with the dates I’ll be home?”
“My God, yes, I got the email. That email made my head spin”
She mocked me “I might be home for three days on the blah blah blah but then I will go back to NYC and if I can, I’ll be back.. I mean I don’t know if you are coming or going”
I laughed. I thought I wrote a pretty good email.
“Mom, you know I want to be a good communicator so when you have a second, can you rewrite the email the way you would have preferred to receive it and send it back to me?”
“Yeah, right. I don’t even know what you were TRYING to say. Just write it with clarity. Like a memo. With bullet points or whatever”
“Ok. Next time I come home, I’ll draft up a memo”
“I’ll just be here when you get here. Don’t worry”
“Don’t Worry” is another way of saying “I’m sick of this topic”. It’s like saying “Good for her” when everybody knows you really mean “I could give a fuck” which may be a substitute for how you really feel which is “THAT SHOULD BE ME!”
Either way, I’m not sure if my mother knows when I am coming home in April but I am positive the topic will come up again. And again. And again.
Thanks for listening!
Kendra is a stand-up comic living in Brooklyn where she owns a super comfortable bed. She spends most of her time wondering where the hell her sugar daddy is and hoping he didn’t settle.