Sunday, November 27, 2005

The one and only mama

We're home again, thank God, and I once again have internet access. Blogging becomes addictive, huh? I've been jonesing to post for days now.

We've just returned from the Thanksgiving trip from hell. Husband and I were somehow in charge of organizing and preparing the usual feast at Husband's father's house in Atlanta. I was feeling nonchalant about the actual cooking since I'm pretty handy in a kitchen. This despite the fact that we were flying in from out of town and were going to have to hit the grocery store as soon as we got off the plane. An uncle was bringing a few side items, Husband's brother would pick up some pies, etc. It went pretty smoothly, really, despite a bit if stress and NO SLEEP the night before. (Our Bean is the world's most wretched travelling baby.) Once all the elderly relatives began arriving, however, my nonchalance was dashed as I heard Husband utter these words to his aunt: "This, of course, would never have passed muster with my mother." The silver wasn't polished, there was no centerpiece, the cloth napkins weren't all matching, no tablecloth--these are the things I think he meant. I don't think Husband quite realized how this would come out, but nevertheless, hey, thanks a lot, honey. Next year, maybe we can have Thanksgiving HERE at our own house where I can do things up and actually have fun. And the baby will sleep, for chrissakes. And I don't have to stay with and make lunch for your father so that your brother can go work out and you can go for a nice run out of the ridiculously overheated house. And I won't get a little case of food poisoning from the Mexican restaurant down the street just a few hours before we're supposed to board an early flight home. (I'm actually no longer bitter but maybe WAS feeling a little resentful before we got home sweet home. I love home.)

But Husband's comment does beg the question for me of why men can be this way about their mothers. I think I've mentioned before I thought that dynamic you read about in crappy women's novels where men remain mama's boys all their lives was a complete fabrication. I thought that right up until the time that I married my Ex when it was proved to be real right quick. Now Husband is no mama's boy and never was. And I must say here that his mother died horribly from cancer about 3 years ago and really was an interesting, kind woman, though I never got to know her very well. But why do men nearly always walk into their adult lives with some form of mama idolization? I don't see it happening with women and their mothers. Do women do this with their fathers instead? I wouldn't know, as my father left us when I was very little (and good riddance). It's something I continue to puzzle about as the mama of young girls and no boys. Perhaps if I had a son I would begin to understand it, or maybe some of you ladies out there with sweet little boys have a clue. I do confess that a little idolization sounds pretty appealing, though I would hope that any son I had would still grow up to be an independent man capable of taking care of himself and others. But to be the woman against whom all others are measured? Maybe not so bad.


Laura said...

Both of my husbands have seemed to measure me against my own mother. My ex actually once said, "Your mom is the perfect wife." Another gee, thanks moment.

Mommygoth said...

To some extent, I do think it is true, for better or for worse. I think it is weird to D that I don't sew, but equally weird that I can cook. And if I say anything that sounds like something his mother would say, he just shuts down and stops hearing me. I find that I compare D to my Dad similarly - not that I expect him to do the same things, but that I find it interesting how similar they actually are. And I can't believe you didn't swat him for that comment - there had better be some sort of recompense.

Piece of Work said...

My husband has never gotten along well with his mother, so there doesn't seem to be any of that for him. My own brother loves my mom, but it doesn't seem to me that he loves her any more, or differently than my sister or I do. I wonder what his girlfriend thinks.