You know when you have one of those moments when everything you thought you knew turns out to be completely wrong? Like you find out that Karen is actually Sharon and you’ve been calling her the wrong name for 3 months? Well, I had one of those moments on Sunday.
Since our return from Vacation, The Viking and I have been exhausted. We are just barely hanging in there, waiting for Day Light Savings to kick in on the 6th. So, when Saturday rolled around, I went for a nap and it was the loveliest nap I’ve ever taken!
There was a moment though when a terrible banging was going on in the kitchen. At first I thought maybe The Viking wasn’t happy about my napping and he was being Passive Aggressive. This wasn’t a vague, barely audible banging, this was a deafening, shake-the-house kind of banging. I was too tired to really care at that moment, and while most times I would have charged out of the bedroom, wild-eyed, bellowing “What the fuck was that noise?!”, this time I just waited until it stopped and then fell into a warm, dreamless cocoon.
Once I was awake enough…..
Me: What was all that banging earlier?
The Viking: I didn’t hear any banging.
Me: That’s impossible. It shook the whole house.
The Viking: Seriously. I didn’t hear any banging.
Me: It was you! You were out here banging something like you weren’t happy that I was taking a nap!
The Viking: I don’t know what you’re talking about. I don’t have an issue with you having a nap. You can do whatever the fuck you want.
Me: So you weren’t banging just to ruin my nap?
The Viking: No. That would be childish.
And here’s where everything went sideways.
Me: Then I would like to have naps like that every day!
The Viking: Only on the weekends. Week days are for working, not napping.
Me (indignant): Of course only on the weekends! You don’t need to suggest that I don’t know enough not to nap on work days!
The Viking: I just wanted to be clear.
Me: What if I’m sick?
The Viking: Well, of course if you’re sick…..
Me (shrugging): I just wanted to make sure I understood the Fine Print.
The Viking: Ok……….Mim.
An explosion happened in my head. Actually….several explosions. My face must have gone slack with shock because The Viking started laughing. “You didn’t think of that, did you?”
No. I didn’t. But that sounded exactly like something Mim would say. I’ll bet she has actually said that to me at some point. I always thought Mim was like her father. Could I have possibly gotten this wrong for twenty…..how old is she again?…..2016 minus 1989 equals…..where the fuck is the calculator?!…..TWENTY-SEVEN YEARS?! Is she really twenty-seven years old?! That makes me…..
Focus. Age is for another time.
I start scrolling back in time, flashes of memories examined through this new filter.
I did get it wrong. There’s no other explanation.
Of course that’s what I would have done if my mother had taken my Beanie Babies away (except I grew up in a corporal punishment world and never had anything worth taking away). And that’s why she sucked at math! And that’s why she doesn’t have the grace of a gazelle. And that’s why she hates turnips and sauerkraut! And that’s why she has trouble with clocks!
Well, I can’t tell her any of this. I can’t admit that I got it all wrong….for 27 fucking years! Right now I have plausible deniability. If she suspected…..well….there would probably be a Turkey Dance and some “I told you so”s. She probably knows the exact number of times I told her she was just like her father. Of course there is a whole conversation here that Freud would have loved but I’m not going to get into it. The fact remains that since The Viking gave me permission to just be me, all my weirdness looks exactly like Mim’s weirdness.
So, how do I contain this? I know I won’t tell her because….well….I’m the Mom and Moms are always right! Right? But when The Viking has a couple of drinks he gets all honest and sincere and will spill the beans. I need to explain to him the catastrophic effects of Mim finding out that her Mom might have been wrong about something fundamental to her childhood. She might have considered the possibility but a confirmation would completely change the dynamic, undermine the entire child/parent principle.
The Viking is the weak link here. This may call for the application of a Headlock again. I don’t condone violence so it will be a gentle Headlock, more like a caress really, but he tends to listen closer when there is nothing to distract him. Well, there is the problem of my boobs but a thick sweater and a tight sports bra will camouflage them enough to get the job done. And I should try to catch him off guard, like when he’s putting on his socks or in the shower.
The Viking: Why are you looking at me like that?
Me: What? Um. Nothing. So why were you banging so loud if not to annoy me out of a nap?
The Viking: I wasn’t banging.
Me: Yes, you were.
The Viking: Maybe it was Junior.
Me: IT WASN’T JUNIOR!! It was you! In the kitchen! The neighbors must have heard it!
The Viking: I think you dreamed it.
Me: I didn’t dream it! It sounded like you were banging two pots together.
The Viking: Ohhhhh. I was using the Slap Chop to cut up the onions.
Me: You do remember that we have that small electric chopper don’t you? No banging required.
The Viking: It’s not the same.
Me: Of course it’s not the same. It’s quiet.
The Viking: Whatever.
I made a mental note to make that Headlock/Caress just a fraction harder. When I catch him off guard.