And no, I'm not making a "your mom" joke, as hilarious as those can be. I'm talking about mi madre and our phone conversation today, which took quite the unexpected turn.
"I have to tell you my news. My high school boyfriend emailed me today," she said, with more than a little nervous excitement in her voice.
Not to get into my family history too much, but my parents had a horrible relationship and a long, drawn out divorce that left some nasty scars on all of us. My mom pretty much shut the door to any future relationships, and I can't say I blame her. She has every right to see the potential negatives outweighing the potential positives of dating in mid-life. But, I've always wondered if deep down she'd really like to have a significant other in her life in some way. I know she's been asked out several times, but never has she agreed. For the most part she's accepted her aloneness as ok, and even enjoyable most of the time.
But this old school flame definitely still has a piece of her heart. I know for a fact that she's googled him over the years and kept up with him from a distance, but she never worked up the nerve to contact him. So when she woke up to find an email from him in her inbox, she was excited. Even though she was trying to disguise it as shock to me, I knew better.
"I haven't written him back yet. What do you say in a situation like this?" she asked.
(Wait a second, is my mom asking me for love advice? I don't know how to handle this!)
"Well, what did he write to you?" I asked.
It sounded to me like a normal, "I'd like to get back in touch and see how life's treated you" kind of exchange. But then again, I can't imagine what it would be like to hear from someone I hadn't talked to in nearly 35 years. After high school my mom moved from Alabama to Virginia, and she completely lost touch with this guy.
"But he's single!" she said.
I didn't want to state the obvious: that this was a good thing. I think even the thought of someone being remotely interested in her freaks her out. I wish she'd get over herself and see how awesome she is and that any man would be thrilled to have someone like her in his life. Then again, when you live with someone for most of your adult life who makes you feel like garbage, it's probably hard to believe anyone would want you.
She's going to write him back. And there's part of me that secretly wishes a little romance for my mom. She's certainly earned it after busting her butt for my brothers and me, dealing with a lot of shit along the way. If nothing else, I hope it makes her feel good and reconnects her with a past that was happy.