As I reached for the phone, I knew I was making a terrible mistake. But I dialed the number anyway. As the phone rang, I silently prayed she wouldn’t answer. But, of course, she did.
“Hi, Mom,” I said, grimacing in preparation for what I was about to do.
“Well, this is a surprise!” she chirped.
My mother is a master of manipulation, and her artistry never is more evident than in her displays of unbridled enthusiasm to hear your voice.
“I’ve made a decision,” I said grimly. “I’m going with you and Dad to the reunion.”
My mother gasped. No one gasps quite like my mother. In one large gulp of air, she’s able to express any number of powerful emotions: grave disappointment, shock, disapproval—or, in this case, unfettered delight that she managed to bully you into something you really didn’t want to do.
“Oh, I’m just thrilled! Thrilled!” she exclaimed.
I settled back in resignation, knowing I would not be able to get a word in edgewise in the next hour or so. She thrilled on about the amazing adventures we’d be having over the course of three days: one of her relatives had organized a tour of a tractor factory; we’d be dining at a restaurant whose ceiling is an “exact replica” of the Sistine Chapel; and, of course, we’d get to spend some time in the swine barns. To my mother’s credit, she rattled off this travelogue in order to amuse me. She knows I appreciate the ridiculous as much as she does.
But midway through her monologue, she stuttered to a stop. She gasped again—this time, emoting stunning revelation.
“OK, missy, I know exactly what you’re up to,” she said accusingly. “It suddenly dawned on me why you want to go on this trip. You’re looking for material, aren’t you?”
By “material,” she meant bizarre family anecdotes that I could use in my column.
The reunion is with my mother’s extended family in a small town that’s about a six-hour drive away. That’s right—a six-hour drive with my parents.
Why would I agree to go on a 12-hour-round trip road trip with my parents if I wasn’t desperate for something to write about?
I’m doing it for you, dear readers. And I certainly hope you appreciate it.
When I started this column, I thought I’d have plenty of wacky lesbian adventures to write about for years to come. But, let’s face it: The lesbian lifestyle never has been synonymous with excitement.
Sometimes, when we’re in our 20s, we managed to get into a bit of mischief, but by the time we’ve hit 40, we’re deeply lodged into rigidly platonic long-term relationships.
Sadly, we have started bowling. And, my friends, I just don’t have anything amusing to say about bowling.
So, until I can muster the energy to go out, and find myself a sex life, I’m going to have to make due by going on extended family vacations.
This is going to be as hard on you as it is on me. After all, you will be forced to read about it. So, it would be in all of our best interests if we all pulled together to find me new “material.”
Here’s what I’m looking for: a slightly troubled (because perfectly sane is no fun), gainfully employed, and very fetching lady friend. I know the last qualifier sounds shallow, but how can I be counted on to think irrationally, and make the bad decisions that fuel this column, if I am not hopelessly attracted to the woman. I’m not much of a catch, but I can be a lot of fun (as long as the fun ends at a reasonable hour). I’m devilishly attractive; possess raw, animal charm; and face each day with relentless good cheer.
Hey, I wrote a book! You can buy Dateland on Amazon.