Via: Daily Prompt – Murmuration & RecordOver the past five years, more and more salt strands have been peeking out of my peppery tresses. I make a point not to hide my premature grays for two reasons: One, I truly do believe they are my wisdom highlights, and B, they help to ward off my archaic relatives’ not-so-subtle-hints on the long overdue marital status. I literally put in efforts toward getting too long in the tooth to become an on-the-shelf spinster. And just when I put my feet up and blow out that sigh of relief, believing that the years of danger have passed, someone ducks their head into our house and asks when am I going to settle down with a nice man. It’s like the record player is broken and plays the same tune over and over again regardless of which album is in the tray. Grr…
Enter That Old Dude. I have never met him before but, apparently, he is a distant cousin of Dad’s who was a big support during his college dorm days. This guy pays a visit yesterday evening (totally out of the blue), tells Mom he’s been hankering for some home cooked fish dish I never heard of (which Mom graciously obliges to prepare), and then presumes to give me a talk on how in his old age it’s a sincere wish to see grandchildren. Seriously, I never met the guy but he is of the mind that my kids (if I ever have any) will be his grandchildren.
I looked at Dad and he sort of shrunk away from my gaze. So I decided to take pity on the general male species for the day. I smiled and asked if the Old Dude did not have children of his own to place this request to. All politeness and murmurs, if you please.
He did, and they do have kids.
I take a fortifying breath through my frozen smile while willing myself to not point out his greediness, and ask instead if he isn’t satisfied with the outcome of said grandchildren.
Oh, he was. Very pleasant grandchildren they were too. But do I not desire the same happiness for my parents?
I supposed I should be gratified that he assumed any children produced by me would be a source of happiness for my parents so I checked my words. I told him we have a cat. At which point, Mom called me over to help her set the table. I arranged the table as asked but forgot the fish dish. I don’t need to relate all of the excruciating details of our scintillating dinner conversation, do I?
Later, I was helping Mom put on new bedsheets in the guest room when the Old Dude again pops his head in and makes a comment in the ballpark of how my efforts would be much better invested if supplied for a nice young man.
Mom looked at me, quite as startled as I felt. She dreaded the worst and with good reasons. Old Dude had finally rankled my feminist sensibilities beyond care for my parent’s home politics.
I replied, “Any man of mine better know how to snap out the bedsheets on his own” and got myself out of there before I really lost my shit.
Evading the parson’s mousetrap is no easy conquest, folks.
#1 by Train Today to Reap Tomorrow on March 14, 2017 - 5:38 am
Love the line…One, I truly do believe they are my wisdom highlights!
#2 by lupa08 on March 15, 2017 - 4:23 am
They are, lol 😂
#3 by jrusoloward on March 15, 2017 - 2:51 am
Too funny! It reads like a sit-com. I’m sorry you had to go through this, though. I wonder if your mother gave your father an ear-full when they were alone. It sounds as if she wasn’t on board with his efforts. Be careful with what you say. My sister once got annoyed with my mother for constantly complaining that she was never going to have grandchildren (my sister wasn’t married, and my husband and I were married for four years without producing a grandbaby). Out of frustration, she told my old-fashioned grandchild craving mother that if having a grandchild was so important to her, she would visit a sperm bank. My mother said “Yes! Let’s have a baby!” Fortunately for my sister, I announced that I was pregnant a few weeks later.
#4 by lupa08 on March 15, 2017 - 4:05 am
The encounter didn’t feel funny until in hindsight. But I think everyone’s reactions (except the guest’s of course) basically defines our family dynamics – at least when it comes to the topic of my marital status. Mostly, I think they were just relieved I didn’t go shooting off my feminist rhetorics because then Old Dude might go back and discuss what a hardheaded heathen Maleque’s and Polly’s daughter has turned out to be 😵
You see how I’m held hostage in salvaging my parents’ sinking reputation?
I doubt my mother sides with me on this. Both my parents are way too old-fashioned to fathom the concept that I am fully capable of surviving without a husband. I’m very sure they would both like me better if I just relented but if marriage hasn’t appealed to me in these thirty-odd years, I doubt it will anytime in the near future 😒
#5 by jrusoloward on March 15, 2017 - 6:18 am
Stay strong. Only you know what’s right for you. It’s hard to go against your parents as well as tradition. What I saw in your post is that you’re a feminist trying to be true to yourself while respecting (not giving in to, just understanding) and loving your family.
The audacity of Old Dude!
#6 by lupa08 on March 15, 2017 - 10:37 am
Haha. Thanks for understanding 😊