Mother’s Day 2011

If the truth be told, Mother’s Day Weekend 2011 was a bit awkward.  Originally, I had planned to be totally selfish on Sunday.  I just wanted to spend the day with J and the boys- brunch at the Crowne Plaza followed by a trip to the beach.  I didn’t feel like hosting brunch at my house for my mom and J’s mom like I had done for the past several years.  Tension between my side of the family and me has caused me not to want to host family functions anymore.  Since my mom pretty much opted to spend Easter without us except for a drive-by basket drop off for the boys, I didn’t felt like putting much emphasis on Mother’s Day this year.  But I felt bad for not planning something special for my mother-in-law since she helps us out so much with watching the boys.  However, my conscious would not let me do something for my mother-in-law and not include my mom (although my own mother has no problem with such things).  So, I opted to plan nothing and sent flowers instead.

Then a text message changed everything late last week…

My aunt invited us to join the family to celebrate Steph’s birthday and Mother’s Day on Saturday night at a local restaurant.  Ugh!  Admittedly, I was torn but accepted anyway to keep the peace.  J and I schlepped the boys over to meet up with family (my mom, my aunt, Steph and her sister, Auntie Jo).  They chose to sit at the tiki bar out back with the live band.  It was loud and uncomfortable sitting on bar stools.  The only thing we could find for the boys on the limited bar menu was chicken fingers.  I ordered a couple of mojitos just to cope with the tension.

Steph’s kids were not there but Steph’s 63-year-old boyfriend was.  The more he drank the more touchy-feely he got with Steph and the more uncomfortable the rest of us became.  Our poor waitress was totally confused when she stopped by to check on us and the person she probably assumed was the father was making out with the person she assumed was the daughter…

Mr. Suave managed to spill a martini on himself and his dinner.  Then moved on to sing the praises of Elvis Presley.  Quote: “No one who has ever been on American Idol has had the talent that Elvis had in his pinky…”

Thanks.  You’re totally dated yourself, pal.

Mr. Charming further impressed me by quizzing Auntie Jo, a 28-year-old, on the writers of the 70’s folk songs the band was singing.  When she couldn’t answer the first question (Arlo Guthrie) and laughed it off by saying it was before her time.  He condescendingly spouted, “Well, Abraham Lincoln was president before I was born and I know who he was!”

I had to restrain myself from asking him if he knew any pop songs and song writers from the civil war because that was a more accurate comparison.

We trudged through the meal, the drinks and the pie that my aunt brought for Steph’s birthday.  My kids were a cute distraction from the necking at the end of the table.  I’m just sorry they had to witness that crap.  Everyone else at the table swiveled themselves away from the blatant PDA.  Even though it was totally inappropriate and awkward for everyone, my aunt, mom and Auntie Jo tried their best to act as though everything was perfectly normal and they were having a good time.

I’m really not sure what kind of birthday celebration it was supposed to be because I’m the only one who brought a gift…  After I gave Steph her present we all thankfully called it an evening.  We couldn’t get to the car fast enough!

On Sunday, we invited J’s parents to join us for brunch at the Crowne Plaza.  It was the most normal, well-adjusted experience!  We all had a wonderful time eating outside under a tent by the ocean.  It was how Mother’s Day should be.

The boys clearly enjoyed the treats from the chocolate fountain 🙂

Is it possible to travel on all holidays both major and minor to avoid the BS of my family?  Probably not but, believe me, I’d like to!

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Drama from My Momma…

Last night was surreal.  After leaving one of the most boring wedding receptions I have ever been to, the night went up several notches in excitement thanks to my mom. Don’t get me wrong.  The bride and groom are wonderful.  The groom is one of J’s best friends in the world.  J and Wildman were in the sweet ceremony on the beach.

Everything was lovely at the wedding but the reception was a real snoozefest.  There was no time line for the typical reception activities like the first dance, the toast, cutting the cake, etc.  As a result, the reception drug on for 5 hours.  It would not have been so bad had the music not been coma-inducing.  I’m referring to a play list that was comprised mainly of Frank Sinatra, Glenn Miller and many slow ballads from previous generations.  No one really danced and there was no bar.

We soldiered through to the end though.  We witnessed the bouquet and garter tossing, collected our children and said our good-byes.  I was exhausted from sitting on my behind, making tons of small talk, eating a mediocre meal and corralling the boys.  I just wanted to go home and put my feet up.

Let me preface the next part of my story by saying that as I entered the hotel earlier that day I recalled my mom saying that her ex-husband, Friendly Jim, was going to his 40th high school reunion that night at the same hotel as the wedding we were attending.  Not only was Friendly Jim attending his reunion but he was also getting his old high school band back together to play.  It was supposed to be a big surprise for everyone and my mom said she wanted to crash the party.

My mom and Friendly Jim are still buds.  They have breakfast together every Sunday and frequently go out to movies.  In fact, their relationship is better now than it ever was when they were married.  He had been over at her house the night before the reunion practicing his set and knew that she wanted to see him play guitar with his band.  Yet, he never asked her to go with him…

Fast forward to the cocktail party after the wedding reception.

J and Wildman were busy taking photos with the bridal party outside on the beach.  Cutie Pie and I were hanging out with Steph and Big Red inside at the bar.  The air conditioning felt incredibly refreshing after the stifling heat from the outdoor ceremony.  As Steph and I made our way over to the coconut shrimp, I felt a tap-tap-tap on my shoulder.  I turned around and there was Friendly Jim, my ex-stepdad.  We hugged and chatted about his reunion but I could not keep my eyes from drifting over to the lady standing next to him.  I had never seen her before and they were obviously together since they retreated to the beach after Friendly Jim, Steph and I had finished chatting.  Friendly Jim never introduced us to his lady friend but all of a sudden it clicked why he had not asked my mom to join him at the reunion that evening.  He already had a date!  Oh, no…

Steph, with eyes wide, immediately said, “You cannot tell your mom!!!  You just cannot tell her!”

I told Steph that I knew I probably should not tell my mom but I was afraid that my mom was going to crash the reunion.  Then what?!  Upon further discussion, we decided that there was no way my mom was actually going to show up because she had just spent the entire day in Orlando with my aunt and uncle picking our ceramic tile.  My mom was probably too exhausted to even think about showing up at the hotel.  I decided not to rock my mom’s world and kept Friendly Jim’s date a secret.

Fast forward to the end of the most boring wedding reception evah…

As J, the kids and I were making our way toward the lobby of the Hilton on our way to the car, I heard my name being shouted from the bar.  The same bar where Friendly Jim greeted me earlier with his lady friend…  I looked over to see my mom frantically waving me down.  Upon further observation I noticed that my mom had her sister and my uncle in tow.  I immediately had a sinking feeling in my stomach.

We made our way over to my mom.  J went to sit at the bar with the boys and my uncle while my mom, in a tipsy stupor, declared that Friendly Jim HAD A DATE!  My aunt kindly stated the obvious when she mentioned that my mother was slightly drunk.  Fabulous.  Apparently, before I arrived on the scene Friendly Jim had found my mom and told her that he was at the party with a woman who had a social disorder and that he did not like her.  My mom went nuts.  They had a confrontation where Friendly Jim demanded to know why my mom divorced him and my mom demanded to know why he didn’t tell her about his date.   Blah, blah, blah.  Then my mom proceeded to march over to the bar and get hammered.  I’m not sure how my aunt and uncle got there but somehow they arrived as my mom’s back up.

I stood there taking all of this information in while J ordered the boys Sprites and virgin pina coladas.  My mom was proudly showing me the reunion name tag that she made for herself to wear.  It said, “I Divorced Stupid.”    Nice, Mom.  Real nice…  I was willing Steph to come downstairs to share in this family drama.  Finally, she showed up and stood there as dumbfounded as me.

All of a sudden, my mom grabbed my arm and declared, “We’re going in!”

I looked back over my shoulder at my aunt and Steph and motioned for them to come with us.  I did not want my mother creating some kind of scene in the middle of the reunion.  So, in we went.

The place was packed!  The band was up on stage playing Mustang Sally.  The music was pumping.  The 58-year-olds were shaking their groove things.  We, the reunion crashers, made our way around the edge of the crowd to the front of the dance floor.  We had a perfect view of Friendly Jim rocking out on his guitar.  We stood there for a while listening to the songs and dancing a bit.

Ride, Sally, ride!!!

Then all of these people started coming up to my mom.  Apparently she knew half of the people there…  You see, she was a year behind Friendly Jim in high school so they ran with the same crowd.  Anyway, my mom had her own mini-reunion over in our corner of the room.  Friendly Jim played on.  Oblivious.

Friendly Jim’s two brothers and son were also at the party.  Steph, my aunt and I chatted with them for a while.

We eventually spotted Friendly Jim’s date and proceeded to place ourselves between her and my mom.  It was so awkward.  I actually felt sorry for Friendly Jim’s date.  I’m sure she figured that he was a divorced man who was free to date whomever he wanted.  Then my mom showed up and made it all weird for everyone involved.

I just wanted to get out of there but I aside from physically removing my mother I could not flee the scene.  I left Steph in charge of babysitting my mom for a moment so I could sneak out to tell J to take the kids on home.  I was not sure when I’d be able to leave and I didn’t want the boys to be out any later than they already were.  My mother obviously needed me to drive her back to her house.  J understood and quickly herded the kids toward the exit.

The band played several more songs.  We made our way to the dance floor.  Friendly Jim ended up spotting us as we grooved along to hits from 1969.  You could see the uncomfortableness on his face.  Ugh.  It was really, really awkward.  My mom was dancing and chatting it up with old friends.  Friendly Jim’s date was giving us frosty looks from the bar.

I’m pretty sure Steph and I made it onto the class reunion video being filmed.  At one point we were down front cheering Friendly Jim on and the videographer came up to us and paused.  We said our WOOOOOOs and he moved on.

Geez.  What a night.

After the band wrapped up their set and posed for some photos, Friendly Jim came over to say hello.  He was actually very nice despite the strange predicament we put him in.  After we chatted with him for a bit I told my mom that it was time to go.  She sighed, wrote her phone number on some man’s arm and then came with me.  She had made her point.  There was no need to stay.

Luckily, she listened to me.  I did not want to have to break up some fight between my mom and Friendly Jim or his date.  Once I got her safely into her car she asked me why she cared so much about Friendly Jim’s date.  I told her that I didn’t know, that she would have to think on that when her head cleared up.

**sigh*  What am I going to do with her?  She obviously still has feelings for Friendly Jim…