Part of a countdown to 50.
79. I remember growing up watching certain sitcoms and watching single women – think Rhoda or Mary Tyler Moore, for those of you old enough – get calls from their mothers admonishing them for being single.
When my own mother confided that she was proud of me for my strength in being a single mom and moving to a new place and raising my two kids virtually on my own, I remembered those shows and thought, “That’s awesome. My mom won’t be like that. She thinks I’ve got this.”
This week, though, she’s changed her tune. We were on the phone one night and she told me how much she enjoyed talking to me, and that she often thought about calling but “I don’t want to bother you, I know you’re busy.”
“Mom,” I said, “you can call me any night. I don’t have a life, I’m available. I mean, I go out with friends sometimes, but it’s not like I’m seeing anyone or anything.”
She went silent for a good five seconds. (In Mom Phone time, that’s a fairly long silence.)
“You’re not seeing anyone?” she asked. Another five-second pause. “Well, how do you feel about that?”
How do I feel about that? Ummm … fine? I’ve been divorced for 15 years, and have spent only a total
of eight of those years in various relationships. “Single” is a regular part of my life. Suddenly it seemed my mother thought I would be a total wreck unless I was partnered with someone.
I don’t know where that came from.
Suddenly I think my mom is worried that my turning 50 alone means I’m going to be an old maid.
Hey, Mom, it’s OK. I’ve got this.