The 1990 movie Mermaids, the one with Cher, not the one with Darryl Hannah which is actually called Splash! has been unofficially deemed the Household Trademark; the theatrical reflected image of growing up in my home. It’s not an exact image, but in fairness *I* didn’t write the script. If you sort of squint and tilt your head this way or that way, and bypass the details, you can’t miss where the points are completely mirrored.
The story is of a single mother with two daughters in the 1960’s. She is a wanderer. Each time a relationship fails, she blindly picks a new area, uproots her children and starts life over. She looks at these moves as new adventures for both her and her kids. She denies the shit storms she creates by uprooting the kids, because her attitude is more that of a crazy Aunt who flies into your life, than a Mother who is supposed to represent stability. In the town she lands in for the plot point, she meets a nice, staid, respectable man (Bob Hoskins) who falls in love with her and her quirky craziness. She fights it, wanting to sabotage it, because love and stability feel foreign to her (at least that’s how I read into it). Intertwined into the story are the characters of her two daughters, a very young Winona Ryder, and Christina Ricci.
My kids were the ones to point out the similarities to me first.
I balked initially because I was taking it too literal. I was seeing it page for page of what the script said, and not for the storyline.
But in that squinty fashion, that’s me. That’s my life. While I may not stamp out sandwiches in cute shapes, and feed my kids only hors d’ouevres, or devour men like peanuts, the point was there. I do serial monogamy (duh, that’s the title of my blog. *wink*) and I do it on my terms, and sometimes it’s weird and quirky and sometimes I run from love. Sometimes I head out into the shit storm and find the least likely, least worthy man, and prop him up and try and make it work, only to realize well that was a mistake. I think my kids think of me as a Man-Eater, which is sort of funny, because I view myself the complete opposite. Sometimes when the kids were littler we danced thru the house instead of cleaning it, and more than one weekend did we pile into the car and play gypsy for the weekend, just to get away from whatever bad relationship crap was going. There was stability, it was just intertwined with very small glittery threads of insanity.
As for the character portrayals of the children, again it’s not literal but the parallels are so strong they cannot be ignored. My oldest daughter really was a very dramatic, and sort of sad and romantic teenager. It usually revolved around boys and her battles with me. My youngest has been a complete kook since day one, and her running around the house with a pumpkin on her head really isn’t so far-fetched from the realities of home. As for me – I’ve never until this moment sat down and wondered if my geographical moves ever coincided with the end of romantic relationship, but now that it’s in front of me? The coincidence cannot be denied. Maybe a part of me just wanted a fresh start. Maybe a part of me was running from something. I’m going to go with fresh start though. Haircuts, and new homes.
One of the implied facts about Cher’s character, Mrs. Flax, (and maybe it’s not implied, just how I recall it. It has been years since I’ve seen it) was that she would date married men.
There is where the beautiful Mrs. Flax and I differ.
That’s a big huge line in the sand for me. HUGE. Let’s not even call it a line. It’s a canyon, and this Mrs. Flax doesn’t jump canyons. I don’t think it’s just a morality clause (because trust me those have been stretched out enough over the years). It’s not just because “It’s not the right thing to do.” I think it’s also Girl Code. I am a strict believer in it, even with women I don’t know. I think it’s knowing you are part of destroying what is left of a commitment. I just don’t think I could carry that weight on my shoulders, and be okay about who I am. I am not cutthroat in obtaining a man, and I figure there are enough out there, why take someone else’s? To me, it’s tantamount to walking up to a diner in a restaurant and simply taking that piece of chicken off their plate, because damnit, you’re hungry. It’s not your fault they didn’t guard their food better.
Saturday night I had some friends over. I was in my element. I had been able to cook and prep food all day, and end it with good friends and a couple of pitchers of Ginaritas. Yum. Problem with Yum is that sometimes there is such things as too much Yum. Things got a little weird when the tequila hit one friend, and some drama ensued. Nothing that wasn’t capable of being emotionally cleaned up later. Eventually drama left, but I was still a little weirded out, as well as being wired for sound.
So — I texted The Complicated One. He was the only one I thought would be awake at this ungodly hour. We had recently sort-of repaired our friendship. It was still shaky at best, and things were not even remotely on a romantic level. I had missed the friendship though. I’d be lying to say otherwise. There was still too many unanswered questions looming, and we had said some pretty derogatory things to one another when we ended what was the thin thread of romance. The issues with the unknown haunted me too much to move forward. Every move he made that felt normal would eventually be castrated with his unexplainable weird behavior. That just threw me back to the starting line, and full of frustration. Something was there that I wasn’t being told of. I just couldn’t figure out exactly what it was.
So back to the text. It’s not as weird as it sounds, as we’ve had very late night talks before, but I’ll admit if I hadn’t been fueled by tequila this night, it probably wouldn’t have happened. I just sent a quick, “Are you awake?” text.
Things unraveled from there.
He wasn’t awake.
But his wife was.
His what? – yes, his Wife. His very much still married to, living with WIFE — was awake. And she was in a texting mood too it seemed.
She answered that he wasn’t awake. I answered in laughter, thinking it was some weird joke he was playing, that my inebriated mind wasn’t getting. She mockingly laughed back in return (and you could feel the harshness cut thru the phone in her mimicked Hahaha’s) and told me who she was.
My first reaction was yeah, right. His wife. I was drunk and flippant in reply. She was rude and flippant in response, which who the hell can blame her for?!
Then as the words and situation sunk into my tequila soaked brain, I realized, “Good Lord, this is his WIFE?! WHAT WIFE?”
I immediately apologized. I tripped over my words, like I had been caught naked with him. Stumbling backwards out of the room, holding my proverbial clothes over me. I apologized, and apologized again. I told her I wasn’t this kind of girl, and then to add insult to injury I made it seem like it should be lessened because we hadn’t been intimate. All of this was captured on his phone no less. Now THERE is a text that will wake you up in the morning. HA!
I ended with yet another lame attempt at an apology, and stepped back wondering what the fuck had just happened. I mean he and I were …. What the hell were we? It didn’t matter. I no sooner gathered my bearings before she politely messaged me thru Facebook. She thanked me for apologizing and I reiterated my angst at not knowing. I should have said of not trying to know, because as soon as she filled a few pieces in, everything fell into place. Lock, stock and barrel. This was the secret I realized. This was the cause of the weird behavior. We talked for a few minutes. Felt like hours, but it was probably closer to ten minutes. I had my wits about me a bit more. It’s amazing how SHOCK can sober a person up. After trading info on a few lies we had both been fed, I apologized for about the 40th time and we called it a night.
Something tells me we won’t be getting together for coffee or wine though. 😉
When I woke a few hours later the drama from the friend, and then the chaos from this situation had left me feeling emotionally fried. The drama was waaaay to much for me on all accounts. The friend situation would iron itself out. That I was sure of. But what to do with this overly Complicated, Complicated One that once was a little more than a friend? I had messaged him immediately after the text with his wife, but before Facebooking with her the evening/morning before. His reply was so nonchalant. Like I had mentioned it had unexpectedly rained in the middle of the day. How bizarre he replied.
Really? That’s it?
I powered up Facebook and wrote him. The conversation went from mellow to angry. On my part. Details are completely irrelevant outside the fact that it still felt like a shitstorm of lies again. He stupidly ended it by asking me to lie for him on a specific detail. Maybe not lie, but maybe if I could just not mention this? Stupid, stupid boy. You can ask my kids what is that ONE thing in life that unnerves me. That brings out the Beast in me? The answer is simple; a Liar.
At this point there is nothing left. No moniker. No lingering feelings. It helps to know my intuition was spot on, but I feel a tad jaded. I feel remorse and empathy for his wife. If I had slept with him, if things had gone further than they did, I’d probably feel massive guilt. Lastly, I’d be lying to myself to say there wasn’t a kernel of anger there towards him. At this point, I just honestly don’t care enough to put forth more than a kernel of feeling.
I can’t even say poor Mrs. Flax. Everyone saw what a train wreck this was. I think I just sort of liked that thread of insanity weaving itself thru my life.
While I don’t see myself meeting or settling with my Bob Hoskins anytime soon, I fortunately don’t have to pull a cut & run either. This —- whatever it was between he and I, never really got off the ground. This isn’t going to be a failed romance that I look back on, it’s going to be an ugly weird friendship. Something that wasn’t finishing forming before bad things started to happen.
One thing for certain. I need to re-watch the movie Mermaids.