But let's be honest here, this is exactly how I expected it to be. It's not his fault it wasn't anything to write home about. He was as sweet and gentle as he could possibly be with me considering the amount of alcohol we consumed during the night. We were both drunk as hell and I lost my virginity to a guy whose name I didn't know because I didn’t want any distractions and I didn’t have time for a relationship. With the state of my virginity out of the way, I could focus more on school and my career and Liz would stop treating every party we went to like a meat market. It went exactly according to my plan. That is, until my period was a week late and I realized I ate an entire loaf of bread and seven sticks of string cheese while I sat at the kitchen table looking at the calendar and wishing I'd paid more attention to math in kindergarten because there was no fucking way I counted right.
3. Have You Seen This Sperm Donor?
Sometimes I blame my lack of desire to have children on my mother. She wasn’t a bad mother; she just didn’t really know what she was doing. She realized early on that living in a small town out in the country wasn’t for her and that sitting around day after day watching television with my dad and dealing with a sassy pre-teen wasn’t all that she wanted out of life. She wanted to travel, go to art shows, concerts and movies, she wanted to be free to come and go as she pleased and not have to answer to anyone. My mom told me once that she never stopped loving my dad. She just wanted more than he could give her. They divorced and she moved out when I was twelve to get a condo in the city about thirty miles away. I never felt like she abandoned me or anything, I still saw her all the time and talked to her on the phone every day. And it’s not like she didn’t ask me to go with her when she moved out. She did, but I think it was only because she felt like it was expected. Everyone knew I’d choose to stay with my father. I was and always would be a daddy’s girl. As much as I loved my mother, I felt like I had more in common with my dad and it just seemed natural that I should stay with him.
Even though she didn’t live with us, my mother still tried to nurture me as best she could. Her parental skills weren’t all that great to begin with though, and after she moved out, they pretty much turned into one big train wreck. Regardless of what people might think, she really did love me; she just acted more like a friend most of the time than a mother. Three days after she moved out, she called and told me that according to something she saw on Oprah, we needed to do something life altering so that we could forge a stronger bond between us. She suggested getting matching tattoos. I reminded her that I was twelve and it was illegal. I have enough “Chicken Soup for the Mother/Daughter Blah, Blah, Blah” reference books she’s given me over the years to open my own bookstore and have been tagged in one too many photos of her and I on her Facebook page with the caption “Me and my BFF!”.
People thought it was strange the way the three of us lived, but it worked for us. My dad didn’t have to listen to my mother nagging in his ear all day long about how he never took her anywhere, and my mother was free to do as she pleased while still having a close relationship with us. Some people just aren’t meant to live together. My parents got along much better when there was a twenty-five minute car ride separating them.
Aside from the advice she received from bad talk shows, my mother used the “Parenting with Idioms” book to raise me. Every piece of advice ever given to me was in the form of a one-liner she read in a book or heard Paula Dean use on the Food Network. Unfortunately, they never made sense and were never used in the correct context. When you’re six-years-old and you tell your mother someone at school made you cry and she replies with, “Don’t pee down my back and tell me it’s raining,” you sort of learn to handle things on your own and stop asking for her advice.