Saturday, April 17, 2010

Parents Are Weird. So Are Men.

My mother called me tonight under the guise of telling me that after some pleading on her part, my new landlord has been convinced to leave the ceiling mural the current-apartment-occupying UVM art student has painted in the living room, and not cover it up with a new layer of beige paint.

"I figure that after traveling, it'll be like you girls have your own Sistine Chapel," she told me. Not quite, but I dig the idea of having a sweet pro-bono painting commission in my new apartment, like some really Euro-trash Medici patron in the college housing central of Burlington.

And then she cut to her motherly chase. "So have your heard back from that guy?" she asked, meaning the Middlebury grad student I met in Perugia who's studying in Florence who I was supposed to be meeting up with sometime this weekend and going to the Boboli Gardens. I found out today that "going for coffee" changed into "going to the Boboli" because all national museums and the like are free this weekend, and promptly spent most of my afternoon and evening spontaneously bursting into laughter about how men can think they are being so smooth yet cheap at the same time and that we'll never know, when, in reality, we are well aware and think it is hilarious. But I understand-- Florence is expensive, and the "Bob" (pronounced "Bobe") as we fondly call it, is an amazing place. So I'll let it slide.

"No. We were supposed to get in touch midday today, but I forgot about it until six and he didn't call, so whatever."

"No!" My mother was surprisingly vehement. "It sounded like such a nice time! Why don't you call him now?"

I don't beat around the dating bush. "What, you want me to call him now to make sure he takes me out tomorrow, just so I can then tell him that I'm not really interested? I find that kind of counter-productive. He's great to talk to, but that's about all I'm looking for."

My mother just really wants to see me with some brilliant Italian Literature Middlebury grad student. My mother likes to live vicariously through me. This is the sort of guy my mother loves-- someone with a doctorate in something; anything, really. You could have a doctorate in moving drugs and stolen furniture, and she would still ask to see that diploma. I know I have some interesting (read: questionable) taste in men, and this leads my mother to worry that this will one day resolve in me running off with some "eccentric, alternative guy" to live in a nudist farm/commune in Arizona, where I will dread my hair and sing along as my dude-du-jour strums the guitar for spare change and pen the rest of "The All-American Nomad's College Life" on paper towels stolen from public restrooms, Kerouac-style, by the light of a headlamp at night. Unfortunately, my mother's wishes for me don't always align with my wishes for me. I really just want to see myself sleeping in as late as I want and not necessarily needing to shower tomorrow morning.

Men. Sometimes you can take them. Sometimes you can leave them. And sometimes, they can take you out, and then you can leave them. Or, sometimes you can just sleep in and avoid dealing with them all together.


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