{ Tuesday, September 17, 2002 }

Call Me Hester

Traditionally speaking, the statute of limitations on mistakes is seven years. You file for bankruptcy? You pay for seven years. You commit a crime? They have seven years to catch you. And so on. Seven years and then you are forgiven. Unless you're Hester Prynne. She had to wear that "A" for the rest of her life, didn't she? Anyway, it was more than seven years.

My mother is now bringing things that happened more than seven years ago (when I was fifteen and still in high school) into the equation as to whether or not to help me finance this car. The issue in question is that she sent me on a trip and she didn't get enough postcards. This illustrates her point that I am an ingrate. I think that was her point. It was one of them anyway. I wrote back and explained in great detail just how much I appreciate everything she's done with facts to back things up. Hopefully we can get past that now. More than seven years she's been holding on to it.

The other point was that I am not to be trusted. There's nothing I can do about that one. I mean, I suggested some ways that we could work this out so that she would know that I was upholding my end of the bargain... I don't blame her for not wanting to trust me and I don't expect her to take my sincerest "But I'll do better this time than when I lied to you about ..... five years ago." as enough. That's fine. Hopefully one of the plans I outlined will be enough.

I did also put a snotty remark in there asking just what the statute of limitations is on Giving mary ann Grief About Her Fuck-Ups. And asked her to please outline to me what I need to do in order for her to accept that my gratitude meets her measure as more than adequate if she helps me.

And my last snotty comment, which was more relevant, was just that she suggested just a couple weeks ago that I was the only one who expected me to be perfect and how can she expect me to not be so hard on myself when she's the one who is giving my guilt trips about things I did wrong in high school more than two years after I finished college.

But it was a long message really and those few comments were short and just thrown in there and hopefully will be washed away quickly in the wake of the nice, sincere things I had to say. Because I do appreciate everything she's done for me. I really do. And while no one makes me feel more guilty than myself... it's only because I am trying to live up to her expectations because really I just want her to like me. I know my mother loves me, but I seriously doubt that she likes me very much.

And I know I say all the time that not everyone has to like me. Not everyone does. I'm fine with it if so-and-so's roommate hates me with such a passion that he's asked that I not come over there ever again. I don't care that there could be whole chapters of the "We Don't Like mary ann Club" with enough members to have daily meetings. It doesn't bother me. She's my mother though and I want her to like me.

I do think it's odd though... if I had committed some minor violation of the law, it wouldn't even be on my record at this point, since I was a minor. If I had declared bankruptcy, my seven years would have expired and no one would have to know. But I'm still hearing about not sending enough postcards home to my mother... Hester and I will just be over here attoning for our perceived sins for the rest of eternity.

posted by mary ann 7:10 PM