"So... why haven't you called?" she asks me.
"I've been too busy, mom," I tell her. "What with graduating and moving and not calling you."
"Too busy?" she says sweetly. "It's a good thing I wasn't busy 21 years ago when I GAVE BIRTH TO YOU!"
"I know, mom. I know," I tell her. "Thank you for giving birth to me."
"So... have you found yourself a boyfriend?"
"Hunh? Ah? Wha?" I hunh ah wha. Oh, sure... like I'm really going to tell her about the billionaire sex maniac I'm dating? "As a matter of fact, I'm dating a billionaire sex maniac with control issues who wants me to sign a contract to become his submissive."
"So... he's single? Well, if you want my advice..." she starts to say and I start to drift off.
I really don't want her advice, but when your mother is in the mood to give you advice, you're going to get it, whether you want it or not.
You see, my mother and I don't have what you'd call a good relationship. She never forgave me for the morning sickness I gave her. She got it after I was born. Soon after that, she took me to an orphanage for a playdate and accidentally left with another child. A boy. So, when she told me she wouldn't be coming to my graduation from college, I don't want to say I was ecstatic, because that would make me sound ungrateful for everything she's done for me, but, yes, I was ecstatic.
"...and that's how you get a man, sweetie. By putting out."
Hunh? Ah? Wha? I really should learn how to pay attention.
She then went on to explain the reason she wasn't able to make it. Bob. He tore a ligament or something. I don't really remember who Bob is, because that would actually take time and effort to look up, but whoever he is... what a wuss.
"Besides," she continues. "I don't like the way you constantly use italics."
"It's okay, mom," I tell her. "At least Ray will be there."
Ray's my step-father, but I don't hold that against him. He treated me like the daughter he never had, and I love him for it. Also for the money he used to give me.
"You do know he's not really your father, don't you?" mom says, breaking into my thoughtful reverie.
"Yes, mom," I answer, dutifully.
"I just want you to know because..."
"You love me?" I ask, yearningly.
"Don't be silly, dear," she tells me. "I just don't want you to grow up to have any confidence or self-respect. But I'll be thinking about you on Thursday, sweetie."
"Because I'll be graduating?"
"No, because that's the day I'll be giving Bob his sponge-bath. You're graduating? My, how time flies. I didn't even know you were in high school yet. One day I can't give you away at the orphanage, and the next I can't stop getting you to call me on the phone."
My mom... she's such a kidder.
"Okay. Bye, mom. I love you," I tell her.
"I love U2. Great band."
I get off the phone and immediately get on the computer. I am so fortunate to have such a full, fulfilling life. I feel so sorry for all those children in third-world countries who don't have their own computers. Well, at least they have their jobs with Nike.
Well, would you look at that? Another person with a full, fulfilling life. I sure hope it's not HAL, though. That guy creeps me out... um, for a computer I mean. I open the email. Nope, it's Christian. You know, for a billionaire sex maniac control freak he sure does have a lot of time on his hands to be able to wait by his computer for me to get on my computer just so he can diddle on it for a while. At least it keeps him from diddling on me, I suppose.
Dear Miss Steele, did you know there used to be a television show in the 80's called "Remington Steele"? I was wondering if you were related to that fictional character. He sure looked a lot like the James Bond from the 90's. The actor who played him went by the name of Pierce.. I think he had a talk show on CNN that was cancelled when he accidentally said something nice about President Bush.
I immediately fire back a reply. Dear Mr. Grey, I tell him...
...may I respectfully remind you, kind sir, that the year is 2011? The only thing I'm familiar with from the 80's is the smell of liquor on my step-father's breath as he stood over my crib.
I click Send. Almost immediately, he sends back his reply.
Good point, Miss Steele. Well made, as ever. Your concise logic reminds me of my youth and the first dollar I ever made. It was in elementary school and we were studying about World War Two. I borrowed a pencil from a fellow student, and, instead of giving it back to him at the end of the class, I sold it to another student for 99 cents. When he asked for his penny, I apologized and told him I didn't have one, thus learning the value of salesmanship and a sincerely told lie.
I couldn't believe what I was reading.
You mean there was SECOND World War? Was that the one where we freed the slaves?
Leave it to Christian to change the subject.
Speaking of "slaves," I would like to inform you, Miss Steele, that you haven't signed our "contract" yet, and I would recommend that you "do" before I'm forced to use more "quotation marks." By the way...
1. A human being who is owned by and wholly subject to the will of another.
2. One who has lost the power of resistance or has surrendered that resistance to another power.
Leave it to me to change the subject back.
Just how many World Wars have we had?
Christian is brief, but to the point.
I'll see you on Wednesday, Miss Steele. Try to read a book before then.
I log out of the computer, and call my step-father, Ray. He's driving down Thursday for my graduation.
"Will I be staying in Kate's room, like last time?" he asks me.
"Oh, step-daddy, you can't. We're in the middle of moving and all our stuff is packed up."
"Don't worry about it, sweetheart. I'll just drop in on a Sex Addicts Anonymous meeting. That always works."
He then begs off the phone. He's in the middle of watching The Simpson's marathon on TV, and is afraid he'll get lost if he misses an episode. I miss his quiet fortitude and the way he once cuddled with me in the middle of the night when mom threw him out of her room. She threw him out because earlier that day she caught him naked and dancing to Seasons in the Sun by Terry Jacks..
"Holy crap, Ray!" I remember her yelling. "Will you get inside the house!"
I could use some of his fortitude in me when I meet with Christian on Wednesday.
Afterward, Kate and I finish packing our stuff, getting ready for our big move. We share a bottle of cheap wine because we like the feeling of being hung-over the next morning. When I'm finally ready to go to bed, my room is almost done. I'm so tired, I accidentally pack Kate into a box. She's so drunk, she doesn't even notice.
No matter, in the morning she'll just assume she was on another successful date.
Fifty Shades of Funny