The trip with my mother was exactly what I expected it to be. Which was fine. She’s bigoted and racist and extremely transphobic, but she doesn’t think she is because she’s a good Christian woman, and if I point out that any of these things are, to put it mildly, gauche, I’m being too sensitive and I always misunderstand her.
I will say this. I’m glad she had fun. She doesn’t get to have a lot of fun, mainly because my stepfather is such a boring person. His idea of a fun leisure activity is watching athletes on television from the comfort of his La-Z-Boy. It doesn’t even matter what sport it is, he will seriously watch any sport. My little brothers don’t have his tastes, but they definitely follow his pattern of enjoyment (although Chuckie works out and Cameron plays tennis pretty regularly).
My mother likes rollercoasters and adrenaline, and I’m the only one who shared those passions… I just don’t particularly care for her character. We went on the hike, and it was fun until she was trying to push herself a little too much. She tried to guilt-trip me with the aforementioned laziness of the rest of the family, but I turned it around on her and won the argument. She was expecting to climb this cliff, when she was asthmatic after walking down a hill.
It was only three days, but I was ready to throw myself off the pier into the Pacific by the end of it. Although Doris Day’s hotel was pretty cool.
The one saving grace was that I kind of had to work during the whole ordeal, which of course my mother complained about, but it gave her a chance to spend some time alone and take a bath (“I love taking baths, and I don’t have one, you know”). I didn’t have the heart to tell her that she does have a bathtub, but sometime around 2002 she decided it made a better laundry basket and it has yet to make a reappearance.
I had gotten a gig writing a blog for a friend from university. I was flattered that he thought of me and he mentioned that my skills were suited for that kind of role, so basically I was writing a trial blog. Unfortunately, it was how to clean your vibrator… and I’ve never owned one of those, let alone the specific one I was supposed to be writing about.
I wrote a pretty good draft and sent it in so that I could get some feedback. Apparently, they assumed it was my final draft, which it absolutely wasn’t, and I was told I had some factual errors… I knew that would happen because I had never actually seen the product. (My friend actually shipped one to me and they’re quite fabulous, it really helps my neck after I sleep on it wrong). It’s okay, I just was a little disappointed because I wanted to knock it out of the park, but I did the best I could with the limitations I had.
I doubt it’ll ever see the light of day… but I got paid.
The next day, I hung out with Richard for the last time. I say that with such finality because he accepted a summer job as a cabana boy in South Lake Tahoe, which means he won’t be here when I leave the US. I doubt he’ll come to see me in Thailand. Part of me doubts I’ll ever (physically) see him again.
I’m too insecure and neurotic to have fun around him anymore. All it does is show me what “fun” people are like. Which is kind of how I felt with my mother, and if someone makes me feel like my mother makes me feel, that’s a red flag. I introduced him to my friend Katie because I feel like they make more sense as friends than I do with either of them.
Maybe one of the reasons I like friends with whom I have a language barrier is because the difficulties in communication are obvious, whereas my other friends and I, our barriers are hidden beneath the surface somewhere and always feel unresolved and out of reach.
After finalizing my tickets and accommodations, I woke up to an extreme panic attack. There was one question that hung in my head in the middle of the night: Why am I doing this? My initial reason for going to Thailand doesn’t exist anymore yet here I am still chugging ahead. Why?