Upon returning home from work this afternoon, I picked up the phone for my weekly call to Mom. Now if you think I am a horrible daughter because I only call my mother once a week, I invite you to read through the dialogue of a typical conversation:
Me: How’re the cats?
Mom: Fine, fine. How’re your cats?
Me: Fine. How’s dad?
Mom: Eh, same as always. Anything new by you?
Me: No. You?
Mom: No. Well, looks like it’s time for bed.
For variety, we sometimes change the order of the questions; I have, for instance, been known to inquire about my father prior to asking after the cats. To really spice things up, we will sometimes expand on these topics (turns out Mom and Dad have installed a litter box on top of their fridge) and, when we’re feeling especially chatty, we’ll dip into current events, or workplace activities, or Mom’s alter guild duties. “So what’re you reading?” is always a good standby, and I admit I had fun this past autumn, when Mom would indulge me as I practiced my impersonation of the governor of Alaska. I’m no Tina Fey, but I can do a darn fine Sarah Palin. Though I’m not sure I’m proud of that.
But the point here is that Zellers women lead very dull lives. (You already know this if you read my blog with any regularity.) Tonight, however, I had an unexpected announcement.
“You’re never going to believe this, Ma.”
“What? You… baked something?”
“Be reasonable, mother. That’s ridiculous.”
“Okay, I give. What? What’d you do?”
“I had a date–”
“–a date, yes, with a–”
“–with a … human?–”
“Yes, Mom. With a human, who is–”
“With a human male? Living, breathing?”
“Yes, Mom. Living and breathing.”
“You’re right, I don’t believe it.”
“Mom,” I said, exasperated. “It’s not entirely unthinkable that I should go on a date. I haven’t told you the unbelievable part yet.”
“Yes. He’s a…
At this point Mom burst into a sustained fit of laughter. Very sustained. We’re talking twenty full seconds of glee.
“Oh my God,” she finally managed. “Well. A Republican. Well. I suppose there’s a chance he doesn’t eat babies or put his recyclables in the trash.”
“I’m not sure one way or the other,” I admitted. “I don’t want to make any assumptions.”
Other responses have been nearly as good. A sampling:
- “Eww!” (followed in short order by a scrunched-up face)
- “Welcome to our side!” (from a Republican)
- “You’re finally growing up!” (also from a Republican)
- “Oh no!” … [pause]… “Maybe you can still be friends?”
- “Did you throw up on him?”
- “You realize he might be the antichrist.” (Mom again.)
- “I didn’t realize Scalia was in Wilhelmsplatz.” (This from a colleague who knows of my embarrassing crush on the Supreme Court justice.)
- “I’m never speaking to you again.”
Now, Constant Reader, you know my policy against discussing personal matters on this blog. Books I’m reading, books I’m writing, strange incidents at the library, my bra size, my kitties, my yoga practice—all that is fair game. My interactions with other people, not so much; even when I hang out with the gals from work, I tend not to mention it, so as to respect their privacy. (Also, I like to maintain my reputation of being lonely and unlovable. I get more sympathy that way.)
Whether I go on dates, and with whom—with all due respect, that’s none of your business. You won’t catch me talking about it again. I only made a mild exception this one time because the responses were so funny, and because, well, it was pretty darn newsworthy in the Jessica scheme of things.
Jessica _________ (pick one)
A. Went on safari with Elvis
B. Gave birth to a wolf-boy
C. Went on a date with a Republican
Quick! You only have thirty seconds to choose an answer! In the meantime little Romulus here is gonna help me mount my new rhino head on the wall.