My Mother And Finding Mr. Right

ID-100207195My mother keeps interrogating me about finding a man. Not just any man, but THE man. Yes, I’m talking the dreaded cliche, the cultural paradigm responsible for fear, delusion, depression, alcoholism, stalking, the creation of dating sites; commonly mistaken as the reason for human existence – drumroll – THE ONE. You know “the one” – sometimes referred to as the soulmate or the “other half.”

So my Mommie Dearest won’t let it go. It’s reached the point were I ignore most of her phone calls and restrict myself to one interrogation per month, during which I usually equip myself with a magnum size bottle of Cabernet. Though lately I’ve been considering switching to whiskey. She actually greets me with, “Have you met anyone?” Yep, she’s managed to replace, “Hello. How are you?” with, “Have you met anyone?”

An excerpt from our latest telephone conversation:

MOMMIE DEAREST: (monotone, depressed, bucket-loads of lost hope) Have you met anyone?

ME: (cynical, murderous tone) Yes, Prince Charming came knocking on my door yesterday and whisked my away to a castle in Glasgow on his private jet. So now I’ll never have to work again because he also happens to be a trust fund baby, obviously, and ironically his Dad is the King of Arabia, not just an ordinary King from soddy England, so naturally his family owns 95 percent of the world’s oil supply. And did I mention that he gave me an island in the Dominican Republic as a present, so we’ll all be vacationing there soon.

There was a beat were she pretended that I wasn’t being sarcastic and enquired about the month that we were planning on having this family va-cay. After I assured her I was making shit up again because that’s what I do to keep my sanity when people perceive me as less of a valid human being for being single, she proceeded to express her worries about my lack of effort in “finding someone.” And then she offered to pray for me.

OH. MY. GOD. Where does it say in the Bible or Torah (because both Christians and Jews seem to agree when it comes to Moses) –  THOU SHALT NOT BE SINGLE?! Am I unaware that according to God that’s like the equivalent of religious treason or something?  JESUS CHRIST! Resurrect me or get me high or something. Why do I have to find someone? Why? Why? WHY?!?!?! I live in L.A. Most of the time I can’t even get a guy to buy me a drink. Wait. That’s not entirely true. Most of the time I can’t get a guy under 60 to buy me a drink. Anyone close to or around my dad’s age – I’m golden. Anyone in the vicinity of my age – give or take five to ten years, forget it. At least that’s been my experience lately.

Living-in-LA-cynicism aside, I date if the opportunity presents itself, but there’s no point in telling my mother unless I want to deal with a bazillion questions along the lines of, Does he have superpowers? Is he related to the royal family? Has he made any scientific discoveries? Yeah mom, all of those, in addition to owning a pet dinosaur that can heal cancer and a pink dragon that exhales hundred dollar bills. Sorry mama, but most of the guys I have dated have been human, with as many flaws as attributes. There is no man-god out there, at least not that I’ve encountered.

So the focal point of my mother’s obsession is as outdated as the concept itself – MARRIAGE. Which is weird because my mama was pretty pissed when I eloped in Vegas at 22 (probably not my finest moment. But I was in love. And my husband was 28, so it’s not like we were both guilty of early twenties oblivion). So even though I’m 30 and single, it’s not like as though I haven’t tried marriage. I just beat the rest of the half of my friends destined for divorce. I’ve always been ambitious like that.

But what I find super creepy, is if you present yourself as independent and carefree on a date and then you spend hours on the phone with your mother afterwards planning your hypothetical wedding. It just doesn’t seem right to me. That’s like killing the magic of falling in love. Plus it leans towards deception.  I believe love should evolve naturally. It’s intangible to begin with, so it can’t accurately be defined. I prefer to be like the French when it comes to approach – cheese, champagne, and silence. I bet they’re not strolling around the Eiffel Tower hand-in-hand deconstructing every thought and detail. Love just is. You don’t have to psychoanalyze the goddamn thing with every member of your family. And isn’t naivety a part of it? Take that away and you’ve got a potential business arrangement, which stemmed from a scheme you concocted with your controlling mother.

Really, what bothers my mama the most is how non panicked I am about being 30 and single. This is her worst fear unfolding like some B-grade horror movie.  As for me, I recall watching Bridget Jones’s Diary in my mid twenties and somehow I knew I was destined to be – well, let’s say a trend-setter. A woman who genuinely does not have a stress attack because she hasn’t met the right guy by a certain age. I know Bridget kind of freaked out about being 30 and single, but as an outsider looking in, I admired her life – it was adventurous; there was a lot of alcohol involved, an occasional cigarette. All in all, Bridget had freedom (at least until the ending). And having gone through some not-so-awesome relationships and one failed marriage, I can assert that  freedom is way better than a prison sentence. Not to mention it’s bad for your health and dangerous for everyone involved – fending off all those murderous thoughts. No, I will NOT contemplate the murder of my spouse today. Damn it! I just visualized poisoning him again.

And sure, I’m getting older, but with the cougar theme in, I’m not exactly threatened by the old maid predicament. I’ve had more 25-year olds hit on me since I turned 30 than I did when I was 25 myself. And it’s not like there’s a shortage of divorcees to select from in addition to the untainted bachelors. Actually, I’ve seen more successful second marriages that began in midlife, than first marriages that started too young. So why impose a deadline on yourself? Men are not going to evaporate or get abducted by aliens. And if they do or if they suddenly start outnumbering women and we run out of them, Come On! This is the future. Pretty soon we’ll be able to clone “the perfect man or woman.” It’ll be the next best thing since Match.dom. Imagine a man clone – or a human looking robot that comes with a remote control, so you can turn it off when it becomes annoying or expects you to cook dinner when you have other things to do. hmm. Maybe I should just wait for that technology to be enacted into law, since it probably already exists. Tempting.

Anyway, for now I’m less concerned about finding “the one” than I am about having to communicate with my mother again. She actually fabricated a story recently about how she was dying, from heart failure of course, and her dying wish was for me to “find someone.” I caught her bluff. But next conversation, I’m planning to tell her that I’ve developed a sex addiction and since I need teams of men to keep me satisfied, I meet guys all the time. I just don’t remember their names or any other details because my focus is purely on getting off.  Reverse Psychology. Maybe this will have the opposite effect and get her to greet me with, “I hope you haven’t met anyone.” Then one day, if I actually do meet someone worth mentioning, it’ll be a pleasant surprise and perhaps meaningful – and not like some bullshit item that I finally get to cross off my bucket list.

And A-men to that.

Free Digital Photos. Photo by Stuart Miles.



  1. karen

    Whoops! Sorry … late to the party. I loved being single and, while I prefer to have my guy around as we have spawned and it is too much for me to bear (now that they are out), I would have enjoyed being the "crazy" spinster auntie …

    The only problem with that whole theory, mind you, is that now that my mom is terminal with a miserable disease (emphysema, thanks for asking) and sort of crazy as batshit, or just still extremely me-focused and a selfish bitch, I would totally be the one who would have to care for her. It was wise of me to also pop kids, like my sisters did before me, if only so that I not lose that glorious single thing for that poor thing has to care for her mother routine. I'll take the kid and husband excuse over that every bloody time.

    • Lola Berlin

      Good move — and also thank-you for the advance warning because if my mother suddenly develops a condition of any sort that is going to corner me into having to spend full days with her, I am immediately adopting five orphans from Cambodia. I can't even get through a telephone conversation. I can't imagine.

    • Lola Berlin

      Right?! I've been looking at trading her in on the black market — still researching. But in her defense she did grow up in Poland during the repressed communist era. Still. Times have changed.

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