Spoiled Children of Divorce

Mommy’s BFs
December 31, 2007, 6:32 am
Filed under: Parents and their Dates, Uncategorized

An old roommate said it best when he blurted out “All Mother’s Boyfriends are Johns!” It was actually part of a conversation where he was talking about his Mother’s boyfriend who was named John and I said Wow! my Mother’s boyfriend was named John too. Hence….you get it.

The dating thing. Wow. I had trouble adjusting to that. I learned how to be mean to men by watching my Mother date.  She learned how to use my new talent when some guy came to the door without calling first.  She’d have me open it.  I’d have said anything to get them to leave.  Unfortunately, I carried this skill into my own relationships later on.

My Father left with my best friend’s Mother whom he eventually married after 3 years of fighting over money with my Mother. I was 14 when he left and had just graduated from High School when he married his new wife.  He was one of the Fathers who declares bankruptcy after he gets a divorce. From my internet searches I’m finding ex-wives who say that’s pretty common, but in my Father’s case all of his business partnerships fell apart that year as well so I think it was a personal thing.  He was going through Hell no doubt but he still managed to hire a really shifty attorney, the guy was literally so skinny that when he turned to the side he sort of vanished, you could only see him again if he turned back toward you.  But, back to the dating thing. Every time I went out with my Father for the weekly dinner I would feel like I was going on his date with his girlfriend. It was extra stressful because she had just broken up my family. And it was extra surreal because they honest to God thought they had done nothing wrong. And if I let on that I was uncomfortable at all I would be yelled at.  And, looking back, I guess I should have been going on dates of my own and not just starting up my relationship with my Father.  But we’ll talk about my pathology later after I’m completely spent on bitching about my parents’ pathologies.

So, my Mother had to get back into the dating thing. If she hadn’t been strapped by kids and money problems and the fact that she was 40 and had no job skills, she would have rejoiced at this much sooner because she was a charmer and a drinker and a partier who loved to dress up and go out. She was actually pretty cruel in letting me in particular know that I was a burden. My brother had just been given a car and was rarely home anymore and after a year he went to College. So he only experienced one year of after Divorce Hell whereas I was trapped for my entire High School years with it.  The sight of me just launched my Mother off into a complaining session.  She would talk non-stop about everything that was wrong.  One day as we were driving on the freeway in the car I pulled the latch on the car door and almost dropped out, just to get away.

My Mother dated every left over and every loser in the town.  And we lived in a tourist town so in the Summer she was pretty busy.  The first boyfriend collected guns and was probably a gambler. That was Bill.  Bill had the bulging eyes, a thyroid condition perhaps? My Mother met him at a bar. He had just broken up with his girlfriend who my Mother said was a Lesbian. This was a new vocabulary my Mother picked up after she started dating. All other single women were henceforth described as Lesbians. She let Bill move in for a while about 3 months after my Father moved out. It was too much for me. I became the family pitbull and refused to interact with Bill.  Something told me that after a lifetime of looking at people with those eyes he was used to it.  Besides I was at a really mean age and growing more emotionally stunted by my homelife by the minute. I should have let Bill live with us because he was needy but he was ugly. And he was drunk. And I had my own problems and I couldn’t even watch TV without a drunk, strange man sitting there with bulging eyes watching the TV with me. The part where he made his living collecting guns only added to his charm.

My parents put the house on the market and Bill moved out either because of me or because he dragged down the value of the house, probably both. My Mother’s friend set her up with a real man, a rich guy. He pulled up in some sort of exotic car that lifted up off the ground when he started it up. He was one of those red faced bulldog type guys. It was the 70s and I remember him dressed up in a white polyester leisure suit.  Maybe only the belt was white.  All I remember is red face, white clothes, white car, my mother laughing her head off as the door opened up from a hinge on the roof, blast off, they’re off and running.  My Mother said this man had no personality except for his midlife crisis and she didn’t go out with him again.

There was one guy who she met who I liked. He was East Indian who carried an attache full of tiny diamonds to be used for computers or something. This guy was calm. He had split from his wife and said he was going back to her.  He was philosophical and said that he figured that Life involves making compromises sometimes. I always liked that, my parents were fighting like cougars and this guy swings in and out of my vantage point with this single word “compromise.” At that point I think I figured I could still break up my Father’s relationship and get my family back so this gave me hope.

Then there was Joe. Joe was definitely a gambler. He showed up after we sold the house and were living in a motel while looking for a condominium to buy. My Mother loved Joe because he was wild and fun. He was from Louisiana and made us Gumbo to gain our trust.  My Mother and Joe were arrested in Mexico for skinny dipping and they would do things to annoy the woman at the desk of the motel. My Mother said she was a Lesbian and clearly having wild sex with the other woman who worked at the desk. My Mother broke up with Joe after his landlady told her he was bad news, a nice guy, but bad news.

My Mother’s dating life got crazy after that.  She bought a Suzanne Pleshette wig with curly hair.  One night she walked out to the bar with her Suzanne Pleshette wig on and that’s the night that she met John.  She never married John but they stayed together for years.  He was Ok.  I probably say that because he was rich and didn’t walk around with his butt crack showing.  And actually there were other John’s mixed in. And a Clark. A Howie.  And a Herb.  And some guys who will remain nameless.  And basically they’re all Johns in my memory.

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