thankful…. for 2,000 miles.

I am thankful for my family.  Very thankful.  And sometimes I am thankful for being so far away from them.  It’s bittersweet.

I haven’t been online a whole lot lately.  I’m settling in.  Nesting in my new home.  Driving boy and dog nuts by exclaiming “we have to put these shelves up NOW!  I need shelves!”  So I called my mom for a brief check in on my way home.  And my cell phone?  It’s this used piece of crap from 1999.  It has an antenna.  A retractable antenna.  But I don’t mind b/c I really don’t like talking on the phone that much anyway.  So upon reaching my front door and saying to my mom “Do hear that?  That’s Jack greeting me!” – my battery died.  Oh well.  I plugged it back in to charge thinking my phone would automatically turn back on.  It didn’t.  So come 11:00 pm, bed time, I turned it on so I could check if my running partner was up for  a 6 am run and what did I find?  5 new messages and 2 new text messages.  Of course, I expected the first 3 which were my worried mother.  Then my worried sister.  Then, my worried friend out here in east bay.  And I’m thinking, how the hell does my mom and sister know about my friends out here, 2,000 miles away?  And the text messages?  My brother.  WTF?

Apparently the last thing my mom heard was, “Do you hear that?  That’s….” and then the sound of Jack’s wagging tail thumping on the door and silence.  Except she didn’t know it was Jack.  Just thumping.  Then silence.  So she was worried.  And she recruited my sister into that worry.  And then my brother.  And then she made my sister go on MySpace and find my friends and contacted them thereby recruiting my friends in her worry.  She was just short of calling the police. 

I’ll be honest, I was livid and embarrassed and felt like I was 15 again.  And also impressed that my mother was capable of making me feel that way from so far away.  And the following day I received a voicemail from boy imitating my mother saying “Alison!  Alison!  WHERE ARE YOU?!  I’m calling the police.  And MacGyver.  And Magnum PI.  I have their numbers.  SWAT team too.”  And I kid you not he was so dead on with his impersonation that I could finally lighten up a bit.  (Yes, I am way too serious sometimes and totally overreact, but boy always manages to break through it.  It’s 1 of 8 bazillion reasons I keep boy around.) 

So, yes, it’s funny now.  And, of course, in typical mother style, she was able to write me and remind me of a time not too long ago when I was needlessly worried over my dog and felt silly for making such a fuss.  I hate the way mothers can do that.  But I will say this, sometimes it’s nice to know that my mother tries her best to show she cares from so far away.  It can get feel like I’m isolated from my family with them being in Louisiana, Texas, Florida, and Rhodes Island.  If need be, my mother will call my boss and/or director and president of the company I work at to let me know she’s thinking of me.  (Mom, please don’t ever call my boss.  Please.)

On the other hand, there’s the whole boy thing.  He hasn’t had too much exposure to my family.  And that’s kind of a good thing.  Since we started dating, my family has questioned everything.  Some people have accepted him (yes mom, that includes you), some of my family never will.  Since he’s 11 years older than me, someone assumed that he was divorced and had kids and the rumor spread.  (No, it’s not true.)  Then the career thing.  He was still in school and had a crappy job when we first met.  8 years later, people seem to think he is uneducated and still has a crappy job.  (He finished school a long time ago and has an awesome job – makes way more money than me.)  And then the car thing.  I have a car, he sold his car before we moved out here.  He must be using me for my car because we share it and he primarily drives it.  (We would NEVER have 2 cars.  It’s wasteful and unpractical.  I hate driving and appreciate that he drives me around.  And really?  Why would I ever drive to work?  It would be $4 in tolls, $8 in parking, a waste of gas and 50 minutes of my time.)  And then there’s the issue of money.  Is he using me for my money?  (umm, my money?  yeah.  exactly.  I pay $2,000 a semester on classes and books.  I have no extra money to share with anyone.  I can’t even afford a new phone, that’s why it’s used.  The only person that gets my extra dollars is my dog.)  It’s just never ending and draining.  And because I am the youngest of four kids, I will never be old enough to make good decisions on my own.  Regardless of the fact that all the women in my family knew enough to pop out babies by my age.  But me?  I’ll never be old enough.  (What’s with the assumption that only marriage and kids make you an adult?)  So why am I thankful for 2,000 miles?  Because I would never put boy in the position of being around people who have made up their mind about him.  Suppose boy’s family assumed I was some slutty trashy girl from the south (they don’t assume that) why would I ever want to be around people that assumed that?  Not to mention I don’t want to have to defend my decisions anymore.  I’m glad I feel like we have a family for ourselves here: me, boy, and Jack. 

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