“They Ambush Me” #8

Posted on February 3, 2011


Now that I’m living with them, my mother has a new lease on life, a reason to wake up in the morning.  She has found her life’s purpose: to get me married.

Which is funny, because I can’t say I’m much of a looker these days.  I eat about 12 Mallomars a day and haven’t gotten out of my sweats in who knows how long.  Because, as I’ve said before and will say again, when you’re unemployed and living with your crazy parents, why bother getting into or out of your pajamas?  Please, you’re lucky if I change my underwear.

Well, my mother apparently found a “gorgeous” single guy for me from “the community.”  This is what she tells me in the car on the way to a restaurant that I thought I was going to with my parents.  They’ve tricked me.  They are actually driving me to my “date” which they’ve set up.  I’m confused, shocked, scared, and maybe yes…just a little hopeful.  I’m also hoping I changed my underwear. 

They wish me luck as they drop me off in the parking lot like an abandoned puppy.  They tell me the guy is going to drive me home.  And they warn me not to talk about getting fired, because it’s un-attractive.  I think about this gorgeous guy I’m going to meet who’s going to drive me back home in his Ferrari and not be able to keep his hands off me, because I’m an amazing poet.

I walk in the restaurant, which is apparently a kosher Japanese joint, and I find my date.  The “gorgeous guy” from the “community” is actually the single rabbi from the B’nai Yisrael Synagogue.  And, he’s hairy.  Oh my God.  What have they done?  Cold sweat starts trickling down my skin.

He asks me about myself.  I immediately tell him about getting fired.  About the poetry I write from my angst.  Then, he starts talking about the Kabbalah and how poetic it is.  I want to be honest and tell him this won’t work, but I don’t want to be mean.  So many guys have been mean to me.

My inner voice says, “Just be kind and get to the end of the date.  It’ll be easy, just do it.”  But, unfortunately I don’t listen to my inner voice.  I suddenly blurt out, “I wish they had sweet and sour pork. It’s my favorite.”  He looks up at me and tries really hard to force a smile.  I just told a rabbi I liked pork.  My passive aggressive self has risen up and showed its asshole face.  Is it over yet?

Later, when he drops me off in his ’92 Nissan Sentra, I thank him graciously but don’t invite him in.  I run to the door, close it behind me, and look for my mother with a vengeance.  My mother is in the kitchen, my father glued to the game in the den.  She has an enormous grin, “Well… When’s the wedding?”

“Are you kidding me???  What were you thinking?  Why would you do that to me?”

“What, come on.  You didn’t like him?

I am so frustrated.  “You ambushed me!  I didn’t ask to be set up!”

My father blurts out, “What are you waiting for?  You’re practically an old maid.  You’re lucky we took action.”

My mother adds on, “I thought you would appreciate it.  Did he at least pay for dinner?”

“No, I used my food stamps.  Why don’t you get it?  This is MY life, and I’m trying to get it together.  I am trying SO hard to just get it together.  I don’t need to be set up with the rabbi, or the local butcher, baker or candlestick maker.  Please, just let me be!”

She replies, “I think you’re very ungrateful.”  I can see she’s hurt, and I should walk away, but I dig further.  I am just so frustrated that she has never SEEN me.  The real me.  All this time, and she has no idea who I really am, what I love, or what I am about.  And, I hate the fact that now I made some man feel bad about himself.  I wasted his time and money on me, and this could have all been avoided if my parents were SANE!

My father is hurling insults at both her and me.  My mother is visibly hurt.  I’ve shot her down.  I go up to my bedroom and make my body tiny against the wall.  I want to disappear.

I look at the pictures on the shelves.  There’s one of my mother as a little girl, posing with my grandfather.  Is this the kind of life she wanted?  To wear iguana-patterned tracksuits from Target and be called a horse’s ass by her husband?  I feel bad for yelling at her.  I realize how little I put myself in other people’s shoes.  Only my own.

…If only she had set me up with a hot guy.