It’s a weird thing to be a college-educated, thirty-six year old woman lying on your own couch, in your mom’s basement. In fact, I’ll be the first to agree in saying that I haven’t ‘peaked’ when it comes to my success and I’d even say I’m a bit of a ‘late bloomer’ when it comes to determining where to put my focus.
It really sucks not being a money-driven whore. Granted, I’m not entirely lacking ambition because in my limited spare time, I edit manuscripts for local writers, sell my art online and because I’m a trained esthetician, I’ll take an appointment here-and-there. All of this in addition to my day job; I’m a bit of a polymath and I’m definitely not lazy. Behind this mess is a woman with very specific goals and goals require some sacrifice – even if it means taking a hit to her pride.
The majority of my professional career has been in the low-paying creative field of journalism but really, covering community council meetings among geriatrics who’s priorities are searching different options for pre-paid funeral plans, and in-home oxygen suppliers isn’t exactly parallel to the creativity that Andy Warhol produced.
Even when working for a major publishing house, there were massive drawbacks. Pro: work from home, attend events like the Sundance Film Festival for free – meet famous people. Con: You live two hours behind the time zone so be prepared to lose sleep, because we expect you to work within the deadline schedule. Oh and that kid you just pushed out, IS covered under your insurance, albeit out-of-network and the celebrities are huge assholes.
Needless to say I’m a master at having a second job. Thank you college.
Back to my room. There was a bed in there at one point but it’s from 1913 and it’s from my grandmother which I can only assume someone has probably died on and it’s highly probable that the filling is made up of 113 year-old dust and skin. Why my mother refuses to toss it is confusing to me. Yes, keep the bed frame, fine…but keep the mattress? It’s not an antique as much as it is a coffin liner. So, my overpriced mid-century Pottery Barn couch has served to be a better solution than sleeping on the grim reaper. Also, I feel like I’m finally getting my money out it and it’s become my only sanctuary. It’s wide enough to cuddle my kid and the filling is sturdy enough that it hasn’t flattened out. It’s something I’ve become deeply attached to and I’ve accepted it’s warm embrace when I’ve been near my breaking point.
I’m not embarrassed to say that I’m here. Should I be? Maybe if I didn’t have a job or a kid. Maybe if I relied solely on her care, then yes absolutely I’d be ashamed. What would any person over the age of eighteen be doing living at home and not at least going to college? Even if you’re the type of person to succumb to depression and can’t stay motivated, at least clean the house, or sell your plasma to pitch-in fifty-bucks.
The biggest downside to living with my mother has to be the incessant amount of sulking/nagging she’s capable of. Well, that and her ability to be a victim and a martyr and if you think I’m being a prick about mentioning her flaws when, “she’s letting me live here,” then you’re a self-righteous asshole who can’t see beyond the depth of your own skewed ego. People are flawed and my recognizing that does not, in any way, take away my gratitude. Once I move out, my mom is completely entitled to wear her crown of thorns for the amount of time I boomeranged back into her basement, (assuming her back is too sore from the cross.)
Imagine this if you will: You’re walking into the lobby of a beautiful hotel; the staff is standing at the reception waiting to greet you. They usher you in, taking your bags and guide you to your room. It’s a penthouse suite. The walls are white, clean and the room feels open and airy. The bed is draped in fresh cotton linens and the decor compliments the minimalist style with touches of deep cobalt blue. The room is facing the ocean and the windows are floor-to-ceiling. You soak in the moment and breathe in the ocean air.
You think that you’ve checked into heaven and anything that was hurting you before has been completely left behind- nothing could bother you now.
Once you’ve settled in, the concierge calls and advises you that there is an onsite masseuse waiting for you and asks you to prepare. You walk into the bathroom with its heated floors and waterfall shower; you undress into a soft Pima cotton wrap – the sun has kept it warm and it feels heavenly on your naked body. You see in the adjoining room that the table has been set-up and you adjust to lay down. You hear the masseuse walking in and you can tell that she has a bit of a limp by the sound of her gait. She greets you. She’s seems nice and you feel comfortable enough to get relaxed. As she warms her hands she begins to ask you about your problem areas and once you inhale to start, she interrupts you. “Oh you know what, I see where they’re at. Your arms are a little flabby, and I don’t think your doing enough squats. Have you looked into a tummy-tuck? You know they’re so inexpensive these days…How are you able to keep a man looking like this? Oh your really creative, why are you wasting your life doing that or why are you with this guy? You’re a bad mother – I’d never do that.”
Then she goes on to remind you of the most embarrassing moments of your childhood and adult life, including major mess-ups that she deems “unforgivable” which in her mind could be anything from the time she found out you let another girl finger you when you were drunk, to not buying the right kind of toilet paper, which she ‘swore’ she told you the brand before you left.
The hotel is now a nightmare because this isn’t just any masseuse – it’s my mother. She’s here to demean and workout every sliver of self-esteem you thought you had left. You’re broken and laying there in misery asking yourself two questions: When’s checkout? And where the fuck is my Pottery Barn couch?