Friday, 21 September 2012

Million Dollar Cry Baby

I'm posting this on the 21st September, because I've been a lazy little toad lately, and just to keep this up to date. But do not fear, I'm back in the game, and I'm going to be a regular little postman once more!

6th September
All bets are off. You know, those bets that you all (probably) had on me and B, and our joint futures and shit? Those ones. Yeah, they’re off.
It’s all over. Not just with him, but with my whole little Parisian life that I’d set up for myself... and not only. France is over, my year abroad is over, and life as we know it is all o v e r.
I’m such a sad little bunny, I just can’t.
Tears have been flowing freely, keeping the olive trees flourishing in Puglia (that’s a little clue to tell you just how much I’ve been sob-ob-ob-ing, and a bigger clue as to where in the world I am right now).
I don’t really want to discuss this. But I mean, I will if you want to comfort me. To be honest, it’s the only thing I can concentrate on at the moment but I don’t think that you necessarily care to hear about me and B’s irreconcilable differences, or about the way he cheated on me with my best friend, or about the way I cheated on him with his mum, or about the way he slapped me around, or about the way I didn’t tell him about my stint in prison, or about the way he told me that he didn’t like my hair, or about the way I told him he had shit taste in clothes and food and people, or about the way he was a liar, or about the way I was always late to meet him... Do you?
Oh you guyzzz. Honestly? None of those dramatic things happened. It was the most civilised and kind break-up that I’ve not only ever been involved in, but that I’ve ever even heard of. 
And you know what? That made it all the harder to deal with.
The conclusion I’ve come to is this: break-ups are only bearable if one of you hates the other one, or even better, if both of you hate each other.
But I digress...
The real point I’m attempting to make here is this: mums and crying daughters. Why is the former always drawn to the latter like a maternal moth to a weepy flame? Answer me that, chicitas! Answer me that.
On two occasions this week my mum has appeared when I least wanted, but most needed her. It’s quite magical really.

Occasion 1: Me and B break up.
I’ll set the scene...
Skype date. The essential form of communication for yearning long-distance couples. Me on my end, grinning from ear to ear. B on his end, looking nervous and edgy and quite frankly, concerned. Well, we talked, we laughed, we decided to break up, I cried, he got upset, we decided it was for the best, we laughed again, we hung up.
It didn’t take place quite as quickly as that, and a lot more was said, and a lot more long, lingering looks were given, but that’s the general idea of what went down. Bear in mind that this conversation took place at 1am. Also bear in mind that my mum had been fast asleep in her bed for well over 2 hours. Fast asleep. Maybe dreaming. Probably snoring.
Alright, so, here’s an update of the scene and all the characters involved, in case you were getting lost in the complex plot... There was me in Nonna’s kitchen, digesting the fact that
me and B were now me. And B. There was B in his little bedroom in Paris, hopefully heartbroken, and preferably crying (the image of that makes me feel so much better). Then there’s my tiny mum, fast asleep upstairs, oblivious to everything.
You might be thinking that I sound as though I handled the break up like a brave little soldier. You’d be wrong. It took me all of 10 seconds to start crying, and as soon as the floodgates opened it was a free for all. A kitchen-flooding, run-for-your-lives, get-your-wellies-on-quick free for all. Now although there may have been a lot of water produced, I do pride myself on the fact that I can cry very quietly and reservedly when I set my mind to it. Obviously I can sob and weep and gulp my little heart out if I feel like a melodramatic soap opera cry, but if I really concentrate I can get all my tears out in a very organised and lady-like fashion.
So I had my five minutes of delirium, and then I got my shit together, and was looking through what me and B had typed to each other on Skype, analysing where it had all gone tits up, when I heard the unmistakeable padding of my mum’s footsteps on the stairs. My tears had all more or less evaporated by this point, so I was relatively calm by the time she wandered into my lair. Now, she knew I’d been speaking to B because I’d already started talking to him before she traipsed upstairs to beddy byes. So I was relatively sure her first question would be something like, "so how’s B?" or... "Is B okay?" or... "what’s new with B?" or "what’s poppin’ in Paris?"
Something like that was bound to be asked; I geared myself up for it. I was ready and waiting to hit her back with something casual like, "yeah, B’s cool," or "Paris is chill," or "all’s bangin’ and slammin’ in France," or something similar; I was so ready.
I’d already decided to potentially wait until morning to tell her we’d broken up, so that I could have one solitary night of private mourning time. This because I knew my mum would take the news as badly, if not worse, than I had. She only met him once, but when she hugged him goodbye she teared up and told him, "thank you for looking after my Silv," and afterwards confided in me that she’d "fallen in love with him." She’s not a love rival; she just automatically likes anyone that takes me off her hands (je rigole!). So my intention was to spare her a sleepless night. Probably.
So, as predicted, mum spotted me at my station, and asked, "so how’s B?" No surprises there.
And, in answer to her question, instead of one of my safe, set phrases, instead of a laidback "yeah, B’s cool," what did I say? Would you like to know? WELL I’M TELLIN’ YA!
I plastered a big ol‘ fake smile on my face, and ‘nonchalantly‘ said, "we broke up." When coming out with this farce, the two key things I forgot were these:
  1. I didn’t really feel like smiling, so the smile that was produced was fake at best, and scary at worst.
  2. I am incapable of being ‘nonchalant’. My face just can’t manage it.
Needless to say, I was less than convincing.
All it took was for my mum to say, "oh sweetie," and to reach out to hug me, and I was doing that soap opera crying I briefly mentioned earlier. I tried to say, "I’m really okay" a few times through my tears, but it was kinda reminiscent of a yawning child insisting they’re not tired. Nobody bought it.
Credit where credit’s due, I kept the denial up for an admirably long time.
"It’s really fine, honestly." Tears.
"It’s for the best." More tears.
"We’ll both be less stressed this way." So many tears.
"I’m not even sad." The most tears ever.
"I’m actually relieved." An unprecedented amount of tears.
"I’m so happy." More tears than have ever been released at any time.
"In fact, I think this is the happiest I’ve ever been." Tears all over the floor.
"Nobody has ever been happier than I am right now." Wading through tears just to get tissues to mop up the new tears.
So, in conclusion, tears had free reign, were poured out by the bucket load, and ensured that the kitchen floor wouldn’t need washing for a couple of weeks.
Why is it that you automatically cry more when your mum tries to make you feel better? I doubt that it’s mums’ intention to cause more distress, and yet, that’s fundamentally exactly what happens. Before my little mum arrived, I was calm and resigned, handling the situation like a trooper, and yet 2 seconds after her arrival we were having a pool party in a piscine made out of my heartbreak.
Why is that? Is it because you automatically feel 5 years old again when you get a proper cuddle from your mum? And why is it that it also feels okay to nod and say, "okay", when she asks, "do you want to sleep in my bed tonight?"
At 21 years old that still felt like the only thing that would enable me to sleep in the sad-little-munchkin state I was in.
I think I could be 45 years old, and that would still feel like the most comforting thing in the world to do.
Ain’t no shame!
La mamma e’ sempre la mamma, no? 

Occasion 2: I have a breakdown over a text from B.
A few days later, mum’s tear-radar got a workout again.
I’d been out the night before with C.F., my cousin and soulmate. I’d sent B a text, asking him how he was and telling him that I was going to Rome at the weekend. He text back, and said that he was sad knowing that I wasn’t his ‘little miss’ anymore, and that he was ‘bon a RIEN’ in the state he was in. Upon reading this text, I was happy. I was more than happy- I was comforted. When you’re hurting over someone, one of the only things that makes you feel marginally better is knowing that they’re having as shit a time as you. So we text each other ‘goodnight,’ I got on with my night out with a significantly bigger smile on my face that I’d had before, and all was right in the world.
Until... I got up the next morning, and re-read the texts. Fucksake. Never do myself any favours, do I? No.
I read them once, read them twice, read them 6000 times. Tried to forget about them.
I wandered around the house, ate a load of prosciutto. Tried to put the whole shenanigan out of my mind. Managed this quite well, all things considered. Well, that’s until C.F. came over to chat to me, and asked the simple yet powerful question, "sei triste?" (Forgot to mention that cousins have much the same talent as mums for extracting unwanted tears.) I shook my head, and with the head shake unleashed another waterfall. My tear ducts are SO uncooperative, I swear. So I was in the process of having another cry, when we heard a chirpy little knock on the door that could signal one person, and one person only: my mother. Aaaaah shit.
"Don’t open the door!" I shouted frantically, as C.F. walked towards the knocking.
"Wait a minute!" Dashed the few stray tears away with the back of my hand.
"Coming mum!" Grabbed a tissue for my tell-tale mascara tracks.
"2 secs!" Splashed my face with cold water.
"Alright, open it!" Permission granted to C.F., as I ran round to the other side of the house to give myself a few vital extra seconds to compose myself. All under control. No sign left of any fallen tears, not even a puddle on the kitchen floor. Well done team.
Mum walks into the living room, where I’m positioned ‘nonchalantly’ on the sofa. We chat for a few minutes about our respective mornings; we exchange news (with me clearly avoiding mentioning the B word); we discuss lunch plans. Pericolo scampato. Yahoo! I’ve got away with having a sneaky little cry! I am so sly, nobody need ever know I had this moment of weakness, I am so good at hiding my inner...
"So why have you been crying?"
What. HOW?! How literally the fuck does my mum know?! It is just something that I will never be able to understand.
As soon as she says that, I do the fateful head-shake again, and out come the fateful salty traitors once more.
Once I’ve had another few minutes of amateur dramatics fun, I collect myself, and ask, "how did you know I’d been crying?", and my mum shook her head and said, "ma secondo te? Una mamma non sa quando sua figlia sta male?"
Not really the answer I was looking for, but it’ll do for now.
Maybe I’ll understand these magic tricks when/if I’m ever a mum myself.
But until then, I’ll just have to work on getting a grip of myself. 

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