the wrong side of the bed

Monday, May 24, 2004

an odd detail from my life

as of the end of this semester, cassidy, monkey, and i all have master's degrees. my mom says that she feels left out. it is kind of a shame because my mother is quite smart and even went back to school for a while for a second bachelor's degree (if i remember correctly). she just never got a chance to finish her second degree because of, well, cassidy, monkey, and me. i feel a little bad about it. of course, she did make her own choices and i was just a kid...

my dad has a PhD. he did his post-doc at yale, where i was born (just like GWB). i lived in new haven until i was about 2, then we moved to michigan and then to texas. when i was growing up in texas (just like GWB), i used to feel that i didn't fit in and that it must be because i was really meant to live on the east coast. i was quite snobby about it and considered myself somewhat superior to the people around me (after all, they said things like "fixin' ta" and "y'all").

when i was 23 i moved to new haven again, this time with my then partner. we lived in graduate student housing a block away from the graduate apartments that i lived in after i was born. i hated the city of new haven a lot. i hated my life in new haven a lot. in one year there, i made one friend. my partner had planned that i would live with him in new haven for one year and then start grad school myself. after he finished his program, he would move out to wherever i was in school. this didn't happen... but i digress. the real point of my relaying this to you is to tell you about a conversation that my mother and i had while i lived in new haven. i was talking to her on the phone about how miserable i was in new haven because my life was not my own. everyone i knew was from my partner's program. i worked as a temp (at the same place for a whole year!) doing filing. everyone at my job assumed i was stupid for the first five months. i remember that i was able to convince one man (who routinely verbally sexually harrassed me) that i was intelligent by talking about comparative primate morphology with him. i would come home from work at this terrible job, watch television, wait for my partner to call me, pick him up from school, and (i kid you not) cook him dinner. often he would stay at the studio until 11 at night. i watched a lot of VH1 behind the music. the highlight of my week was watching MST3K on sunday mornings. when i was talking to my mother about this, she told me that sometimes life is miserable. i told her that i felt like i was living my partner's life. she told me that sometimes it is the other person's turn. i said i wanted it to be my turn and she said it couldn't be. i asked her whose turn it was when she lived in new haven, when i was born, and she said that it was my dad's. i asked her why she never went to grad school because she would have enjoyed it. she said that it had never been her turn and besides she didn't know (still) what she wanted to do with her life.

so now all of her children have master's degrees and it has still never been my mother's turn.
10:46 AM


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