other stuff

My soon to be ex spouse was not trained how to be “on”. I was sadly.  Everything from posture, poise, hair, make up, dress, was coached from an early age. It started, when I was about five. My mom was an accountant at a department store. The store worked was segregated . Because for her to hired there, and be a person of color was a big deal. She had decided that to be a person of color in the world.  You had to always put your best foot forward. She worked very hard at creating an image for herself. She felt that her parents did not invest enough in her.

They were from the country, in the middle of nowhere, in Louisiana. My Momo could play five instruments and sang. She had her own fields of cotton and vegetables in Momou, La.  She lived in a big house that had been built by hand by some long dead relative. My Momo, could read, write, and speak English. She went to school till she was in the fourth grade. She was pulled out  of school because at that time, school became segregated after a certain age, in that area. The educator of black children that area then abuse their students. A lot, of people thought it was better for their children to educate themselves at home instead of subjugate their children to abuse. So, my Momo, read the encyclopedia, newspapers, and listened to her father. She had her own income. She bought things from catalogs  and waited to be married off.

My mother’s father Papa (pronounced Pau Pau). Was the oldest, out of fourteen children. His father was the illegitimate son of a Sicilian landowner and a Creole mother. That made him spoiled because he was unable to care for his large family. So, Papa got a job a general store sometime in his teens. He helped raise his brother and sisters and took care of his parents until they died. I met them. I do not remember, I was a small child, then. he saved up after his sibling were older and he was able to buy a car. The car, must have been, impressive. Because, she drove it a wedding in Mamou. He met  my Momo. She saw the car. They had a chat, at the reception.  He told her he was rich, making good money, and had a good paying job.  She married him, two weeks, later.

She found that was not the case. She was a bit more worldly. She went to his job, asked the boss directly about his pay. He told her  he only made a dollar, a day. The boss thought that was good pay for a person of color, at the time. Momo disagreed. They moved to Houston, shortly.

My mother was embarrassed by her parents, a  most of her life. She found them unsophisticated. I know it would shame her. If they came to see her, and she was unprepared.  They had country ways, even to me. My grandfather used to drink his coffee out of a saucer. They had very simple tastes. Cane syrup from a can. Kool Aide heavily sugared, cheap, store bought cookies, with icing that tasted like shortening. My mother, longed for better things.

My father is obsessed with my mother. He saw her at a church dance.  The thing that he was most attracted to was her long straight hair. It fell to her waist, and her hair is absolutely straight. He had a girlfriend with the same sort of hair. She was killed in a car crash. She was decapitated. I do not know if, he just stalked her. Or, if they actually dated. My dad’s side of the family, are always a bit vague, about my father. So, my father was taken with my mother. He sent flower to my mother. Food to her parents. He always showed with gifts. My mother was not keen on him. My father is very fair, with gray-green eyes. He has brown golden curly hair.   He is also very fat. He loves to eat. He is a diabetic. He love Chinese buffets. He fell into a coma while I home. It was touch and go for a few days. I always thought he would die, fairly young. He has epilepsy. I have watched him have seizures, countless times. He has had seizures while driving.  But, somehow he pulls through. He always is back at his local Chinese Buffet in a short time after the scare. He wooed my mother, through her parents. She married him, at the age of 22. I was born when she was 23.

It is very strange, to grow up in a household, where neither parent could be trusted.  They were not pathological, or anything. My father just did not ever become an adult, mentally. My mother was sick  all the time and was too ill to keep promises. So, I never used them as examples of how to live. I only asked them for advice, when I was really stuck in a bind. My parents have always made it quite clear, that they could not be bothered, with me. So, I kept to myself.

I had always had a good relationship with my grandparents. They actually knew me better than parents did. I spent more time with them as a child than I did with my parents. I loved them a bit harder, than my parents. But, we did not have any long conversations about feelings.  If, you wanted to talk about your feelings, you could talk to god.

My ex was not like that. His family always talked about feelings.  He was always talking about how felt. He was always getting drunk and telling strangers, the most intimate details of his life. When that did not captivate the stranger he would start to tell them, the most intimate details of my life. I found it really tedious to deal with. I would end up mortally wounded and embarrassed.

To me, my family suffered under racism and segregation. They always felt the sting. To end up not dead, on drugs, insane, addicted, to anything and without  a string of children, was a blessing.  You are supposed to feel content to go to work everyday to have the respect of your peers able to have nice things. That is not possible for a scary group of the Black community. To cry in public, to a bunch of drunks about some trivial thing. Seemed weak. It scared me to be with a weak man. a man who would not get a new suit to wear to work. A man who would not buy nice shoes to wear to the office.  A man who would not get a haircut, to take his wife on a date.

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