Is There Life After Retirement?

The Rest of the BAD MOM Story

Posted on: March 31, 2006

Written in March, 2007, for another blog.

Last week I posted a ‘Bad Mom’ experience, to which you gave me some excellent feedback. I had temporarily turned into a lunatic, scary mom and felt terrible about it.  The update is that things are good between my son and me and at very least he has been reminded that I am not his bud, pal or peep, I am The Mom. And I am reminded of how much his good stuff outweighs the questionable.

Now that the dust has settled, I am able to tell you what else was going on that night. So as Paul Harvey would say, here’s the rest of the story:

A couple of weeks ago, the door knob on my front door began acting a little weird. It was too ‘wiggly’ or something. And a few times we had to really jiggle it to get it open. I live in a small town and frankly, I haven’t even seen my front door key in a decade.

Anyway, on the evening of the conflict that I previously wrote about, my son and I had just walked in the door when our confrontation began. I was angry, so I closed the door harder than was my intention. Okay, fine. I slammed it.

Within a few seconds, our argument escalated to me slapping him and him becoming rather hysterical. I was very angry so I was still yelling at him, but I was also alarmed at what I had done, so I wanted to leave the house and get cooled off. So as my mouth was screaming, “I’ve had it with this SH**,” my hand was trying to open the door, which of course, I couldn’t do, because the latching mechanism chose that particular moment to get totally S-T-U-C-K.

So my rantings and ravings at the kid were intercut by me yelling “And help me get this damn door open!” My son, wanting me out of the house just as badly as he wanted to avoid further antagonizing me was torn between keeping his distance and helping me get the door open.

Now for those who’ve never been to Hawaii, let me explain the houses. They are one thin board thick, windows are always open and they are close together. So the bottom line is:

There are no secrets in the neighborhood.

We hear each others’ fights, we know each others’ dirt. Frankly I like this, as it creates a bit of a level playing field. Our skeletons aren’t in the closet; they’re out in the open tropical air. Right along with everyone else’s.

So whenever someone gets into a knock down drag out argument, we all listen and pretend we don’t. It’s all good. That is, unless things escalate to an alarming degree, and then we sometimes wonder where the ‘step in’ point is.

Well on that evening my neighbors (who are all friends) were treated not only to me screaming bad words at my kid, but also to witnessing such intense door rattling that it caused my whole house to shake. It was quite obvious that someone was trying to get out but couldn’t. What WASN’T obvious was why.

About this time I gave up and just went out the OTHER door (duh – what did you expect? I was upset and not thinking clearly). I went to the store, got calmed down and I came home, entering via the “other” door of course.

My son and I had acheived a truce by now, so we became focused on one goal – to get the damn door open. We decided he’d go around to the outside and he’d try from there while I tried from the inside.

Well we jiggled and we screwdrivered and yelled and shook and pushed and pulled and could not get the *&^%damn door open. Finally we gave up for the time being. He walked around to the working door, came in and we called it a night.

What I DIDN’T realize once again, was how this looked from the outside.

Later I learned that about the time he was frantically trying to open it from the outside, my neighbor Lei called her mom and sister, who are tenants in my cottage, to figure out what to do about this situation. The conversation was along the lines of:

Lei: “You don’t think she’s gonna make him stay out all night, do you?”

Aunty: “I don’t know – she was really screamimg at him earlier and wouldn’t even let him out of the house. I thought they were gonna break the door down!”

Lei: “Well if you can get his attention, tell him he can sleep on my sofa. Just don’t tell his mom.”

Geez, guyz…

It wasn’t until yesterday that I found this out, and quite by accident. If it wasn’t for the big hole in my door where a doorknob used to be and the shoelace that’s tying it closed, I don’t think anyone would believe me.

I’ll spare you the parts about winds that could have blown us to Munchkinland, trying to barracade the door and finally giving up and nailing the sucker shut for the night.

But anyway…that’s the rest of the story.

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    • Joyce Burke: This was great too read
    • Debbie: I'm with miracarroll--it's your story, so create however you want. Leave the rest of us wondering which of the (mis)adventures are real, which might b
    • miracarroll: Marti, surely the people in your life are wise enough to know (especially after you say it) that you're a writer and in fiction, everything is fair ga
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