Some days, the phone rings right about lunchtime, just as I’m getting out a plate and starting to make lunch or right when my leftovers have been warmed to gooey perfection and I’ve sunk my fork in for the first bite.
I know who it is. The conversation often goes something like this:
“It’s your Mu-THER,” the voice on the other end sings.
“Yes, it is,” I say.
She calls on her lunch hour from work. I watch as my lunch grows cold and stiff. My stomach growls like a ravenous bear waking from its winter nap.
She wants to know what I’m doing.
“Eating lunch,” I say.
“Well I won’t keep ya.” Then she chats for a bit, and then she wants to know if my husband is coming home for lunch. He often does.
So the other day, she said, “Gosh, Karen. Y’all could have a quickie at lunch.”
No. She. Didn’t. I could have thrown up the empty contents of my stomach. Just ew. It was quiet on my end. My mind goes blank from there. We must have hung up quickly.
I relayed the conversation to my husband. “You should have asked if that’s what she and your dad did,” he said.
“Gross! She would have told me. I don’t want to know about that!”
“Then you should have told her we were,” he said.
“Then she would have asked about it or something,” I said, still trying to shake the horrible sentence from my head.
Mothers and daughters and talk about a lunchtime quickie do not mix. If I hear the word sex from my mom’s mouth, I revert to teenhood when I prayed she wouldn’t bring it up. I pretended not to know about it and I pretended parents never did it. Approaching 40, my mindset hasn’t changed, and if the conversation comes up, I must fight my gag reflex, put hands over ears, and scream “la la la la la la la la la la la” at the top of my lungs. Just ew.