Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Midwest Mommy

Blog, the cheddar bay biscuits are going down way too easily. Let's drink some wine.

Oddly enough, I'm feeling tipsier this Monday evening than I did during my entire weekend in North Dakota. I call this fact odd because as you may or may not know, blog, North Dakota is a place where drinking is the pastime as there is really nothing else to do there. I'd love to counter that statement with something about awesome water parks or awesome historical majesties as local attractions within the Dakota of the North. But all they've got for water parks is field runoff and all they've got for history are random dugouts made by pioneers a hundred years ago. Either way it's boring and therefore it leads to drinking. Lots of it. It's ironic I'm a couple glasses of wine in on this Monday and already further along with my buzz than I was up in Grand Forks with my mom on Saturday afternoon. So it goes, I guess.

It felt good to finally get out of the city, and out into the open plains of the midwest. I feel like it's a reset button for me. Being out there for some reason makes sense. Being able to see every star in the sky at night and having the horizon surround me gives me a break from the city. I never thought I'd need a break from the city when I was living out there as the thought of living in a city amounted to me living in a place with something more than a four way stop. But now I get the emotion behind getting away for a weekend. The city can certainly be stifling. I love Minneapolis. It's a great town with lots to see and do, but day to day it can be exhausting. Uptown to downtown, uptown to downtown. Just like anywhere you live I guess. But the long and short of it is that it's nice to go out in the open and reset yourself a little bit. For me it's familiar and brings me back to not only awkward times but also coming of age times. There's something painful and sentimental about it out there. I've grown to like it enough to actually look forward to it and enjoy it while I'm visiting (perhaps it's because I'm visiting and not living permantly).

But home is home and Finley is Finley. I have a tradition of when I drive into town (and it's usually late at night) where I will speed down the street my mom lives on because, well, I'm in town and no one's around. I did this even when I was in high school and drove on this street every day. I in fact had a habit in the winter of taking a certain corner a certain way so my car would fishtail right around it on the ice. I would do it so much I wouldn't even notice it. God Samantha...

Anyway, my mind is still sometimes set in the Finley of 2001 rather than the Finley of 2011, so when I opened it up down Main Street on Friday night, I didn't realize the pavement had started to collapse in front of Dwight Norgaard's  place (Dwight who Kerin and I both know full well has a crush on my mom and is enamored enough by me being her daughter that he'll kiss my hand whenever he sees me in the bar). I bottomed my car out something fierce. It's amazing I was able to get the thing back to Minneapolis in one piece. But I must admit it was pretty fun for the most part to jump that bitch off the incline that the dip made in the street. If my mom hadn't sold my brother's car to the neighbors, I might have just taken the old Buick out for a spin...

I had planned on taking a bottle of wine out by the golf ball to ponder and meditate, but I forgot that there are no April showers in North Dakota. April is just another month of winter up there and everything was either brown or covered in snow. The sun shone for awhile on Saturday, but by that evening it was gray and looking outside you would have thought you were viewing a black and white photo rather than a countryside in color. That would be because there's no color, obviously. But that's ok. There's summer. I was reminded that summer is the best time to take a drive down gravel roads and wade through the prairie grasses in the ditch. Summer smells like teen angst to me out there, but it's still a romantic smell. And on a clear night in August you can see all the shooting stars you could ever want to see. I used to think I was from the lamest place ever (and sometimes I still do, in fact, I usually think it's stupid there), but Kerin reminds me that the nature of Steele county is what is worthwhile about it. Not that trash and extreme passive aggressiveness that inhabits the small houses on the dippy streets within Finley and the surrounding towns.

A black and white Sunday morning behind my adolescent home. How vibrant.

Anyway, my mom is a riot and Finley ought call itself lucky to be the home of the one Mary Veldhouse. First things first she cornered me in the kitchen when I got in on Friday night and said that she had something to tell me. She turned somber with this statement and I couldn't help but let my heart sink like it did the day she told me she and my father were getting a divorce. I was 11, but I knew that my parents' break up was inevitable. The somber news was news I knew I would hear sooner or later, and when my brother and I found out, it was like the band aid was ripped off. Life went on, happiness eventually crept back into our day to day experiences, we got through it.

Friday night Mary again put on a face of seriousness as I stood in the kitchen chewing on an overbaked brownie she had so kindly prepared for me and my arrival. "I have something to tell you". Oh Jesus. Who died. It's all I can think of when she gets like this. Last time it was Joan Wicker, my cousins' grandma. Who is it this time? It's someone I really know, isn't it? Oh god.

"Your dad and I are getting back together."

My crazy dad had just left me a message a few days before, and I hadn't listened to it yet because he's, well, crazy. Was it something more than his normal slurred message of narrating how he was wondering how I was and he thought he'd give me a "ringy dingy"? Had my father called me to tell me that my mother finally gave in and decided to give Dennis another shot? Every thought of what kind of fucked-up my life would be if my parents got back together went through my mind. Where are they going to live? How's she going to put up with the smoking? Further, how's she going to put up with him? Will there be moments where they actually... oh God, I can't even write it... show affection to one another? My heart fluttered (not in a good way), my eyes grew wide, I wanted to throw up the brownie I had been savoring all over my very own mother.


I don't think I was even able to prounce the "t" at the end of that word/sentence.

And then she said it. I should have known. I had been telling Kerin how she would do this to me as a kid. Every year. And every year I fell for it. Even if it was a hippopatamous in the back yard...

"April Fools!!"

OMG mom, you're glad I respect you enough for giving me life not to call you a bitch right now. I was just about to divorce both you and dad for deciding not to be divorced yourselves.

That Mary. She's a trickster! No wonder Dwight lusts after her so. Sometimes I'm terrified as to how much I resemble her (Unfortunately in personality and not looks. My mom was super hot back in her day... I was only lucky enough to inherit her weird sense of humor, inflection, mannerisms, and giant ass). Other times though, it's fun to know that I'm her (and my dad's (as long as I don't think too hard about the process involved of creating me... eek)) spawn. It's almost as if I get to hang out with myself when I'm around her. And yes, that was slightly painful to write and then proofread and then decide to keep in this post.

It was her idea to have me make out with myself. Oh Mom!

Ok blog. I did a very exciting thing today. I accepted the fact that I'm turning into my mother and I also booked a flight to England to meet a boy I spent three hours with way back in December. It's the most romantic and crazy thing that's happened to me yet. It's also the best story in the world and unfortunately it's late, I'm full of wine, and the story is too long at this point (4 months long now) to review in a single entry. Maybe I'll just write a book.

Adieu, adieu! Until the next time I sit down with wine on a Monday...

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