Wednesday, December 15, 2010

When You Live in an Empty Nest

I googled my name this morning and had to laugh when I visited the first selection on Facebook. That person is very conservative with interests in life that do not match mine in any way. I am fairly sure that neither of us is an axe murder nor a crack addict, so at least we have that in common. She might be dismayed if she is ever mistaken for me. Her ladies groups might be quite shocked to discover she rides a Harley, and at her age!

When you have an empty nest, and you are not too particular about keeping a spotless house, you have a lot of free time to google your own name and waste time playing Spades on the internet.

I asked my daughter last night if she and my son feel burdened by me in anyway, emotionally speaking. I am still earning my own money and usually get to work dressed appropriately, so I assume I am not a burden at this point. I was checking if they held emotional resentments, or if their relationship with me was tiresome, or if they dreaded spending time with me. (I was also probing for clues that they might be planning to bump me off for the life insurance.) She only admitted they worry that Mom has gone down at the farm when they do not hear from me for a while.

I never want to burden my children with any of my emotional dysfunctions. I hope my physical well being never becomes a problem for them. I dread the day just spending time with me becomes tiresome, or that they should begin to feel obligated to spend time with me out of duty only. Right now they are the beneficiaries of all my worldly goods and the pitifully small amount of money I have managed to save despite my entirely inept financial skills. It is not enough money that I worry they are scheming to put me in a home - yet.

I am fine living alone. After the first 17 years of my life as a target for just about everything under the sun that irritated my mother, of being the bane of her existence, I escaped. I married young, was a young mother and not surprisingly, my marriage skills were not up to the challenge. After the first failed marriage, I continued to find the same man. He may have looked different and went by a different name, but he was the same guy, alright. After the disappointment of failed relationships, of which I accept half the blame, I settled for simply raising my kids. I worry that choice burdened my children with lasting emotional damage. It was not always easy, but much easier than being married to a charming lunatic. Now that my children are grown, fully adults, (though I still worry a little about my son the Unabomber), my life is peaceful. I like it this way.

Which is why my daughter is in danger of losing her inheritance! Last night she asked me why I did not want to go out with a local business man who is not attractive, not charming, not interesting, not my type. She must assume that I am a desperate old woman willing to settle for just any old dude simply because he works! Wow. She needs a spanking.


cyberkit said...

Others of us have nothing to do all day but read blogs and practice time-killing skills learned (and practiced) over a lifetime.

Part of your job as a mother IS to leave your kids with emotional damage. It's one of the perks. It gives them something to do and it's great entertainment at family gatherings, be they ever so humble.

Tell your daughter that you've got a type, and you're sticking to it. Something about age and new tricks, (unless, of course, he's stinking rich). Besides, does he ride a Harley? I didn't think so.

cyberkit said...

Oh yeah, I forgot. While she may be too old to spank, a tasteful slap upside the head, with whatever is handy, is always in fashion.

fernenland said...

Wow, now there's a perk I never thought of from never having kids: not having to wonder if you have left them emotionally stunted. Of course,m I do worry about my animals' psychological health sometimes but I guess having to associate with me is due to their bad karma. Apologies for getting to your blog entries so late. Somehow I lost the link and was thinking of emailing you for it until I discovered an old email from you when I was looking for your address and hey presto, I was able to find your blog.