Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Calling home...

February 28th 2004 (Two years ago today)

“Wait a second,” My mother slurred into the phone.

“Let me get your father on the phone.”

I wasn’t sure if she was getting Dad to the phone to hear what I had to say or so that tomorrow morning he could remind her of the details of the conversation. Lately, it seemed like every time I called home after 8:00 PM, Mom had already popped the cork on her second bottle of wine and was having trouble remembering with which child she was speaking.

“It’s really not that big of a deal Mom. It's actually supposed to be a secret. So there is no need to get Dad."

I heard a click on the phone and the deep bass and monotone of my father.

“This is your father.”

“Oh Honey, It’s Maiken and she wants to tell us that she is moving to LA."

“Mom, it’s Jane and I’m just calling to say that I will be doing a PROJECT in LA and be out of town for a few days. I'm just telling you. You know, in case anything happened.”

But the truth is that I wanted to spill the entire story to them and gain their undying devotion in return. 31 years of demanding their attention in negative ways and today I was going to make them notice me over my six other bothers and sisters for something positive. This was going to be my moment to make them love me best, recognize my importance, hang my photo over the fireplace and tell all the guests how proud they are of their favorite child.

Dad spoke.

“That’s nice. Why are you telling us this?”

“Oh Josef, She is going to be on MTV!”

“Not really, I’m just going on a casting call. It’s actually supposed to be a big secret. I probably wont get it, but I wanted someone to know. You know, in case I get sold into white slavery or something.”

“I didn’t know you were an actress. I thought our other daughter was the actress in the family. Who is this again? ”

My father seemed to be asking my mother. They were both in their late 50’s, this was hardly Alzheimer’s. This was their ‘I just can’t keep up, there are so many of you’ routine.

“Dad, I’m not an actress. It’s a reality TV show. They want to fly me to LA for a casting call.”

“Well, that’s nice. Sounds very exciting. Good luck. I’ll be sure to tell your mother in the morning.”

Mom choked back her next sip of wine and I could almost see her in her floor length white nightie sitting at the kitchen table pouring over receipts from her store and writing little notes that became more and more illegible as the night wore on.

“Stop it both of you,” she countered slowly. “I think you got me early enough that I’ll actually remember this one.”

Then, she giggled.

“Well, just wanted you both to know.”

“Great, let us know how it goes.” And with that my father hung up.

I could still hear my mother breathing into the receiver.

I heard footsteps. My father taking the phone out of my mothers hand.

"C'mon Daisy, let's go to bed."

The click of Dad's shiny loafers crossing the kitchen floor. The click of the receiver returning to its cradle.

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posted by Pop Culture Casualty @ 2/28/2006 06:00:00 AM |

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