About My Mother

Entry by: Alobear

18th March 2015
About My Mother

“Listen – about my mother…”

Bryan’s heart sank at the words. What trouble could the woman possibly be causing now? The hesitancy in Simon’s tone told him all he needed to know, and he hated the fact that Simon was clearly nervous about raising whatever it was. Simon was a great guy – sweet, thoughtful, intelligent, caring – but he did have a tendency to let people walk all over him, and his mother was one of the worst culprits. Bryan knew he was guilty of it too, on occasion, despite his best intentions to the contrary, and Simon had more than once been caught in the middle between the two of them.

To say that Bryan didn’t get along with Simon’s mother was somewhat of an understatement. And, even though Simon himself admitted it was usually his mother who was in the wrong, he wasn’t prepared to cut her out of their lives. Bryan had to keep reminding himself that he was lucky – his family were open and accepting, and had embraced Simon as one of their own on first meeting him. Simon’s mother, on the other hand, was very obvious in her disappointment when Simon had told her about Bryan. And, even after four years of them being a couple – two of those years living together – she still seemed to be under the impression that Simon was going through some kind of phase that might wear off.

Bryan tried not to let it get to him, for Simon’s sake, but he did wish Simon would stand up to his mother a bit more. She marginalised their commitment to one another, undermined Bryan at every opportunity, and made oblique references to her friends’ grandchildren that really set Bryan’s teeth on edge. Simon said it was just a product of her conservative upbringing, and that they should be grateful she hadn’t disowned him completely. Secretly, Bryan thought they would all have been better off if she had. He understood that Simon laying down the law about their relationship would likely achieve nothing more than creating further tension and conflict, but he hated that they just had to grin and bear it to keep the peace. It went against all his principles and everything he had fought for to live the life he wanted. But he had decided it was worth putting up with so as not to add to Simon’s pain, so he tried to be supportive.

They had thought that announcing their engagement might finally bring things to a head, one way or the other. Simon’s mother could hardly dismiss marriage as ‘just a phase’ and Bryan had thought she might either give up on them completely, or at last come round to the idea and accept it. But, in her inimitable, passive aggressive way, she had just made some snide query about which of them would be needing the wedding dress, and mentioned that she was probably going to be busy on the day. Simon had been really upset, and had told Bryan he thought missing her own son’s wedding was beyond the pale. He had been so angry about it that he had seemed ready to cut off contact himself, but Bryan had talked him out of it. While part of him had been delighted for Simon to take a stand, he knew Simon would regret it later, and that patching things up to the admittedly ragged state they’d been in before might be impossible.

Now, looking into Simon’s anxious face, Bryan half wished he’d let Simon fly off the handle. Planning a wedding was stressful enough without having to deal with more hassle from Simon’s mother.

He took Simon’s hands in his own and gave him an encouraging smile.

“What is it, love?”

“Well…” Simon took a deep breath, and continued, “I ignored your advice and confronted her about her attitude. I told her I wasn’t prepared to maintain a relationship with her unless she would accept you as a permanent and central part of my life.”

“You did what?”

Bryan couldn’t believe it. Sweet, docile Simon had delivered an ultimatum? Bryan was suddenly terrified to find out what had happened next, but a large part of him was both proud of Simon and delighted that their relationship meant enough to him to do that.

Simon’s eyes were shining, and Bryan couldn’t read his expression at all. He realised he was holding his breath.

“And?” Bryan prompted at last.

Simon’s face broke into a wide smile. “She’s changed her mind – she says she wants to come to the wedding.”