My mother and I fought about most everything.
She didn’t approve of my choice in boyfriends, about David, my boyfriend from ages 16-20, she said. “I don’t like him, he reminds me of your father. The leather jacket and tattoos, his car looks like a mafia staff car! His feet even smell like your god damn father’s!”
I thought she was a lunatic. We had this fight when I was 17– Me: “I am not Jewish just because you say I am Jewish!!!! I was baptized Greek Orthodox, what do you have to say to that!!?” Mom: “The child always follows the mother’s faith, for the love of Christ! You are Jewish because I’m Jewish!” Me: “That’s bullshit! It’s not like there’s a country called Jewish, and I wish you weren’t my mother, why in the hell didn’t you just give me up for adoption? I HATE YOU!!!!” Mom: “You picked me before you were even a twinkle in my eye, so there! I love you, I’ll always love you. You’re Jewish. That’s it.” Me: “fuck you!” And I slammed my bedroom door and threw myself on my bed, commencing my favorite pastime of lazing on my bed while staring at the ceiling. I practiced this for a good long time until she knocked on the door asking me what I wanted for dinner.
My boyfriend David stayed with us a lot. He lived in my bedroom. My mother tolerated this for a couple of months and then she told me it was time for us to move out, I fought with her about this, knowing that what she really wanted was for David to move out, she wanted me to herself, even though I shot her with my anger on a regular basis, she loved me and didn’t want to be alone. My mother creeped me out sometimes by telling me that I was her best friend. Maria was my best friend, I just wanted a mom.
I stopped fighting with her and went searching for our new home. I had a full time job as a manager at a sandwich shop in the mall, and I was already paying rent. I actually enjoyed the idea of living with David in our own place; I got over being angry, at least about her asking us to move out. It took me a couple of weeks, but I eventually found a cute little one bedroom with a balcony that overlooked a man-made lake. I was so excited to share this news with my mom, I felt so grown up, but when I laid out the pamphlet with the floor plan on our Rent-A-Center glass topped kitchen table, my mother’s shit hit the fan. She stubbed out her generic brand cigarette in the ceramic ashtray, and with her two, thin, well-veined hands, she threw my pamphlet across the room. My apartment wouldn’t be ready for 2 weeks, but she screamed, “get the hell out of here, NOW!” Of course I refused, so she did what any emotionally unstable mother about to lose her daughter would do, she called the cops to escort me out. I called Maria to come get me, and she arrived to save me just as the cops arrived to shove me. My mother was crying, sitting on our rented mauve sofa with her head in her hands. I was spitting fire, which flew out of my mouth in the form of four letter words arranged in all sorts of interesting ways. I guess because I was 18, had a long juvenile rap sheet for running away, vandalism, and shoplifting, odds were I deserved to be forcefully removed from my mother’s apartment. They pushed me out the door, even though I was heading that way, and when Maria told them to take their hands off of me, they asked her if she wanted to go to jail. We had dealt with cops a lot in our day, and typically had no problem telling them where to go, but we were 18 now, we had jobs and plans for the future, so we shut up and let them shove us.