Breaking news (and putting it back together)

So, I finally told my mom about our plans.

I figured it was as appropriate of a time as any. We were enjoying a happy hour cocktail in the city, it was seventy degrees, and the service was prompt and pleasant. Then, I blurted out:

“I have to tell you something, and I don’t think you’re going to like it.”

She gingerly set her glass on the table and cast her eyes down. What flashed in her mind? “She’s not going to graduate! She’s getting married! She finally got all those tattoos she’s been talking about!” I knew exactly how the rest of the conversation was going to transpire.

“Adam and I are planning a trip to Europe for 2010…”
“…but it’s going to be an extended trip. Something like six months to a year.”
I flinched. Disappointment flooded her face.
“Oh Mia, that’s ridiculous. What are you going to do about your job? What’s Adam going to do about his? Where’s the money going to come from?”
And so forth.

The barrage of accusations slapped me so hard that I was glad I ordered a martini. I barely answered her questions. I didn’t feel like explaining myself.

Just as soon as I made the confession, my case was already dismissed:
“It’s your life. You can do what you want.”

And she’s right. It’s my life — not hers, yours, or your parents’. My experiences are unique only to me. No one can measure the weight of the process.

The trip was not discussed any further. We walked home, side by side, chatting about architecture, ignoring the buildings’ inevitable decay.



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