My Inheritance

My mother is dying. There are shuffling noises overhead coming from her bedroom. She has cancer, and her death is imminent. I am her only child. We never liked each other.

I stare out the window at my large backyard covered in a crust of ice.

The bird feeder is nearly empty. I know I must replenish it, but I can’t command my body to move.

Before my seventy year-old mother moved in, I thought I’d continue working and hire a nurse to care for her. I wavered.  In the back of my head I wondered if we might find an emotional connection before it was too late. In the end, I convinced the senior partners’ at my law firm that it would be better to work at home for a while and take care of her myself.

Now I see my wish to wring more from our relationship as foolhardy. It’s elusive, like an important thought I can’t recall that hovers in the back of my mind. Now I just want to get through this miserable time and have it end. I’m so tired my teeth ache.

Continue reading “My Inheritance”

ARE WE MAKING PROGRESS IN MALE/FEMALE RELATIONSHIPS?

Several women of my generation, whom I admire for intelligence, independence and insight, have discussed with me how they view male/female relationships. They think they have to manipulate a man to get and keep him. Yes, they are women of my generation, but I am rather stunned when it comes from younger women who appear forthright and comfortable in their own skin.

The maneuvering is often to avoid issues that women fear might make men uneasy, like announcing your own needs and wants. Another is, even if she solves her own problems, making the man she aims for think that he solved her problem and suggesting that he is masterful and brilliant. She might try to make him feel that she is needy and dependent on his enormous abilities, and that she is much less informed about worldly matters.

What a burden to have to plan each day filled with pretense, constant editing of thoughts and creating outright lies. It is great to tell a man he is a terrific person and mean it – not as a ploy to get what you want. I would imagine that such behavior is addictive to an insecure man. The problem is that the deceit can never end. If the perpetrator of the game stops she may fear that her man will seek the “unconditional adoration” from someone else – many times that is exactly what happens.

The addiction to adoration is no different, to me, than any other addiction. Dealing with unending deceptions is that it has to be dredged up on a daily basis and near impossible to keep up indefinitely. Sadly, many times tying the knot will give a woman a rest from such tension, but it can be misinterpreted as a loss of interest.

It is best to be honest up front and to be yourself and not planting a false face all the time. Deserving compliments are very important. Deception is fatiguing. 

Copyright, Frances Metzman, Progress in Male/Female Relationships, 2018