Somehow it changed
Her mother forgot her birthday.
She'd expected to sneer at
some lame ecard last night;
or, at the very latest, this morning.
She'd spent more time linked to her email at work than ever, expecting the card to arrive, or something.
At home, logging onto Facebook she saw her mother's name and pinged; "You forgot my birthday,"
How it Was
Her mother had always tried to please her and she had always been disdainful.
At least since she was fourteen.
There was a time she was in awe/fear of her mother. A time she looked up to her.
Then it changed.
It changed because, (although she would not admit it) her values changed.
She no longer cared about academic pursuits, about politics or social issues, she cared about 'pretty' she cared about boys, and since being bright was too much work and smiling and wiggling were easy; she changed.
And in that change she needed to exclude her mother. Needed to keep her mother out of her life. So afraid of being unmasked and excoriated she became resentful, angry, closed.
Down Her Nose
Having made her choice she scorned anything connected to 'brains' and not 'beauty'.
She capitalised on her looks and began to view her mother from the pinnacle of being a budding model.
Needing the freedom to be worthless, appreciating that her Aunt lived close to the city centre she was able to move in with her for 'business' reasons.
In truth, she wanted to live with her Aunt, who was distracted, so she could participate in sexual escapes her strict mother would not permit.
So there she was, eighteen years old, a model, a boyfriend, a wild social life, avoiding her mother with finesse.
The Real Kick
What she loved was having a life her mother didn't know about and making sure her mother knew she had a life her mother didn't know about.
She took a deep pleasure in knowing that her mother had no idea where she was, what she was doing, made even better when she made her mistakes; for there was no judgmental owl of a mother making it into some logic problem.
Her greatest moment of triumph was when she found a man willing to marry her and planned her own wedding totally without her mother's involvement. In fact, her mother didn't even have to come as far as she was concerned.
So here it is, HER BIRTHDAY, and her mother forgot!
How dare she forget my Birthday! It is MY Birthday!!!!
So went her proclamations during the next day, telling all her friends and inlaws and whomever she felt like telling.
A few days later she began to get the feeling that her mother didn't care anymore.
This couldn't be right. Her mother Had to Care. Her mother had to suffer every single slight and insult that was flung at her.
It was when she was excoriating her mother to her Aunt that the response she didn't want to hear came
"You spent your life locking your mother out, so she's out. She's been out since your wedding. What do you care?"
Did people really believe she didn't love her own mother? Didn't they realise she was just sort of locking her out to be...independent?
"Kick a dog enough times, it doesn't come back," the Aunt tossed.