Years later, she and my father boycotted my wedding and sent a neatly typed note on engraved eggshell stationery: “Mr. and Mrs. Robert R. Smith, Jr., will not attend.”
I waited for an explanation for their absence. I waited for decades, but it never came.
My mother and I were master/slave; Hitler/Jew; shark/bloody leg; Mr. Murdstone/David Copperfield; Johan/Henrik in Ingmar Bergman’s Saraband.
Whenever someone asked about my “Mom,” my gut reaction would have been to answer, Mom? I don’t know anyone like that. Nancy, my biological mother, the popinjay, the vituperative termagant, was certainly no Stella Dallas.
To my mother, every aspect of life was categorized as a bargain or overpriced.
That included me: poor Return On Investment.
I had no siblings. To visit her after I left home for college, a formal invitation was required. Christmas was the only time that I was permitted to return to my parents’ house.