Irving is not real. He is a figment of my imagination. Irving is the pet name that I’ve given to my mother’s non-existent boyfriend (that she’ll never have because she isn’t looking and doesn’t have time for such foolishness thankyouverymuch). By the way, he’s very Jewish and refined. Unlike us. So, I make up scenarios in which Irving tries to assimilate into our household. I think sharing these with my mom just helped cement her resolve not to expose us to innocent, unsuspecting, and undeserving strangers.
Mom and Irving have been dating long enough for Irving to try Christmas with us. In support, we’ve all shown up and there is a full house (Seriously, there are 4 kids, 3 spouses [Taed doesn’t fly], 5-7 grandkids, plus 6 great-grandchildren. That’s a good 20 people in an 800 square foot house). In true Mom fashion, she’s gone all out. There’s two kinds of meat, many yummy cheesy potatoes and rice, fresh bread, some vegetables, and multiple desserts. At some point though, it all winds down. This is when Irving, considerate as he is, makes his move to be supportive of Mom. Irving says, “That was a delicious meal, Marian. Kids, since your mom made dinner, I think you should wash the dishes.” At this point one of us (probably me) says, “F*ck you, f*ck you, Irving. You’re not my dad!” The silence is stunning. Mom, of course, in real life and fake life is MORTIFIED. While she doesn’t say it aloud, you know she considers this the reason some animals eat their young.
Irving, having weathered the children, attempts a sleep-over. This is a big move, but apparently Mom has misread the signals. At some point, Irving tries to slip into Mom’s full-sized bed. He finds all available real estate taken by “the girls”. So he says, “Marian, can you get the girls off the bed?” To which Mom explains, “No, Irving. This is their home. This is where they sleep. If you can’t find room, there is a bed in the other bedroom.” Poor Irving.
These little stories amuse me more because they COULD happen, not because they have or that they will. We’re not really that bad as people. However, it’s fun to think about it.