Whenever The Beatles’ 8 Days a Week erupts from my cell phone, I immediately step outside and allot a good chunk of time for this particular call. My roommates roll their eyes; they know exactly who it is and do not approve. I don’t blame them. I’m sure many would raise an eyebrow at the idea of someone who still keeps in touch with his ex-girlfriend’s mother.
When a relationship ends, there are certain ties that inevitably sever besides the most obvious one. But how do you forget a woman who was like a second mother to you for six years? Andy was with me during the most important times of my life: from the end of high school, through college, and the first tumultuous years when I was thrown into the working world. Which, despite popular belief, made it extremely difficult to let that part of me go. And I venture to say, it was for her too.
After the devastating break up, Andy continued to call me on occasion. The phone calls were frequent for the first few weeks, just to see how I was coping. Eventually, our conversations drifted away from my feelings of heartbreak to life in general. We had fallen right back in stride; the subject of conversations became the trivial, banal occurrences that happen in anyone’s life. Our conversations no longer focused on the standing between Megan and me, but have transformed into that of a surrogate mother checking up on her adopted son. How could I, or she for that matter, forget someone who had played such a vital and intimate role in our respective lives?
My contact with Andy has had its fair share of critics. My bolder friends have confronted me, implicating a sort of hidden agenda; a plan to somehow resurrect my relationship to Megan through her mother. I can tell you, nothing could be farther from the truth. I suppose the greater question is, why do we so willingly accept this fallout of associated relationships following a break up as inevitable?
I once asked Andy, “Why do you continue to stay in touch with me?”
There was a brief pause and she responded, “I don’t care what people think. I like to talk to you and I like to see how you’re doing. Maybe I’m just too much of a mom.” That was good enough for me. Good enough for the both of us, I suppose.
I’m sure psychologists would have a field day with this relationship. Or would quickly dismiss me as another case of “someone who can’t let go”. Is this kind of pseudo-mother/son relationship conventional? Probably not. How do you cut off contact with the person who picked you up with nothing more than a gas can and a smile when you were stranded 30 miles outside of town in the middle of the night? Or when you napped Christmas morning, laid an extra blanket over you and kissed your forehead?
I’ve yet to come across someone with a similar relationship with their ex’s parents, but I like to think that they exist. I will handle the snickers and the sighs, as long as I continue doing what I feel is, “okay.” It is too rare to come across those people in your life who genuinely and sincerely care about you a great deal. Much too rare to simply forget.
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