October 5, 2012 by Kat Richter
The Wedding Date has a lot of friends. A lot of female friends, and between the ex-girlfriends, the co-workers, the former classmates and the students, I find myself getting a bit tetchy—not to mention paranoid— at times.
I know I’m his girlfriend. And frankly he doesn’t have the time to cheat on me but how am I supposed to feel when he calls me during Thursday night’s Presidential Debate to tell me about some important family news and I ask if I can call him back the next morning because I’m at a debate watch party and he tells me not to call him in the morning but to call him in the afternoon instead?
(Especially when I know he always talks to one of his female friends on his way into work?)
Probably I’m supposed to feel understanding. She’s his oldest and closest friend. She’s been his sounding board for family issues for years, long before I came into the picture. She’s married so really, there’s no need for me to view her as a threat. But I don’t feel understanding. I feel pissed off.
And no, it probably doesn’t help that she often calls while he and I are in bed together.
But I’m at a party. This is no time to make a scene, so I tell The Wedding Date that I’ll talk to him tomorrow afternoon while he’s on his way home from work like I always do and go back to watching the debate.
By the time it’s over, however, I realize that I’m even more pissed off than I was before. I’m his girlfriend! I never wanted to date a man with kids. I never wanted to get emotionally invested in someone else’s family issues, but I have, for better or worse. The things that matter to TWD now matter to me and if there is something important going on, I should be the first to know, not the last, even if that means bumping her from the morning commute conversation slot.
So on Thursday morning, I send him a text asking him to call me if he gets a chance. I don’t want to—I know he has a lot on his mind and that this is a particularly busy day for him—but its eating away at me. My stomach is in knots and the more I think about her, the more I convince myself that she doesn’t like me, that I’m never going to fit in with his college friends and that no self-respecting Latino man calls another woman “mami” in front of his girlfriend (as TWD did at the beach this past summer…)
(If you don’t know what “mami” means, click here for the urban dictionary definition.)
Being the dutiful boyfriend that he is, he calls me a few minutes later. And because we’re big on communication, I ask him right away: Is the reason you didn’t want to talk to me this morning because you were talking to HER?
He says yes, her and traffic. There was construction, so he had to take back roads to work and three different exits were blocked off and even with his GPS he still got turned around and ended up arriving late to work…
Suffice it to say, this was not the answer I’d been hoping for. In fact, all I’m really hearing is “Blah blah blah…”
So I continue. I tell him I don’t like being made to feel like I’m less important to him than she is; he tells me I’m not. I tell him I know she’s his oldest friend but I’m his girlfriend; he assures me that it’s not like that, that the “important” news wasn’t actually all that important and if it had been he would have spoken to me about about it right then and there. But I’m not through. And, since we’re on the subject, I ask “Why do you call her mami?”
“Nena,” he sighs. “I don’t call her mami.”
Huh? In my head, I’m screaming, “Don’t ‘nena’ me! You do to! You did it at the beach!” But this is the man I love. He’s at work. He’s closing on the refinancing of his house today and the last thing he needs is me getting all emotional over the phone again (especially as I got all emotional over the phone yesterday in regards to my grandmother’s recent Alzheimer’s diagnosis… but more on that later).
As such, I settle for a simple, “You do. I’ve heard you.”
“I don’t call her mami,” he repeats. “I call her ‘mama.’ Everyone does. It’s her nickname.”
For a moment, I don’t say anything. It occurs to me that perhaps I was wrong. Maybe I heard incorrectly that day at the beach, or maybe I was remembering incorrectly.
He continues. “Mama is different than mami. I have never called her mami.”
And now that I think about, I realize he’s right. I feel like an idiot. And not just your normal, run of the mill idiot. Oh no. I’m the special kind of idiot: the Puerto-Rican-who-can’t-speak-Spanish-kind of idiot. The kind who gets all worked up over a single, misunderstood letter.
I really wish I had paid more attention in my foreign language classes.
- Breakfast in Bed: The Final Frontier (fieldworkinstilettos.com)
- Why I Think All Republicans are Idiots (but wish I didn’t) (fieldworkinstilettos.com)
- Sometimes You’ve Got to Fix Your Mascara without a Mirror (fieldworkinstilettos.com)
- Compromise? Well, it Sucks… (fieldworkinstilettos.com)
- Confessions of the Culinary-Challenged (fieldworkinstilettos.com)
- A New Strategy… (fieldworkinstilettos.com)