My Man-Dependent Mother Is 65 And Still On the Prowl

mother at her desk
Love, Self

Although she doesn't love these men, she needs them.

My mother has always been a beautiful woman.

When she was young, she resembled Grace Kelly in 'Rear Window'. She had long, blonde hair that she rolled on beer cans to achieve large, Farrah Fawcett curls; stunning blue eyes the color of the Caribbean Ocean and an hourglass figure with the perfect ratio of sand in the top and bottom.

My mother has always used her looks to land a man. In highschool, her dance card was always full. She married her highschool sweetheart when she was 18 and babies soon filled their quaint yellow house with cries and laughter and dirty diapers.

She stayed at home with three children under the age of 5 and perfected her meatloaf and honed her sewing skills. But she still drove the men crazy when she walked around town in her tight-fitting cigarette pants and satin blouses.

When a new guy sporting a Magnum P.I. mustache (and driving a Trans Am with T-tops) basked in her beauty and complimented her bouncing hair and high cheek bones, she left her husband of 10 years. He’d grown used to her attractiveness and she'd grown bored with him. A new and exciting stranger in bell-bottoms fulfilled her in ways her husband hadn't in years.

She found herself in a new marriage, with a new last name, a new home and new babies. After some time, though, her new husband became used to her beauty, too. He didn't remind her how gorgeous she was every day and it was all downhill from there.

And then another man came along, this time with a fully-loaded BMW and fresh praises.

My mother has always been dependent on men. She's never really lived on her own or pursued a career of any kind, which has always saddened me because she's so incredibly talented. With her experience rolling her hair on beer cans, she could have been a hairstylist. With her musical talent and soulful singing voice, she could have been a superstar. With her mathematical genius and financial wisdom, she could have worked on Wall Street. But she did nothing.

Yes, she raised her children well, and that is an accomplishment in and of itself, but she's never known what's like to be self-made and independent. She's never been "WOMAN," and she's never roared. Instead, she's relied on men to pay her bills, buy her Charlie perfume and puff up her self-esteem. When one man started slacking in any of those departments, she found a new one that would gladly take his place.

My mother is 65 now, and she's still beautiful. No one believes she's a day over 53.

She's recently-divorced and on the prowl again. Her long hair has thinned, her breasts have sagged, crows' feet adorn her Grace Kelly features, but this hasn't deterred her. She knows she's still beautiful.

She applies her Estee Lauder makeup and puts on her push-up bra. She places a freshly manicured hand on one hip and poses on her stairway. She asks her grandkids to take a photo of her to post online. She can't figure out how to upload the picture of her standing there, proud of nothing she's accomplished except being born pretty, so I upload it for her.

And then she sits back and she waits.

And the flirts and likes and pokes start coming. Her inbox is full, her phone is ringing. Retired men want to lavish her with gifts and take her to Ruth's Chris. They promise her trips to the Caribbean so they can take photos of her in the water that so closely matches the hue of her eyes. They convince her to sell her home and move into theirs — with more square footage and lakefront views.

Although she doesn't love these men, she needs them.

She can't do anything on her own. She can’t make money and she doesn't want to cook a meal for one. She longs for companionship and compliments and comfort. She cannot be happy alone. She relies on her husband to find her self-worth.

She lets these men provide for her and build her up, but it's always short-lived. Within a few years, maybe even months, she's grown bored with them — because there was never really love there, only convenience — and she's left with nothing except a new wrinkle, a new binder of divorce documents and a new photo of her posing beautifully on the stairway.

I post it online for her.

And we wait.


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