I can't believe it. In spite of the fact that I've had months to get used to the idea I still can't believe it. At first I was certain that it was some sort of practical joke, and not even a good one at that... it certainly wasn't credible enough, and yet in the end the joke was on me because it is true. Against all odds my mother is getting married.
All my life I've wished to have a father, and now that wish is about to come true, only it is some sort of bizarre, twisted nightmare. I still remember when the two of them met, and saying that "sparks flew" would be an accurate description of that moment, only it wasn't exactly in a romantic sense. I can hardly imagine two more different people and yet somehow, in spite of a very rocky beginning they are determined to make it work. Maybe that has been Naomi's problem all along, she has always looked for someone who is just like her when what she truly needs is someone who is entirely different...and Jim is certainly different.
It's not that I'm not happy for Naomi, but the truth is that I feel a little hurt by their decision, or at least I did at first. I know it sounds selfish but I am worried about how this will affect my friendship with Jim, and I am also a little jealous. Funny, I always assumed that, should Naomi ever get married, I'd feel threatened by my new step-father... I never expected to feel threatened by my own mother.
I wonder if Jim will expect me to do as he tells me now. I hope he doesn't, I really don't want this wedding to change things between us, but I know it will. I've tried teasing him by calling him "Dad" a couple of times, he is not sure how to react when I do that, and the truth is that, no matter how much I want to pretend otherwise, I really don't know how I feel about it either.
I know this sounds silly, but I'm also somewhat worried about my own image. Having to explain to a date that I share a place with my partner in the PD is one thing, telling her that I'm over thirty and living with my mom and my step-dad is quite another, and moving away from them is not an option. We will probably be moving out of the loft in a couple of months though, Jim is already looking for a new place, one that will grant all of us a little more privacy. I think he is worried about the chastity of my young and innocent ears when it comes to hearing my mom "doing it"... like I haven't been hearing it ever since I can remember. Most people are squeamish when confronted with the notion of their parents having sex, I got over that a long time ago, but I still find Jim's concern touching. No one has ever even thought about that before. He liked a house he found in the suburbs. It is too far from everything for my liking but the place is quiet and it has a huge back yard with a large shed that is at some distance from the house, which is good because otherwise the sage wars would drive us all insane.
Even if I feel somewhat confused by what is going on, I do know how much the decision to leave behind her whole lifestyle has costed my mother, especially because she knows that, for all their loudly proclaimed tolerance, most of her friends will never be able to accept Jim, but since making it legal is a big deal for him, she agreed. The official ceremony doesn't matter that much to her, or at least she pretends it doesn't, but Jim is well aware of her track record when it comes to commitment and he needs something that will set his mind at ease, some sort of tangible proof that she is as serious about their relationship as he is. Even after his divorce he still believes in the illusion of marriage... I know better, but I do think that maybe, just maybe, this will last. I can only hope that Naomi understands that should she ever hurt Jim I'll never forgive her, and that that may actually matter to her enough to make her stay over the rough patches.
Of course, even though the act of getting married is important to Jim, he knows it wouldn't have been possible if it weren't for Simon's help. I don't know how he did it, but somehow he managed to get us an exemption from the department's policy that forbids family members from being partnered with each other. Once he recovered from his shock, Simon really came through for Jim, though his expression when he first heard about the wedding was priceless, and probably similar to my own when they told me about it.
Simon is going to be Jim's best man, and I get to give my mom away so I really should be getting dressed. Everything is ready and the last time I talked to him, Jim was adamant that this wedding is going to be on time, a concept Naomi is not all that familiar with. I suddenly realize that I've been lost in thought for a while, and that Jim is trying to get my attention... in fact he is shaking me. And then I notice that I'm lying on my bed and Jim is there, asking me if I'm OK.
Even after Kincaid, Lash, Alex and the dissertation disaster I have never felt so indebted to Jim for waking me from a nightmare. The ones that seem to be reasonable are the worst ones, the ones that are hardest to let go of. The question is: When Jim asks, should I tell him what it was about?