Continues from here.
Two weeks after giving Jack his watch and pendant, neither of which he’d taken off, I was talking to my parents on the phone. It was another one of those three way conversations where I was on one end and Mom was controlling the conversation telling me I shouldn’t be calling on work time and at the same time telling Dad everything I said as if the phone wasn’t on speaker. It really was comical and I at one point I even had the thought that inviting Bill, had he been in the office, to join the conversation would have been a fun thing to do to show Mom what it was like.
I’d rung up for two reasons, firstly to tell them that I had successfully gained my motorbike licence and secondly to invite them out for dinner one night with Jack and I.
The motorbike thing had come about rather suddenly, I know I had been talking about it and even thinking about organising time off for it but things just all fell into place. I know things actually fell into place with the aid of Jack and some of his connections but exactly how it happened I wasn’t entirely sure and I didn’t ask. All Jack had said was that if he didn’t think I was ready for my licence he wouldn’t have suggested it happen, he did however make me promise that even after getting my ticket to ride I wouldn’t stop learning. It was something I was happy to agree to and given that I didn’t foresee much, if any, riding without Jack it was a promise I could easily keep.
Inviting my parents to dinner was Jack’s idea, we didn’t have any breaking news for them, it wasn’t that kind of dinner, Jack just wanted to invite them out. He’d gotten along with them so well the night Mom cooked dinner he wanted to do it again, but this time he wanted to do it without Mom slaving over the stove. Mom of course didn’t like the idea at first, she was one of those people who thought a home cooked meal was better than anything at any restaurant but between Dad and I we were able to talk her into it.
When I got around to telling Mom and Dad about the bike license the reactions were as predictable as ever. Dad congratulating me and Mom telling me how unsafe motorbikes where. I know Mom was only over reacting because she cared but it was way too predicable.
“So are you getting yourself a hog?” Dad asked, he’d obviously been watching way too much TV.
“Nick! Of course she’s not, they are dangerous.” Mom said.
“Well I’m sure she didn’t get her license just for the sake of it Rose.” Dad replied. “What sort of bike will you get love?”
“Maybe she’ll get a scooter, one of those little bikes…”
“Rose, don’t be silly, she’s not going to buy a toy scooter. She’s got a motorbike license, Jack builds them for a living, of course she’s going to get a motorbike.”
“Well actually if I can speak.” I said interrupting nicely into their conversation.
“Sorry, dear,” Mom said, “It’s just I worry about you.”
”I know MOM, and I love you for it, but I’m not going to replace my car with a bike.”
”That’s good dear.” It was Mom’s usual response when she knew she wasn’t going to win a discussion.
“Honestly Mom, I don’t even know if I’m going to buy a bike. Getting my license was as much about proving to myself that I could do it as it was about being able to ride.”
“Well that seems like a waste of money.” I’d honestly thought Mom had given up the negative aspect of the conversation with her last comment but apparently not. Dad must have thought the same thing too because when he expressed his dislike for her last comment Mom was none to impressed. “I’m not joking Nick. She’s wasted all this money on getting something she’s not planning to use.”
“Mom, please. I don’t want to argue.” I said. “I didn’t say I wouldn’t use it I just said I had no plans to replace my car. I honestly thought that would make you feel better. Also not that it changes things but I didn’t waste my money. Jack paid for my license.”
I knew that was the wrong thing to say as soon as the words escaped my mouth. It definitely wasn’t that Mom disliked Jack it was just that she was already in a state about the licence and Jack paying was just a little bit more for her to complain about.
“Rose, please. I’m sure Jack wouldn’t have done it if he didn’t want to and he’s not paying for our daughter to have an accident.”
“I know. I know. It’s just are dangerous.” Mum said missing a word in her sentence, something she’d been doing since her last statement which both Dad and I knew meant she was getting quite upset about what was going on.
“Mom, look, I’m sorry I mentioned it. I wont bring it up again and I wont go riding again if it upsets you that much.”
“Ahh, uhh, ok, no, Dianne.” Mom was struggling with her words. I felt a little bit guilty for choosing the path I had but I knew my Mom and knew the chose path was easier that letting her get further worked up over things that weren’t going to change.
“I don’t want you to stop riding. I’m just being a silly old woman. I know you’ll be safe and I know Jack has taught you well. It’s just I’m your Mom and I love you and want to protect you.”
“And I love you too Mom and you’re not being a silly old woman, you’re being a lovely mother!” Honestly my guilty feeling wasn’t leaving but it was the only way I knew to stop the conversation.
“She’s right love,” Dad added, “You’re a great mother.” he then changed the subject. “So where are we going for dinner?”
I told Mom and Dad about the new restaurant in town, it’s opening had been a huge deal and they were sprouting the fact that they had a four star Michelin star chef. Mom again made comments about such an expensive dinner not being necessary and offered to cook again but she did drop it and by the time I was ready to go back to work I had a list of evenings Mom and Dad were available for us to make a booking. How were were actually going to get that booking was up to Jack.