As Sandra stepped up onto the porch of the house, Ayita dropped her hand to take her daughter’s arm. They walked in, and Ayita had set up tea for them. Sandra groaned inwardly; her mother had something to say to her.
Sandra laughed lightly at the endearment she hadn’t heard since she had been young. “What’s going on mamma?”
Ayita sat, and began pouring tea. It was chamomile and lavender. The smell alone said that this tea was from Ayita’s self-grown stock.
“That’s what I was going to ask you.” Ayita sat, and looked over expectantly after she handed Sandra a cup.
Sandra listened to her mother’s odd accent that seemed to combine French, Greek, and the clippings of southern American English from her rural mother and father before she commented. “Nothing new except for my doctorate. What are you and father doing here?”
Her mother stirred the tea with her finger, and lightly tasted it. “Your father is consulting one of the top mole docs here. I am considering things.”
Sandra nodded. A mole doc was another molecular scientist like her father. Jiri’s research had taken them around the world, and back again so many times that Sandra couldn’t keep up. Jiri “the original Dr.” Dalianas was a complex man to say the least. He had always seemed larger than life to Sandra, and that would have a lot to do with him being the most physically intimidating molecular scientist she had ever met. She had met a few thanks to who her father was.
Biochemistry and molecular biology was her father’s life. Always he seemed obsessed with solving the genetic make-up puzzle. DNA mapping was his specialty. So constantly he traveled to consult with doctors in his field to get a little bit further in the mapping of the human genome. Talking about it always brought an eerie light into his already unsettlingly bright pale green eyes. As a byproduct of his passion, the man demanded from himself peak physical condition always insisting that knowing what the body could do made him manic about fulfilling it.
And her mother; when Ayita considered things, they were usually big things. With her towering height, Ayita had always been the most beautiful woman in the world to Sandra. Considering that she spent most of her life modeling, the world seemed to agree; the entire world outside of America that is. It was a shame that she hadn’t been very popular with her oak skin tone, caramel eyes, full lips, and blunt nose. Because of her exotic looks, and the social upheaval in the states, her mother only worked in Europe, and various other locales outside of the States.
The irony is that her career hadn’t really taken off until after Sandra had been born. It started one afternoon doing a shoot in the south of the French Riviera. The prime minister of France had been a fan of Ayita’s for years. Having the chance to meet her, he did. They had dinner, and talked politics. Being no political slouch because of the amount of social consciousness that had been artfully instilled in her by both her parents, Ayita had impressed the Prime Minister to no end. He recommended that she become an advisor, and soon set the plan into motion. Soon she became quite a political figure in Europe during the 1980’s up until the Bush regime took over, and made foreign relations more stressful.
“What are these things?” Sandra asked insistently.
“A spot in the United Nations,” she said with the polite calmness most people would use discussing the weather.
Sandra squeaked a little, “You’d be awesome at that.”
Ayita merely frowned, and made an iffy noise. “Still considering.” She sighed and glanced at the floor. “Honestly I was hoping your father would be ready to settle, and we could go to Mendocino.” Her eyes sparkled warmly as she lifted them to Sandra’s. “I’ve always loved it there.”
“It’s beautiful,” Sandra agreed as she took a sip of the tea not really believing that her mother still amazed her at 25 years of age.
The quiet inquisition that had been perfected by Ayita Sittingbull-Dalianas began as she sat quietly sipping tea, and staring avidly at Sandra. Sandra sighed, no longer hiding her exasperation, and tilted her head at her mother giving her a pointed look.
“This works on dad, doesn’t it?”
Ayita slowly smiled.
“Yes I am still a virgin,” Sandra began, “and I’m starting to think that it’s not a problem. We are not all as lucky as you and dad were. And most certainly not all as gorgeous as you are—”
Her mother made a negative sound, “You are beautiful Sandra.”
“And you’re my mother; you have to think so. What I’m saying is that I’m fine. I have successfully defended my dissertation, and that meant so much for me.” Sandra paused looking for a sign that this would be enough. Then sighed, and continued, “I have accomplished almost all I want in this life.”
“No husband; no children.” Ayita gave her a consoling look. “Why plant a garden, and then not let the flowers bloom.”
Sandra stifled the urge to argue with her mother. In the end Ayita wanted the best for her daughter, and when you had a husband like Jiri, you assumed that marriage was good for everyone. She just didn’t seem to understand that they were a small margin of what actually went on with men and women. Not that Sandra had vast amounts of experience. It was just that numbers don’t lie. During her brief and eventful 25 years of life she had seen, three uncles, five aunts, two first cousins, and an adventurous third cousin marry. Out of the eleven marriages she witnessed, and the 6 that were in existence before she had been born, only 9 of them had lasted, her mother and father, their immediate parents, a couple of cousins, and a set of aunts and uncles. Only nine out of an overall 18.
“One promise pishee, and we will discuss this no more,” Ayita stated strongly with a clear finality.
Sandra nodded knowing that when her mother asked for a promise like this she was true to her word, and she wouldn’t let up until you agreed.
Ayita met her daughter’s turbulent ever-changing eyes, and said softly, and slowly. “Let the tide catch you once. Let yourself feel the ocean before you say you don’t enjoy it.”