Mother: Emily (50)
Daughter: Ryan (31)
“The Odd Couple”
Emily had Ryan when she was 19 and "knew immediately" that she had indeed conceived a baby girl…despite not trying to get pregnant. Emily has two other children, Jacob (23) and Luke (21), but clearly her and daughter, Ryan, have an intense and deeply connected relationship that far surpasses the other sibling’s relationships with their mother. Ryan was Emily's backbone during three failed marriages and Emily said that no matter what she has always been able to count on Ryan. Throughout Ryan's life, she took on a "partner-like,” role to Emily, even as a child. Ryan helped Emily raise children, make financial decisions and provided Emily with her undivided attention, much like a spouse would do.
After the alimony and child support from her 3rd marriage ran out, Emily knew that she needed to make plans for her and Ryan’s future. Separating wasn’t an option, so they decided they needed to move and build a life together. Emily and Ryan had lived in Georgia when Ryan was a baby, so they started looking at homes in the suburbs of Atlanta. Emily and Ryan saw the opportunity of moving away from their family in Minnesota as the chance to finally have undivided mom and daughter time together, uninterrupted by ex-husbands, sons/brothers and other family members. Emily and Ryan decided to pay cash for a 2019 Champion manufactured home in Buford, Georgia (about 40 miles north of downtown Atlanta.) It is a quaint, cute and cozy 3 bedroom/2 bath 1440 square foot home in a lovely community with a pool, community center and gym. Even though there are three bedrooms, there is only one room with an actual king-sized bed that they duo share and sleep in together every night, without fail, WITH matching sleep masks. The other two room’s serve as an office and storage space. They see no point in having separate rooms if they’re already accustomed to sleeping together every night.
After Ryan and Emily unpacked their new home, they went on the job hunt together because they wanted to find somewhere that they could both work as a "package deal." Ryan had previously worked at Target in Minnesota, so when she went to apply at the local Target, Ryan and Emily were put to the front of the line and hired together. Ryan and Emily make sure that their work schedules are nearly identical. They plan all of their breaks together and sometimes find it hard to be away from one another during work hours. Ryan works in the back of the store assisting with coordinating stocking the shelves, while Emily is assigned to the front of the store where she assists guests at customer service and check out. Emily and Ryan keep a rigid schedule so they can get to work on time. Emily wakes up at 4:30am and Ryan wakes up at 4:45am. Ryan recently changed her hairstyle so their mornings together in the bathroom would be easier because Emily likes to spend a lot of time on her hair and it was too hard for both of them to have to fix their hair and be at work at 6am.
While in the bathroom together, Mom has been known to take candid, tasteful nude photos of her daughter (sometimes without Ryan knowing) because mom is earnestly proud of her, “beautiful, baby girl” and the beautiful woman she has become. Mom will save the photos on the phone and has also even sent a photo or two to her sister Beatrice. The two are together from the time they wake up until the time they go to bed together, with nearly identical days in between. At night, the two retire together in their large king-bed.
Emily and Ryan's family doesn't approve of their close relationship. Emily's sons, Jacob and Luke, have accepted Ryan and Emily's relationship, but they feel like they should work on having friendships and relationships outside of their smothering bond. Emily's sister, Beatrice, is the most concerned with the detrimental effects of the mother/daughter relationship has on Ryan. Beatrice thinks that Ryan is being held back emotionally by Emily and that she hasn't been given the confidence to live life on her own terms. Ryan is sheltered and hasn't made any decisions based on what she wants. Beatrice, who lives in Illinois, has vowed to make frequent trips to visit Emily and Ryan in Georgia so she can make sure that Ryan is okay and to try to get her "outside of her comfort zone." Ryan feels like her family's trips to see she and Emily in Georgia are strictly to try to "pull her and her mother apart."
Ryan is a 31-year-old virgin. Her last date was when she was 26 years old, and her last kiss was on her 21st birthday. Emily saw Ryan kissing a man during the birthday festivities and rushed over to break the two up. Ryan has a crush on a boy at who works at Target and is finding it difficult to let him know that she is interested. Emily told her boss at Target that her daughter is a virgin and Ryan was mortified that her mother shared such an intimate detail of her life! Emily is skeptical of her daughter dating. Emily thinks that it's hard for her daughter to date because she knows that her booming personality outshines Ryan. Ryan is a "gamer" and plays games online with people from all over the world and has been talking to a man who lives in Australia for the past several years. Emily is convinced that Ryan is in love with him, but he has a girlfriend. If money allowed, Ryan would love to take a trip to Australia to meet her crush in person. Ryan has been accused of being too, “childlike.” She hasn’t experienced what most adults her age have already gone through. She seems to be stuck in an adolescent limbo. She’s still playing video games, working an entry-level job, and playing with toys and her giant sword collection. (She collects swords, some even six feet long!)
Emily is hesitant about falling in love again because her last marriage, to Tom, fell apart because of her relationship with Ryan. Tom thought that Emily and Ryan's relationship was "unnatural and unhealthy" and Emily thinks Tom was jealous of the care and attention she gives to her daughter. It's no secret to Ryan that she was the reason for her mother's divorce from Tom and the two women have had to deal with their respective resentments. Tom thinks that it’s ridiculous that they are working at Target together. He knows Ryan has worked corporate, managerial positions and that she is absurdly overly- qualified for her job at Target. Tom thinks that they obviously are working at Target so they can be together and perpetuate their already unhealthily close lifestyle. It’s disappointing to not only Tom, but also to Beatrice because the two are capable of achieving so much more. Not only professional, but personally. Their co-dependent nature is holding them back from building, real, normal, healthy and fulfilling lives of their own. Beatrice has made it her mission to make that happen, one way or another.
When it comes to dating, Ryan thinks that Emily is overly trusting of strangers and can be irresponsible. Ryan is always the voice of reason in the relationship with her mom, while Emily is the more spontaneous and less concerned with consequences and outcomes of her decisions. Both women want love but they are both having a hard time envisioning how a romantic relationship would shake up their world. Perhaps a father and son might be a perfect match for this extremely close mom and daughter?
· Emily and Ryan sleep in the same bed, despite having enough room/beds in their home to each have their own bed. They wear matching sleep masks together every night before bed.
· The most time they spend away from each other is during their work day where they are assigned to different departments. They make sure to schedule their breaks at the same time so they can see each other.
· Emily takes pictures of Ryan (even when she is in her bra and underwear) because she is proud of Ryan's physique.
· Emily and Ryan have to maintain the same exact schedule so they can do everything together.
· Ryan and Emily recently took up birding together so they can have a shared hobby of birdwatching and feeding birds.
· They use the bathroom at the same time, especially in the mornings when they are in a rush to get out of the house.
· They spend every waking moment together-the most time they spend away from each other is when Ryan goes to see her grandmother for a week, she spends most of her trip calling/texting/FaceTiming her mother.
Emily and Ryan are starting a new life together in Georgia. More than ever, their family, especially aunt Beatrice, sees how detrimental their unbreakable bond is on Ryan and her building a life on her own terms. Ryan is so dependent on Emily for everything and Emily is happy to be the architect of not only her life, but Ryan's. There are conversations happening between Ryan and Emily about each of them branching out, especially in their love lives, but it will be hard for any man to feel welcome in their world built for two.
· Beatrice and her daughter Maddy will be flying in on the 9th of October and staying until the 13th.