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[sexist]I must remember, never tell a female that she has faults.[/sexist]

Of course, that's probably a good general rule with any human.

My mother is generally pretty cool, if insensitive to the effects she has on her neurotic son or indeed anyone close to her. She's going to Burning Man this year--how cool is that? And just finished getting her Doctorate a few months ago. Really cool.

She's pretty much where my family ends, as far as I'm concerned, her and my sister. There's not a lot to endear me to my grandparents. Maybe I'm being a pissy little kid, but I've had fights that ended in tears with my mom over being forced to go to family reunions. It's a damned waste of time, I don't know any of them, and there's only a few that I'd want to know. And there's a fair amount of back-story, too, grandfather's a vitriolic right-wing Catholic republican, grandma's just flat-out scary.

So early in September my grandfather's turning 80. His party falls on Sunday, and he wants to have it in Padre Island. That Saturday night happens to be my and Whine's first anniversary. Besides that, my job is unrewarding right now, I've got a pretty intense volunteering schedule, and little enough free time as it is. I really don't have ANY desire to blow an entire weekend on this. I'm tired, and I deserve my time off. It's also during my mom's trip to Burning Man.

So, we conclude one of our recent fights with her saying, paraphrase, that if I don't go to her father's birthday, maybe she won't be able to go to Burning Man.

For someone as terribly codependant as I am, that's really harsh. My sister calls me a few days ago, a few moments after I'd gotten a fabulously petty $150 ticket and a few hours before I contracted food poisoning, and tells me that we need to figure out what we want for travel arrangements. I'm in a terrible mood, and respond repeatedly (oh, very mature, but heartfelt) "to stay in Austin." She finally hangs up on me.

Yesterday, mom calls me up while I'm barely staying vertical--darn poison chicken--to chew me out for complaining to my sister. She thinks it's terrible that I said terrible things about her, that she would NEVER have said precisely the words "I can't go to Burning Man if you don't go to the party," those were only facts, what, should I only try to convince you with things that I make believe? and closes with the memorable line, "It hurts me when you say that I'm manipulative."

Of course, there's no way to say that and sound sincere, it's like saying "I'm not being disagreeable." But this martyr stuff is wearing thin, real quick.


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 17th, 2005 05:06 pm (UTC)
you should go, and wear a glittery rainbow shirt and your leather utilikilt (i have a shirt you can borrow...).
Aug. 17th, 2005 08:24 pm (UTC)
Nah, I'll have to go to Hot Topic and pick up something two sizes too small :) Thanks for the offer, but the closet is nice and warm (and has a lot of crushed velvet in it...*that's* why they're in the closet, they're picking out clothes...)
Aug. 18th, 2005 01:50 pm (UTC)
My technique for the family reunion thing
is to always pack my "Blessed Be" shirt. The black one, with the enormous rainbow-colored pentacle on it. Did I mention that this is the part of the family that's hyper-religious, the kind of Southern Baptist that gives the other Baptists a bad name?

I think of it as my equivalent of the atomic bomb. I probably won't ever wear it around those people. There would be huge fallout. But I feel better having it available...
Aug. 18th, 2005 02:12 pm (UTC)
Re: My technique for the family reunion thing
Mmm...Staunch catholics would *love* that. But I'd do better with "I'm a Pagan Democrat, and I Vote!"
Aug. 17th, 2005 08:16 pm (UTC)
What your mom wants (and my mom, and probably scores of others) is for their kids to see them as perfect beings. They never get past the point of enjoying the time when you were little and would believe everything they told you.

You don't want to go - I say, stay home and enjoy your anniversary. How good is her relationship with your grandparents? Does she need you for moral support? That would be the only plausible reason for you to go, really. Anything else is probably selfish.

Aug. 17th, 2005 08:22 pm (UTC)
Actually, I'd go if she was there. She's going to Burning Man. She's on modest terms with them, they've snubbed her a few times, but everyone's generally in the amend-making camp.

*sigh* I love thinking the best of my mom, she's a great person, but really doesn't worry too much about the effect she has on the people who care about her. Pfbth.

Nice icon, BTW! Thanks for the hugs...
Aug. 17th, 2005 08:58 pm (UTC)
*hugs* from here too. Not sure what to say on the family thing--mine was the exact opposite. No obligations, ever. Barely any "family" feeling at all, most of the time. Maybe weddings, but that's only started recently (I'm the oldest of 21 or so).
Aug. 18th, 2005 05:31 am (UTC)
so your mom wants ya'll to go but she isn't? is it her dad or -in-law?
that's not very nice. or fair.
hmm. dunno.
*hugs* though. and giant clear nerds filled tubes.
Aug. 18th, 2005 07:24 am (UTC)
You could do something nice with Whines tonight, eh? Skip wing night and do whatever you had in mind, or have it with all us furs, we could all do something nice.

That is, if you don't decide to stay home this weekend. ;) I have no idea what ya'll had in mind!

My mom is pretty big on guilt-trippping. She's a really awesome lady- until material and/or money issues pop up. She gave us more grief about borrowing a large sum to fix our car than when I dropped out.

So yeah, its tough. *hugs*

Aug. 18th, 2005 07:28 am (UTC)
Eh, this is September I'm fretting about...I have no idea what's happening *this* weekend, too. My mom's birthday is Friday, I don't know if they're doing anything or not...
Aug. 18th, 2005 03:42 pm (UTC)
Somebody else's birthday is this weekend too, I hope you haven't forgotten!
Aug. 19th, 2005 07:15 am (UTC)
Ooh! You're right! Saturday's Christian Sleater's birthday! I'm going to have to rent "Heathers" :)
Aug. 18th, 2005 10:17 am (UTC)
Like I said at the restaurant, make an excuse to not go. Tell them you're sick. Tell them your car broke down. Tell them a friend needed you for an absolute screaming emergency right this second because /their/ car broke down and their mother/dog/roommate is sick. I can come up with excuses all day. Life's too short for bullshit.

Don't fall into the trap I always do, where I keep doing things I don't like out of a sense of obligation. At least one of us will be having fun then.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )