Wow. I talked to my Mom on the phone tonight, and it was remarkably clear just how much that training affected me. It was for the better, I think. But, seriously, it’s like she and I don’t even speak the same language.
This may require a bit of back story.
Here’s the fun part, and I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it here yet:
My brother and sister-in-law are having a baby!! Now, I know I’m going to be an aunt, regardless of the sex of their child, and I also know the sex of their baby-to-be! I’m not telling though. 😉 This was just too funny not to share.
So. They are having a baby shower in June, which both Mom and I are flying in for. Oldest Aunt invited herself, as she lives within relative driving distance. I first heard of this when Mom complained about sharing a hotel with her, and how she didn’t want to.
Backup. Me, Emma, and Mom were all planning to stay with my brother & sister-in-law in their house.
So then she’s complaining about sharing a hotel with Aunt. She offered to share the hotel with Aunt, and then complained about it. Nobody made her offer to move to a hotel, when she already had a free place to stay… and then she complains about it.
I mentioned it to Bro & SIL, “Nobody told me Aunt was coming.” “She wasn’t. She invited herself.”
Bro managing Mom, Mom managing Aunt, Bro managing Mom managing Aunt.
He did, in fact, use the word “wrangling.”
Oh, but I’m only just beginning!
So Mom’s friend sent along a gift she’d made for me when Mom came out for Christmas. Hook and needle art, not exactly my thing. A small wall-hanging, mom said I could alternatively make into a pillow. I’d entirely forgotten about it (and may have in fact thrown it out when I cleaned recently) until Mom told me that her friend made me another one. This time a rug. She didn’t have the heart to tell her friend I wasn’t thrilled by the first one. Now, I’m not saying there’s any reason to cross the line between honest and mean…
“So, let me get this straight. You’re going to put this thing I don’t want in your luggage, and fly it to [Bro-ville] to give it to me, so I can put it in my luggage and fly it back to [Dee-ville?]”
Of course she would.
“Yeah, no. There’s not going to be room in my luggage for it. You can do whatever you want with it, but I guarantee you it will not be coming back with me.”
After a little more insanity, including Mom saying something about how Emma was going to fall in love with the rug, so I’d have to take it back with me.
“Oh, I know. Why don’t you give it to Aunt.”
“Oh yeah, she’d really like it!” A few minutes later. “No, wait, I don’t want to give it to Aunt.” What followed was a story about a yard sale Aunt had more than 10, and likely more than 20, years ago, where Mom took home a piece of hook and needle art (that she’d had to finish herself) and Aunt later said she wanted to keep it. So Mom hides it any time Aunt is going to be in her house. So, she can’t give this piece of hook and needle to Aunt because it would remind her of that other one from who knows how many years ago.
Then she asked me: “Don’t you understand?” (or something along those lines)
I paused, and chose my words carefully, but clearly not tactfully. “Well… I heard the words that you said, yes.”
And after an awkward pause, we changed the subject.
That’s kind of huge, though. Just a few weeks ago, she was telling another story, and after the explanation of how something from 35+ years ago has kept her on an anti-Gatorade crusade ever since, I said, “oh yeah, that makes sense.”
I’m exercising my boundaries muscle. With MY MOM! That is huge! Beyond huge.