Wednesday, May 05, 2004

A standard conversation with my mom comes standard with guilt trips and a lack of common sense.

Quote of the day: "Yeah, the worm is causing havoc but I keep telling myself it's job security." -- IT Help Desk at work

Mom called yesterday. She said that the original plans to have my Uncle from Chicago over for dinner in two weeks has to be changed. His flight leaves on
Saturday. Is it possible to have it during the week?

I told her that unfortunately, I'm covering for a colleague who is out on vaca and I will be swamped that week.

Mom: "Well, how about Friday?"

pantrygirl: "Mom, I really cannot overextend myself any further. Let's go out to dinner."

M: "Ok. Well, your Aunt will be out of town and wants to know if your cousin can come over too. It will only be one more person at the table. His wife won't be

pg: "What?" [There are so many questions that last sentence conjures up but I hold my tongue.] "No, I can't cook dinner for 8 people during that week."

M: "Oh. Ok. So let's go out to dinner."

pg: "Sure Mom. Just tell me time and place. And remember, I work late so start the dinner without me and I'll meet you as soon as I can."

M: "Ok. Well, Joe works late too so he won't be able to go until late anyway."

pg: "ok."

M: "Let's see. Well, on Wednesday we're going downtown and then finalizing some stuff with grandpa's estate. And on Thursday, we're going shopping. So let's
make dinner on Wednesday or Thursday."

pg: "Mom, don't you think that's a bit too much for everyone? We all work. How about Friday?"

M: "But we're out on Wednesday and Thursday."

pg: "ok, Mom. Where?"

M: "How about Flushing?"

pg: "Queens? That's out of the way for everyone."

M: "Well, your Aunt wants your cousin to come and he works in Flushing."

pg: "And your daughter works in Manhattan. And your son works in Westchester. And your husband works in the Bronx."

M: "But it's just a bridge away."

Why does my mom do this? Why does she try to please everyone at the expense of her family?

pg: "Mom, that doesn't make sense but whatever. Just tell me what when and where."

M: "Ok. What time are you free?"

pg: "Mom, by the time I get to Flushing, it will be 9pm. Just start without me."

M: "What day is good for hubby?"

pg: "Friday. But any day you choose is fine, Mom."

At this point, hubby mumbles about having to go to Flushing on a weeknight.

M: "Fine. I just want the family to get together. You know you have to see your Uncle."

pg: "Mom, I want to see my Uncle. It's just a bit inconvenient mid-week to travel to Queens. Just tell me when and where and I will be there."

M: "Ok. You know that it's just your cousin. Not his wife."

pg: "He said that?"

M: "No. I didn't ask him yet. But your Aunt said not to invite her because that means your cousin has to drive to Long Island to pick her up."

pg: "How are you going to ask him and not invite her? When you are married it's an unsaid said."

M: "I don't know. I'll just tell him that's what his mom wants."

pg: "Mom, that's in poor taste."

At which point Hubby says, "Your family doesn't want to invite me?"

I motion to him, no, and that I'd explain later.

pg: "All I'm saying Mom is invite him. It's his and his wife's decision whether they come or not."

M: "ok. I just want everyone to get together."

pg: "Yes, Mom. Just not his wife."

My mother does not understand that her children do not work 9-5 jobs. Nor does she understand the hassle it is to get cross town and into another borough.

Don't get me wrong. I love my mother immensely. These days I wonder if my mother was like this all along or if this is a recent occurence. Because if she
was like this when I was a child, it's a miracle I'm still alive and semi-normal. Thanks dad, for the common sense. :-)

I saw a new program where the in laws come in and decorate one room in the couple's home. I could only imagine what my kooky mom and my zany mother in law
would do.

I'm just hoping fate will be kind and I won't turn into my mother. My husband has told me he'd promise to put me out of my misery if I began showing symptoms
(guilt trips, discretionary loss of hearing, loss of common sense, etc). The odds are slim that I won't be like my mother. But for the sake my children and
my husband, I keep that glimmer of hope.