Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Trying to be supportive of the person not the actions

I have a pet peeve. My mother likes to make excuses. Like all of us, she has a tendency to make up excuses to hide from the truth. One excuse that peeves me is that we can’t do anything because my husband is a finicky eater. The number one excuse is something is the ‘Chinese way’.

I’m not going to lie and say my husband isn’t but in the last 10 years, I can honestly say he has made a concerted effort to try more foods. I mean honestly, the man ate sushi and didn’t flinch. He ate Louisiana cuisine for our wedding reception and didn’t leave a speck on his plate. The man now eats shrimp, lobster and fish without whining. Ok, he whines a little about fish. He swears I leave bones in fillet on purpose. Honey, I’ve seen the life insurance policy. You don’t need to worry.

Why do I bring this up? Well, because my mother told me last week that she wished we could go on a cruise as a family, sort of like the family reunion cruise that I’m not attending this year. The main reasons I’m not attending is work-related. It would not be in the best of interest for me to be outside of NYC during the fall and winter months as I am about to roll-out a brand new IS system to a group of what my co-worker has deemed, children over 40.

Have you ever been on a cruise? Have you seen the smorgasbord of food available and wasted? People should stop sending rations to the starving children and just send a few Carnival cruise ships to them.

Sure, my husband and I would dislike the buffet style meals but there are a few direct order places on cruise ships. I just hate that she makes the excuse my husband. It’s as if it her child could not be at fault. If she were then her parenting would be questioned. Instead, blame the ‘outsider’. I know she doesn’t mean it but it just seems that way.

I try not to make a big deal of these because I know she gets sensitive and she’s a bit Humpty-Dumpty-ish. I didn’t even give it a second thought until today when I was busy trying to research cab companies that I can pre-pay trips for my parents.

Although my mother and I live on opposite planes when it comes to our beliefs, I’m trying hard to make her happy. This isn’t easy for a person that does not like to support or encourage her habits. She doesn’t make it easy though.

For example, she kept complaining to me that she couldn’t find a taxi to take four people plus luggage to the 55th street port. I finally took the queue and told her that I’d take care of it.

Then she proceeded to tell me that she has friends ask her why her kids don’t do what she tells them to like they were supposed to.

M: “My generation believes kids don’t question parents and just do what ever they are told.”
pg: “Mom, my generation believes in sticking their parents in nursing homes. Let’s try to break generational traditions.”

After she lost that battle, she waited a few minutes and then proceeded to complain about other issues.
pg: “Mom, if you need help, you need to ask people not complain about it.”
M: “Well, you know me. I have a hard time asking for help.”
pg: “You don’t have a hard time complaining about it.”
M: “What?”
pg: “Nothing, this is the knitting show I told you about.”

So back to my peeve. How do I tell my mother without upsetting her that I can’t stand when she uses my husband as an excuse? If she wants an excuse, she should blame me. Mom, I don’t want Lrudlrick trapped in a boat for 14 days with my family for fear of divorce.

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