Sunday, April 01, 2007

Battle of the Family 'XX'

I need to be more like my brother. I need to let go and take the back seat sometimes. I’m so stupid to think that by taking care of my own plans I can avoid a family confrontation.

I need to realize like a wedding, if you allow your mother to plan it and realize it’s her day not yours you can avoid the inevitable guilt trip.

Ok, that’s a bad example because I change my wedding plans three times to avoid the ‘mother/mother-in-law wedding’.

From now on, whenever it’s a family affair, I’m just going to let my mother take care of everything. She seems to like getting stressed over it. Why allow myself to stress as well. Just tell me when and where to meet you mother.

“I tried very hard to coordinate this.” Well, I honestly didn’t know there was coordinating required. We all need to get to Long Island so we just show up. Why do we need to do a 5 borough car tour to pick up everyone? Just get your ass to the restaurant by 7pm.

I should just shut my mouth. If mom wants to drive to Brooklyn to pick up cousin Louie and then swing back up Manhattan to pick up Aunt Selma before driving to Long Island I should just let her. Forget that she lives next to the Throggs Neck Bridge which is like skipping stones to Long Island. Just follow orders.

I’ve decided my mother and I are a battle of wills. For us it’s struggle for control; as a mother she feels controlling and planning are essential. For me, I just want to control my life and take the most logical route.

I’m also obstinate. My entire childhood my mother reminded me that people didn’t have to do what they did for me. People did me the favor so I should be grateful and not selfish. I was ungrateful and just like my grandmother, I was reliant on others.

As soon as I could I tried to prove her wrong. I did my own wash when I was 9. I found my own rides to certain afterschool activities. I started walking to school and taking buses and trains from school. I left home as soon as I could.

Something about her telling me I was always reliant on others set me off. I don’t know why that hit me so hard but 20+ years later I know that many of my actions stem from the desire to do things without asking others for help.

I need to realize that if I let my mom plan these family events, however illogical in my brain the plans may sound, I need to let her do it. That by letting her do it her way I am not relying on her. By letting her do it I’m not dependent. It makes her happy. She thinks it makes a better family to do everything together. Make her happy. It’s not going to kill me.

How do I do that without sticking a fork in your knee or pushing splinter between my fingernails?