Monday, November 29, 2004

thanksgiving....a taste of growing up?

well, recap time, huh?

so another turkey day down, and back to work. it's so familiar, sitting there at my kitchen table, feeling like the outsider....having a glass of wine before the relatives come over so i am able to make silly, idle chatter without feeling like a social moron.

mmm... dinner was good though. although, i really don't get excited about thanksgiving food. it's pretty much everything i hate to eat. except for turkey, which luckily for me, is the main component of a t-day meal.

craig spent the meal with his family, and i with mine. i find no reason to mix the two... for now. especially with the wierdness that i don't feel like exposing myself to. in the future, things will be different i'm sure. i mean, it's kinda like, i feel more comfortable on my own territory, and while i'm there exposed to "certain people" i'm sure that i'd be cold sweating the whole visit. i think i'm talking in code here... but he came to my house afterwards, and that was fun.

*edited to protect the innocent*


Go Kayak said...

You've lived to be as old as you are and you experienced your first guilt trip now? Man, you've been lucky. :o)

I know how you feel.As a parent, I try very hard not to lay those on my girls. My step-mother was a good one to lay out everything she and my dad (whom I'm lived with when my parents split--I was 11)had done for me, yadda, yadda, yadda. What I do for my girls, I do because they need help. And even in the times we disagree, I know they appreciate my efforts.

Emotions on holidays are so heightened. I would lay odds that your mom was wrestling with her own feelings of guilt and needed to comfort herself by laying it on you. This won't make her heart feel any better and she will come to realize this. Although it seems big now, think of how unimportant this will be in 5 years.

Perhaps you both could talk about the smoking thing when you are both more calm, after some time has passed. If your mother has ever tried to quit smoking, she will be familiar with how differently things smell and taste even if she just quit for a week. Perhaps for your visits, she could designate a non-smoking area of her house out of respect for you. And out of respect for her, you won't rag her if she doesn't, you won't rag her about it. Don't forget the power of "as a favor to me..."

You could say, "Mom, I love you and I care about you. I know you love me and care about me too. As a favor to me, could you..." and fill in the blank.

Be happy. You're a good daughter.

devon said...

thanks lisa. that's pretty perceptive of you.

it's so wierd. i think your daughters will really appreciate you NOT doing that to them.... citing all the instances where you've helped them out, sacrificed yadda yadda yadda! i mean, that's what happens when you're a parent right? you become number two for awhile. i'm not dumb and i've thanked them repeatedly. they've got me out of some sticky situations, and i'm finally ok.... and i think she's having a hard time dealing with the fact i dont need her as much anymore.

our talk went ok, and i just need to understand that she's in a difficult place in her life, but it's getting easier. she just made the decision to retire, so i think that that will have a big impact on how she views certain situations....

mothers are a strange breed though! like, she was complaining that "nobody ever has me over, nobody ever cooks ME dinner.." blah blah blah. so i said, "mom, next year, you guys can come to erie, and we'll have a meal prepared by yours truly" so, then she says, "well, i don't think you can handle it" and "i didn't think you were SERIOUS,... dev, that's a BIG job" and "besides, where would grandma eat?!" um... how about at any of my dad's SEVEN other siblings houses?! seriously. she just is getting into this habit of guilt tripping and i'm going to put a stop to it and condition her to stop before she starts or i'm going to go crazy.

as for the smoking thing, she said when craig and i are home, they will go outside into the garage, out of respect for me, which is just fine. they ARE my lungs after all... :D

devon said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Melissa said...

Hey Devon, I've had this problem before. Rob hated staying at my parents' house because my mom smoked in the house. He used to ask me to ask my mom to smoke outside, but I didn't feel like that was something I could do. So instead, I made jokes about how bad she smelled after she smoked and stuff. And I'd ask her to quit. She just ignored me or told me that smoking was her only joy.

Then about six months ago she went into the hospital. Her blood pressure dropped to like 70/40 and even went into the ICU. It wasn't directly due to her smoking but had a lot to do with being malnourished and generally unhealthy. During the week she was there, she noticed most of the other elderly people in the hospital rooms breathing into these respirator things. The doctor told her that they had emphysema and that would be her in a few years.

Ever since then she quit smoking. I couldn't be more proud. I always felt bad saying something to her but I wanted her to quit so badly! When I was in 6th grade, my teacher said that she quit smoking because her daughter told her that if she died from it, she wouldn't go to her funeral. So I thought maybe I could change my mom's mind. Turns out I couldn't, but luckily something else did.

I don't think you should have to button it on up with your family. I mean, if you can't be honest with them, who can you be honest with?