Monday, June 29, 2009


The above photo? The source of much contention. And the source of my desire to really lay down some boundaries this summer. Because my mother would not know a boundary if it slapped her in the face.

Her behavior at my party was actually pretty good. Well, most folks would say this because they did not witness her full behavior.

My father had volunteered to bring wine. I quickly said, "Yes," since his taste is out of my usual price range. I was floored when he showed up with a full case. And then my real mom called late Saturday afternoon. She said that my mom had told her of my request to bring an ice chest. (I did this because I knew that she would freak out when she saw my dad had brought wine. Because it's always about her. And how she has been wronged.) They had an extra large ice bucket and volunteered to bring it. And then my real mom asked if I had anything sweet. I said that there was a cake. She suggested fruit and I told her to go pick it up.

And so in those two actions -- the wine and the fruit -- I made sure that I was the bad guy. I was told, "You let these other people bring things but you don't want my help and I'm mad at you."

I kind of figured this when she walked in the door so I asked for help on the eggs as I was still finishing food. Actually she didn't offer to help originally. As the second person to arrive, she announced, "I'm hungry. Can I eat now or what?" And crazy me just wanted to be done with the food and so enlisted her "help."

It started with the peeling of the eggs. The shells were sticking and I was informed that I should have peeled them while they were warm. Doesn't matter that I have been known to boil a few eggs for future salads and place them in the fridge for future use and peel them with no problem. No, it was just another case of how I was clueless and messed everything up. And then came the point to mix the yolks with the other stuff. I pulled out my ingredient selection and was promptly told, "No one makes eggs that way." In my mind I had a Gordon Ramsay moment and told her to get the fuck out of my kitchen. But that didn't happen. And then later in the evening, I found out that she was going around to folks asking if they had tasted the eggs. And that while they may be OK, they weren't perfect because I had not had the right ingredients on hand. Luckily I did not learn this tidbit until after she had left because if I had heard it before that time, I may have lost it.

And I know y'all are wondering what the photo has to do with any of this. My dad has a friend who owns a barbecue place in Sacto. The guy was working some food event and was grilling up something like 200 slabs of ribs. My dad called to ask if I wanted some for the party. I said, "No, but I need some for me." So my dad showed up with two slabs that I promptly put into the fridge so that folks wouldn't get the wrong idea.

When my mom called to tell me that she was mad at me, she started off with, "I meant to take some of those ribs with me." Say what? And then there was, "Well, we'll just have to have them tomorrow. And I really don't feel like coming all the way out to your place so you should just bring them up to my house. Oh. And you now have all that wine and I don't have any so bring some of that along as well."

Needless to say I ignored her calls most of Sunday. Early evening I finally called her and she had started her dinner. Like I figured. But she wanted to gossip about my dad's new girlfriend. (I met her at the party.) She crowed that my dad had met this woman before my stepmother died last year and that he probably took her with him to Mexico last Christmas. There was some stuff about how my dad had lied. And then she wanted my opinion. I told her that I did not want to have the conversations with me. Her reaction was, "Fine. Why? Are you afraid your father is going to ask you about what I said?" I calmly repeated, "I'm not having this conversation right now."

Sorry to dump this on y'all but the folks I would discuss this kind of stuff with in the past all died in the last year. All I know is right now, I don't want to deal with either of them. Especially her. Because right now I'm pretty close to how I was feeling two years ago when I told her that she was a fucking bitch. And my dad told me that even if it's true, I just can't say that. And that feeling? The same as when I was 15 or so. My mother was a self-absorbed shopaholic. My dad was a lying alcoholic. But now I'm not 15. And I don't live with either of them. Nor am I dependent upon them financially in any way.

So now instead everyone else is finally going to have to suck it up. Because when I don't speak to her, she calls everyone else and drives them nuts. And for years I have been doing the phone calls to spare everyone else. (Like last Monday my mom called my dad because she hadn't heard from me in two days. Not that she tried to call me. And my dad called to say that he finally understood and would pay me to call her on a regular basis just so that she wouldn't call him.) But now I'm thinking that they'll just have to suck it up because it's seriously time for some boundaries. I mean I am 29 after all and I'm too old for this shit.


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