December 22, 2016

The Madness of My Mother

So here’s a story for you.

Tuesday morning at exactly 9:00am, my phone rings.  (I get seriously pissed at calls before ‘business hours’, because we sleep until 9am, sometimes.  We can do that – we homeschool.  And Monday night was no dance class – off for the holidays – so we stayed up particularly late and watched extra episodes of ‘Smallville’… so I was letting my kids sleep in.  Until this phone call.)  And yeah, the phone call pissed me off, even at 9:00am, because that’s pushin’ it.  And now my kids have been woken up.  That shit mostly only has ever happened with my mother.

So I grab the phone, look at the caller ID… and whaddya know?  It’s my mother.  My first thought is, “I’ll bet you money that woman was sitting and watching the clock, waiting for exactly 9am…”

So I answer the call.  I haven’t seen her since… was it last February that she showed up at my door for a weird visit that was more ‘I’m having hip surgery and am seeing one last time before I might possibly die‘ more than ‘I really wanted to make amends and see you guys‘.   She was antagonistic, didn’t listen to a thing the kids said, lied thru her teeth to them multiple times, played several mind games… and then disappeared again for a year.  Not that I’m complaining about the disappearing for a year thing – it’s been really, really nice.  But now, nearly one year later, she’s on my phone.

“Hello?”  I answer.
There’s a beat before she says, “Who IS this?”

My next thought is, “Oh, shit, that moron butt-dialed me, again.”  A good half of the calls I got from her when we were seeing her were butt-dials.  My name begins with ‘A’, so I was first in her address book.  It’s… stupid.  And here she is, 9am in the bleeping morning, and she doesn’t even know she’s called me?  My ire went up a little more.

“This is Anna.”  I say.
“Oh.  You sounded like Lydia.”

(!!!!!)  So… that’s why you answer the phone ‘who IS this’?  GAH!!!!

“Your dad has the week off, so we wanted to come over with The Girls and bring doughnuts and cider and have breakfast.” She tells me.  “It has to be this week, because The Girls are with their dad, next week.”

Okay, now, several things I’ve made SERIOUSLY clear.  A) We don’t do X-mess.  This phone call comes X-mess week.  Like I don’t know what this is about?  And B) My mother’s foisting of The Girls on me pisses me off.  They’re not her girls.  I don’t like or respect my sister, I don’t want to see her girls, and whenever The Girls come over, my mom turns it into a ‘our girls are better than your kids’ BS contest that I don’t want to participate in.  What I really want (and have wanted for a LONG time)?  Is for my mom to want to see us and to leave The Girls home and pay attention to MY kids for 45 blessed minutes, making THEM feel loved.  But no.  She won’t do that, it’s ALL about The Girls because that’s my mom’s new family.

So this is about an X-mess visit with The Girls.
I’m even MORE not happy than the not happy I was before.

BUT… you know me.  I have to give people chances and the benefit of the doubt.  I’m stupidly, unbelievably hopeful EVERY time she comes around.  And even with the 9am thing, the X-mess thing, the Girls thing… I say, “When would you like to come?”

“Well, this morning!”  She says.
Like, isn’t it obvious?  She’s probably on her way over, already.
That’s… not good for us.  I was planning to take the kids hiking at Connor Bayou in Grand Haven.  After that we have to take Brian’s truck for an estimate, then gussy at home before driving back to town for photos at Target, and finish with supper and grocery shopping.  I say, “We’ve already got plans for today and Thursday, but if you’d like to come tomorrow or Friday, that would be fine.”
“Tomorrow is fine.”  She says.  “Talk to you later, mbye!”

And I’m left staring at the phone in my hand.

So Brian text me few minutes later and says that the wind advisory in the lake shore counties is at 50mph winds, and I probably shouldn’t go hike on that particular day.  That’s fine, because as I come off the whole stunned thing, I’m suddenly not in the mood to go anywhere… although nothing else can be cancelled.  We just bought me some ‘recovery from what have I done‘ time.

I was concerned about them showing up with presents.  Brian hinted that the people who are following the Jewish calendar have Hanukkah on X-mess, and she might play stupid about that (even though we both know she reads my blog).  So while at Target, we bought little fancy candy bags for The Girls… just in case.

After town, pictures, shopping, etc, we are now rushing home to clean the house, vaccuum, get things in shape for them to come over.  Up until 11pm, all of us, cleaning.  I’m setting the alarm so I can get up and make coffee early, because she didn’t say when she was going to be coming.  It could be 8am, 9am, 10am… who knows.  We’re up at eight and putting on town clothes for company, putting the leaves in the table, finding extra chairs, setting out twelve place settings, refilling the sugar, breaking out the fancy creamer…

And NOTHING.

8:30am.
9:00am.
9:30am.
10:00am.
10:15am.

Homigosh, you’ve GOT to be kidding me.  Even McDonald’s only serves breakfast until 10:30!  (Well… technically that’s changed and they serve it all day, now, but only limited items.)  This is NOT funny… the kids are getting antsy from waiting.  They’re hungry.  We haven’t had school yet – have I mentioned that she knows breakfast pisses me off, because it destroys our school day? Yeah, well, that, too. – And we’re waiting.  With twelve place settings.  What do we do?

So I make an executive decision.  If they’re not here by 10:30 on the latest clock you can find in the house?  We eat without them.  If they show while we’re eating, that’s fine… we’ll apologize and try to be nice about it, okay?

 

My mother NEVER shows.

 

I’m not kidding you.  She calls, she sets this whole thing up… and then she doesn’t. show.  Not even a phone call to say, “We’re not going to be able to make it – can we take a rain check?”  Nothing!  Nada.  Just… no mother.  And honestly?  I shouldn’t be surprised.  This kind of shit is exactly the kind of shit that pushed us to separate from her, anyhow.  Well, that and some other pretty darn horrible things that’ve already been blogged to death.  But what is this?  Other than just plain inconsiderate and rotten?  Really?

Brian wanted me to call her up, but what would I say?  Does he think I want to go all bizatch on her butt?  It’s not WORTH it.  He tells me that she’s likely going to show up Thursday and say that I misunderstood the date agreed upon.  But the thing is, I would NEVER have made that mistake, because we had plans to go away Thursday morning!!!  I know that I made that clear.  And I am NOT going to be the fool in this whole fiasco!

WHY didn’t I just say no?  Why didn’t I shield my children from the asinine stupidity, inconsideration, and mind games that are my mother?  Because it is mind games, when someone gets you all psyched up for something, and then HA, SUCKER!  That’s seriously unkewl, you know that?  And yes, it just serves as yet another lesson in ‘what never to be like’… but did we really need another one of those?

On the other hand, it just drives home the fact that NOTHING has changed, with her.  She is just pulling more of the same that she’s ALWAYS pulled, and it’s as ridiculous now as it has ALWAYS been.  And we just don’t need this poison in our lives.  It’s been over 24 hours of toxic relationship issues, in our house.  A-Gain.  I need to do better at protecting my kids.  I need to grow a [bleeping] backbone and say NO.  I really do.  But always with the hope, with the benefit of the doubt.  Always.  I’m pitiful, you know this?

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