Wednesday, December 10, 2008

". . . it's impossible to get an outright approval no matter what you do so you should just do what you want to do and they'll go with it."

The whole prospect of having to enter a guilt laden battle of wills with my mother was making me nuts. I emailed her on Monday morning laying out the various scenarios and variables for Christmas. When I didn't hear back from her right away, I began to grow antsy with anticipation, sensing that perhaps I had started a shit storm with my suggestion that I might not be home for Christmas. I even emailed my cousin, looking for a rational family opinion and she assured me that I should do what I want to do.

"One thing I've learned," she said, "is that in this family sometimes it's impossible to get an outright approval (my mother for one is almost incapable of giving a compliment unless it's to herself) no matter what you do so you should just do what you want to do and they'll go with it."

Good advice.

Then last night I got my response from my mother, which really was a forwarded email from my father. Strange.


From: Dad
Sent: Tue 12/9/2008 3:54 PM
To: Mom
Subject: Re: FW: Xmas


Let's see if we can come up with some kind of solution. To "bound the problem", let me offer the following:

1. Mom and I would very much like to have you at home for Christmas. Mom would be very disappointed if you did not come for Christmas

2. Picking you up on Christmas day would be a real logistical problem.

3. You and Ms. K are welcome any time.

4. The dog is going to be a problem with (a) Nanny's allergies, (b) the cats, and (c) all of the wild little kids running around Christmas day.

Give me a call this evening so we can figure this out.



Oh boy. I summoned the courage to face the issue and call my parents. It was a halting conversation as I reassured them that I had decided to come for Christmas, but would be staying from the 25th to the 26th. Ms. K and I will celebrate Christmas Eve together -- a imperfect compromise, but a compromise nonetheless.

"You're only going to stay one day?" my mother asked.

There was an awkward silence. "Uh, yeah."

"Don't you have the whole weekend off?"

More awkward silence. "Yes, but I want to get back to Brooklyn."

I don't think my mom was very pleased.

What I didn't say, but was thinking, was that any longer of a stay would drive me nuts. Why do I feel guilty about this? Must be the latent Catholic guilt in me.


liz said...

Ah yes, the good old Catholic guilt. Your mom sounds a lot like mine - out of sight out of mind. If no one talks about her gay daughter, then her daughter must not be gay.

Compromising over the holidays can really suck. I've found we just make the time we do have together all the more special.

PartizAna said...

I've had the same problem for years now :(.