Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Happy Birthday to My Mother

     I'm writing this post with the tiniest bit of trepidation.  The internet makes the world a smaller place, and in some cases that's good, but in some cases it can be bad.  In this case, I'd like to tell the story of my family's response to my mother's impending 60th birthday.  It is not an overly flattering family portrait.  Were they to stumble upon this, they would be insulted.  I'm taking the chance that they will never ever stumble upon this, for many reasons, not the least of which is just how damn busy they are.
     All of my emails and responses have been reasonable, yet I can’t help but think they will find a way to make them unreasonable.  Somehow my two to three line emails are a giant interruption to their lives, not to mention the apparent impending chaos I am proposing. 
-You want US to do something?  For her BIRTHDAY?  Are you the DEVIL?
-Yes, apparently I am.
I simply wanted to know if they were chipping in for some cheesy heart-shaped candy-filled canister with all of our names on it.  And if so, can I get in on that, because I am not about to go to the trouble of doing it myself?  Also, frankly, it gives them the chance to not be upstaged.  Because if I’m left to my own devises, I will pull out the most thoughtful heartwarming gift anyone has ever seen.  Really, I’m trying to save them from embarrassment.  However, I get responses stating that they don’t have time to think of frivolous things like their mother’s birthday because they are too warn down from that little thing called life.  Something they have and have to work hard for, and something that I will never understand.  At least that’s how I infer it.  And usually I’m right about these things, because as I’ve mentioned, I’m a bit smarter than they are, and frankly I think more about it.
     Sister’s email was a two line response about sleep and work, and that’s all she had time for.  Wow.  Amazing.  Brothers-wife’s email was in a similar vain; things are just so busy she hasn’t even stopped for a second to notice that it was October.  Somehow these responses were very condescending.  I beg of them to take a moment or two before hitting reply.  Read the email.  Count to ten.  Construct your response.  Then press reply and write a simple, thought-out, well-meaning response.  Perhaps instead of “I’m so busy all of the time I haven’t even considered starting to think about inane things like your mother’s 60th birthday,” you could write something more along the lines of “You bring up a good point.  We haven’t put our heads together yet, but we will let you know if we come up with anything.  Do you have any suggestions?”  The other bit of it was she simply repeated information to me that I had already provided.  I said “I talked to mom and she said her plan was to X.”  Brothers-wife responds with “well, she’s doing X.  Other than that, I don’t know.”  Yes, I already know she’s doing X.  However, X has nothing to do with her birthday.  Is it too damn hard to say “Oh, we’ll get her a card.”  “We’ll call her.”  Anything?  Jeez. 
      I shouldn’t be worked up about this, but I can see where it’s going, because the main thing about my family is they never ever change.  Lessons are never learned.  I mean, I can learn them, but that’s mostly why I moved away.  The lesson I learned was “don’t live near these people.” 

No comments:

Post a Comment