Monday, September 7, 2009

Who Says You Can't Go Home?

My mother is an excellent attentive interesting hostess.

I just spent a long weekend in my parents tiny home with my own family and my aunt. My sister and her family and various cousins and their significant others streamed in and out pretty regularly.

My mother feels compelled to take care of all of our - their - needs, whether they be real or imagined.

She's always done this with me. I always assumed it was some sort of sweet, although somewhat misguided, maternal thing. She likes taking care of me and I'm - what you might like to call - a little bit on the lazy side. I'm very good at being taken care of. We're a good fit.

When I was in high school and had mono (Which went undiagnosed until I was way past the stage of contagion because she insisted I was just burning the candle at both ends. Until my throat swelled shut and I couldn't swallow my own spittle. Then she felt pretty bad.) and I was resting on the couch as per doctors orders. As we had nothing as fancy as a remote control, I would just say I wanted to watch something else and she would come out from the kitchen to change the channel for me. On the TV that was fully three steps away from me. Sometimes when Tom watches South Park, Cartman and his mom make me have flashbacks. I'm not proud of that, hon, but there it is. Now would someone please bring me some Cheesy Poofs?

But I digress.

Please try not to have a heart attack and die from the shock.

So this weekend when there were so many of us in the house I noticed that it's not just me. She feels the need to take care of everyone. Sometimes it's sweet. Sometimes it's downright intrusive. Always it's well intentioned.

She packs a lunch for my unmarried cousin every day.

She had several reunions this summer which would not have been able to occur without her. She takes on too much because she fears that if she left it to anyone else it wouldn't be done right. What an awesome responsibility her life must be.

A mundane and all too typical example:

I like to read. My husband, my father, my aunt and my daughters like to read as well. My mother? Not so much. So when one of us is reading (and at least ONE of us is almost ALWAYS reading) she becomes very concerned about our comfort.

"Here, you don't have enough light."

"I do. I have enough light. I'm fine."

"Well, let me just..." at this point she leans across whoever is reading and either turns the nearest light on or turns it up a notch. "There. That's better, right?"

"I'm fine."

"Did you know that chair reclines?"

"I'm fine."

"Here." She reaches down and pops up the foot rest on the recliner. "There you go."

"Ok. Thanks. I'm fine."

"Did you want something to drink?"

"No thanks, I'm fine."

"I have Diet Coke. You like Diet Coke, right?"

"Yes."

"I'll get you one."

"Not now, thanks."

"It's right there in the fridge if you change your mind. Did you want a sandwich? I have lunchmeat. Ham and roast beef. And that good Colby cheese you like."

At this point bookmarks are usually employed and sighs are rendered.

"Oh, you're not going to read anymore?"

She cannot and will not sit down until she is certain that everyone's every possible need has been met.

When visitors come, she can't sit and chat until everyone has a beverage and perhaps a piece of cake. It doesn't really matter what they answer when she asks if they'd like a piece. They'll be getting one.

This might all be seen as nice and or sweet, but then she turns around and bitches about it. You know, "If I don't do it, it doesn't get done. I'm so tired, but there's just always so much work."

There is no winning there.

Now I'm on my way home, where I find myself in a similar situation. If I don't do it, it doesn't get done.

A lot of stuff doesn't get done.

I'm cool with that.

27 comments:

BONNIE K said...

Hate to say it, but your mom is not at all unique. There are many many moms like that! I had to laugh reading this, cause the annoying part came thru loud and clear to me. I usually get the opposite tho - how is that diet of yours coming? Have you been walking a lot lately? I'd much prefer the offer of food.

blueviolet said...

Enjoy it, every little bit of it. You will miss it SO much when it's not there.

But it sounds like you're secretly enjoying it very much. :)

MiMi said...

Oh man, the reading this is so IRRITATING, but since nobody dotes on me, I need your momma's address. I wanna piece of cake and some Diet Coke. : )

Joanna Jenkins said...

My grandmother was a lot like your mom :-) Fuss, fuss, fuss, but it was all well meaning, including the complaining :-)
xo

Lynn said...

Happy birthday, Tame-y, to yew and yew alone!

My mama isn't like your mama.
She's too much of a princess.

But my mil was!

carma said...

I love your mom!!

I need her to come here and take care of me :D

Brandy said...

I'm cool with that too. :)

My stepmom is like that in a lot of ways, especially when it comes to my dad. I think she's too accommodating if you ask me.

linda said...

Too funny! I could relate to this on a few different levels!

Truly though, your mom sounds very sweet!

Housewife Savant said...

If she offered me a diet Coke I'd throw myself on the floor and fake a hissy fit.
Do you think she'd drive to the store for Pepsi?

FYI; I like your approach much better.
I'd love to come to your house and read in peace and quiet.
(If you'd make sure to have some Pepsi in the fridge I'd get it for myself. Thanks.)

http://dkzody.wordpress.com said...

Your mom and mine (gone for 9 years) must be related. Enjoy this while she is here. There will be a day when she's not and you will miss her.

mzbehavin said...

Cake????? There's cake????? Tell me you've never turned down the cake......

Unknown Mami said...

I'm starting to get better about things not getting done.

MaryRC said...

i can see the good and bad in it. but sounds good to me, but only because im tired and i want someone to wait hand and foot on me at the moment. my mom comes to visit and its like having another child in the house, she's a tornado and always has the t.v. on full blast.. oi!

Hit 40 said...

Just let it not get done into your in the mood to cook or to clean. My mom also never believed us when we were sick. You have read on my blog that my MS is due to my overdoing it. I just need prozac.

They are from a different generation than us.

Sir Hook of Warrick aka "David K Wells" said...

Controlling, neurotic, selfless, selfish, sweet, caring, the list goes on. Perhaps your mother is all of these at once. Women are complicated creatures, but where would we be without them?

Can you hand me the remote while you get me a beer? JUST KIDDING...SORT OF!

Sir Hook Just A &*@#! Man from Warrick

Badass Geek said...

My mother is a major care taker, too. I can't do ANYTHING when I visit. She insists on doing it all herself.

Kathy B! said...

My hubby's mom is just like yours! It's nice on one hand, and on the other hand, it stresses ME out a little. Not sure why...

Welcome home :)

SPEAKING FROM THE CRIB said...

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www.speakingfromthecrib.com

SPEAKING FROM THE CRIB said...

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Simon said...

My mother is pretty similar, except that she doesn’t get on people’s nerves with her over-attentiveness, and doesn’t ever complain. I treasure her.

Tsquared417 said...

My mom shows her love with gifts...constantly...if you just happen to mention something...it shows up on your doorstep the next day. Very sweet...kinda annoying. Kind of like your story here!

Pam said...

When it comes to the "if I don't do it do , it doesn't get done" school of martyrdom, I'm very like your mom. Complaining and all. I so wish I was more like you - OK if it doesn't get done. What's your secret?

SPEAKING FROM THE CRIB said...

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Grand Pooba said...

Your mom sounds just like my mother in law! Always taking care of every body, and like you, I am okay with that ;o)

The Redhead Riter said...

I think it is also a generational thing. Women "today" tend not to have that "I will kill myself taking care of everyone else, woe is me" attitude, however, our mother's generation is filled with those kind of women.

With everyone in my family and even friends, when they irritate or aggravate me, I step back and think:

"He/She is a person just like me with wants, desires and needs. Maybe they have not been given as many opportunities to grow as I have or maybe they are stuck in a self-defeating behavior. I will love them for the best that they can be at this time."

It really helps me to keep "people" in perspective that way and hopefully others will give me the same consideration and break for my own shortcomings.

:o)

Jennifer said...

Stopping by from SITS! Being a South Park Fan the whole cheesy poofs thing cracked me up. I think at one time or another we would all like to be Eric Cartman with someone to wait on us. My Grandmother was the same way, it could be annoying at the time but now that she is gone those are some of my fondest memories of her.

Gibby said...

Mothers. Oh, mothers. I can relate to this on a few levels. My biggest fear? That I will turn into what drives me nuts. Wait, I think I already have. Dammit.