Thursday, August 14, 2008

Speaking Out

Yesterday, I had an overnight visit with my mother, my younger brothers, my youngest sister, and their cat. (Yeah... And my cat's been pretty mellow today. Usually he's running around, clawing me alive and trying to eat my flesh, but today, he's been pretty tame...)

Usual run of the mill, they expect me to feed them (even though I have hardly enough for myself and am having a few financial troubles), take much more than they give, mom complains about any DVDs that get played, she complains about everything, tells me boring stuff about their life in Nebo, blah, blah, blah.

As it was a Wednesday night, they asked "There's Youth Group tonight, right?"

I looked back at them blankly, half amused that THAT little fact hasn't gotten to them yet. (With the exception of Arthur, who I told in June, asking him to keep it secret... Good going, Arthur!) Finally, mom came out and asked me why I didn't answer the question.

"You know, it's funny that people in Scotland and Australia know I haven't been with the Youth Group since March, and you don't," I told her.

(Yes, if you don't know, or are not one of them, I do have international friends...)

"Well, that's why there's a thing called communication!" she retorted.

I almost laughed. She hardly communicates with us, often I would get announcements that they were visiting the same day that they were coming. In fact, earlier that day, they had gone to CiCi's Pizza, Dad had even left my apartment to catch the bus there, and for some reason, no one said, "Hey, want to come?" (I even could have paid for myself, though, upon reflection, I wasn't really hungry.)

So, later she says to me, "I think I need to leave your Dad." She explains he "goes through the motions" instead of really loving her.

So... wait... he gave up a good job that let him provide for his family when you asked him to, he works hard at a night job and sends almost all of his check to you, always provided for his family, and you say he just goes through the motions. (Which by the way, was a terribly misunderstood reference to the brilliant Matthew West song "The Motions.") I think someone is just having some super-human expectations of their husband...

Later, she pulls a pack of index cards cut in half and asks if I want to play "Baby Trivia," which turns out to be trivia questions about her kids, herself, Dad, and my niece Amber. And many of these questions referred to events we'd rather forget. ("Which kid poured hot oatmeal down their pants?" Why don't you just slit my skin with a razor blade and rub in some salt while you're asking these?)

This morning, she asked me if I had a "Love Interest." (A reference to The Movie Hero, a brilliant independent film, that I'd let them watch the previous night.) She asked if I maybe had a secret girlfriend, or if I was admiring someone, and if that someone's name began with an "L," she had a pin I could wear over my heart. (Mom, I still care about Lindsay, but I haven't seen her in a very long time, and heard from her in less than that time.)

Right now, I have opted not to actively pursue a romantic relationship should anything happen where I might have to provide for another, or possibly two, people...

Besides, if I was dating or seeing someone, she wouldn't approve of them, so why bother telling her? She doesn't approve of Shaun, Audrey's fiance, or Jessica, Aaron's wife.

Oh, and this morning, while I just had a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast (as I usually do), they made French Toast with my bread, eggs, milk, and even my Imitation Vanilla. (Why do I even have that? Well, I guess Audrey bought it, but still, I've never used it.) And was I offered any or asked if they could use them? Nope.

I do appreciate that they cleared up the coffee and kitchen table and washed dishes, but seriously, is common courtesy now lost among immediate family? (Such as flushing the toilet or turning off ALL of the lights when you leave...)

But, I was glad I could finally tell her some things flat out, the Youth Group leaving, and also that they should consider moving back to Springfield. (Seriously, does she expect her marriage to work if she just moves to Tulsa to "start a homeless ministry" while she still has a Type-1 Diabetic child to care for?)

I would seriously not mind moving out of the country and just forgetting to tell them, just to tee them off... That'd be a blast!

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