Not Going My Way

You all, this has not been my favorite week. I think it sums it up to say that things just aren’t going my way and haven’t been for awhile. I feel pretty powerless most of the time, even after carefully laying ground work and attempts at communication. That’s disappointing isn’t it? I’d like to think that if I just did everything right, this (whatever this is) wouldn’t be happening. But we both know it doesn’t work that way. I thought about calling my old therapist (we therapied of old. she, herself, is not old) but I suspect it would boil down to control (I haven’t got any) and communication (I’m not doing it right).

Here is an example: my mother volunteered to make a menu and a grocery list for the week. Although this is, in theory, a good thing, it’s more efficient for me to make the menu and shopping list and for her to do the shopping. You can read that as “I’m better at it”. I gently protested her proposal, but further attempts only antagonized her so I let it go thinking, how bad can it be? In exchange for the 20 minutes I would have spent making menus and a list, we have had to make several trips back to the store for ingredients, no lunches were planned, and none of it really accounts for everyone’s particular eating preferences. Yes, making the menus and list is a drag, but it makes the week run more smoothly. I’d rather spend the 20 minutes at once then spend three times that being part of food decisions and mediations all week*.

There are other examples of powerlessness and communication breakdowns but they are more frustrating and less easily remedied. This sort of frustration doesn’t happen that often (and it’s usually much shorter-lived) but when it does, I like to write down all the things that frustrate me as they happen. They usually seem ridiculous in retrospect and eventually give way to better things. So here is my day so far, minus the morning and everything leading up to it because, well, I just can’t.

Morning meeting kicks off with the expression, “Let’s parking lot that for today.”
I notice that I smell like beef seared in coconut oil (how does my mother generate so much smoke before 7:30am?)
I have heard the word ‘mailchimp’ five times in three minutes.
This happens: Virginia to Fight Same-Sex Marriage Ban
I wonder if it is inappropriate to write Mark Herring, VA governor, a love letter.
I watch my daughter make cookies again.
I am annoyed again at my beef smell.
My wife sends more heartening news: AG Herring Officially Files Brief Against Gay Marriage Ban
I eat a cold chicken breast, an apple, and water for lunch.
I recall when I left this morning, the beef stew in the crockpot was just beef…and onions.
I decide not to think about the words recipe, planning, or happiness for the rest of the day.
I leave off jotting down what I’m doing to talk to you all who are maybe the nicest people I know right now.

On the plus side, I get to think about gay marriage in a less gloomy way, so that’s something!

*I recognize that I could choose not to take part in these decisions and mediations but taste and variety are important to me.


17 Responses

  1. Sounds like you really need a break from your parents. You guys really need some space. I’d be going batshit crazy if I were you. Side note: I am the menu/grocery master of our house. If I let Catch do the shopping, she comes home with ten thousand things we didn’t need just because they were on sale. Drives me INSANE.

    • If I send Debra out she often comes back with exactly the things on the list and fails to read my mind about the things I didn’t put on the list. The nerve!

  2. I once sent my spouse to the store for a bunch of stuff and he returned with three correct things, six things because he ‘couldn’t find’ the other things, and a bottle of Coke (we don’t drink soda). On interrogation, this was because I wrote ‘cuke’. (This has nothing to do with his gender and everything to do with personality.)

    Sand those floors faster, people!!!

  3. “Parking lot” is a verb now? If I were AG, there is no way I would fail to prosecute that one.

  4. Intergenerational living, aww I cannot wait for it. We are actually adding on to the house in anticipation of taking in my MIL eventually. I will be looking to you for guidance because she works on my nerves on a short visit. Hopefully you will work out that middle place where everyone can fell comfortable, needed and useful.

    • A friend of mine mentioned today that parents should raise their children to be the people they want to have taking care of them. I’m pretty sure that’s what happened here!

  5. Oh sister. I hear ya. We’ve been cohabitating with my mom for almost 5 years now. It’s gotten a HELL of a lot better, but there were times when I about had to go jump off a bridge.

    I would write more encouraging things…but I’m really stuck on the word “mailchimp”. What the??????

    • I KNOW! Mailchimp? I don’t even know what that is, let alone know why we would have to use it so frequently in a group conversation. Also, five years is a very long time. It’s very possible one of them will live with us full time eventually so I’m considering this a test run!

  6. “Mom, you are SO kind to have taken over the meal planning and grocery list for me. But, I Really Enjoy it. I love thinking about recipes and finding new ones. Please, let me do the meal planning again, I’ve missed it. I would be very grateful if you’d continue grocery shopping, since I just don’t have a convenient time to go. Thanks, Mom. I love you.”

    Obviously, you know your mom, and whether the above speech would offend her. I wish you the best of luck cohabiting, it’s difficult even under good circumstances.

  7. These seemingly little domestic things are SO important for everyday comfort and happiness. I think Nicky nailed it though. I don’t even want to know what a “mailchimp” is.

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