My mom was in town over Indigenous People’s Day weekend.
All in all, things were uneventful and we had a decent enough time.
She brought a friend with who had a problem with her mouth filter, especially as she became more tired. That made our final day together a little more
biting challenging than I would have preferred.
Wow, Thing #2! You have a lovely figure. Meanwhile saying nothing to Thing #1 about her appearance or grownup-ed-ness or anything. I mean, she’s fucking 21 now, for goodness sakes! Thing #2 does have a lovely figure, but it would have been nice for her to acknowledge both of them. Also, I was mortified when The Friend-Lady said it; even a bit creeped out.
Look at you with your long legs all hanging out the bottom of your shorts like that! What the fuck?! Am I offending you? (It was totally the way she said it!) It was going to be an 80 degree day, we were going to be walking out in the sun. I thought wearing shorts would be a good idea. I’m sorry that you’re not comfortable enough with your body image to wear some shorts, too!
We went to Casa Bonita for the first time and Mom couldn’t stop asking, “What happens next?” FYI – There’s only so many times a person can say, “I don’t know, Mom. I’ve never been here before either!”, before a person explodes – I mean, weren’t you fucking listening the other 20 times I said that?!
We also made our virgin trip to the Denver Mile-Hi Flea Market and found some great (Pier 1) patio furniture for our new place ($60!!), a jacket to replace the one that had been stolen and also a DVD shelf. I will definitely be going back!
And, Saturday afternoon brought around the most interesting topic of conversation:
My father’s business…
He is a construction engineer and has been since the beginning of time. He is 85 now and in rapidly diminishing health. He wants the company, that he worked so hard for, to stay in the family name.
I understand that. Really I do.
Here’s the deal – my younger brother worked with him for almost 10 years. My brother will not go back to work with/for him and (this is key!) they get along!!!
For the past 20 years of my life, my father has hardly said handfuls of words to me. Before that, it was barely more.
He came to Thing #1’s graduation, but didn’t come for Thing #2’s. He didn’t even call to tell her “Congratulations!”
Anyway… There’s a lot to hash over…
My mother sat across a table from me in a hotel common area and offered me full partnership in my father’s business.
She tried to entice me with money and ownership and all sorts of lovely things for someone who wants stuff like that.
I explained that I am looking to take on less responsibility in my life and have more fun; that I had once expressed interest in construction and drafting and engineering but my father was the one who told me (even though I was very good at it) that I wouldn’t be able to handle working in that field and that it’s “too much for a woman”.
I reminded her that I have never, ever, not even ONCE in my life, been or done anything that is remotely acceptable or good enough for him; that there is no way I would ever want to go back to those feelings of inadequacy and failure.
And that’s not how I want to live the rest of my life. I would still feel those horrible feelings after my father passes on! Knowing that, in the grave, he still will never think I did a good job.
I had to move half-way across the country to even begin growing away from all of that nonsense!
She told me, now that Doom-n-Gloom is no longer my husband, my father was more receptive to the thought of training me to take over his business.
Pshaw! My father was squelching me and telling me I wasn’t good enough LONG before I got married!
I write this here all harsh and truthfully because this is my blog, but I delivered it to my mother with much more finesse and compassion. She wants so badly for me to move back to MN with my daughters. She wants things to be how they used to be. The only problem with that is: *I* hate the way things used to be and I would never go back to that. Not even for a million dollars. Or more.
Then I asked, “Why isn’t Dad the one talking to me about this and offering this up to me? His not being able to come to me and communicate with me openly is a big reason I would never be able to be his partner.”
Her only response was that he thought I would be more comfortable with the offer if Mom made it…
It’s possible my father isn’t even aware she talked to me about it.
Ultimately, I graciously declined their generous offer. Someone had to swallow a whole lot of pride to talk to me about it, and I respect that very much.
And I finally had a chance to say all of those things that have been waiting all this time, under my tongue, to be said.
Monday evening, after she’d gone, I thought about it more.
Tuesday I cried because I was able to let some very old and bad feelings go.
It was cathartic.