Does having a blog I know my parents don’t read in which I complain about them make me the queen of passive-aggressiveness or not?  I wonder, sometimes.

But that doesn’t prevent me from coming on here and saying that while at the same time I am irritated beyond words that they want us to drive up there for Mother’s Day, I about had to drive up to Illinois today to fight with them about it, I’m so mad.

First, Mother’s Day is two weeks away and this is the first I’ve heard about this “you should come up for Mother’s Day” shit.  And they were just here last week for a whole week.  Okay, whatever, fine.  But I just took a week off of work and while they were here, they were hinting around about how they wanted us to come up for their anniversary.  And maybe the Butcher will have a job.  Holy gods, please let the Butcher have a job.  And it’s eight hours up there.  They say I wouldn’t have to take any time off of work, but driving eight hours after work on Friday and turning around and driving eight hours back on Sunday, especially with this “You could leave after lunch” thing?  Not cutting it.

But that’s typical for them.  That’s irritates me, but not enough to want to drive up there and kick some old people.

No, it’s that though the Butcher doesn’t have a job, my dad calls me up to tell me I must go to Aldi’s and buy a gas grill for the Butcher.  Does the Butcher want a gas grill?  When I got home and asked him, he said, “what are you talking about?”  Do I even know where an Aldi’s is?  No.  And what the fuck?!  Why am I going to Aldi’s to buy a gas grill for the Butcher–which he doesn’t even want–because my dad ordered me to?!

So I say, “I’m not buying a gas grill for the Butcher.  I have to buy two hundred feet of hose because you told me to put the garden clear in the back and when I said, ‘But how will I water it?’ you said ‘I’ll get the pump on the well working’ and…”  And he says, “Fine, I’ll buy the grill [and here’s the amazing part that made me about lose my mind].  You can get it when you’re here for Mother’s day.”

If a motherfucker had said, “Hey, why don’t you guys think about coming up for Mother’s Day?”  I would have said, “I don’t know.  That presumes that the Butcher still doesn’t have a job, which is so depressing I about can’t think about it.  And while we’re doing okay, that’s a lot of money for gas and stuff, especially if you guys want us to come up for your anniversary in June, when we just saw you last week.”  And then I would have thought about it.

But no.  Because he mentioned it to the Butcher at some point and the Butcher didn’t say ‘Hell no,’ he just calls like it’s a done deal and it’s my problem to make it happen.  I just fucking hate that so much.

Do you think the recalcitrant is getting passive aggressive phonecalls demanding he come up for Mother’s Day?  No, he’s got a job and responsibilities.  You know, kids.

And that’s what gets me.  Because I don’t have a family, my life here is somehow not “real.”  My work is not important.  I’m not really an adult.  I’m somehow stuck in this weird limbo where I can be bossed around, but the assumption is that I can and will go to any lengths to meet their demands, to take care of them.

And then I hate it because he realizes he’s crossed some line of decent behavior and he has my mom call later to tell me not to buy all that hose, but to check around the house first and see if there’s not at least some of that much in the shed or in the pump house.  Which is his way of trying to smooth things over, I guess.

And I’m pissed off, too, because I overheard something yesterday I wish I hadn’t.  I’m not going to go into too much detail because it doesn’t matter, but I’ll just say that it’s apparent that someone I really like and have known a long time thinks of us as “local color” and that knowing us gives him or her access to “authentic” people.

Well, it’s kind of funny, anyway.  Maybe I’ll see if being “real folks” who are related to people who don’t have jobs and don’t care (and how I wish that were true in real life, in a way), means I can bring moonshine to work and drink it when it’s stressful.  I mean, isn’t that what all the real folks do?


I know I haven’t blogged much about the Butcher’s situation, but it’s just because it’s so damn depressing and stressful.  I know it’s weird to say, but I kind of do wish the Butcher were okay with not having a job, because I really feel so terrible for him when I see how much this is hurting his pride and his self-esteem.  I mean, I don’t even know what to say to him when he gets down about it.  “Oh don’t worry, you’ll find something.”?  The unemployement rate for people like him, with just a high school diploma, is 15% in Nashville, I heard.  I honestly don’t know if he’ll find something.  And I can’t bring myself to lie to him.

Anyway, so that’s why I haven’t been talking about it.  Yes, he’s still unemployed and yes it sucks.

So, I feel like a baby for whining about how, since he doesn’t have a job, that seems to make my parents think that we can drop everything and spend my money on doing stuff that makes them feel good.

6 thoughts on “Grrr.

  1. Just to say I understand a little bit, my father used to do this until I lost my bloody mind one day in a raging fit that in the long-term I’m glad I did. However, in the short-term it was exxxxtreeeemly uncomfortable for a while.

    Forget the moonshine. It just take the enamel off your teeth. Go with Mimosas and beer. (Or that’s what I’d do.)

  2. Ah, learning to say no to parents is the hardest thing. But it’s got to be done, because they’ll keep asking. My very real job is not a job when it comes between me and a long drag across the mountains to Mom’s house. My kid’s school schedule is merely a suggested attendance pattern when Grandma wants a visit. My brother isn’t subject to this — I am. It’s a daughter thing, I think.

    So, you’re going to have to get used to saying no. If you’re feeling flexible, it can be “It’s either May or June, not both.” if you’re not, it can be “Sorry, we’re coming up in June — remember? For your anniversary?”

  3. My unmarried and childless status seems to imply to a whole host of people and institutions that my life is perhaps not really my own and therefore at their disposal. There have been some terrible fights over the years, usually instigated by my Mom, because I dared to have other plans when she wanted something from me.

    I’m really sorry about the Butcher’s situation. Unemployment is so demoralizing it seems to cause physical pain. God knows it is exhausting and defeating in every way.

  4. I’m in the same situation as you – I have a partner, I live four hours away from my parents (on purpose!) but I don’t have kids so it’s my fault that I don’t go to visit them every five minutes. Apparently my girlfriend and I running a business is beside the point. My brother (who has kids) lives 10 minutes away from them, and my dad looks after the grandkids a few days a week, so it’s not like they’re all alone!

    Best wishes to the Butcher dealing with unemployment and all the bureaucracy that goes with it. It’s very painful.

  5. I’m sorry the ‘rents are putting this pressure on you. You’ll have to say NO, clearly and without equivocation or hint that you will change your mind. They will be shocked; they will try every trick they know to change you mind; you be stressed but you must not relent. It will get easier every time, like training a dog. It will be good practice for the day when your grown children will try the same tricks. You have a right to your life.

  6. I am married and have kids, and my mom and stepdad pull the same shit. They’re retired, and they “find the time” to travel all over the world, but heaven forbid they haven’t seen their grandaughter (they also don’t give a rip about the boys, but you didn’t hear that from me) in several months.

    My problem? I’m a “non-working” parent. So that means I’m free, right? Nevermind that I have school activities and volunteer work and two different non-cutodial parents’ schedules to work around and I don’t like being gone on pesimst’s day off since he works 60 hours a week and everything else that goes into running a household of five people and five animals. But I don’t work, so they can just issue royal demands that MUST be met.

    I’ve gotten better at working around them. It’s still not worth the fight…

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