Saturday, October 04, 2008

I need glasses

At her request, i went over to my mother's house a few days ago in order to help her throw things away. My parents are preparing to move into smaller accomodations and thus need to cram 7 rooms of shit into a 3 room bag.

It was kind of fun, in an 'i need earplugs' sort of a way. (My mother's middle name is Prolix.) I pulled stuff off her kitchen shelves, some of which she hadn't been able to reach for years, put it on the counter and stepped back. She looked at the 14 adorable little pitchers she has collected over the years and declared she needed them all.

But i am made of stronger stuff than that. I told her to "pick three of them. I'm putting the rest into the Goodwill box." And she did, after pleading with me for a few minutes.

Then it was on to the dishes. I am not making this up, i counted 57 drinking glasses, from 7 different sets. (This does not include the wine glasses, flutes, cordial glasses, shot glasses, martini glasses, DOF glasses, margarita glasses or brandy snifters. My parents like to drink.) Now she has 16 drinking glasses from two sets.

I have to admit, i get a thrill from ordering her around.

It's because my mother is now afraid of me, when for years she had no problem saying shitty things or exerting her power over my seven/nine/thirteen year old self.

My only consolation for admitting to that little thrill is i am much nicer than she was when she held the power.

33 comments:

Dianne said...

As long as you don't enjoy the power too too much ;)

H.E.Eigler said...

woah, that's a lot of glasses! I am of firm belief that it is a good thing to move house every two to four years as a means of culling the inventory.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

You've learned one of life's most difficult lessons, to offer kindness to those who treated you harshly when the roles are reversed. I know how very hard that is. Good for you!!

I hope you found a few goodies in there for yourself.

flutter said...

I have absolutely no doubt that you are.

Cheesy said...

Can I adopt you as my daughter for a cleaning visit??

Sienna said...

I still wonder how they got like that Meno, what was it they said to justify it, in their own mind(s)..(their behaviour), toward children.

Kind of the unanswered stuff...still tinkers/lingers around. Maybe they don't even know themselves?

Life is never dull!

Daisy said...

Hugs. ANd handing you a martini, in your choice of glasses.

meno said...

dianne, i try not to....

h.e.eigler, that is so true. We just collect so much stuff.

hearts, i'm just not able to be that casually mean.

flutter, well, sometimes i TALK mean, when she's not around.

cheesy, absolutley. Will you do what i say?

pam, i think it was just casual indifference. That's how you treated kids.

daisy, thank you very much. Olives please.

Imez said...

There is a lot of google hits for Prolix. Your entry would be all the more interesting if the petroleum lubricant definition was the one you were referring to for your mother.

I remember entries about how disappointed your mom was in your height and size. In fact, I think that was the entry that hooked me.

Every time she crosses the line now, take another glass away.

Mrs. Chili said...

It's not the POWER, but the way it's ADMINISTERED that matters. That you can be nicer to her than she was to you means you learned and grew, and that's what's important.

Sober Briquette said...

Tony spent the day yesterday helping his mother clean up her basement (she had -has?- mice). Except instead of Goodwill getting the tart pans, muffin pans, double pound cake pan, and corning ware, I give you one guess where it went.

Yup.

I don't mind so much. I kinda wanted to check out your mom's pitchers.

patches said...

Is being afraid the transition between nasty and nice?

Two years ago I was helping my mom pack up things and paint so she could sell her house and downsize. Now, she still hasn't contacted a realtor, and she's talking about ripping out carpet and having floors refinished...not moving. Missed opportunities.

peevish said...

what are DOF glasses? I keep thinking in photography terms: depth of field. But that can't be right.

Congrats for getting through this with grace.

meno said...

imez, heh! She hasn't crossed the line with ME in quite a while. But my poor dad...

mrs. chili, i couldn't bear to treat someone like that.

de, i eas able to be there to say NO! And i did, lots.

patches, pretty close, i would say that not being afraid allowed the transistion. Whenever i talk to you, i am so glad that my parents are taking their fate into their own hands.

peevish, Double Old Fashioned. My parents are from the generation where you drink until your head caves in.

Vanessa said...

Enjoy the power! I've always said Karma is a beautiful thing!

fiwa said...

You must have been looking forward to that day like you do going to the dentist. But good for you for doing it anway - and doing it with grace.

QT said...

I'd like to think of it in terms of resolve vs. power, m'dear.

And that you have in buckets.

Maggie said...

decluttering your life is one of the best feelings. debunking the momster myth is the best feeling!

jen said...

this is ebay heaven.

The Real Mother Hen said...

I never upsize, because I don't want to downsize someday in the future. So I've only a few glasses. If you come, remember to bring your own glass hahaha :)

Mary said...

I'm glad I'm not the "good daughter" in this respect - there are 2 others who will have to do this kind of thing. I don't know if I could be as graceful as you are towards my parents, although I try. It's hard when they truly don't think anything they did was out of line.

Sally Forth said...

Well done meno! Congratulations on getting through the day. Now, go pour yourself a double Old-Fashioned, you've earned it!

Cheesy said...

HA! No .. you have to make me....

Susanne said...

And then I had to look up DOF glasses. (And I didn't get the post title for ages because I was so set on reading glasses.)
Also I resist the urge to count our glasses. Two thirds of them are tucked away in the attic and out in the garage because we only use them when we're throwing huge parties. Which we used to do twice a year but haven't for ages.

At least if I had to move to an apartment I would know which glasses to keep (the ones in the kitchen), and which to toss (all the others).

furiousBall said...

make her change your sparkplugs

TTQ said...

My mom has been slowly purging stuff for the past 6 years, she had such a hard time with my grandmother's stuff I think she figures this way we won't spend months looking at everything and picking and choosing. The cool thing is that we get grandma's good things slowly and nobody died. My mom is going modern and sleek. Or maybe she's slowly moving into my house, either way it's getting done. I have the honor of taking mom in when she is too old to be by herself or she blows all her money (which is fine too cause I like her new house stuff too and we wear the same size.) My mom is pretty damn cool. Oh fuck did I just say that???

Brad said...

Can I sign up for Mom management lessons ?

Diane Mandy said...

I'm calling you sergeant meno from now on!

meno said...

vanessa, i do enjoy it, a little, but mainly i avoid her.

fiwa, you only say that because you don't know just how much i hate the dentist. So, yeah.

qt, that's much more apt than my description.

maggie, well, i can think of one or two things that feel better, but these are up at the top.

jen, but that takes technical skilz, which i am not willing to supply.

mary, that makes me wonder all the time. Would one little "I'm sorry" be so hard? Apparently so.

sally, your wish is my command!

cheesy, bring it on! I'm ready.

susanne, lucky you have an attic. Can you still get into it with all the glasses?

furious, :) Only if i didn't value my car.

ttq, it's cool to like your mom. I'm jealous actually.

brad, it's much easier to give advice than to take it, so SURE!

diane, SNAP TO IT MAGGOTS! I think i like that.

Joan said...

If you come over to my house and do the same for me, I promise to be a good little girl and throw away anything you tell me throw away, give away anything you tell me to give away and do anything else you order me to do. Deal???

sari said...

At least you try. I hate the "afraid of" stage of life. I try really hard to not ever be the mom that they grow up and hate, though I have my faults for sure.

tt said...

I completely understand!!!!!!!!!!!!
WE do it nicer cuz...we know how it felt.
I think it's powerful to throw stuff out! I love it.

Maggie said...

oh, ok you're right. eating a good steak would really surpass this...heh