Monday, December 14, 2009

Going for a guilt trip

A phone call from my mother.

She just wants to "drop off" a little present for Em on Sunday. Would that be all right?

So i invite them to come and have lunch with us. Seems like the decent thing to do. They are bringing my child a present after all, and they haven't been to our new place.

After we get the directions and the details all worked out, my mom starts protesting. "Oh, are you sure it's okay? It isn't too much trouble?"

After a few more of these statements, which i have answered with "Oh, no, it's okay" i realize something else is going on, and i say, "Why are you questioning me?"

"Oh," she says, "i had just hoped that YOU would call us."

Ah.

After she hung up it took me a few moments to identify the emotion i was feeling.


Guilt.

Which was exactly her intention. Which made the guilt shift to mad. I do mad better than guilt anyway.

13 comments:

The Topiary Cow said...

But wait a minute, didn't SHE call you? So why were you supposed to call her?

Well, guilt is definitely a dragon to be slain, and the worst is when they die and you still feel guilty that you didn't do more....

Sorry! Good luck with the visit, is what Cow MEANT to say!

Moo!

Bob said...

If I go too long without calling, my mom lays a bit of a guilt trip on me too. For some reason, if there is news (or not) it is our ( the children's) responsibility to inform our parents. I always tell my mom that her phone can make outgoing calls too.

Magpie said...

Oy. Strength, friend.

Maggie said...

I think somewhere there is a guilt class for mothers. I haven't found it yet, which is why I haven't attended. Well that and I wouldn't attend anyways.

If she wanted to talk to you, doesn't it make sense for her to call you? After all, you didn't know she wanted to talk to you. Unless of course my suspicions are correct and you secretly hide the fact that you carry a mega-mind-reading-energy-sapping brain which you keep in check in order not to engulf the whole universe. Do you?

As if said...

Direct communication is such a faux pas.

Clowncar said...

She's good.

meno said...

top cow, are you trying to inject LOGIC into this situation? Silly cow.

bob, i like it, i'll have to use that line on my mother.

magpie, i wonder why she doesn't realize that this shit makes me LESS likely to call.

maggie, you caught me. I do. I just ignore them when it's my mom. :)

as if, and seeming impossible for some folks.

clowncar, actually, she's pretty transparent.

Gina said...

I swear, we have the same mother.

Robin said...

she kinda has a point. what WERE you waiting for...Christmas?

eh. it's christmas. i miss my mommy. you have one. i'll get back on your side after new year's.

;-)

nick said...

Oh, this is a rerun of all that family stuff you were talking about before. Why don't you ever call me? Why don't you ever call ME? Etc. No wonder you don't call if she immediately lays a guilt trip on you. I guess all you can do is try to ignore the emotional garbage and enjoy the lunch and the rare get-together.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Are you sure we're not sisters? MY mother was born with a silver cross in her back. My childhood ran on guilt and she could have run entire empires and fueled her own Crusades with it, she was that skilled.

She was the picture book Jewish mother, but I never got to be a princess. I'm still mad about that.

luckyzmom said...

But, it starts with hurt. Why would she point this out to you if not to make you feel bad?

sari said...

Someday if we ever meet we can have a nice long conversation about all this crap, I am so in there with you on all the manipulatory nuances of mothers.

Or, not. And we won't feel guilty about it! I promise!!