A wonderful song by A-ha.
I’m not writing this to negatively influence anybody’s opinions about my mother, but shit like this has got to stop.
My parents recently got a tax return that was a little larger than they expected, so they paid off my mother’s college student loans. She has presumably been paying them since I was a child (as I didn’t pay attention to such things back then) and to celebrate, she and my father went out this morning for breakfast and a little shopping.
I had some laundry to do in addition to what my mother already had in the washer, so I just waited until I washed my clothes to put everything in the drier. Saves time, energy, and a drier sheet, right?
Now, my mother has always been anal about how the laundry is done. She is almost obsessive about sorting laundry into darks, lights, delicates, etc.
I do not share her enthusiasm in regards to laundry sorting. I don’t really own any delicate clothes so to speak, so I usually just throw my clothes in the washer haphazardly. My father does this as well. And my brother. In fact, my mother is the only one of us who thinks laundry sorting is of any sort of monumental importance.
Anyway, moving on. She goes down to the basement (where our washer and drier are) and I hear her indiscriminately saying something. I was watching a movie, so I didn’t catch what she said. I assumed she was just bitching about the fact that I left the laundry in the drier.
I admit, I got distracted. I rarely, if ever, get time alone in the house anymore, so I was listening to music, then watching a movie, to take advantage of this alone time.
I muted the tv and it turns out she was on a tyrade of how I put her “good” laundry in with jeans, and how apparently it turned a pair of her “good” socks blue.
I have washed these jeans many times and they have never turned any of my lighter colored clothes any shade of blue.
Now, this reminds me of once when my dad was trying to be nice and finished up some laundry my mother forgot about, due to her being really busy in the morning before work. In that instance, the first thing that came out of her mouth wasn’t “Oh, thanks for finishing up that laundry honey”, it was “OH NO, those were my GOOD clothes!”.
Really? Your husband tries to do something nice for you, and the first thing you think of is “OH NO”?
I had made up my mind not to get upset about this. I was trying to calmly dissolve the conflict. I told my mother to calm down, they’re just clothes, it’s not a big deal to be getting all angry and shouty over. Instead of maybe trying to take a step back and saying “Uh, okay, I’m angry about this, but they’re just CLOTHES” she takes an accusatory tone and says we’re making this ‘all about her’. No, we’re not. I put the laundry in. That was my decision to make. I just don’t see where it’s necessary to freak out about it.
She goes on to say “Well how would I like it if she took a pair of scissors and ruined all my clothes”.
I really don’t understand this. It’s a happy day. You made the last payment on your student loans. You went out for breakfast with your husband. There has clearly got to be something wrong if it is so easy for you to flip the switch from “Oh I’m happy it’s the weekend” to “I’m going to scream at you like you murdered someone over something as insignificant as the laundry”.
She is something of a control freak. Things have to be a certain way. They have to go where and how she wants them to go. My dad likes to make excuses for her by saying “she just has high standards”. It’s okay to have high standards. What it’s not okay to do is to have unrealistic standards and be so anal about the little things.
And, let’s be honest. I’m not trying to vilify my mother.
She does a good enough job herself.
Humor aside, I really am not trying to vilify her. There are good qualities there and I suppose I was fairly lucky growing up, as I always had food to eat and clothes to wear, but this has to stop. When I try to be reasonable with her and calm her down, it just pisses her off more. I’m not going to coddle that behavior. I’m not going to essentially be bullied. I stand up for myself now.
Yeah, I’ll pay for new socks if it’s really that big of a deal (which it’s not). And yeah. Maybe she does have the right to be annoyed with me. I give her that, but I will not excuse blowing up over such insignificant things and then turning that into a 10 minute shouting match when I try to tell her to take a step back from the whole thing.
I just can’t help but thinking… if she gets this upset over a bra, a slip, a tee shirt, and a pair of socks, I can’t imagine how she’s going to react if anything serious ever happens.
Now, I am not perfect and have surely blown up at people over little things. Every day is a struggle for me to get past my immature behavior and tendencies, but when my mother essentially throws a hissy fit over a little bit of laundry, I’m not quite sure how to react.
You can bet your ass if it was me yelling at her over something so small, she wouldn’t have it for one minute.
And perhaps I should be subject to scrutiny. I am a 25 year old who can’t yet afford to move out, but who is making (slow, but steady) strides to finally break into an adult life.
It’s just that sometimes I feel like my parents think the inconvenience of having me live at home is just felt on their part and that I’m just happily skating through, mooching off them and not caring a damn for it.
Which would of course not be true. Yeah, they drive me to work. It’s the only way I can get to work, since I can’t drive yet.
My mother keeps hounding me about getting my driver’s license back, but there are a few things that need to happen for that (getting out $240 for DOT fees, making an appointment to drive, and then taking the written AND driving tests) but that’s another entry for another day.
It’s just… yeah. It sucks for me too. You might have to always drive me to work, but I always have to be driven to work. I can’t go anywhere, or do anything, especially when it’s 20 degrees out, as it is today. Even if I did have a license, my car needs a new engine and new tires, so even if I could drive, I wouldn’t be able to afford to get my car working.
It’s just that now that I’ve got a job, “getting your license back” is their favorite gripe. Before it was “get a job, get a job, get a job”. They were convinced that my whole world would magically turn around after that.
Well, I’ve got a job, and while I am certainly in a much better spot for it, they need a gripe, so they’ve chosen the license. I imagine once I get that back, it’ll be “get your car working”. Then it’ll be something different.
Anyway… Work is imminent, so I should probably wrap this up and get ready.
I just needed to get this off my chest…