Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My Mother Medea*

*No, this is not a reference to Tyler Perry. Look further back in literature.

I know it is unusual for me to be posting two days in a row but I have a conundrum that I need assistance with. Now, I know I cannot count on my readers to provide any feedback judging from the lack of comments about the picture dilemma, but I suspect that just merely rambling on about it may help me make a decision. Let me start with a story...

Suppose you had family in El Paso. Also suppose your grandfather passed away so you have to go to the funeral. This means that you have to travel about 1200 miles with your parents round-trip. Now, offhand, you know you are obnoxious and that such close quarters are just not going to provide a good environment for family growth. Well, everything seems to go well and you are on your way back. Halfway through the trek back your mother, which we will call Medea, starts making ludicrous demands. This makes you waste about 2 hours of travel in a dull city we shall call Odessa. After two pointless hours, tempers escalate and you lose your cool and end up calling Medea, your mother, "ignorant". After this, things go horribly awry. First you refuse to listen to them so you put on earphones and drive around erratically till you find the place Medea was looking for and park. She proceeds to get out of the vehicle, slamming the door behind her. You drive off in search of something to eat while they tend to their business and try calling their phones to tell them to call you when they have concluded their business. You realize then that your dad left his cell phone on the car and Medea is not answering. So you turn around and find Medea bawling in the parking lot and your dad comes to you and tells you to just leave and drive home leaving them there. Remember home is about 300 miles away and your parents are older and not feeling well so you get out of the car and walk away telling them to take the car expecting them to cool down while they tend to their business and to call you to pick you up and have a silent, cold drive home.

Two hours later, while sitting at a park watching Kathy Griffin's TV show "My Life on the D-List" season 5 on your iPod (wow, look at all the plugs in one single sentence), you have the grim realization that they are not calling and that you are stuck about 300 miles from home with two days before you have to be at work. Also, the car they drove off in is your car. It is a grim realization indeed. End of story.

Now, since you are all experts at pretending now, let's pretend that this happened to someone you all might know. Someone like, let's say, yours truly. Now if this were yours truly's story, it would not end there. I would go on to say that, with the help of a good friend, I managed to get home 24 hours later. When I get home, I find Medea and my dad in the kitchen with visitors so I head straight into my bedroom and fall to bed exhausted as I have work in the a.m. It is later that I realize that my parents are still mad at me and are not talking to me. Now, I was expecting their anger to become subdued in a couple of days, two weeks at most. I was surprised that after a month they, and especially Medea, were not speaking to me. My birthday came and went and I got a phone call from my dad and a text message from Medea saying, "Feliz Cumpleanos y que Dios te bendiga." For those of you unfortunate enough not to know Spanish, that means "Happy Birthday and God bless you." (Well, almost. I could not figure out how to type the special "n" letter for the word year in Spanish). I felt that was a gutsy move, you know, mentioning God when she was not speaking to me. So far, the freeze is still on. My dad is talking to me more but Medea's attitude remains unaltered.

Finally, we arrive at the conundrum that prompted this whole post. Medea's birthday is coming up this week. Now, I now I should be respectful because she is my mother, and I probably should start by not calling her Medea but I am not about to go back and make all those changes in the post, but I am also still a bit hurt for being left behind and getting nothing for my birthday. What to do? Should I buy her a gift? Should I just let her birthday pass unnoticed? Should I just send her a text saying "Happy Birthday and may Nature bless you with health"? On that last one, I refuse to use God's name as she did since I don't really believe he exists and if he does, I do not want to incur his wrath by using his name in vain during a petty act of revenge against my mother.

All this just to say, what should I do? I was hoping writing all this would help me decide. I still am clueless. I will say this though. I have learned a valuable lesson. No, it is not "don't ever call your parents ignorant". It is, "don't ever call your parents ignorant when you are about 300 miles from home and they are likely to drive off in your car leaving you with no way home and freezing you out for months to the extent that they forget your birthday and then you have to make a difficult decision about how to act on their birthday because it is coming up." Yes, it is not a very widespread lesson. In fact, it is very specific. But I have learned it nonetheless.


Trinity (of haiku tofu) said...

Well, hell. You certainly do have a conundrum on your hands there. I am no sage, but I say, give you mom a little card and a present. Act normal. Next week, after she's enjoyed her My-Son-Is-A-Bigger-Person-Than-I Birthday moment, see if you can talk to her. And be nice, and honest, and tell her that you're sorry you got upset, but that she isn't the only one who lost someone. And tell her that it was a huge BLOW to be abandoned by them far from home (if this is indeed how you feel). You may have been rude for an instant, but their revenge was a little over the top.

Feel free to totally ignore me and do your own thing, of course :)

So glad you're blogging! <3 trinity

Not Typical, Yet Fun said...

Thanks for the advice. I may follow you up on that. I guess I should also stop being stubborn and try to start communicating again.

Hilly said...

I wish that you had said something more on Friday night. Well I know that you are being a bigger person for being there with her at this very moment!!!! I am proud of you, because I know how extremely difficult it is to put feelings aside and be a bigger person. My heart aches for you.

Candance said...

I think we once realized that your mother is my mother, only in Spanish. Or maybe it was Brenda and me. Anyway, little gift and a card. Be the bigger person. And maybe shame her. I didn't really mean that last part. Okay, fine. I totally did.

I'm sorry that I laughed. And that I haven't pimped your blog yet. I flirted with a boy on the phone and slept yesterday. Today, I have puppies. What the hell?

Not Typical, Yet Fun said...

Hilly, I appreciate your concern and thank you for how considerate you are. Thank you for becoming my fourth follower. You know how much it means to me to know that people are reading the blog.

Candance, I am guessing it was Brenda with whom you shared that epiphany. I only wish I would have gotten your advice earlier and bought her a present. I am all about shaming her and making her feel bad. To quote you, "I didn't really mean that last part. Okay, fine. I totally did." Also, though I am getting more readers and followers, I will never forget you were my first. As they say, you always remember your first.

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