Mother's Day was an interesting mix of sweetness and light and, well, my family this year. Osi and Jack made me the most delicious pancakes, let me sleep past 10 a.m. and presented me with lovely cards and a gift card for a massage. A fantastic morning!
Noon brought my own mother (towing dad) into town and my sister (now a single mother) right behind. Mom got straight down to business telling me what a frustrating day that had had yesterday and that I would Have to excuse her if she seemed "less than enthusiastic" today. Okaaayyyy...
My sister was in a funk all her own. She is in the middle of what is turning out to be a very nasty divorce with a man who turned out to be a really nasty porcine excuse for a human. She has had a rough year ans was particularly mopy. I guess, understandably.
let us remember that I was having a perfectly lovely Mother's Day. Until the sisters Doom and Gloom showed up.
Since it was lunch time, I thought I would start asking what people might like to do about being fed. I asked. And asked. And then asked some more.For about 35 minutes, actually. I was hungry, dammit! (Don't let momma get hungry, especially on a Sunday. She will eat her young and probably yours, too.) My family continued to ignore my request for information (and fed off each other's foul moods).
As my mother so eloquently put it in this morning's e-mail, I "stomped off" upstairs telling the remaining people to decide what they want to do about lunch. My sister, ever the drama-lover, said to my mom with Osi within earshot "Well the last thing I need today is for her to be bitching at me." Here is my thought on that: If that was the last thing you needed, how about you and Grumpy Grammy take your pity party on out to brunch?
My sister and brother - both younger - sarcastically refer to me as the good kid. It isn't that I am particularly good. It is that I made a lot of the same mistakes they did in private - either at college a good 2 hours away from mom and dad, or once I was living on my own. Since my sister didn't move out of their house until she was married and by brother just 2 or 3 years ago, mom and dad got to see - sometimes in gruesome detail - the mistakes they were making. Oh, I made 85% of those mistakes - just never felt the need to share them with the folks.
So here is the problem: Apparently by snapping yesterday, I challenged everyone's perceived role. Melissa is usually the one making the stink (ask me sometime about Christmas last year, the final straw on the Conversion Camel's back) and I try to make peace. I guess Gloom and Doom were the only ones allowed to think their Mother's Day was stinking. The irony is, mine would have been damn near perfect without their presence.
I think in every family, everyone has their role. What happens when you challenge those? In my experience, all hell breaks lose (thus the exchange of angry phone calls and e-mails over the last 12 hours). What happens when the good kid snaps or the family screw-up makes good?
After 30 years in these roles, I don't think people know what to do with themselves.