Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Mother Christmas

On Thanksgiving, my church, MCC of Tampa had a huge Thanksgiving dinner. Everyone brought a dish and there was so much food that at the end of the meal, they were begging people to take stuff home.

Now normally, I cook at Thanksgiving so, at first I thought I might skip that tradition and just eat there. Especially since Daniel and his wife live far enough away that they don't want to drive back and forth for the next several days just to help us eat the leftovers. Not to mention, I'm the second stop they make that day so, they don't eat much and I don't know how to cook just a little. But, as fate would have it, I wound up cooking anyway as Daniel bought a turkey. Also because I wanted to attend the church meal, I moved my dinner to six o'clock in the evening. I figured that would be sufficient time for the lunch to settle and everyone's appetite return. Plus, I could attend the church meal, and still have time to prepare the last of the side dishes afterwards. As a nice gesture, I invited my mother to attend the church dinner. At first she refused as if by saying no, I would change my plans and stay and cook. When it began to sink in that I wasn't going to be guilted into that, she relented and said she would go. The service was nontraditional as always. I mean, we are a predominately gay and lesbian church so, scripture is often used as a metaphor to our plight in this world. They spoke about people who have torn us down and told us we weren't loveable, etc., This was very riveting as it was as if my mother was being told off in a way, I could have never found the words to do. Needless to say, she sat there like a bloated up old toad. At the end of the service there is always communion. No one is ever turned away. You don't have to be a member of our church or any church to receive it. They go by rows and you just go up to the front or back of the church where the ministers are standing to participate. The reverend, being kind, came directly to my mother as she was in a wheel chair and asked if she would like to receive communion. "NO!" was what she said in a very cross tone. It was embarrassing to say the least but, comical too.

Let me give you a post script here: We never invite my brother to our dinner. After 10 years of asking him and hearing every excuse under the sun and then finally no answer what-so-ever to our invitation, we stopped. This year, my mother took it upon herself to invite my brother to my house and then told me that she had done it with the statement "I hope he will be welcome." I told her I had never shut the door in his face but, that I had said years ago I would not be extending another invitation. Behind her back we were all whispering how he would no show and we were correct. Now lets jump forward to Christmas, shall we?

I just went down to check her central air and heating as she said the air condition wasn't coming on. That is because she had it on heat and had cranked it up to 79 degrees. The poor dog didn't know whether to shed or sit in it's water dish.

While I'm there, she asked me when I was having Christmas dinner. I said I didn't know.

Insert info here: My youngest son Dane moved in with his girlfriend the Friday after Thanksgiving.

I explained that it seemed silly to cook a lot (kind of like at Thanksgiving) since Lori has to work, Daniel and his family will hit is wife's family first and I have no idea when Dane will come around but, I'm sure it won't be early. I said I hadn't even given any thought to what I was having or anything. The conversation went like this:

Mom: Well, I'll pay for the ham.
Me: Why? Is David coming?
Mom: He would have come Thanksgiving but you had it to late.
Me: Six o'clock is not late. Lots of people eat in the evening. Not everyone eats right at the stroke of twelve.
Mom: Well, it was to late for him. He has to drive back around that time. (He lives in New Port Richey)
Me: Hey, I'm not going to shift around my entire day to suit David's schedule when 99% of the time he never calls or shows up.
Mom: Is your church planning a meal?
Me: They are Christmas Eve and I'm going to that. [they are during the day too but, I didn't mention it because I could tell she was wanting to be mean.]
Mom: Well, I'm not going!!!
Me: I didn't ask you.
Mom: I know you didn't but I'm telling you anyway.
Me: That's fine.

Now can you believe that? That is what I grew up with. Hatefulness and the constant reinforcement that my brother's time and presence was much more valuable than that of my own. He on the other hand, has that air about him that he could, should he choose, walk on water. Amazing that you could adopt two children who are biologically related and divide them to the degree she has but, I digress.

I'm thinking of calling the local deli and ordering a complete meal. I'll deliver it to her house on my way to church and say, ' Merry Christmas. I couldn't decide what to get you and then I realized, dinner with your son was what you wanted. Enjoy!' And then leave. I'm betting he will show some time that day. It might be late but, his reasons are always fine with her. What do you think?

4 comments:

Tina-cious.com said...

Ya know -- the older generations tend to have a "men are never wrong" way about them.

I've grown up with it too.

Women are daft and silly and emotional and men are leaders adn our supporters.

You can't fight ignorance like that...

Your church sounds so much better than that -- ehem -- "other" church. ;)

Jess said...

I think that once someone is elderly and set in their ways it's hard to change them. I'd have the dinner at your house, smaller scale, and if your brother shows up, let him. Or you could always cook at mom's and have whoever wants to show up, eat there.

Or just don't cook or buy a meal at all. Go to the thing at the church if that is more comfortable for you. I believe that we should be with our families for the holidays, but that doesn't ever have to mean blood relatives.

:)

Darlene said...

LOL True true. But, that wasn't the part that angered me. I'm pretty use to her making an a$$ of herself over my brother. It was her hatefulness toward things that are important or mean anything to me. I guess it didn't come out in my blog but, her tone and mannerisms were such that I truly wanted to tell her to go be someone elses Christmas burden and leave me alone. Truthfully? My brother cooks and has a home but he doesn't want her.

Darlene said...

Yes I agree Jess. The elderly are set in their ways. And if they are in ill health, they can also become self absorbed, bitter and mean as my mother has. I've cooked holiday dinners for the past 25 years. Years ago she use to offer to pay for some of it but, I quickly learned that was an open invitation then to all the relatives she liked who sponge off her and do nothing for her that I loathe. I tried lugging it all down to her house once. It was a lot of work (She has nothing to cook with any more as the sponges took everything not nailed down.) Then she found the balls to give the food away in large quantities leaving me with crumbs and the cleanup.
Personally, I believe in spending the holidays with your family of choice and that is what I aspire to being able to do. I like the way you included EVERYTHING in your comment. Lots of suggestions there! LOL