Monday, May 12, 2008

Reminiscences on Mothers Day

We had all the moms (my mom, my stepmom, and my mother in law, plus her husband), along with my brother, sister-in-law, and Ps sister over for dinner for Mother's Day. Dinner was good. We had fresh pasta with chicken and wild mushroom sauce and roasted asparagus. I am not a great cook, but I can hold my own. My mother is a terrible cook. We thought her cooking was fine when my parents were married, because it was what we ate every night (and we never went out). When my parents split up, my dad told us that we were done eating flavorless food. He started buying spices and mixing up the menu a bit. He's not a great cook either (his mixing up the menu included apple pancakes for dinner and canned chicken a la king), but his meals were better than chicken breast thrown under the broiler served with too large a portion of overcooked noodles, which was a typical meal before that.

My mother showed up already drunk, I would guess from mother's day brunch with my grandmother, since it's the only thing she did before coming over, as far as I know. Drunk enough that she was only allowed to drink water for the rest of the evening. She pretty much just sat like a lump on the couch until I went to the kitchen to cook, then she followed me and asked me inane, largely nonsensical questions (such as "are those recipes?" pointing at the cookbook open on the counter -- WTF?). I had to fight the urge to tell her to go away. Then when we sat to eat, she didn't seem to understand that I couldn't just suck it in to fit between her and the piece of furniture behind her (our dining room really isn't big enough for a luxurious dinner for 10, so it was a tight squeeze), so my stepmother kept having to pull my mother's chair out of the way with her in it, treating her like the lump she is when she gets like that. It was definitely nighttime mommy, which was disappointing. Especially disappointing because my mother always talks about how much she likes and wants to spend more time with my mother in law, who we desperately try to keep away from her to avoid the shame that comes from having a parent like her. Way to make me less afraid to let you into her presence.

Yesterday morning, P sent me to CVS to buy mother's day cards for all the moms. Buying a mother's day card for my mother is hard. The cards are all "you're the best" or "your amazingness showed me all the best things in life" or "I'm so glad I take after you." They don't make cards that say "Thanks for being a drunk and repeatedly crashing the family car and not coming home to read me a story like you promised. It taught me not to count on people which has kept me from being too disappointed in life." Or "Thanks for walking out on us on Christmas. It taught me not to expect too much from holidays." Not that I'd have the guts to give such a card if they made it, but it'd be nice if Hallmark acknowledged that some people have complicated relationships with their mothers.

Happy belated mother's day, everyone.

5 comments:

Sara said...

Ugh, I'm sorry you got such a bad hand in the mom lottery. You deserve better.

Jen said...

Yeah, that sucks that your mom behaved like that. I'm sorry that Mother's Day wasn't more special for you.

Dinner sounds amazing though. Happy Mother's Day to you.

Katie said...

I am sorry.

sushilover said...

I'm with you on the mother's day card. I've resorted to just buying blank ones for my mom because I've never been able to find one that says quite frankly "thanks for showing me what I don't want to be like when I grow up".

mo*reezy said...

I join this chorus of ladies who feel sad that you have this crap to deal with. It sucks, and I'm sorry it's not easy to express it.