Me, 3 weeks ago: Mom, I've been offered a job at a party store, working 10-15 hours a week in the afternoon. I understand, however, that I have prior obligations to you and the FSM. Would you be willing to work something out so I can do both jobs?
Mom, 3 weeks ago: It sounds like an excellent idea. I can spare you in the afternoons because the intern is working then. It's daylight hours and right downtown so it's probably safe. Go ahead and take the job.
Mom, yesterday: It's lucky you got that extra job at the party store. The money is actually pretty good. That was quite the little honey pot you fell into.
Mom, today: YOU'RE NEVER AROUND WHEN I NEED YOU! YOU'RE ALWAYS AT THAT DAMN PARTY STORE! WHAT'S MORE IMPORTANT TO YOU, ME OR THE FUCKING PARTY PORT?!?!?!
Me, 3 months ago: Mom, I've been offered the chance to sign up with a rowing club for the summer. I'm not joining an 8 because I know I can't make the committment to the training schedule, but I was thinking of taking up sculling, because that would give me a lot more flexibility. If I miss a practice, I won't be screwing anyone over but me. The only trouble is, it's about 45 minutes away. I would need to borrow a car to get there. Is that something you would be willing to discuss?
Mom, 3 months ago: Absolutely. We almost never need both cars in the evening, so there's no reason you can't use the Prius. I know how much you've been missing rowing. How nice that they offer a summer membership package. This will be good training for you for when you go back to England.
Me, last night: Mom, is there any difficulty with me going sculling tonight? It's Thursday, and the gang is getting together at Dominick's after for a drink.
Mom, last night: I'm not sure. I'll need one car, because I have to be at the theatre. Check with your father and see if he needs the other car. If he doesn't go ahead and go. Have fun and be safe.
Mom, this morning: NOTHING HAS BEEN DONE AROUND HERE! THIS PLACE IS A DUMP! THE FLOORS NEED VACUUMING, THE KITCHEN NEEDS CLEANING! YOU NEVER DO ANYTHING AROUND HERE! YOU'RE ALWAYS IN THAT FUCKING SCULL, GOOFING OFF AND DOING WHATEVER THE FUCK YOU WANT WITH NO CONSIDERATION FOR THE PEOPLE WHO CLOTHE AND FEED YOU!!!!
(Notice that even though I work 2 jobs, do most of the housework, and almost all of the cooking, not to mention I'm a 26 year old adult, the 'rents still feel compelled to lord the whole food and clothing thing over me. Like I've got a fucking choice.)
That's got to be a new record. I've now been yelled at twice in one morning for doing things that I asked permission to do and was sumarily granted. What the fuck? It's bad enough having to ask one's parents permission to do simple shit every fucking day when i've been living on my own for 7 years. But, they have let me live in their home for almost a year, and so I swallow my pride and for civility's sake, I ask permission. And I get screamed at anyway. where did I go wrong, here?
This is my favorite: when she yelled at me to get off my lazy ass and get cleaning (this from a woman who consistenly spends at least 2 hours every day playing video games), I pulled out a pad of paper and a pen and asked her exactly what she would like me to do. I was absolutely polite, and not snarky at all. I did this because we have been down this road before, and when I'm asked to clean, the reaction when I'm done usually goes something like this:
"Do you call this clean?"
"Um, yeah. Is anything wrong?"
"Are you blind? How can you call this clean?"
"What did I miss?"
"I SHOULDN'T HAVE TO TELL YOU WHAT YOU MISSED! LOOK AROUND YOU! I DON'T KNOW HOW I COULD POSSIBLY HAVE RAISED A CHILD WHO DOENS'T RECOGNISE FILTH WHEN SHE SEES IT! JESUS H. CHRIST THIS PLACE IS A WRECK! HOW CAN YOU POSSIBLY CALL THIS CLEAN?!?!?"
"What would you like fixed?"
"NEVER MIND. IF YOU CAN'T SEE FOR YOURSELF I'LL JUST HAVE TO DO IT. NO ONE KNOWS HOW TO DO ANYTHING AROUND HERE. I WORK ALL DAY AND ALL I ASK FOR IS A LITTLE COOPERATION, AND I GET THIS. GET OUT OF HERE, I DON'T WANT TO LOOK AT YOU!"
My esteemed mother has a case of martyritis. Unlike most people with martyritis, however, hers is not terminal. Which is, of course, the problem. So on this particular morning when she asked me to clean up, I picked up a pad and pen and asked her exactly what she wanted me to do. I wanted her to see that I was taking her request seriously and that she had my full attention, and since I am prone to forgetting things, that I was taking steps to be as thorough as possible. This is the response I got:
"DON'T GIVE ME THAT ATTITUDE. YOU KNOW DAMN WELL WHAT NEEDS DOING AROUND HERE, BUT YOU'RE CLEARLY UNWILLING TO HELP OUT. GOD FORBID YOU SHOULD DO ANY WORK AROUND HERE. FORGET IT. DON'T DO ANYTHING. I'M SORRY I ASKED. I CAN'T STAND THE FILTH BUT I CAN STAND YOUR ATTITUDE EVEN LESS, SO JUST FORGET IT. DO YOU THINK I DESERVE TO BE TREATED THAT RUDELY IN MY OWN HOME? DO YOU?"
At which point she stares at me, expecting an answer. This is her passive-agressive side coming out (normally she's just flat-out agressive). She wants a confrontation, and she wants to be right, so she's creating a lose-lose-lose situation for me. I have 3 possible choice, all equally bad. I can either...
a. Tell her what I think, that it is she who is being rude and obnoxious without provocation, that I was genuinely tyring to be helpful, and I don't know why she thinks I have an attitude problem. Even though it's true, this is one of those occasions when honesty clearly isn't the best policy, tempting though it may be.
b. Tell her what she wants to hear, that no, of course she should not be treated rudely in her own home (never mind that for the moment it's my home too), agree with her completely, and attempt to pacify her as politely as possible. This is a very difficult choice, since by this time I am so angry I am on the verge of physical violence. It's also going to be completely innefective, since I know from experience that when asked a question, even if I agree with it, she will contend that I have an attitude problem and continue to yell and scream like a banshee in labor.
c. Put down the pen and walk away slowly, to give her time to cool off from whatever has her all hot and bothered. I could opt to not play into her hand, to refuse to answer the question at all, to end the confrontation on the principle which she herself taught me, lo these many years ago: "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. Always walk away from a fight if you know you can't win."
I put down the pen. I move one foot, yes ONE FOOT, in the direction of the door. You can guess what happened.
"DON'T YOU WALK AWAY FROM ME WHEN I'M TALKING TO YOU!"
Yep. Saw that coming. Some days trying to reason with that woman is like dancing with the devil. You just know you can't win, and you never did anything wrong in the first place.
I hate my life. I hate that for the past 9 months I have been less than a person. I am not allowed to express emotion in my "home." I am not allowed to explain that sometimes I am unhappy, that the things you motherfuckers do are really inconsiderate and unfair. I am not allowed to express dissatisfaction or frustration of any kind. Such a gesture, no matter how calmly and carefully stated, is immediately perceived by the parental units as ingratitude for everything they've ever done for me, and they threaten to throw me out. Believe me, if I had anywhere else to go, I'd have taken them up on it ages ago. Then comes...
The Mind Fuck.
This occurs whenever I express any sort of excitement or happiness at the prospect of departing for England on September 21. She gets all weepy eyed and sniffs and whimpers things like "I don't want you to go. You'll be so far away, and I'm afraid you're never coming back! Don't go! Stay here! *Sniff* Don't you love me?"
"Well," think I. "When you put it like that, "NO YOU CALLUS MANIPULATIVE BITCH. I'M GETTING THE HELL OUT, I'M GOING AS FAR AS POSSIBLE, AND THE ANSWER TO THE QUESTION IN YOUR MIND THAT YOU WON'T ASK BUT I KNOW YOU'RE THINKING ("Are you leaving because of something I've don?"), is YES!"
47 days, motherfuckers... 47 days.
oh, and just for shits, a customer came in to the shop this afternoon, put a bunch of items on the counter, harassed me for 10 minutes about being out of her brand of cigarettes, then asked, "this is a cash only establishment, isn't it?"
"Yes," I replied.
"Never mind." And out she went.
Why are people going out of their way, expending their time and energy, for the sheer purpose of PISSING ME OFF?