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August 5, 2005

Day 5 ... Saint Sharon, patron saint of the bitten tongue

They left for Maine Friday morning. My brother has a camp there and they were going for the weekend. Sounds fancy, hunh? A camp in Maine conjures up images of boating and lobstah and country clubs, doesn't it?

HA! Apparently, it is little more than a hunting stand. They will practically be camping. No TV, no cell phone service. You even have to pour a bucket of water into the toilet to make it flush. Still wondering why I didn't go on this trip?

Although, now that I think about it, this impression I have is only going by what my mother has told me. It's probably a perfectly nice place, a little rustic, but that is part of its charm. If I know Jack, he has been working on this place in every minute of his spare time to make it acceptable to Ma so that she will, maybe, remember the good things about it when she tells her friends about it. He knows how she works. She has a way of picking out the flaws in any situation and shining a huge spotlight on them before anyone else has a chance to point them out. It's almost a defense mechanism. It's as though she is saying "Don't tell me I'm not perfect because I know I'm not and I'll tell you before you have a chance to hurt me by criticizing me."

Here's an example. When you walk into her house, it looks immaculate. Everything matches, nothing looks out of place. She will immediately point out something that most normal people would never notice on a normal visit, like that the fringe on her new pillow doesn't match the drapes like she wanted it to. And when you try to say "oh, it looks just fine to me.", she will take the pillow over to the drapes and hold them up together and show you exactly why they don't match and complain about the person that made them or how much she paid for them until you finally agree that yes, she is right, they do not match and it is a travesty that you have to pay so much money to have things custom made only to have them not match.

Another example happened to my sister this week. They were visiting my ex-sister-in-law, Donna. Her mother, Mary, and sister, Elizabeth happened to be there for a visit so it was a happy afternoon. There is a long history there. Nothing to hide, we were all family and we all know each other warts and all. And, I have to add, there is a lot of love between our families to this day. They are good people. It's been ages since they were all together, though, so the kids went off to swim and play in the pond while the adults are on the dock catching up.

Mary asks about my oldest brother, how he is, since it's been at least 15 years since they have seen him. So my mother fills her in on his life, his ex-girlfriend ("we loved her, I don't know why he couldn't keep her. She was so young though.") and his kids (pointing out the ones that have been giving him a little trouble). Mary says "He was always so handsome, so tall and slim." though, honestly, to 5'0" Mary, everyone was pretty tall. My mother says "Yes, he's the only one of my kids that never had a weight problem."

Now, this is right in front of my sister AND my son. It's not like our family has a secret "weight problem", like we weigh more than we look like we do, which would be acceptable to her probably. The sad thing is that when you look at our mother, there is no denying where we get it from.

My sister just sat there, biting her tongue, feeling as humiliated as if my mother had asked her to strip off her clothes and let everyone see just how bad her "weight problem" is.

No, my brother, Michael, hasn't failed her by having a weight problem. He's just the alcoholic, workaholic emotionally unavailable stoic who, lucky for him, lives in California and only calls her, maybe, once a year, IF it fits into his schedule.

Right after they left for Maine, my sister called me. First words out of her mouth were "You are a saint. There is a place in heaven for you. I don't know how you put up with her."

Thank GOD, because according my Mom, I've screwed up a lot and if I didn't already have a reserved seat, I'd never get in. Besides, I don't think they let people with "weight problems" in.

No, I made the right choice by not going, though I wish I could sit and get really drunk with my sister right about now. Wait, then she would say that we have a "drinking problem", too. Hmm, wonder where we get THAT from, MOM??

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Prosemonkey published on August 5, 2005 12:08 AM.

How NOT to wake up on a Friday morning. was the previous entry in this blog.

One Two punch ... (or: Thanks for reminding me why I divorced you) is the next entry in this blog.

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