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Beth Ethridge [userpic]

"That Woman", Formerly Known As My Mother

February 24th, 2008 (04:12 pm)

current mood: annoyed

My family moved from Brea in Orange County to Atlanta about 20 years ago. I moved back to Southern California 4 years ago. My Mother hasn’t set foot on California soil in those 20 years since we moved, and has very recently become excited about the prospect of her first visit back.

The early part of last week, my Mother gave me a call to let me know she would be passing through LA this Monday, the 25th, due to a layover on a flight from Hartsfield Airport in Atlanta to Reno to join her boyfriend on a trip. The layover was going to be from around 1pm in the afternoon until about 5pm. She expressed her interest in my picking her up and having lunch during the time she is going to be here.

I am in the second month of a new dream job, and I felt ditching half a day of work to share a quick meal with my Mom was not only something I am in no way interested in doing, but a bad idea all around. I expressed to her that perhaps her scheduling a visit over a weekend was the better option. I also recognize that her desire is based in wanting to be in California again for the first time in 20 years, and not particularly in spending time with her daughter.

Thursday morning around 3:30am I receive a phone call from my Mother telling me she has been on the phone with a woman from Delta who has helped her arrange her layover tomorrow to be from 8:50 am to 5pm tomorrow evening and she is looking forward to the visit.

I am furious. It is difficult to decide which is more horrific, her blatant disregard and dismissal of my needs and wishes, or the impressive display of how unbelievably self-absorbed this woman is obviously capable of being. She has more than validated my dislike, mistrust, and disrespect for the woman she has unfortunately become.

I have found myself in the unfortunate position of having to screw over my client tomorrow (whom I adore) in support of this woman getting what she obviously feels is suppose to happen. I am going to injure the confidence and trust my client has been so readily been giving me because the world revolves around Donna (my Mother).

I did exactly what I should have. I stood up and I told her no. I told her I could not, and would not, give her half a day tomorrow, and suggested a better time. Now she has managed to cost me even more. Most of the time living 2000 miles from Atlanta is enough distance. If I had gone any further without the assistance from a ship, I would have fallen into the ocean.

In some ways I am sitting here in shock and disbelief that 2000 miles wasn’t enough to escape from her influence, but the majority of me isn’t surprised in the least. So tomorrow I am going to leave my new client hanging in a lurch while I show up to chauffer Donna around LA and OC to indulge her fantasy of seeing California again.

You may be thinking, “Hey – but you have a choice!” No, I really don’t. I have to give her this one, and it is pissing me off. What am I going to do? Leave her sitting at LAX for 9 hours? No – I really don’t have that choice.


Posted by: Our Lady of Perpetual Meanderings (twistedcat)
Posted at: February 25th, 2008 12:52 am (UTC)
f off

dood. leave her hanging. that's bullshit. she wants to see LA? she can rent a fucking car.

your mother and my mother should go bowling together. mind you, i doubt either of them bowl, but that just increases the possibility of carnage.

Posted by: Stacy McKenna (stacymckenna)
Posted at: February 25th, 2008 03:11 am (UTC)


Leaving her at LAX for 9 hours IS an option. Fuck her.

Posted by: Elmo Q. Martin (el3mo)
Posted at: February 25th, 2008 01:08 am (UTC)

I have been on the outs with both my parents, sometimes over this very kind of selfish and inconsiderate behavior.

After many, many years my mom and I have come to a sort of understanding.
My Dad, not so much.

I feel for you on this.
If you need anything, ask.

Posted by: NobodobodoN (nobodobodon)
Posted at: February 25th, 2008 02:11 am (UTC)
El Tigre

Please do not go to LAX tomorrow.

My relationship with my parents has become immeasurable more pleasant - for them, too - since I began to establish firm boundaries with them.

Parents are like children, and will test those boundaries from time to time, but usually they behave if you maintain the boundaries when they are tested.

Posted by: You must be joking. (argentla)
Posted at: February 25th, 2008 04:29 am (UTC)

Let her sit, or drive herself around. You were very clear about what your schedule and your concerns are, and if she disregards that, it's no one's fault but her own. She'll be pissed as hell, and you'll probably have to turn off the ringer on your phone, but it draws a line.

If you buckle to her pressure, it opens the door for her to continue to fuck with you, which you don't need.

Good luck...no fun at all.

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: Edge of the Woods (edgeofthewoods)
Posted at: February 25th, 2008 01:09 pm (UTC)

I say stick to yer guns like the kitty in your avatar. Your mom is a fully grown woman, as are you - she can take care of herself and you need to do what's right with the time you've already committed. If she doesn't respect your wishes now, she *will* after you actually do what you've said you will do. If you go to her as she desires, she's just gonna pull the same shit again and again because she knows that it works.

Parents can be like kids that way - I know that my relationship with my folks improved immeasurably after I clearly stated my boundaries with them - before that our relationship would have been described as estranged... Now we actually hang out and have fun together and they're totally supportive and loving. My mom actually thanked me for standing up for myself - go figure!

Be strong - tell her you're sorry, but you have already explained your position. You can meet up with her on your own terms the next time she visits.

Edited at 2008-02-25 01:13 pm (UTC)

Posted by: peterfuhry (peterfuhry)
Posted at: February 25th, 2008 02:41 pm (UTC)
pf and xnacks

I often feel like an outcast amongst my friends because I seem to be the only one that gets along reasonably OK with his parents. Maybe the fact that it's been 15 years since I lived in the same city with them helps...

So I guess I just don't understand. But I'm going to go a little against the grain here. To me, blowing her off seems a very cruel thing to do. Maybe she deserves it, but...

In the first conversation I remember having with you, I distinctly remember picking up that you were angry about your family moving away from California when you were a child. Your mother returning to California, and being excited about it, has got to be kicking up something there.

You do have the option to not meet her, of course. There are consequences to your future relationship with her, though, and you do have to weigh that. You seem very angry with her, and incensed that you are being forced into a meeting that is not under your control. And that's understandable. And sometimes you have to make a stand. But, just off the top of my head, I imagine a woman that barely ever sees you, and actually has very little real control over you anymore, crying in some bar in LAX, and, I don't know, it just seems kind of heartless. But, I really don't know the history, and maybe she deserves it. Some people are really shitty parents, for sure.

Your mom seems clueless, to me, about the turmoil she's caused with her actions. She seems in denial about the state of your feelings about her and her visit. You could certainly make a point by not meeting her, but maybe there's a better way to express and resolve your anger about this. Maybe there isn't. But I just thought I'd throw that out there.

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