mnvnjnsn's Diary

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The Visit

I think every visit from my mother and That Woman is just a variation on a theme. People keep asking me why I get all weird right before they visit, and I think it's because I know what's going to happen, I know how it's going to make me feel, and there isn't anything I can do about it.

And it's not only That Woman any more. My own mother is just as bad. They always come up for my niece's or nephew's birthday, so the plan is always: They fly in, rent a car, drive to my sister's and then go shopping (because everyone knows there's no shopping in California). This visit they had an extra day for the shopping, so we met up with them for brunch on Thursday. That Woman never does anything completely outrageous anymore, just throws out little weird questions or behaviours that are both puzzling and annoying. My mother has picked up that habit as well. Between the two of them, I was privy to a story that ended up with the admission that Estelle peed her pants. Shortly thereafter, my mother asked "Is your neck as short as mine is?" How does one respond to thing like that?

Then the standard visit program began. Since they stayed at her house, K bore the brunt of close contact with them, but she has a lot more patience than I do. I had to live with their bizarre Laurel and Hardy teamwork routine for five years, and so I have a hell of a lot more anger stored in every nook and cranny of my soul.

The following things are guaranteed to happen during every visit:

-- An embarrassing anecdote will be brought up. Favorite topics include that time when I ate all that stuff, how I wronged a sibling when I was six or seven, that time when that guy called me short at the parade, or that one phrase I said once that was just so funny and look how crazy I was to say that.

--Estelle will refer to my nephew as her "handsome little man." She will also at some point turn to my niece and hiss "we don't do that."

--An inappropriate topic of conversation will be brought up in a public place, usually a restaurant. Witness the peeing of pants story above.

--I will, at some point, get extremely offended-- at something that wouldn't normally be a big deal-- and take it out with vicious remarks at my mother.

Trevor Dunnigan loves witnessing the random and insane things both of them do, and on the surface I laugh with him and thank the gods that we only see them twice a year. But seeing Estelle and Mom always leaves me irritated and anxious. It takes me at least a week to detox, and I can't even pinpoint what exactly got my goat and why I take everything so seriously.

I swear, I'm all worked up and irritated just typing this. Grrrrr. Arrrrgh.

9:45 p.m. - 2006-08-06


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