To continue on about my wedding planning weekend in Santa Barbara with my parents and Andrew's mom... I worked a full day on Friday and came home to Andrew hosting all of them at our place. The only thing I dread right off the bat in a situation like this is the noise and the energy level. It's always to the max when my dad is around. And I'm not always in the mood for it. Plus, my place is a little too small for it. I've learned to grin and bear it over the years (during those times when I'm not in the mood). But it's always a little shock to the system when I haven't been around it for a while and when it comes at me all fast and furious. I need a little time to adjust, you know?
Throughout the weekend I got a little kick out of my parents being called out on their bullshit and it happened more than once. They met Andrew's aunt and uncle for the first time Saturday morning. While we were sitting there chatting, they were telling us that his aunt's mother lives with them. Then my parents shared that my grandma lives with them also. They shared stories and talked about their mothers, the aging and the struggles. The issue of driving was brought up because they had just taken their mother to get her hair done rather than let her drive there. My dad shared that they don't want my grandma to drive so they tell her she isn't covered under their insurance and that's why she can't drive. Andrew's uncle responded, "You mean you LIE to her?" with a good amount of dramatic flare. I just about fell off the couch. They know all about my situation and the lie that was my life for 29 years. They've heard all about my parents, the good along with the bad. And they know Andrew's mom well, both the good and the bad, probably more than anyone. Their opinion on my situation is that my mom is overly emotional and my dad needs to stop lying. It's a pretty accurate assessment. But when Andrew's uncle said that, I wanted to look at him with a, "Hmmm... a lie... imagine that!?!" kind of expression on my face. But I didn't want to get caught and hurt my parents feelings, so I refrained. But I did laugh. And the whole thing was turned into a joke, "What's her name? I'm going to tell her when I meet her that you guys are lying to her." Hardy-har-har [tongue in cheek].
Later on that day walking up State street in SB, scoping out restaurants, I started to feel some pressure about the rehearsal dinner. I had family eating habits on my mind which limits restaurants quite a bit (no Mexican, no Asian, nothing "yuppie," nothing overly seasoned or at least there must be a "plain" steak option on the menu... no sauces, not crusted or blackened). I had to find a spot that wasn't too fancy and expensive but also wasn't too casual so as not to seem cheap. It can't be any food too similar to what's being served Saturday night. I kinda want it to be downtown so our guests can see more of Santa Barbara, plus I can go out with my friends to a club afterward without worrying about driving. With all of their preferences and rules on my mind, plus trying to make this a compromise with what I want, and then the stresses of the day weighing on me: we were doing a lot of walking so I was worried that my mom's back was hurting or my dad's hip or feet were hurting... I started to get flustered. My dad said not to worry about them, that they were fine. I said what was on my mind at the moment, "Well Dad, you would say you were fine until the moment you collapse dead on the street. And because you won't be honest with me about walking too much, I have to be careful and watch and gauge how you might really be feeling and that just puts all the pressure on me. Do you think I want to be responsible for you being in pain? You not being honest just puts more stress on me, it doesn't relieve any stress at all!" He then assured me that he would tell me if they were getting tired. I cautiously gave him the benefit of the doubt and just treaded on, still watching for any limping or painful grimaces.
At lunch that afternoon, we were all just sitting there chatting after we ate. The bill came and I heard the chimes of the boxing ring bell: death match for the check, round 4! My dad always grabs it first cuz he's fast. I really get pissed at him for doing that. He pays for more than his fair share and while it's generous, it's intensely frustrating for me to watch knowing what I know. My parents do not have any money left. Plain and simple. They used to own a jewelery store in Vegas but had to close it after a couple of robberies, some poor money management (ie. spending more than they have), customer loss because my sister acts like a bitch to everyone and drove customers away, plus some other things I'm sure I don't know about because HELLO, my parents lie to me. So, I hate it when they disregard their financial security in order to create an image. I've learned a thing or two about money in college, not to mention being engaged to a Jew! AHHH, that's right! I said it! Whatcha gonna do about it???? I know they aren't doing the right things with money and it makes me worry about their futures. Besides, it makes Andrew's mom feel uncomfortable to have them paying all the time. Eventually they decided to split the check. Andrew's mom told my dad that they HAVE to split checks from now on so that its fair. My dad said, "okay" and Andrew's mom responded, "Do you really mean that or are you just giving me a line of bullshit? Because I know you well enough by now..." I was sitting there in my seat giving her a silent standing ovation. Sometimes people just need to be called out on their shit, you know? My dad laughed (couldn't tell if it was fake or not) and that was the end of that.
Parents can be so frustrating but each can be a champion in his/her own right as well. Andrew's mom actually tried to help me out with the 'bio-mom at the wedding' situation. When I told her about it as it was unfolding, she asked if I wanted her to talk to my parents about it. She has her own skeletons and secrets that were revealed in the past few years, so she can relate to my mom. And she also thinks she can help calm my mom's fears because hers were similar. I also think maybe she can. But I had to be honest with her. I told her, "Yes, actually. I would love for you to talk to my mom. But I really don't think she'll receive it well. I wish she would and I appreciate the offer so much, but it's probably not an option." Every word I said was absolutely true. She decided to drop a little breadcrumb anyway and see if my parents would follow. On Friday afternoon they were all in town before we were off of work so they killed some time at a restaurant. Andrew's mom mentioned her skeletons (another adoption story). She said that my parents exchanged a glance that was a little bit intense the moment she mentioned it. So, that was a cue for her to not proceed any further. I said, "Good idea!"
So my parents kinda took some jabs this weekend. Some unintentional, some in good fun. You see, this is why they aren't close to anyone anymore, including their own family. They've created SO many lies, it's hard to keep track of. Plus as the truths come out, my parents are then embarassed about the lies and then don't want to see those people anymore. But what about Andrew's mom, you wonder? Don't worry, Andrew calls her out all the time. Her bullshit is a little less personal and less painful for him so they can be more lighthearted about it, plus his mom can take more. I can jab at my parents (as they do at me) from time to time, but not the way those 2 can. I think a little bit of that is healthy!
This weekend I also took some jabs from my mom than I wasn't prepared for. As the wedding is drawing near, she is getting more and more annoyed with my choices. There was flinching and eye-rolling and her holding her head in her hands, shaking it in disappointment that I'm not having the wedding she wants me to have. I'll tell that story next. I'm letting my anger subside a bit before I go off on that one!