Friday, July 23, 2010
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
All right, enough - so be itMy dad called me today. "Long time, no talk," I get. "Yep," I say. Thinking, the phone goes both ways. And, we've gone months without talking in the past, what's the diff now? But I guess I kinda know what the diff is now, don't I?
So be it, then:
Let all Oz be agreed
I'm wicked through and through
Since I can not succeed
Fiyero, saving you
I promise no good deed
Will I attempt to do again
No good deed
Will I do again!
He wanted to talk about wedding stuff, and then started in about bio-mom. He asked about her at my shower. I told him she probably isn't coming because it's a small setting. She wants to come but she knows that could be a lot worse than the wedding. However, if my mom calls out sick to the shower, bio-mom will be there. And she could call out sick. She's generally a sickly person. Always has something currently wrong or is waiting on test results for something that might be wrong (ie. cancer). The current ailments are: pneumonia, kidney stones, and some kind of digestion/bowel/colon problem. Apparently she was in the emergency room last week. Thanks for the heads up, guys!
My mom told my dad all about our conversation a few weeks ago. My dad wanted to clear things up, I guess. Every time I speak to either one of them, they mention, "Well we're just upset because she said she'd never contact you. She sent us a letter saying, 'If you haven't told her about me yet, I'll just leave you alone but if you have, this is how you reach me'." My parents cannot let go of this. And every time they mention it, I repeat like a broke record, "Well I'm upset at you guys for never telling me I was adopted. I got over it. So can you."
My dad mentioned that I said to my mom that bio-mom said to me (confusing?) that she had a phone conversation with him where he said they would tell me I was adopted. My mom denies that my dad ever spoke to her. I suggested perhaps my dad didn't tell her about it because he's a pro at protecting her (and lying). Well my dad addressed this today. He denied it to me, directly. He said he never spoke to her. Now, the point is moot (that one's for you, Dawn) at this stage in the game. But... I don't like that someone is lying here. I am up to my eyeballs in lies. And y'all can think about me whatever you want, but I kinda believe bio-mom. My parents have lied about so many things. Things I won't even share with people because they are just such horrendous lies, I can't even bring myself to repeat them. And bio-mom has no reason to lie about it.
So I'm at the point where I'm just tired. I don't want to go back and forth anymore. If more lies will ensue then I'm fighting a losing battle. I'm throwing in the towel. My lines parallel with Wicked's something like this:
All right, enough - so be itAnd I will forever feel like a failure for it. There is a way. A way to make all of this better. But I just can't find it. Andrew keeps saying he'll talk to my mom for me (or in his words, "yell at her" for me). I appreciate the thought. But it is just further proof that I have failed. And hurt people along the way. Poor bio-mom has wondered and worried about me over the years and she was just trying to do the right thing by giving me up. I'm hurting my mom terribly with the way I want to live my life, and she has already been hurt so much by others. All this over a dumb teenage indiscretion that never shoulda happened. I'm gonna legally change my name to that. Dumb Teenage Indiscretion That Never Shoulda Happened. You can just call me "Dumb" for short. Or "Ms. Indiscretion" in a formal setting.
So be it, then:
Let my folks be agreed
I'm selfish through and through
Since I can not succeed
Mother, pleasing you
I promise no bad situation
Will I attempt to make good again
No bad situation
Will I make good again!
Monday, July 19, 2010
The inspiration from the tables and general decor came from that first photo, top left. Black and white printed fabric topped/accented with splashes of color! People keep asking me what my colors are and are often disappointed/confused with this answer (I'm a professional at disappointing people these days). I have this pic on my iphone and I usually just pull up the photo to show them.
The black lace dress is what I'm considering making for Saturday night. I'm excited I get so many costume changes!
The black and white floral skirt with black top is my inspiration for bridesmaids. I'm making them matching skirts and they can wear whatever top they want.
The cake will be 3-tiered, rectangular-shaped, bottom tier is white with black swirls/scrolls (as in the pic), the middle tier is white with black polka dots, and the top tier is white with black spirals. The whole thing will be topped with a splash of colorful flowers.
And the Santa Barbara weekend wedding extravaganza will go something like this:
Friday night: Dinner for family and the wedding party followed by a no-host night out for drinking and dancing with all friends who happen to be in town (childcare provided by us).
Saturday morning: Breakfast followed by the rehearsal on the beach.
Saturday afternoon: Everyone's on their own, but we are thinking about going on a wine tour with the families.
Saturday night: Big party (what would typically be the evening wedding reception) with a DJ, open bar, photobooth with props, and kids table equipped with babysitters. We have to close down at 11:30 but if people are still partying, we can go to the bar in the restaurant until... whenever.
Sunday morning: Beach ceremony with guitarist and steel-drum player, light-bites, coffee and juice, brunch follows with mimosa toasts, music courtesy of our iphones, and I'm thinking about hiring a caricaturist.
So... fun stuff, right?
This weekend Andrew confessed to me that he got a phone call from his mother. She had some concerns. Concerns about the food. Here we go! I brace myself. She's concerned that the food won't be enough. Ladies and gentlemen, let me just give you a rundown of the food for the weekend wedding:
- Friday night, is a "family dinner" (essentially a rehearsal dinner, however the rehearsal is not on Friday). It's at an Italian restaurant in downtown Santa Barbara. I'm compromising with this. I want a french restaurant. But my dad and Andrew's mom gag at the thought even though they don't really know what constitutes French food. Food choices will be something like chicken piccata, NY Steak or Vegetarian ravioli.
- Saturday morning, I'm offering a continental breakfast for everyone. Fruit and bread and oatmeal, that kind of thing. If I can't get a room to have this in (or if it doesn't make sense logistically while we're doing the rehearsal), I'm giving everyone gift baskets when they arrive and putting fruit & pre-wrapped goodies in there for breakfast.
- Saturday afternoon, everyone's on their own for lunch.
- Saturday night is a reception just as an evening wedding reception would be (although we're not getting married until Sunday morning). Food will be in "stations" of various cuisines: a stir-fry station, a fajita station, a pasta station, a carving station with a baked potato bar, and a dessert extravaganza.
- Sunday morning will be the ceremony with some beverages and mini-muffins, etc. on the beach followed by a brunch reception including made-to-order omelets.
Her, "But where is the hunk of meat?" concern applies to the other food stations. The primary problem here is, she doesn't eat stir fry or fajitas so she can't imagine that anyone else would want to eat that for dinner. It's a lesser-food to her. She actually commented that those (along with the pasta) were just "side dishes." Now, she might go to a restaurant and order chicken alfredo (an option that will be at the pasta station) but her comment regarding that was that she "wants it to be nice." The same thing my mom said about the flowers. If I hear that one more time, I'm going to make them wait another year on top of what they will already wait for a grandchild. Maybe two. What they are essentially saying is that my choices do not constitute a nice wedding.
What our parent's don't understand is that I do not want my wedding to look like every other (no offense to you married-folk out there). What is there at every wedding? A choice of steak or chicken or fish for a served dinner, and silver trays filled with a sad army of dry chicken or overdone sliced beef soldiers lined up at a buffet. Every plate basically looks the same. I do not want that. I feel our food choices represent the kind of atmosphere we want to have. Fun, relaxed, easy going. Not to mention the food fits with travel theme (each table named after a destination city for our honeymoon). Andrew's mom doesn't just have the problem of not thinking outside the box, she can't even think herself to the edges of her box! I find it hard to communicate with this type of thinking. And sometimes I'm stumbling over my own frustration as though someone has tied my shoelaces together. I'm working on untying them. But they're really tight, so give me a minute, okay?
This is why I did not want to get married! All of this bullshit! Andrew and I would be just fine having never gotten married. I understand Andrew's mom's thoughts that people remember the food at a wedding. Well, maybe some will. But I'm doing some other things that will leave an impression besides just the food. The DJ is amazing, the officiant is inspiring, the photographer is impressive, I'm hand-making so many things, and we're having an entire weekend of activities! And those folks who don't find that enough... will just have to deal with it. I mean what's the worst that could happen? So what if they expected "more" with the food? What are they gonna do? Andrew's family will never talk to his mom again out of utter disdain? They'll kick us in the shins as they leave for the weekend? Throw raw eggs at me as I walk down the aisle? Give our moms swirlies? I don't think so.
Did anyone else go through all this? Or worse? I know I just need to ignore it and forget it and they'll get over it and all of this won't matter, etc., etc. However that advice doesn't make my feelings any less hurt. I can't just eliminate my emotions so easily, or the value I place on our parents. I know that this is important to them to. But I also know it's OUR wedding. Hence the emotions... balancing making them happy and making us happy. I can act like it all doesn't matter (and I will), but the reality of it not bothering me will be very slow to come.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Recently a smart friend pointed out in a comment that I'm trying to change my mom. And that's completely true. We're both trying to change each other actually! She wants me to not have bio-mom in my life so much. She can't understand why I want to get to know her, why I want her at the wedding, or would want her to meet my hypothetical children, etc. I know my mom's not the only one. I know plenty of people who don't have any desire to know their biological father or mother or grandparents or whatever. And they each have their own reasons for that, as I have my own for what I am doing.
As for how I'm trying to change my mom... I'm trying to "make" her be okay with how I want bio-mom in my life. I use "make" because I can't come up with a better word. Persuade isn't right. But I don't mean "make" as in "force" - I hope that is understood! I'm trying to make (encourage?) her face things she doesn't want to face. To do things she doesn't want to do. I'm trying to shape the situation - that's a more accurate statement. It's partially for selfish reasons because it will make my life better, more harmonious to not have discomfort and upset and anxiety around me. But it's not really fair to call me selfish here because I desperately want to (and believe I can) help her decrease her anxiety and upset. If only my mom would just muster up the strength to do what I'm asking her to do! And if she would just trust me when I tell her that everything will be okay! Also, as pointed out in a comment, I'm looking for a little bit of approval here. For my mother to actually show her support of me in my endeavor to develop some relationship with bio-mom.
All of this comes down to the basic idea that we all never stop growing up and both parents and children never stop evolving within those relationships. It's very difficult to grow up and realize that your parents, caretakers, mentors, etc. are not perfect. Not ONE of them is. Not only are they "not perfect" but they are completely flawed (to one extent or another). They tell lies, don't know how to handle money, have poor vocabularies, are sexist or racist, some are criminals, some are all of the above! And this is hard to take. But it's not only children who have reality to face when they grow up. Parents do too. While as grown children we struggle with realizing our parents' flaws, our parents (probably painfully aware of our flaws) have to at the same time deal with letting go of their expectations of us. The expectation that we will be a certain way or do a certain thing, exactly how and when they want us to. I do not (probably won't ever) see the world, react to it, and interact with it the way my parents do. And that, from my experience, is generally disappointing to them. So it looks like there's just disappointment all around!
These are challenges that no one prepares you for. I'll just add it to the list of things I think should be taught in schools! My biggest problem with these challenges is not that they exist, but in how we all react to them. Sometimes our relationships need to change. Sometimes we have to let go of toxic people. But that's the easy part. The bigger picture, the bigger lesson, the bigger change, is in how we move forward with these lessons learned. Changing our expectations and our definitions of success, achievement, happiness, beauty, perfection, joy, etc. so we don't make the same mistakes again in clinging to unrealistic expectations. I am no longer the teenager who gets annoyed when my parents don't meet every single one of my expectations. In return, my parents need to stop treating me like a teenager and accept that I will make decisions they disagree with, and they are going to have to come face to face with those decisions because that is a part of being in my life!
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Friday, July 2, 2010
Monday - I dropped my phone and it broke... luckily the day ended well with a replacement phone from Apple. A turnaround on the horizon, I ask myself? Not so fast, loser!
Tuesday - My gmail was shut down. So I had no access to my email, contacts, several important documents, my blog, etc. Turns out there was a hack job of some kind. Not sure how. Problem fixed by the end of the day.
Wednesday - Horrible cramps. But a nice birthday lunch for the girl referenced on Friday's tidbits below. THEN when I got home, a difficult conversation with my mom (see below). Andrew took me to Cherry on Top so I would quit pacing and stewing in my upset after the call. I wanted 1 thing - strawberry yogurt with strawberries, bananas, and chocolate sauce. Their strawberry yogurt was out. Fuck you too, Cherry on Top. I left empty-handed.
Thursday - I got a ticket in Chapman's parking lot (where I work). It's sort of deserved. I lost my sticker for 2010, but I got the new transponder thing that goes on my window along with the sticker. So I attached the new transponder next to the old sticker and I've gotten away with that since September 2009. Until this day. I got a $40 ticket.
Friday - I found out that I did NOT get the job I was interviewing for. The girl I went to the birthday lunch for on Wednesday got it. She's been here longer and has a Master's degree from our department so.... but still. I should have been able to get this job. My self-esteem can't really take the blow right now. I want to go home and go to sleep for a few weeks. I just wonder, how is it that I am able to help 2 (very deserving and smart and talented and wonderful) friends get jobs here - 1 got a job that required to have a degree she didn't possess and the other has never worked in academia before, was up against 2 other people who had, and got a director position. How is it that I can rally for them and write recommendation letters and talk to the Deans about them, but I can't get my own damn self a promotion? WTF? What is wrong with me? I don't even want to look at myself in the mirror right now. Oh, and I forgot tampons today.
If one more person asks me if I have fun or exciting plans for the weekend, I'm going to smash their head into the wall. Repeatedly.
Update: At lunch I learned that one of the crazy professors here at work who was recently charged with sexual harassment and now in a temper tantrum of a response is charging his bosses with racial discrimination (he's from India), probably also has ME on the charge list as a co-conspirator. And I stepped in gum on my way back to the office. Bright blue gum. How did I not see it? I dunno. Cuz I'm a dumbass?
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Many things were said last night. First, I told her, "Mom, I know your feelings about bio-mom but I'm concerned not only for the wedding but also for future events." "Like what?" she asked. I swallowed the massive lump in my throat and responded, "Well, like the shower and..." She interrupted, "The shower? Why does she need to come to the shower? She doesn't need to be there. Why would you want her there?" I answered...
C: Well, just for the same reason I want her at the wedding. Because I've gotten to know her and she is a friend now and someone I value in my life. And Mom, there will be other things too. Like other life events. Like when I have kids!So, we're back to square one. And I'm a bit dumbfounded. I asked Andrew when I got off the phone, "What planet is she from?" "Planet 1942" Andrew said. He also threw in a, "Let me talk to her!" "What will you say?" I asked. He said he would yell at her and make her see the light. I'm not too sure about that.
M: What do you mean when you have kids? [She's getting louder now.] Why would she be involved? I am the grandmother!
C: Well Mom, I would want them to know who she is and know her like I do. It's not just you, you know. There's Andrew's mom too, his extended family, our friends... and she is a part of THAT group, the family friends.
M: Well, I don't know what to tell you. I don't know what you want. Do you want us to all be one big happy family?
C: [Feeling so defeated and losing all hope. Why doesn't she get me? Why doesn't she understand this? Am I the crazy one or is she?] No, of course not, Mom. I would never expect that or ask that. I just want you to not ignore her existence and harbor anger and for there not to be a weird negativity or anxiety in the air if you are in the same room with her, which is bound to happen.
M: I'm not angry. I'm just... disappointed, I guess. Disappointed that she contacted you. She broke a promise to me. She signed something saying she would never contact you, you know. [Back to this AGAIN!]
C: Well mom, I don't think that applies when I'm an adult. Plus, she was told by Dad that you guys would tell me I was adopted. She figured he would do what he said he would do. She thought I knew.
M: Dad never told her that. He never spoke to her. She's lying to you.
C: [Oh boy.] Mom, you know Dad lies to you a lot to protect you from things. Maybe he had a conversation with her because she was having second thoughts about the adoption and he told her that to ease her worries. And then he didn't want to tell YOU about it because it would worry you.
M: No, I don't think that happened. [Of course she doesn't. Cuz she's from another planet, I have decided! One where reality and logic are dangers one must avoid in order to protect your soul from the Jabberwocky monster who will eat you if you say/do/think things that make sense.]
C: Well, think what you want. But I don't want to dwell on that. Please remember that I'm not dwelling on the fact that you guys didn't do what you should have done. It was your job to tell me I was adopted. You didn't do that. That's part of the reason we are where we are right now.
M: Well we weren't going to interrupt your life and tell you about this when you were a kid. I did what I thought was the right thing to do. I never would have let you go out and meet her before you were 18 even if we did tell you. [Again, completely drifting away from reality... and pissing me off! "Would have never let me"??? Say what? Telling me I can "never" do something didn't go well when I was a teenager and it still won't go well now.]
C: Mom, I'm not talking about that. That's fine. You're the mom. It was your decision to make. But I'm talking about the 11 years when I was an adult and you didn't tell me. You know what I think? I think you planned on never telling me, never letting me find out. Even though you know full well that I wanted to know. And now she ruined your plan. And you're just upset at her for that. But this is the way it's supposed to be. I should know this about myself. The situation is righted now.
M: I said I'm not angry with her.
C: Fine, disappointed, upset, whatever.
M: I just don't know what you expect.
C: I expect something in the middle. Something in between ignoring her existence and having her over for the holidays. Maybe you acknowledging her. Meeting her for 5 minutes. Letting her apologize for upsetting your life, because she does realize she did that and she is sorry for it. She wants the chance to do that.
M: Why are you worried about her? You should be worried about me!
C: I'm worried about EVERYONE! I'm just trying to make everything formidable here. I don't want you upset. I don't want her upset. And I don't want to live the rest of my life playing this game, this balancing act, with this awkwardness. I feel that if you meet her, you will see what I see. That she isn't trying to be a Mom. That she's just an addition to my life! And it will ease your worry or pain or upset.
M: I know you're trying to make everyone happy. But I just don't want to meet her. I just can't do it. You know I never say no to you. [Crying now] So you must know how big of a deal this is for me. I just can't do it.
C: [Pause for a moment. Bewildered. Wondering what to say next.] Okay. But you know this leaves all the anxiety and pressure on me, don't you? What if she's at the wedding and you happen to end up in an elevator together. And someone says her name and you know who she is and she knows who you are. That is really awkward. I will be worrying about that every minute.
M: That's probably not going to happen. But if it does, I'll deal with it when it happens. I'll say hello and then go my own way.
C: [Big sigh.] Okay. Still. It makes me uncomfortable and her uncomfortable and I feel like when you're there, it will make you uncomfortable too.
M: Well I won't. And you don't have to feel uncomfortable. I'm not mad at her. Tell her not to feel uncomfortable either. That she's welcome to come to the wedding if you want her there. I just don't want to meet her. But really. She is welcome and I won't say or do anything to upset anyone.
But really, she's got issues. I said a few other things toward the end of the convo. Such as, "Aren't you curious? Curious to know who gave birth to me or where my DNA comes from?" She said no, she's not. That she thinks of me from her DNA. She literally said those exact words. Now, I understand that she thinks of me as "her's" (As do I. I think "mom" and of course I think of only her. I always will!)... but that statement about the DNA kinda made me realize that she truly does create her own reality in her head. She's also commented that she met my bio-grandma and "that was enough to know I came from a good family." I've told her that bio-mom says bio-grandma isn't so great. That she was unsupportive and mean and unstable. Well my mom brought it up again. "I just don't understand how that stuff about her is true. She was so nice and polite and well mannered and well dressed."
A bonus tip for all you criminals out there... you wanna rip off my mom? Just wear a perfectly pressed outfit, be clean cut and clean shaven, say please and thank you, and have freshly polished white tennies! She'll assume you are an absolutely wonderful person! And the converse is also true. I know it. I've heard the remarks. If you've got a tattoo or piercings or poor clothes or uncombed hair that isn't in some kind of "cute" or classic do... you're a shady character to steer clear of! Oh, and criminals... you should also probably be white (YEP, I said it!). That would help tremendously. She'd most certainly trust you and your spiffy getup then! You'd have a world of diamonds at your fingertips!
It's my educated guess that she secretly wishes bio-mom was terrible. That she was a horrible, mean, thieving drug addict that I would want nothing to do with. I really do believe she wishes that. At the very core of me, I believe it. She already tried to make bio-mom out to be a liar twice in 1 conversation. Which is rich coming from lying liar liey-pants like her.
Now, I'm just left to wonder if my relationship with them can ever really recover after all of this. I don't like to view the world as good and bad, right and wrong, black and white, etc. We're all a bit of a mixed bunch, a melting-pot if you will. And I don't view my parents as all bad. But the dark stain of the bad is beginning to mix in greater quantities with the good. It's starting to overflow my cup and turn it a grayish-greenish-pukish-brown that makes my stomach turn. How long can I continue to sip from this putrid vesicle? How long can I even keep it near me without it leaving dark rings on my furniture and staining my fingertips? And how horrible would I be if I moved away from it or dumped it out? If I really did drift farther from my parents? How will the annals of history judge me then? A part of me judges myself harshly for even thinking it. Another part of me tells the judgey part, "Fuck off! You don't know what you're talking about. You. Don't. Know. Me."
I used the conversation about my uncles to ask about my grandfather. I've mentioned this before in this blog - "she doesn't speak to her father for some unknown reason." Well, I found out the reason tonight. The conversation/revelation went something like this:
C - So Mom, what's the deal with him?
M - He refuses to speak to me.
C - Why? What's his problem?
M - [hesitant] He's mad because I lied to him about your brother.
C - ["of course, more lies" to myself] I see. Wow. That's complicated.
M - Yeah, can you believe it? Over 1 lie! [I'm not fucking joking, she said that. "Over 1 lie" that she told to her father about his first born grandson. Like HE'S the crazy one... but wait, this gets better.]
C - Well... hmmm... Do my uncles talk to him? Does he still have a relationship with them?
M - Yeah, they talk, I guess. I don't know how much.
C - Is he not a nice guy in general? I remember you having a few stories and he hasn't seemed so nice.
M - No. You should see some of the letters he's sent me.
C - He's sent you letters? So he does communicate with you?
M - Yeah, well he wants me to come out and see him and talk to him. But I'm not going to do that. I'm not going to see him to sit there and be bashed.
C - [to myself, "Okay so what you said in the beginning about him refusing to talk to you is not true? Did you intend to lie with that statement or are you just so goddamn warped that you can't grasp reality anymore?"] Okay.
Of course, more lies. When I told this to Andrew his response was, "I think I see a pattern here." Oh yeah? At sequence number 897 you see a pattern here? I don't know, I think I need further proof.
My parents will just never learn their lesson. Never. I really hate to give up hope on someone. Especially my own parents. And I hate to use the word "never" but I just don't see it ever happening. She needs a therapist. She really does. They both do. They lie to everyone. Absolutely everyone. To me, to my sister, to my nephews, to their parents, to their siblings, to their friends, to people they work with. I understand that they have been through some terrible things that no parent should ever go through. I understand that they didn't know how to tell the truth about my brother. But then they make up lies to cover the other lies. And they keep on lying even when they see the horrible ramifications of those very same lies. They lie to my nephew about his biological father even after all of this came out about me being adopted.
We talked some more tonight too. About bio-mom. That went... pretty much nowhere. I'll tell that story later. For now, I need to sleep.