When K was here, we were talking about family. We are both middle-aged, which means our parents are definitely old. I was talking about how my mother would react any time anything didn’t go her way. For example, for her and my father’s 50th anniversary, she wanted us all (including my brother’s family) to go on a cruise. She had made it known for up to a year ahead of time that this was her dearest wish.
Now. Let me be clear. This is my idea of hell. I do not like crowds, being ‘locked’ in, doing activities I have no interest in (such as wall-climbing and nerf gun battles), and I have many food intolerances. My brother said that the cruise had a ton of different food choices, but, and I put this as kindly as I can, I don’t necessarily believe him. Not that he would lie intentionally, but people who don’t have food intolerances/allergies, truly don’t understand that certain things are everywhere. I don’t blame them! Why should they know when they don’t have to think about it? I have an intolerance to gluten and dairy, and I have to be very careful with cauliflower, onions, and garlic. I’m NOT vegetarian/vegan, though, which is oftentimes confused with dairy-free.
I also get motion sickness and the idea of spending ten days on a cruise with 4,000 people almost made me break out in hives. In short, it is everything I hate, turnt up to a hundo. As the kids say. I made it quite clear that I would not be going.
You would think my mother would accept this and come up with an alternate plan, yes? Or just go without me and call it a day. Hahahhahahaha. You underestimate the tenacity of my mother! She whined and moaned about it, not letting it go. She had tears in her eyes and a tremble in her voice when she said that it was her dearest wish.
I had had enough. I said to her, “You want me to go, knowing I’ll be miserable and hating it, wishing I were anywhere but there? Is that really what you want me to do?” She had no response to that, but I’m sure that she wanted me to go no matter what.
Why do I say that? Because she has pushed me over and over again to do what she wanted, regardless if I wanted it or not. A big example was when she wanted my brother and I to go back to Taiwan (with my niece). This was a decade ago, and I remember it as starkly as if it were yesterday. I didn’t want to go. I can deal with my mother when it’s on my terms (more or less), which means me in Minnesota and her in Taiwan. But when it’s in here territory? No.
During that request, she cried because of course she did. K mentioned that my mother used crying to get her way, and she (K) is completely right. My mother has weaponized tears to a high degree. That plus relentless pushing means she’ll get her way more often than not because it’s easier to say yes to shut her up than to keep pushing back.