Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Max had his party this Sunday. It was a bowling party. Imagine, if you will.... a mother, sick with a horrible cold, cranky with PMS, a bowling alley that is about to close (that was their last day) overrun with crowds, staff not so involved... Also imagine.... parents dropping their 8 year old BOYS off at the party. "I have things to do, I'll pick him up later." Or "The party ends at four, right? See you then." Imagine this... the cranky, stuffy party throwing mother: "But, but, but....." And "Where are the chairs? The kids need to sit?" "Don't cry. I'll tie your shoes. Your mom will be back." And lastly: "WHERE ARE THE CHAIRS?!!?"


It was not one of the best parties I've had. Although I think I was the most bothered. (PMS?) The kids all seemed to have fun. But I don't understand: If you do not say "This is a drop off party" why would parents just leave their kids? Especially ones who are really just not old enough?

Then lets not talk about the one mom who brought another child with her. "They were having a play date. I brought him. Hope you don't mind. If you do, we can walk around outside." My PMSy response? "In the rain? No. Of course it's fine, but I might not have a goody bag for him." Then. She leaves. Leaves. (She DID come back after about a half hour or so.. but...)

I was relaying this all to J last night & he seemed far less annoyed than I felt. Or he did not express his annoyance as much as I would have liked. A girlfriend would have been all "Omigod! I don't know how you did it! The nerve! I can't believe it! It must have been hell!" And he was all...well.... understated. In a situation that required much commiserating "Oh. Yeah. That sounds like a bad day." Instead of the preferred: "You poor, poor thing... thank goodness you survived that horrible ordeal!" Thus the difference in the gender.

I'm growing my hair out (sorry, no segue or anything...). And I hate my hair. I always hate my hair when it's a bit longer ANYHOW - but I've made the decision to grow it (to a shortish bob) so I'm going to. Grow it out. I figure I can always cut it if I don't like it. But, my hairdresser warned me: "This is the tough time. The awkward time. The in between time. If you get through this without cutting it I promise it will be worth it." OK. But I'm still pretty self-conscious.

This Saturday I'm going out for dinner for J's daughter's birthday. I'm going with J, his two daughters, their mother and her boyfriend. Their mother. Her boyfriend. I've never met her. She's never met me.

Sunday, after the party, my parents took us all out for dinner. My mother goes... "Hmm... maybe you want to cut your hair before this dinner on Saturday."


Thanks mom - because I didn't feel self conscious at all before... (And I did say that to her.)

I've come to the realization (with the assistance of some pretty good therapy) that my mother - as wonderful as she is - led me well on my way to marry a judgemental, perfectionist man like X. (Sorry Freud, I know I'm supposed to marry somebody like my Dad... but...)

My mother notices everything. Ev. Ry. Thing. Kid's hair not perfectly combed? She combs it. Speck on a shirt? She finds it. Doesn't like something? She says it. She was always on me about my weight (flash forward to today!) and always closely monitored how I dressed, what I wore, how it fit, etc, etc. (X! ) I know she did it out of love. I also know she did it out of her own background - my grandmother was a hoarder, a bit of a slob, did not pay attention to her kids at all.... SO - my mom is kind of the anti of that.

And now, yes - with my letting my kids go to school with their hair sticking out in tufts... I'm the anti of that.

Funny how those things work.

But still. Back to her comment. I can't get it out of my head. It was really such a mean thing to say. I mean, shouldn't some things just be left unsaid? And if I asked, shouldn't she say "You look fine. You look beautiful. And besides, that does not matter. Are you there to impress her, or just have a birthday celebration?" (Which is what I keep telling myself....)
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Gwen said...

You look beautiful! You look fine!

What is it with the mothers? We're talking about London, and the only thing my mom can think to say is, "Get ready to kiss your money goodbye." Geez, thanks mom.

But, uh, I'm kinda with J on the party thing. Charlotte just had a bday party at a bowling alley, and I was happy that no parents were there. Of course, the place was empty and we did have party helpers, but if the parents had been there, I would have had to talk to them. Ick! :)

Tracy said...

It can't be easy to hear things like that from your mother.... I read this and it makes me cringe.

I've been very fortunate in that area: my mother has never said anything along those lines to any of us. Maybe now I will appreciate that part of her even more. And hope that your mom eases up a bit. I'm sorry that that hurt your feelings :-( But like Gwen said, You look beautiful!

As for the party, it's been a while for me, but I do know that my sister doesn't stay with my 9-year-old nephew when he goes "on the circuit" (as I call it). On another note, whatever happened to the days of having kids over for pizza and cake, maybe play a few video games?! I feel like Ryan just missed that whole era of birthday events (fortunately) -- it was just McDonald's with a playplace when they were younger... I think a bowling party sounds fun -- I love bowling! Where did you go?
I saw on the news that night that a local alley was closing, but I missed which one it was....

Hope you're feeling better... I finally gave in and stayed home today to get rid of this cold.

Poker Chick said...

One thing I have learned (and this is assuming you have a good relationship) is always always listen to your hairdresser :)

And that party sounds like hell - for you, at least. Even without PMS. Seriously.

jen said...

more than anything, i crave simply being understood.

so yes, that sounded like hell. and you totally look fine.