Previously, I had complained about my Mother asking “bad questions,” or questions so irrelevant that I have to wonder if she pays any attention to anything I say to her. Ever.
Yesterday I realized she does this other thing which is equally annoying. When giving advice, she often says the wrong thing. How is it wrong? It just is. You know it when you’re talking to someone and they’re all like, “You should do XYZ!” and you think to yourself, “Why the f* would I do that?” But you smile politely and say something noncommittal, like “Yeah, maybe.”
Except I am not as civilized when it comes from my mother. I’ve been dealing with her nonsense for (almost) 37 years now, and my patience is gone.
At the beginning of this week, I found out that I have to attend a TV commercial shoot for one of my clients over the weekend. It essentially ruins my weekend, when I had various plans and was also looking forward to watching football on Sunday. I am beyond pissed off about it. I’ll take a comp day (I’m salaried, so working on a Sunday is not the windfall of cash that one might expect), but the principle of it still bugs me. I despise our current corporate culture where the notion of “work/life balance” is scoffed at and seen as weakness. Since when did having a job mean that your personal life is unimportant and comes second to the demands of what you do? But, saying something like, “Sorry, I can’t work this weekend, I have plans.” is just not an option unless I want to get fired, so I just do it.
In an email exchange with my Mom this week about the family trip to Orlando (it got postponed from Christmas (thank God) to next March), I mentioned that I won’t be around to talk this weekend because I’ll be working, and that I’m not happy about it. Her response? “Don’t be aggravated!”
Perhaps the single most aggravating thing in the world is being told not to be aggravated when something is 100% justifiably aggravating. So, if she was trying to diffuse my annoyance, all she really did was intensify it.
I deleted her email immediately.