Monday, 28 November 2005

The family saga continues

I went with J to see his mother and as usual she was a weird mixture of civilised and sweet, slightly erratic and downright rude.

I asked J afterwards what he thinks I should say when she is out of line (which is on average once per visit) and he says he thinks that as a son, it is his role to put up with what I think amounts to verbal abuse, whilst I as an outsider am in my full right to stand up for myself and talk back in a constructive manner.

Now I was thinking about that after I got back. I think I disagree. Surely it's the other way around?

I think that if you are family, it means you should all respect each other and if someone is putting you down you have the right and almost obligation to tell them.

If you're someone's partner, however, I don't think you have the same right to talk back.

This of course leaves us in a sticky spot where neither of us really wants the job of standing up to the family bully.

In the end I know it will be up to me. I know this has worked for other partners in the family. I just find it hard to know what is a firm yet not bitchy comeback.

Today when we came to her house, it smelt like an old, lonely person. Only very vaguely, but still. She served preserves that were 'best before jun 2003' and I realised that really she is just a lonely, self-absorbed and probably somewhat bitter old lady.

She might not be around for that much longer. What right do I have to come around to ruin her day by denying her her number one pleasure of bullying other people so she can be the star of the party.

But hard to focus on that next time she says "so, remember last time you were here and you broke some of my crockery [chuckle chuckle]!!"

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2 comments:

  1. Don't go getting yourself in trouble. Give me her number and I'll give her a piece of my mind!

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  2. No, because you might forget to conceal your own number when you call; then she'll have yours and keep calling at odd times of the day / night to obsess about why her son isn't answering his mobile... But thanks for the offer! If I feel I have to resort to anonymous threats I'll bear you in mind of course.

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Thanks for not just lurking..

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