Hanging Up

Of course I get an email!  I’m so frustrated with Miss Polly, and what do you do?  I swore off email battles with my mother this summer and so my inbox has become a repository for her uninvited insults to my soul.  Honor thy father and thy mother.  Does that mean not dishing it back?  I say nothing, and just let her email go to the file drawer.  I know if I reply, I’d get some really great content, but I don’t.  I want to, it would be great, but I don’t.  God it’s hard.

I’m going on day six of someone in my household being sick or vomiting, and I’m hanging in there myself.  If momma’s sick, life isn’t good.  I’ve got this issue with my laundry that won’t disappear.  The socks don’t stay together and the laundry doesn’t fold itself.  I’m buried in sheets that have the stench of urine or vomit.  It’s a disaster.  John is in bed today.  I took his temperature and he doesn’t have one, so I think it’s just a really bad cold that earns him the right and privilege of a day in bed watching Dexter and ESPN.  Next week will be equally as nurturing as he goes into the hospital for all of the testing/biopsy and treatment for his thyroid issue.

Me, I have have been unable to successfully purchase an additional set of sheets for my children’s beds online.  Going to a store would require that I get dressed in something other than my sweatpants that I sleep in.  I over complicate matters by trying to get a discount on the Pottery Barn site, then find myself lost in the abyss of Ebay, and then spend two hours trying to save $100, and then decide that I can do without an additional set of sheets for the kids beds and just do the laundry more frequently.  What I really need to do is not think I can knock out the entire house in one shopping trip, but spread out the purchases.  One would think, but I’m not thinking, I’m buried in laundry and vomit.  I really need to clean my refrigerator, but that is a nightmare unto itself and is smells of decay and mold.

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So the first email from Polly goes something like this

From: Miss Polly

Subject: Birthday boy

Date: February 22, 2010 11:00:41 AM EST

To: Sinclair Montgomery

Will be shopping for Ashton’s birthday present this week.  Suggestions?

Okay, so I don’t see this email right away, I am dealing with Mignonne’s illness (oh yeah, she came down with Ashton’s vomit virus on Monday night, so I was dealing with teaching her how to vomit like a lady after doing an all nighter with her.  I can’t sit in front of my computer when I’m holding the bowl for her.  When I do finally see my computer, I just don’t reply because I have no idea what Ashton would want for his birthday and furthermore, it’s three weeks away.  Polly isn’t coming for his birthday (another story all together), so whatever she gets him, she’ll just order from Amazon anyway.  The last time we spoke, Miss Polly hung up on me, so she’s moved down the priority list of who to call in my mothering advice.  Yep, I have rules, and not calling someone back after being hung up on well, that is one of my major rules.  Miss Polly owes me an apology.

So the next day, I get the following email:

From: Miss Polly

Subject: Ashton’s Birthday

Date: February 23, 2010 10:50:31 AM EST

To: Sinclair Montgomery

Will be shopping for Ashton’s birthday present this week.  Suggestions?

Are you going to let me know what to get Ashton for his birthday?  I realize it might take five seconds of your busy day, and since you have already informed me that calling me to give me five minutes of your valuable time isn’t on your schedule, I wouldn’t think of intruding on you with a phone call.  When tempted, I just put your last message on speaker phone and play it — the tone of your voice —-cuts me to the core.   If I don’t hear from you, I’ll just wing it and get him something I think he’d like — maybe a big drum set.

—–

I hope you can hear the tone in her voice.  it’s not sweet and loving, and Mary Poppins like, that’s for sure.  Imagine more of a character from The Young And The Restless that has a tenuous relationship with their daughter.

—–

From: Sinclair Montgomery

To: Miss Polly

Sent: Tue, Feb 23, 2010 12:11 pm

Subject: Re: Ashton’s birthday

Are  you trying to be mean?  A drum set would be a perfect thing!  I’ll set it up in the front hallway outside of John’s office while he’s on a conference call.    I don’t know what would be a more appropriate and useful gift for him though, maybe a Lego set, Wii game, a Nintendo DS game, or a siamese fighting fish.  You’d have to ask him what he’d like though.  I’ll have him call you.

—–

From: Miss Polly

Subject: Ashton’s Birthday

Date: February 23, 2010 12:39:55 AM EST

To: Sinclair Montgomery

I’m not trying to be anything but the child’s grandmother.  Despite what you do, say, or how you act, I love the children and always will.  You have made yourself the problem in our relationship.  I have all I can deal with here, and only asked for you to be kind, supportive, and caring, obviously not in your nature.  Anyone who questions why you make me sad only has to listen to that voice mail message you left — they get it.

—–

Now, I have no doubt that my mother loves my children.  She adores them and they think she walks on water.  What bothers me though, is that by seeing how much she loves my children, I realize how much she doesn’t like me.  She’s supposed to love me because I’m her child, but she doesn’t like me.  When I look at her looking at me, it’s so obvious.  She does this thing with her lower lip and then has this snarl with her upper lip and annunciates her words in such a way with me that just feels like at any moment she’s going to snap and hit me again.

So the voice mail message I left her three weeks ago immediately after she hung up on me for the second time that week had the intention of telling her that she had to stop saying she wasn’t going to ever be at my house if my husband’s family was here, and went like something to the fact that I loved her, but that she can’t continue to hang up on me and expect to maintain a relationship.  The voicemail message went something to the fact that I loved her, but I can’t have either John or my parents claim exclusivity of holidays and birthdays with our children, that the reason why we bought such a large house was so that people could come, and stay, and that I loved my husband and was going to remain married to him.  Being married to John included his family being a part of our life.  If her decision to not be here was because of my husband’s family also trying to be a part of my children’s life, than that was hurting me.  I ended my voicemail message to her with I love you.  It been three weeks now, maybe four, and no calls from my mother.

I’m really concerned about my father though.  I figure he’ll call me when it’s safe to talk.

Polly watches soap operas while she sews, so I think she thinks that the rest of the world acts like those people.  I’m not kidding.

God, it’s so freaking hard having a relationship with my mother.  I of course wrote emails back to her that I never sent.  I swore to myself this summer that wasn’t productive.  The issue with commenting back to my mother is that she’s like an elephant.  She never learns and moves on, she also never forgets and will bite me with any errors that I may have made in my life.  She harbors resentment and I can see it in her eyes.  I just don’t understand why she resents me?  We’ll be having a beautiful moment, and Polly will bring up something that I said to her in an argument where she needed to be shut down and then, boom, we’re back in a fight.  My issue is that it goes both ways.  However, I never bring up any of her past mothering mistakes, or the dozens of errors in her judgement that she inflicted on me as a child.  I never do that.  Should I?  I don’t think so.  Maybe I should.  That wouldn’t be productive.  She just acts like a victim.  I however have learned from her mistakes and aren’t raising my children in the same manner.

She’s still blaming me on John calling her a retard last Christmas.  What does she want me to do about it?  Really?  He said he was sorry as soon as he said it.  I didn’t call her a retard!  But I’m getting punished?

A kid that gets hit is abused.  A dog that gets hit and finally bites back is called an aggressive dog and gets put down.  What is the name for the person that gets shot when they deserved it?  I can’t come up with the name for that person.

And what about the killer whales?  I watched that story this morning and thought it was like cuddling with Hannibal Lector.  If a killer whale ate someone before, what makes Sea World think he’s going to behave in captivity and not eventually eat someone again?  It’s in their nature.  They can’t help themselves.

What I would like is for Miss Polly to acknowledge that she made mistakes and that we’re all pretty good people for moving past it, not looking back, and learning from her mistakes.  That’s all.   But, I’m not calling her.  If it means not getting hung up on, well then we just won’t talk.

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