On many Saturdays during my childhood, Mom used to wake me up early in the morning so that I could go with her to the swap meet. It was there that she fostered my love for a great bargain and nurtured my creative side.
We would walk through the swap meet, holding up different bolts of cloth, saying "This would make a great dress" or "We could make curtains with this!" We had so many great ideas, and we'd return to the car arms filled with cloth.
Unfortunately, we had spent so much time dreaming about all these wonderful creations that we never actually got down to the creating part of it.
At some point during the week, the bags of cloth would get tossed into the garage, and when Saturday arrived, the process would start all over again.
This included the time we went shopping for the cloth for my homecoming dress.
Yes....the cloth that was supposed to be my homecoming dress, 15 years ago, is still in the garage.
There are mountains of cloth in our garage. And now that I am 32, I think it's time to make use of it or get rid of it.
So, this past summer I have been creating lots of things with my lovely little sewing machine. I usually pull it out when mom's not here, because she usually hovers and points out everything I'm doing "wrong." She has a whole lot more experience with sewing, so she assumes she's right every time, and sometimes she is. The other times, I chalk it up to style differences; she does not like these times.
Lately, we've been getting along, but our relationship's a lot like maneuvering a field of land mines. It really doesn't take much, because even me getting frustrated will set her off. Anyone who knows my mom knows that she can be extremely frustrating.
Surprisingly, she's helped me complete a couple of different sewing projects that I had on my list that required some of her expertise. We made a dress and some rice filled therapy packs. We made it through 2 whole projects without killing each other!
Then I did something stupid. I told her I was working on another project and asked her to help me. We must have very different definitions of what the word "help" means, because I came home this afternoon to find her completing my project by herself. She was almost finished with it by the time I stopped her to say one of the parts was incorrect. I explained it to her, and she said, "Oh, well I didn't know that. You didn't tell me."
And right into the trap I fell. These are the words she's been saying pretty much all of my life. They are the way she believes that she retains no culpability for any mistakes and never has to say words like "my fault" or "I'm sorry." Trust me, those words would go a long way with me, but any time she has actually ever said them, she says them with the sincerity of a kindergartener.
Anyways, I got mad, and said, "I did tell you." You should know that this does not make me proud. I don't like pointing out to my mother that her memory might not be as strong as it once was. I also don't think it's right for me to not defend myself, at least every once in a while. Also, I think it's fair for people to have what I call "feelings." This is not the case with her.
The usual scenario proceeds like this:
1. I tell her my plans.
2. She does whatever she wants.
3. I get mad.
4. She gets even madder because I am mad at her.
5. Everyone stops talking to each other.
"Mom, I thought you were going to help me, not do it all yourself."
"I'm just trying to help you. I didn't know what you wanted. I didn't understand. I'm so sleepy, but I'm doing this for you."
Then I said, "Mom, if you're tired, go to sleep. I don't need this done right this second."
So she tried to storm off to my younger brother to tell him how she was so hurt and I was so disrespectful, but instead of walking away, I walked towards them. She said, "I'm done." and angrily walked off to her room.