Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Mother's Day Squared

We had two Mother's Day days this past weekend. My mother always works on Sundays, so this year, I suggested that we go over to Peter's mom's house on Saturday and celebrate Mother's Day with both of our mothers.

This led to an almost-argument between Peter and his mother, because even though we were going to go over her house on Saturday, she was insisting that we also go on Sunday. Mind you, Peter had JUST gone over to his mother's house that Thursday.

The whole logical statement of "But we're going SATURDAY" was completely lost on her. She started getting all hyperventilatingly nutso on him and she was about to break into tears, so Peter said fine, we were going over on Sunday, BUT WE WERE NOT EATING DINNER.

Yeah, that'll show HER.

Dealing with Peter's mother is sort of like dealing with my developmentally delayed sister growing up. If Judy did not get to watch her Power Rangers, all HELL BROKE LOOSE. And God help you if you didn't leave the television on for the Power Ranger Tip of the Day after the commercial break, because then it's just a huge tantrum involving a child screaming:


And I know that she's 85 years old and that her marbles were never screwed on right in the first place, but it's VERY FRUSTRATING, nonetheless. And everyone's always, "But she's 85! You won't have to deal with it for much longer!"

By the way, that's a TERRIBLE argument.

And besides, she's Italian. They live forever. Her own mother lived to be 96 years old. So I know that I will be dealing with this, at the very least, for the next twenty years.

Saturday was fun, Jenny, Judy, and I took my mother to Stone Barns for a tour of their vegetable garden. The girl who took us on the tour was really sweet, but my mother kind of showed her up by knowing much more about vegetables than she did.

One particular scene:

Tour Guide: So this is the kale....

My Mom: That's CHARD!

Tour Guide: Oh, yes, you're right, that's chard...y'know, sometimes the seeds get mixed up and different things get planted where they're not supposed to.

Jenny (in a whisper to me): But isn't she supposed to know what it looks like?

Afterwards, we went to Peter's mom's house and she made enough food for 20 people.

My mom was incredulous at the amount of food and Peter said, "You know. She usually makes all this food...and it's only the three of us."

She made salad, stuffed mushrooms, roasted peppers, broccoli rabe, ravioli, zucchini parmesan, chicken parmesan, and I'm sure I'm forgetting a few other things.

At one point, I looked at my mother-in-law, and she had a look on her face like, "So, I guess this is it. THIS is my life. I'm spending all my holidays from now on with my son and ALL THESE CHINESE PEOPLE."

I felt kind of bad for her.

The next day, we went to her house AGAIN and as soon as we walk in the door she goes on and on about how everyone called her and how happy she was and how they love her SOOOOO much and that one of her daughters gave her a bag.

Later, Peter admitted that he felt a bit annoyed that she was going on and on about them, especially since she's all happy just to get a phone call from them and he can't get away with not coming over on Sunday when he's already seen her on Thursday and Saturday.

He was also annoyed because his sister told his mother that day that her daughter had her First Communion the day before. His mother was very hurt that her daughter kept this from her. She said to Peter, "If she wanted to keep it from me, why didn't she just not tell me about it? It's cruel to keep it from me and then tell me all about it the day after. Why does she want to hurt me like this?"

When Peter and I first started dating, I did judge his siblings for not visiting more often, but the more I get to know her, I can sort of understand. I don't think anyone gets any pleasure out of visiting her. Even Peter admits that it's more obligation than a real desire to visit. She's not a pleasant person to be around, but she's still his mother and he shows her that respect by seeing her once a week.

It reminds me of a JD Salinger short story--an officer asks his wife to spend more time with his aunt and the title of the story is, "Once a Week Won't Kill You."

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