Monday, May 25, 2009

This is why I avoid my mother's phone calls

My mother calls me at least once a week. I hate to have to say that I avoid her calls like the plague. I almost never call her first, almost never pick up when she calls, and sometimes it takes me days to call her back. I often have to be in the right frame of mind to actually have a conversation with her. I will sometimes call her back from work while on a cigarette break so I can use that as an excuse for the limit of time she has to get to the point before I get off the phone.

She left a message on my machine Thursday night, and I waited until about an hour ago to return her call. Her message indicated that she wanted to talk about flights in and out to visit this coming summer. I called her back to get an idea of her travel dates, which were wacky. She might want to come in the first week in July and leave at the end of the first week of August. Which was not cool with me, but before I had a chance to say so, she said that she didn't think that would work after all. Maybe she would come in for the month of August. But maybe she would fly in the last week of July to Buffalo, and have her relatives from Ontario cross the border and pick her up and spend a week there.

I told her I would check her flight options for all those possible scenarios and let her know. BUT, was my sister Shouf (who technically lives with me), going to be a part of all of those flights? Shouf has special needs, and cannot, will not travel alone. Mother hemmed and hawed, until I picked up on the fact that she could not talk freely. Mom, can you leave the room so you can talk more? No. Okay, that didn't make sense. Is Shouf going to stay with Bouf for the summer or something? I can't say right now. This guess and non-answer thing went about two more rounds before I lost my patience.

Okay, I'm going to change the subject because this has become way too cryptic for me to handle. How is "85 year old boyfriend with his returning lung cancer"? Well he was sitting right next to her, so she told him that I asked about him, and he flashed the "V" for victory. I told her to send him my love, and asked about his treatment. Only 2 more chemo/radiation sessions left for next week! Good for him! Of course, she responded negatively to this because she is a drama queen, and that is what she does. Then she started chattering on about how she had the nerve to complain about something she was going through, but BoyFriend doesn't ever complain, yada, yada, yada. "Do you, Honey-Bunny? A-Han-han-ha...." Crap, she pulled out the fake, phoney-baloney laugh.

There is nothing I hate more than trying to have a phone conversation with someone who is putting on a show for another person in the actual room with them. If you are on the phone with me, give me your attention, or tell me you are too busy to talk and call me another time. I absolutely abhor talking on the phone in the first place. I didn't even realize this was what was happening, at first.

So, my mother tried to continue the conversation by saying she couldn't wait to find out what was going on with me. I started talking about planting the vegetable garden, but before I got very far she asked me about my cousin's new baby. Okay, I'll talk about that instead. As I started talking, I got off on a tangent about something else very personal. While I was talking about that part of my life, she actually responded in a way that I thought meant she was interested in hearing more about it. But as I started talking more, she interrupted me mid-sentence with "okay". "Boyfriend told me to tell your son he said hello". "Okay, mom, I will." Then she let loose with her fake, phoney-baloney laugh, and I knew the conversation was over. "Okay, honey, so call me again soon and let me know about those flights." "Okay, Mom, I love you, bye-bye."

She dismissed me mid-sentence. I didn't even want to call her back, and when I did I ended up feeling like I was only convenient as long as I was part of the show she was putting on - on her end of the phone call. I don't understand how Boyfriend hasn't seen through her act after all of these years. And I don't understand why I have put up with the act for all the years that I have been a part of it.


Sass said...


I'm frustrated for you. Things like this are why I never answer my phone.

I'll text till my fingers bleed, but don't make me answer the phone...

Paige said...

Man does that sound familiar!

Gwen said...

Ha! We have the same mom! Mine will ask me about me and as I am telling her she interrupts to tell me about her dog's health. It just makes me want to hang up on her immediately.

Cora said...

My mom can be like that too. She picked me up from the airport last night and I sat in the car with her for over an hour hearing all about how her weekend went at a horse show and cleaning out the garage and she like didn't even want to hear about how cool Chicago was and how much fun I had seeing it all with Scope, she just wanted to tell me her stuff.