Friday, July 18, 2008

Post-portem on mother visit

It went pretty well, I'd say. She was incredibly helpful, though I think felt as if she wasn't needed as much as she thought she'd be. (Both my parents booked their coming-to-help-me trips when it looked as though I was going to have surgery, from which presumably my recovery would be much more difficult.) But it's true that I'm moving more slowly than usual, of course, and can't walk around with a glass of water or plate of food, and can't easily cook things that require any effort - and in that sense, having someone around is really helpful.

I didn't feel as cooped up as I thought I would. Mostly because every day, we'd go somewhere...we took cab rides so I could go to the coffee shop I like to go to, which is ridiculous -but saved me from feeling stuck in the house. And I spent most of the day at the office on Tuesday.

I was also able to stop myself from channelling the bitchy daughter persona (mostly). We did have a couple of tense moments, but overall I'd say we did very well - we got better as the week progressed. We bonded over So You Think You Can Dance (to which I very quickly became addicted while in hospital in Hawaii, and now download since I don't get TV channels). I'd say it was a success for us. Maybe things are easing up on that front.

What was most confounding was eating-related stuff. My mother is obsessed with dieting - but not very successful at it. She lost a bunch of weight a year ago on an incredibly restrictive plan, and has put some back on, as people do, and spends all her time thinking about how to eat. Fine. I'm not going to pretend I don't think about what I eat, and especially now, when I am getting no exercise whatsoever - barely even walking. But it grew wearing to watch the contradictions...for instance, her constantly saying, "I have to get back on track, I have to..." and then having two mocha frapuccino-type drinks and an ice cream cone one day. And thinking that was okay because she didn't have lunch. But then continuing to go on and on about how badly she's eating. Buying two types of cookies and a lemon loaf for the house one day. And then having the nerve to say to me, when I ordered a small butter tart in the cafe, "Ohhh, sinful, sinful...!" Look, I wanted to say. Don't drag me into your thing. And never, never use the word "sinful" when talking about food...it's offensive. (Miraculously, I kept my mouth shut in this instance.)

I know, I should have more sympathy for this kind of thing. I understand the cultural underpinnings, blah blah blah. But it was frustrating, and my irritation was piqued by the way she drew me into it.

My father arrived yesterday. It will be nice to have access to a car once again, so I can avoid the extravagance of paying $16 for a round trip cab ride to the coffee shop! And it will be fun to work alongside my dad, who will also be writing (his work).

My own writing is much going slower than I'd like due to discipline problems, but I can see it shaping up...I daresay it is even starting to be fun.

And I'm planning my time in Home City and Home Province...I'm leaving next Thursday. I'm so looking forward to seeing folks there (including you, Grumpy! - I'll be working at the library). Have a trip to Little City planned (city of my First University position, and city of Favourite Aunt and other family members) and from there to Dad City. Stopping for a visit with ex-Supervisor at her cottage on the way home. I'm inordinately excited about all this...being back in my own territory is going to be thrilling. And it will be easier to get around than it is here in this crutches state...I will be able to take transit and actually get to the places I want to go. What a difference that will make.

9 comments:

dbm/gaa said...

Hooray! Can't wait to see you and meet your crutches.

plam said...

Good stuff!

I do sympathize with dieting a bit, because it sucks a lot. (I cut weight for judo tournaments). But I get annoyed when people try to diet and do so in completely self-sabotaging ways; also when people try to drag me into stuff.

Have fun in Home Province!

Hilaire said...

DBM/GAA - Oh yes, you shall meet them. And they *are* meet-able, because they have little sheepskin fluffy covers on the hand parts and the tops...it is like i am gripping a bunch of pocket pets.

Plam - I sympathize with dieting, definitely, it's just that the constant talking about it, *while* self-sabotaging, gets a little wearing. Constant talking about it in general gets depressing...

Psychgrad said...

I always find it interesting to see how parents are really much more messed up than ever realized growing up.

Dad's city? When?

Hilaire said...

Psychgrad - Isn't that the truth!!

I'll be in Dad City from Aug 5 to Aug 8 - leaving very early on the 8th, I think. Will you be there, then?

Psychgrad said...

I'm taking a quick trip to Halifax for a wedding (that's on the Wednesday). I catch a flight on the 5th at 2:50pm and return on the 7th at 7:00pm. Would working in a coffee/drink be realistic? I live pretty central.

Hilaire said...

I won't get there until after you've left on the 5th, unfortunately. We could have a drink on the 7th, maybe? I'd be happy to do that. I will be pretty central, too - Greenfield and the Canal - a five-minute drive from the market or places on Elgin. I'll also have a car with me, or could be driven somehere (so could have a drink without worrying). Let me know...

Rachel said...

Re your mom and dieting. I keep hearing good things about the Beck Diet Solution, in that folks seem to change the ways they think about food rather than sticking to "a diet." You might want to check it out and see if it'd appeal to her. There's a blog on livejournal called "the next 100 lbs" kept by a woman who discusses the process and her progress.
If it appeals to her, you might be saved some of the difficult conversations you relate here in the future.
Enjoy your trip.

Hilaire said...

Rachel - Thanks very much for that tip!! I'll definitely share it with her. It *does* seem to be a question of altering her relationship to food. Thanks!