Maddog. Phone Home!

I got a comment from a Debbie Downer in reference to my post about my mother.

I understand completely where she was coming from.

She was not being a Debbie Downer.  I love my mom.  I really do.

The reason my relationship with my mom is so taxing is that she doesn’t really take an interest in my life.  Or she doesn’t know how to talk to me about it.

She never asks about Adam.

She only wants to know if I made money at work.  Never questions about my night, etc.

She has no interest in my design work.

The only real employment questions she asks is if I’ve applied for any new jobs.  Clearly the jobs I have are not enough.

She never asks about my home.  She never asks about Harper the cat.  She never asks about Adam’s family even though she knows his grandfather is not doing well.  She never asks about our plans for the weekend.  She never asks about…

You get the point.  And the problem with this is that ALL of our phone conversations are at least 20 minutes long.  Sometimes longer.

I know it’s bad, but I usually sit at my computer and read Facebook status updates or Joe.My.God, or the news or the weather.  I say yes and no where it appropriate and wait for the 20 minutes to be up before I say I have to go.  I hate that I do that, but I don’t know what else to do.  I also secretly pray that she doesn’t answer when I call so that I won’t have to spend 20 minutes with her on the phone that day.

All of this would be made so much easier if she did anything.  But all she does is go to work and come home and talk to relatives (Aunt Doo and Aunt Betty) on the phone.

I know I’m lucky that I still have her.  Many of my friends do not have their parents.

It just makes me sad that we don’t have a real relationship.  Adam has suggested that I talk to her about this.  I probably should but every time I bring up something she gets depressed and is mad at me for days.  And our relationship has been this way since forever.  In high school and college she never had any idea what I was studying at school.  She didn’t really even know what I was doing.  She knew all the important facts but little else seem to matter.  I was always where I was supposed to be and didn’t cause her much worry.  My brother was the problem child and therefore needed more time.  I learned to take the back burner and lived that way for a long time.  My mother would insist that she treats us both the same.  My brother will tell you I’m her favorite.  And I probably am…NOW.  Which makes me really sad for my brother because if my relationship with my mom is like this…how is his relationship with my mom.

And so I’ll go to bed.  And around 1:15 as I’m just starting to think about getting out of bed, my phone will ring.  I won’t answer.  I rarely answer.  The message will say, “Maddog, it’s mom.  Just wanted to let you know I was home from work.  Call me when you get the  chance.”

I usually wait till I have a cup of coffee in my hand and am sitting at my computer to call her back.

She’ll answer and say, “What are you doing?”  And I’ll reply, “Just got out of bed.”  And thus begins our ritual.

I’ve become very sad typing this.

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4 thoughts on “Maddog. Phone Home!

  1. Peter August 13, 2010 / 05:58

    J, why don’t you ask your brother what he does in situations like this?

  2. Lemuel August 13, 2010 / 06:14

    That is sad. For the most part both my wife and I had good relations with our parents. They were actively interested in our lives. (Sometimes, maybe too much. 😉 ) I think we have a similar interest in our sons’ lives, and sometimes they do not tell us nearly enough! 😀

    But my point of reference to what you are enduring is my one SIL. She will call. She will ask questions about what we are doing, but before we get to answer she is off telling us about something she did. I get the impression that the questions about us are only a pro forma intro to her life.

  3. Java August 13, 2010 / 08:52

    I’ve become melancholy reading this. About people like your mom, I wonder if they are just really shallow.

  4. catrina August 14, 2010 / 10:25

    Yes, it IS sad that your mom doesn’t seem to really care about what your life is all about. Mine was intent on being more involved than I wanted. She had an opinion about everything, and made sure I knew them all. I just wanted to tell you that no matter the relationship, we miss ’em when they’re gone.
    And though I’m sad for you for what you don’t have with your mom, I’m equally sad for her, because she instigated it.

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