Saturday, February 23, 2008

well in the end

Even I didn't have lunch with my dad. He called Thursday night, and made no mention of my mom (confirming what I already knew; that she was an excuse). But then it started to snow on friday, and apparently my dad was afraid he "wasn't going to get home on time for shabbas." Now I really have no idea what time shabbas starts anymore...but we were supposed to have lunch at Noon. And I assume shabbas starts after 4 since it's not December anymore. So really, he was afraid of going out in the snow and not being able to get home in a 4 hour window? He doesn't live THAT far from the city. And I'm not going to be in the area again until maybe Thanksgiving. You would think he might give a shit enough to make an effort to see his only daughter who has sees only 2 or 3 times a year, but what should I expect from someone who lives only 2 hours away, and yet has only visited me twice in the 4 years I've lived here: once because we got in a big fight my first year of grad school about why they don't ever visit me (so I guilted them into visiting), and once cause my dad's friend was getting married somewhere right near where I live- and they only stayed for about half an hour that visit.

You know how you have those friends you grew up with, and you're friends with them long after you have anything in common with them? And then maybe you move away, but you've had a friendship so long that when you go back home or happen to be wherever they are living now, you have that sort of obligatory meet up that is kinda awkward cause you really have nothing in common with them anymore, and nothing to talk about, but you meet out of a sense of obligation to the length of your friendship? But then when you go back to where you live now you don't talk to them again until the next time you're going to be in town?

Yeah I feel like my relationship with my parents is slowly turning into that kind of relationship. It feels like the only reason we talk anymore is out of some sense of obligation, and we have nothing to say to each other. In fact, I barely even talk to them anymore; we talk on the phone maybe once or twice a month, and then our conversation is very stilted and we really have nothing to say to each other. We talk about superficial things, like school and gardening and what's going wrong with my senile grandfather this week, but never talk about anything more personal than that. Whenever I mention things about B, I get cut off or met with silence. I just don't know how to have a conversation with people who refuse to even hear me talk about B, who I spend every single day with, and who can't really understand anything I say about my research, which I spend the rest of my day on. That right there is like 95% of my life, and if I don't talk about those things, I don't have much else to add about my personal life.

On the one hand, I feel kind of sad...especially when I see people who have awesome parents. I'm jealous. How come I don't have awesome parents who understand me and are cool with my decisions? I'm sad/jealous that I don't have that. On the other hand, the less I have to talk to my parents, the happier I am. So what to do?

Well, B never got to meet my parents. But this morning I got to introduce him to my mentor, the prof I worked for as a research assistant for 3 years as an undergrad and worked with 4 years after that, who helped me get into grad schools, and who i've co-authored two journal articles with. She slept over at my house once so we could finish up work, and we had a great time just catching up and working together and watching the daily show in our PJs. She's actually visited me more frequently than my parents have (she's visited 3 times, and each time we spent like 48 hours together- and she lives even further from me than my parents do) I still ask her for advice whenever I have to make any big decisions, and I've talked to her about B (and the situation with my parents) several times. She's the same age as my mother. She's taken on many of the roles in the life that my mother has refused to take on as a result of my religious decisions. I'm pretty sure that I'm closer with her than I will ever be with my mother again. So I'm happy she got to meet B at least.


  1. Hey your supposed to friend me on facebook- yes it is my blog name and yes your identity will be secret.

  2. I don't know your dad. But maybe the reason he did not come is that he thought that you might spring B on him.

    And in the end, the only way to get your parents to accept him (or tell you to F off once and for all) is to spring B on them.

  3. so sad.

    BTW, shequia last week in NY was 5:38

  4. Did you & B at least get to have dinner with your brother & his girlfiend like you planned?

  5. nope, we couldn't work out a time to meet, cause my brother's job has him working till 11pm apparently. But i'm sure they'll come down to my place and visit brother has met B several times already. :)

  6. Catching this a little late, but you sound really conflicted about your relationship with your parents. My mother struggled a lot with similar feelings (her mother was a severely depressed Holocaust survivor, so it was a bit different).

    If you haven't done therapy yet, I strongly urge you to, with the goal of coming to a peaceful place where you can accept them and your relationship with them, even if it's not perfect and even if they still have difficulty accepting you and B.

    It took my mother two years, but in the end, she was able to call her parents once a week and make regular visits, without feeling angry and resentful (feelings that come through very strongly in your post).


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