Stumbling thru life w/Grace

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Anniversaries & Dime Store Self Help Psycho Babble Books

I received a phone call from my mother a few weeks back. She had important news. You see, it was my husband's and my 2nd Anniversary, (on Jan 3rd) and she wanted me to be on the lookout for our Anniversary gift, which would be coming in the mail, via QVC. In my family, as long as a gift was received approximately 60 days from any special ocassion, it's on time.

This dates back to my childhood, where all Birthdays were always celebrated on the week-end, no matter if your special date fell mid week or on a Thursday or even a Friday. It would be celebrated one of two days, Saturday or Sunday. Whatever was more convenient for her schedule. And that could mean absolutely anything. As she told it though, it mean't YOU got to bask in all the glory of ALL the attention for an entire day! Not just a measley evening. And as a kid (one of three) this sounded perfect to us! That tradition long stood, even as we all moved out going our own ways, and even when we started having our own kids. They too, were raised to believe their Birthday would always fall on a Saturday or Sunday.

And as we started moving further and further away from each other, and packages needed to be shipped, and our lives all became busier and busier, this rule became even more defined, although it was unspoken. If you received "said gift" in the same year as the ocassion, it was the same as receiving it on the day! The only exclusion to this would be Christmas, in which case it depended upon WHEN any particular family was going to celebrate Christmas. Because Christmas, once we all had families of our own, which would now include "in-laws" and having to celebrate with all or our own new families as well; made it much more complicated, and let's face it, stress-ful. Being the creative woman my dear mother is, she felt it best that we arrange"Christmas day, a whole different day" so that she and my father had all of their children and grandchildren for a whole day! And this tradition became yet even more complicated by the fact that she, and husband #2 (of mine) and myself worked in hospitals. Hospital workers often end up working on Christmas day. My brother a state trooper for WA also ended up out on the job on Christmas every other year or so. So Christmas pretty much always ended up, the week-end prior to Christmas, and on ocassion on New Years day. In which case, for me, (living in AZ since 2001) I must send packages with the new Christmas date in mind.

And all traditions have stood no matter what. As we each had more and more kids, still gifts were sent for every menber of the family, including in-laws. This mean't shipping packages almost every month of the year. Why we just didn't put this tradition to rest years ago, is beyond me. But I wasn't going to "risk the wrath of Dina" by expressing this. And from the looks of things, no one else was going to either. Nevermind the expense, the time that has gone into this, gave everyone head-aches. Except of course for mom. Who never forgot anyone. Including now all three Anniversaries.

Now at first glance, she seems like one of the most giving thoughful women you would ever meet. And lets face it, thats what it came down to. But this has also played into not one, but two of my mother's OTHER quirks in life. That being her penchant for dime store self help psycho babble books, and her addiction to shopping. Along with whatever dime store self help psycho babble book you might receive, came the hidden message. That being whatever quirk, bad habit, lack of character that she may find in you, that she felt it was necessary for you to address and deal with. On her time, with her thumb print all over whatever success you may have. And failures attributed to your own lack of character or flaws. And being the official black sheep of the family, who was always stumbling thru life, I was the recipient of the most dime store self help psycho babble books of all her kids and their spouses. Any lack in your children, also made you the recipient, not said grandchild. You were the mom, you were the one who needed to instill the good things in her grandchildren. Also noting that her two sons' in laws and daughter in law, were not exempt. My new husband thus far being the recipient of two of these DSSHPBB's to date. Although since her new son-in-law was only one year younger then her, and a very dominant self posessed man, she is very careful with whatever oral bits of wisdom she may throw his way. Not sure yet, just how far, he would allow her to push things. (Oh, how I love that about him!) And yes to date, I have already hidden behind him several times, in order to live my life as I see fit. Yes, I'm a coward, and not afraid to admit it. I have a "sense of self" after all.

Now her shopping addiction, that is a whole other ball park. And one no one comes right out and talks about it. Here again fearing the wrath of Dina. That is except for my father, who doesn't mind joking about it. Well when mother is far away at work, where he cannot be overheard. I probably inherited my coward gene from him.

My mother's addiction to shopping has one special characteristic. And that is QVC. All gifts are usually sent in QVC boxes in all shapes and sizes. They know the sound of my mothers voice at QVC. And had I known just how far she would go with QVC, I would have bought stock YEARS ago in this company.

My mother has worked the grave yard shift at the hospital well over a decade now. And has the problem all night workers struggle with. That is getting sufficient sleep during the daylight hours in between shifts. In order for her to sleep during the day, she needs her 20-somthing inch bedroom TV going the whole time. She usually gets a good hour of QVC watching in prior to going to sleep, and a good hour watching after the fact before getting up. You can do a lot of damage with a QVC card in a couple of hours a day, and much more on days off. I cannot even comprehend the number of gifts she has stocked up on for each member of our 16 member family. (That includes Ex husband number two, whom she says is the father of HER grandchildren, whom she has every intention of continuing to honor on special days) Which honestly, I don't have a problem with. Other then she continues to send said gifts to mine and my new husbands house, for us to deliver to him. I did stand up to her recently on this, but that is a subject for another post. (I'm longwinded enough as it is!)

My father's joke about this whole QVC thing (except it really isn't a joke, it's the truth) is that he is definitely on a first name basis with their UPS deliverer. He knows the UPS guys wife and children's names as the UPS guy knows ours. He is delivering to their house, (I swear on this!) at least every other day, on a slow week or month, maybe once a week. My dad and the UPS guy's relationship is familier enough, that when the UPS driver was having a bad day, he told my father to put a sledge hammer thru their TV, to keep his wife off of QVC! (My father would never risk the wrath of Dina by doing this!)

So here we are, in the general vicinity of our 2nd Wedding Anniversary, on the look-out for the QVC gift. I admit, this time the DSSHPBB was not expected. Not for this ocassion. Usually it is somthing for the household. Some quirky gadget, that I have never heard of. Gadget's being another one of her quirks, I'll save for another date. But I was wrong. I knew the advice on our lives had been coming quite a bit of late....."we really need a lot of work to survive this life." I just didn't expect it to bleed over into our anniversary. But it did, and it came. Mind you, mom is not cheap, she takes these books very seriously, and doesn't mind spending a small fortune to aquire them. And she did. This dime store self help psycho babble book (in hard back) came with a set of CD's as well. And this Live Lecture 6-CD set and hardback book, which advertises "AS seen on Public TV" was expensive! And should render forth heartfelt "Thank you's!" and "I am learning so much!" announcements. And I wanted to! really I did. But they came 1. during PMS week 2. with the onset of one of my back discs bulging putting pressure on nerve endings, that has sent me into spasms on too many ocassions to even count at this point! 3. I was feeling particularly inept and vulnerable (brought on by satan's spawn's (Riley) antics in the classroom+ Parent/Teacher conferences comfiming his behavior) So this was the set up for opening her thoughtful Anniversary gifts.

And I came unglued, and ranted and raved, and thru said gift across the room. (I know, childish....and probably the topic for a whole new dime store self help psycho babble book) So I did not thank her for the gift, until recently, when I was on some hardcore mind numbing painkillers. And I know it came out insincere, and weak. Oh well, maybe next year, she'll do us the honor of not recognizing this occasion at all.

So if anyone is interested in aquiring this lovely set, I am sure you can find it on the official website. Which I have not bothered to look up as of yet. I have not bothered to even open the the lovely hardback book, and the Live Lecture 6-CD Set, still in the plastic wrapper.(I did enjoy popping all the little bubbles on the bubble wrap sheet though) So I cannot even tell you, if they are any good. I just got thru her damn DVD set of Women of Faith, presents Irrepressible Hope conference 2004 Which by the way, she attended! (Their website is www.Womenoffaith.com )

So here it is, the official website of the hardback book "The Power of Intention, Learning to Co-create Your world, Your way."(As long as your way agrees with Dina's way) And I am sure it covers the Live Lecture 6-CD Set called, "The SECRETS of the Power of Intention" all by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer website address www.DrWayneDyer.com

Deep down, I realize, the only dime store self help psycho babble book I need, deals with cutting the psychological apron strings of Dina. Without fearing her wrath and repercussions. That is one DSSHPBB that I am sure to never see coming thru the mail from my mother. (Bless her heart!)

4 Comments:

  • Please forgive my typo's. I am STILL on the mind numbing painkillers! And a post THIS big, I am not going to risk losing, trying to edit them out. Sorry.

    By Blogger 3rd Times a Charm, at 2:09 PM  

  • It is very hard to cut those strings. I have a very lovely mother who has become very good at controlling me, but I found out that she only controls me when I let her.

    By Blogger Brat, at 5:10 PM  

  • so this would be the grace that you stumble through life with...nowwwww i get it...hahaha

    By Blogger ak, at 6:48 PM  

  • I know what your saying D. I guess my problem is that of not being able to defferentiate between what is showing her respect (that I know is deserved) and allowing her to take over. In my experience, navigating thru the maze of mother/daughter relationships is complicated. Not wanting to disappoint her, taking on a life of it's own.

    By Blogger 3rd Times a Charm, at 2:01 PM  

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