Tuesday, January 16, 2007

my mom finds new way to make me miserable

My mom has Strep. Now before you start pointing fingers at me (I didn't get her sick), you should probably know that my sister got Strep and she passed it on to my mom. My sister may or may not have gotten Strep from me over the holidays. Unfortunately for my mom, if she had what I had, she won't start feeling better until 3 weeks from now. Poor thing.

Now whenever my mom is ill, she has a habit of saying things in preparation of her death (morbid, I know, but when you've experienced the early passing of your husband, preparing others for your passing sounds like a good idea). I think illness reminds her of her own mortality. She'll say stuff like this for example, "I'm gonna need you to start depositing more money into your savings account because one day I won't be around and I need to feel that you'll be taken care of." Or "I need you to be nicer to your sister because she'll be all you have when I'm gone." My reaction is always the same: "Oh mom, don't talk like that." I've been hearing stuff like this for as long as I remember so I'm used to them and dismiss them quickly. Except last night, Mom said something that took me by surprise. She said, "I need you to hurry up and get married soon because I may not be around much longer to see it."

I was floored. Luckily I needed to pee, so I used that as my transition to say good bye (TMI, I know). I really didn't know what to say to her. My mom has never before pressured me about marriage until recently (and I thought her last nag/guilt trip was a fluke). I imagine she and my sister never have these conversations. My sister is 38 and has never been married; her biological clock has been ticking for the last 10 years so she has bigger problems to worry about. But lately, my mom has been mentioning marriage and my name (Jesse's name is thrown in there too for good measure) in the same sentence with some frequency and it's making me nervous. I don't need my mom to find something new to nag me about.

I don't remember when the marriage nag started exactly. It had its early beginnings when Jesse and I went to San Francisco for our anniversary last year. Apparently, my family was hoping for a big "declaration" while on the Golden Gate Bridge. For your information (if you've never been there), the Golden Gate bridge has signs posted everywhere to prevent people from committing suicide ("there's hope, call this number to reach a 24-hour counselor") and the bridge (it is suspended after all) jumps around during rush hour. I didn't even make it half way before asking Jesse if we could head back to more stable ground. So yeah, nice view but not romantic.

I didn't really notice the marriage nag again until shortly before Jesse and I went to Cali for Xmas. Before the trip, my mom told me that she wanted to sit down and chat with Jesse because she had some questions (i.e. "What are your intentions?" and "When are you two getting married?") I feared for Jesse but knew that he could handle himself when the time came for the interrogation from mom. That time never came. My mom told me after we had come back from the trip, "I wanted to talk to Jesse but I never got the chance to catch him alone. You two were joined at the hip." Fortunately for Jesse, I stuck to him like glue.

Marriage was definitely the issue of week while in Cali. While opening gifts, my brother's wife made a big deal over the size of the box my gift from Jesse came in. She said, "Jesse, we need it to be a smaller box, you know, like ring size." This was followed by awkward laughing from Jesse and me. (For curious minds, the box was glove size and inside were some beautiful, black Coach gloves that I had been eyeing for awhile.)

Even friends of the family got in on the action. Shortly after I introduced Jesse to my sister's best friend, she asked, "So when are you guys getting married?" Incidentally, I warned Jesse that this might happen.

I'm trying not to stress over the big engagement question mark and my mom's nagging/guilt trip surely doesn't help matters. I could always try avoiding her for awhile, but that will just result in the "you never have time to talk to me anymore" guilt trip. Either way, it's a lose-lose situation for me. Damn it.

As the stress level increases, a voice in my head tells me, "be patient; wait until we're sure this is what we want." It's finally starting to work.

I don't need my mom's voice to enter my head and say, "Can you hurry up and get married before I die please?"


Law-Rah said...

Shrug it off. I have actually been hearing this from my grandmother since I was about 18. In fact, my grandparents put together a "hope chest" of sorts for all four grandkids. A few years ago, they gave mine to my parents because they figure they'll be dead by the time I get married.

lizzie said...

law-rah--i wish i could just shrug it off. unfortunately, my mom has quite the effect, especially when she's nagging about my own insecurities. so i guess the question becomes how do i get over the insecurities?