Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Last Two Weeks

An overview: started well then became progressively more challenging.

My parents left yesterday after 2 weeks here. I was on holiday, off work, for the first 10 days. Xfe was in Tel Aviv for their first week, and we had another set of friends come stay for 3 days during week 2 (with their 2 children, so it was a full house).

Two weeks was without a doubt over-long. My Dad suggested it. I think he felt it would be a respite (of sorts) caring for my mother.

Without a doubt the biggest problem I had was their gross overreaction to my staying out overnight last Sunday (Missing, Presumed Murdered). I was angry, very angry, and could not hide it. It tainted the rest of my time with them. Less so with my Mother as the week went on, which I find is always the case.

Still, I found I was far less tolerant with them after that incident. To the extent that I refused to allow my parents to pay for anything. My Mum wanted to pay for dinner on Friday. When she asked me to take the money at home. When she left it on a table I simply handed it back to her and told her they were our guests. Of course, my Dad would never offer to pay for anything! Though that is because he never really handled their money, and my Mum usually deals with finances.

My parents are so set in their ways. They eat very little, at times different from us. Lunch (soup or a sandwich) about 12.30p. Tea (they don't have dinner) usually closer to 5pm than 6pm. They like sausages, chicken supremes, cook in the oven from frozen pizza, pies, oven chips. Nothing fancy. They don't usually eat pasta, and had never had it with pesto before.

My Mum discovered, and greatly enjoyed, hummus.

If we are going out for lunch they prefer to eat in a supermarket cafe. Morrisons is their favourite, but Sainsburys is another top choice. They were delighted to find the former in Wood Green, and I had lunch with them there at least twice.

Still, when all is said and done that is the nature of a parent/child relationship.

They will be welcome anytime, but next time I will make sure it is for a much shorter visit.


Nik_TheGreek said...

That's a perfect example of 'You can't live with them; you can't live without them'.
You will miss them but you can't spend too much time with them...

liminalD said...

I can relate.

The last two years, I've gone back to the city my family lives in here in New Zealand (Christchurch - lovely place, or it was, before the recent massive earthquakes knocked half of it down) from the end of November to the beginning of January, to spend time with my mum, two brothers and my neices and nephew, in an effort to mend our strained relationships. Each time, I came back physically and mentally exhausted, feeling that the relationship with my mum had instead been further strained... A month or more is just too long.

Though, they've never freaked out about me having a life like your family did (my folks just don't want to know)... I couldn't believe it when I read your other post, COMPLETE overreaction, I must say. I can imagine it was frustrating and awkward after that :)

Ben said...

I think there's an optimum distance between a grown-up son and his parents. Around the corner is bad as it leads to over-reliance (from both parties), casual dropping by and maybe even some kind of transactional laundry arrangement. Across the city, or in a neighbouring town, is probably about right, since visits can be frequent, whether impromptu or regular, without being too long or feeling forced. The other end of the country is bad as regular contact may lapse, whilst visits have to be reasonably long in order to be worth the travel, which leads to parents getting on son's nerves.

So in summary: Under 2 miles = bad
2-50 miles = better
50-100 miles = okay
100+ miles = not so good

Just the personal theory of someone who lives 3 miles from his parents!

MadeInScotland said...

Agreed. I'll leave it at that and move on. Hopefully, sometime, I can feel like laughing about it.


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