10.16.2006

Tis the season

For most folks, the holiday season is still a few weeks away. For the Mandy clan, the season is just beginning. This year, November doesn't only offer Thanksgiving; it also features my parent's 40th wedding anniversary.

Anniversaries have always been a big deal in my family, never once missed in all our time together. Because 40 is such a milestone year, the siblings and I pooled our resources to purchase a mega-present for my parents. Little do they know, but mother and father are headed to Mexico on a 7-day cruise in December. We spared no expense and upgraded everything we could to make this a most pleasant experience.

What is sort of unpleasant, however, is that family relations have been soured as of late. Ordinarily, I am the black sheep in my parent's eyes, a trend that continues to this very day. But sadly, in recent weeks, my sister, Chrissy, has also incurred the wrath of my mother.

Broken hearted by the situation, Chrissy called me looking for advice. Even though she was angered by mother's behavior, she wanted to do what was right. I advised her to take the high road.

"Just drop it," I said. "Wait a few days for the emotions to calm, and call mom like nothing ever happened."

Ever since, Chrissy has been phoning mom on a weekly basis, and mother has been cold to her on each and every occasion. But that's mom, and there will be no changing her. Love her; accept her--even though she will never pay you the same respect. I've come to terms with mother's ways, our relationship, but my sister still struggles.

Needless to say, it's with more than a little sarcasm that the siblings gather to plot and plan how to give my parent's their anniversary present. None of us actually want to spend the entire Thanksgiving holiday weekend under such tense circumstances, but we do hope to honor my parents and commemorate their marriage.

So, we've come up with a compromise plan--a surprise dinner the prior weekend at a local Mexican restaurant, which my parents frequent. There amidst the tortillas and refried beans, we will present mom and dad with the cruise tickets and watch the surprised look on their faces...

And in those few minutes of purposefully induced family unity and merriment, I secretly hope one thing--that while mother will never change, she does, for one moment, recognize what a total heel she has been.

Sad, I know.

Let the festivities begin!

6 comments:

The Daily Randi said...

If someone Gifted Me with A Vacation, I would Totally Forgive Them. (And then you can return to being The Black Sheep!)

Jennifer said...

Ah, the Family Dynamic. It can wrench a person, can't it? I'm loving your attitude, though. And I hope your mother does come to her senses someday; it's all just such a waste otherwise, isn't it?

Siryn said...

My heart aches for you and your sister. I hope that your parents (mom) will be able to see beyond the differences and cut the petty bs. Life is too short for this stuff.

David said...

Well first let me say that is a super gift!! I hope your parents love it and hope they have a great trip. I also like the restaurant idea. A neutral ground if you will.

utenzi said...

Don't hold your breath, Diane. People rarely change their fundamental personality--not even Moms. Pity but there you are. At least you recognize the facts here unlike your sister. Chrissy's probably never going to get over it, I guess.

Mindless Dribbler said...

Ah, family situations like that are always sticky.

Good luck with it!