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melting but not down

Saturday, 13 December 2008

sinking feeling

For the last few years we've gone out for Christmas dinner. I find it a liberating alternative to getting up at the crack of dawn on Christmas Day and planning the dinner like a military operation (most stressful - I'm not a natural cook) and bringing mum over to ours (even more stressful - I always anticipate disapproval and its awkward working out when to broach her going home). Mum always says she hates Christmas, can't wait for it to be over and wishes we wouldn't invite her to the dinner because she can't eat much and its a waste of money. The year before last I got so fed up with her claiming she'd rather stay at home on her own because ....

she had an embarrassing cough

such a tiny appetite

nothing to wear

her hair was a mess

(She later let slip to my son that the real reason was she didn't like my husband)

....that I called her bluff and let her get on with it, taking the kids to visit after we'd had our meal. The guilt ruined my enjoyment of mine though. Last year we brought her out of hospital (she had a stroke at the beginning of December 2007) to join us for Christmas Day. We didn't order a separate meal for her but asked for a plate and each contributed what she fancied. I'd planned on doing the same this year, despite her usual protestations.

Last night my husband declared that this was the last time he would go out for Christmas Day dinner. He just wants to be able to lie in and relax instead of having to get up and get ready to go to the pub.

Great. So next year its a choice between:
  • Feeling guilty because I've left my husband at home on Christmas Day so that I can have a relatively stress-free dinner with my mum (and son/daughter who will also have to make a difficult decision about which meal they'll attend) or
  • Feeling super stressed because of the whole cooking/mum at my house thing (and goodness knows where we're going to eat - there's only the kitchen which is cold in the winter and needs redecorating) AND resentful because him indoors will be in the land of nod while I'm rushing about like a blue-arsed fly

They fuck you up, your mum and dad. They may not mean to, but they do. They fill you with the faults they had and add some extra, just for you. (Philip Larkin)


oldcrow61 said...

Sounds like you're between a rock and a hard place. Hope you can get it sorted out to everyone's satisfaction. Hugs.

Clippy Mat said...

wise man that Philip Larkin.

'tis the season for guilt that's for sure, no matter what we do.
do what YOU want and hope for the best.
that's all you can do when you think about it.

Lily said...

Cheers x And the latest is, Mum said again today that she'd rather stay home (hers) on Christmas Day, so why fight it?