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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Pissing match

 I decorated my gumdrop tree today and ate a half a bag of gumdrops, bleh..... pretty though, isn't it?
I have had this tree since I was a little girl. It was my "job" to decorate this tree and my mom sat it on our coffee table in the living room. The gumdrops would stay on this tree until they were rock hard, no one ever ate them, but I always loved it. Some days you couldn't tell from my nearly tacky taste that I have an interior design degree, could you?
My mom and I are in our usual pre Christmas pissing match about gift giving. She sent a check for me to buy gifts for all of us. So, wtf, I go buy gifts for her to give me, Gerry and Wesley since I don't have one other damn thing to do with myself except drive around in this godforsaken Chapel Hill traffic and look all over for gifts we will all like, meanwhile doing my own shopping for everyone. And do I wrap my gifts that I bought that she is giving me? I don't know the protocol here. Grrr....
I sent her an email and told her that I didn't even like to shop and didn't appreciate having to do this. (What I didn't tell her is that the last time I had to do this (I absolutely refused last year but then Wes got that rabbit fur sweater, so we are at it again) I sat in their living room and watched while everyone opened gift after gift that I had gone out and purchased, while I sat there and opened one gift. I didn't buy myself gifts that year and my mom bought me the Ceramics Spectrum book that I asked her to order, like I sent the link and led her there, you know?  and that was it. So, and yes I know this is selfish and childish, but it hurt my feelings that I am an only child and my mother does not have one single thing to do, but she couldn't go out and get me one stinking thoughtful gift. And yes, I left the room and cried. Yes, I also know, grow up, get over it, but I have a very long history of really bad Christmases since my dad seemed to especially like to go out and drink on Christmas Eve with his gang, and other such festive things.)
Anyway.... then she sent an email and said she was just incapable of shopping because she just went blank and they had so much going on. Now keep in mind she has a cleaning lady, (I know, don't get me started) and a husband that cooks most of the meals, and she sits by her pool and reads a lot and she lives a block from the Atlantic ocean. I, on the other hand, have been busting my ass since September trying to make enough work for fall and holiday shows, getting my Etsy store back up, shipping out packages, shopping for Gerry's parents, Gerry, Wesley, my mom, her husband, grocery shopping, cookie baking planning, laundry, Christmas decorating, tree trimming, cooking two or three meals a day,washing fucking dishes every 30 minutes, trying to find time for visiting my friends, I think I had a bath, may have brushed my hair..... and I have something wrong with my left arm, my friend Barbara suggested it is my rotator cuff, oh just great! It hurts like a mother all the time... and I am cooking a pot of soup right now to take down to Charlotte tomorrow because Wes and I are going down to help take care of Gerry's mom for the day...... that will be nice, three hour drive through the country,  but all I want to do right now is sit in a chair and stare at a wall for a minute or two. My insomnia is back and I have had very little sleep, with odd dreams during the two or three hours I dose off. Like I know I am dreaming and I can change what is going on, I am aware of it, lucid dreaming, great......

Anyway, getting back to the other mother.... the reply to my email about not wanting to shop was something like, do it anyway, I will appreciate it and maybe someday you will understand. To which I replied..... I went to Target and bought myself a Dirt Devil hardwood floor vacuum cleaner, would have much preferred opening a gift of a hand made item crafted by an artist, but I needed a vacuum so I got one, woo hoo. 
To which she replied, (this is copied and pasted, I am not making this up)
Just think--the handcrafted  things will someday have to be dusted and find a place for them--Ha!.  Glad you found something you like and can use.  Would like for you to have found something for you personally. 
fuck....
So to continue this stupid spitting contest I replied:
Good thing everyone doesn't think like you, I would be out of business. Some people like to dust their art. I personally just leave the dust there.
Then I went to Stein Mart, her mother ship, and got her a sweater, because she likes to adorn her body, not have the cleaning lady dust hand crafted things, like the barn I was going to give her....
Then I stopped next door at Woman Craft, an odd little gallery co-op here in Chapel Hill. Beautiful work, strange energy. But still, some of my friends have things there, and it's fun to see their beautiful work. And I bought a little tray that my pal Barbara McKenzie made. We share this glaze recipe and I have a cup I made years ago when I was first learning to throw properly that matches. So tonight we had olive tapenade and chiabatta with my newest pottery member. See... why couldn't my mom just go out and buy me a little tray? It takes so little to make me happy, really it does. I would have bought more pottery for myself but I have already done some buying and have pointed out several pieces to Gerry, and really, how much pottery can my little house hold anyway.
What I think would be really nice, is if we could just pause for a moment and remember the reason we are even celebrating Christmas. Jesus, remember? I would be most happy to just sit in a church, listen to some beautiful music, hear little children talking about the shepherds watching their flocks and seeing a heavenly host of angels, and then hear the words frankincense and myrth, I love that phrase! My father in law is a pastor and I couldn't even find any religious themed wrapping paper. 
Everything is so messed up! I'm just going to do my best to enjoy my family and get that mental block survival thing that I do so well going on! Yes I love my mom, and while walking around in Stein Mart, I just had to laugh. She has no clue what she puts me through, it's all about her.... sigh..... 
We are going on a trip next year, no more of this, maybe a cabin in Maine?........

15 comments:

handstories said...

oh, Tracey, i know parts of this story, and am feeling the same way for them & other things going on here & everywhere. & your last post, the birds...i am staring into space so much these days. wishing you peace.

Tracey Broome said...

I think all of us moms need some time to sit and stare into space! Yes the bird..... Sigh.... Life and death
Xo

Dennis Allen said...

If you had the resolve to wait until this weekend you might be able to skip the whole thing.I at least hope you charged things instead of spending cash. If the world ends, you might need a couple of bucks !!! Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Tracey Broome said...

Haha! I heard someone on the radio say that there were going to be a lot of Mayans doing some last minute shopping :)

Vicki said...

Oh dear, Tracey. From one only-child to another, I can truly commiserate.
I've had more than my fair share of mis-understood, frustrating and lonely Christmases - especially where alcohol was a very un-welcome guest.

Yes, I think a a cabin in Maine sounds perfect for the three of you next year. Perfect :)

Vicki said...

oh, and P.S... I LOVE the tray, and the cup. What a perfect match!
And the gumdrop tree - what a great, fun idea! Wouldn't last a day without the drops being pilfered in our house tho' - I'd be continually replacing them :D

Christine Covert said...


You might save yourself the grief of doing your mother's shopping for her and donate any further holiday checks to your favorite charity in the future


Enjoy your lovely tray and bowl set, and cherish that gumdrop tree!

cookingwithgas said...

Tracey- have you thought of sitting on the money until Jan. Then picking a weekend that you and your family can go somewhere and just have some time together? Don't do the shopping, tell your mother thank you and then save and sit- take a much needed break. We spend so much time worry about if someone gets us. Well- sometimes they just do not. Accept your mother who will never change and be happy she is still around even through she drives you up a wall. love her for her.
I have had to come to terms with this 3 times over recently. Taking the angry out has done wonders for me.
Love that family you have- don't go searching for gifts and if you want to just stare at a wll-do it.
Life has a lot to offer- don't give in to the "Christmas" blues. Make your own joy.
XXXXXXOOOOOOOOOOO! M

Jerry said...

Wise, wise words, Meredith. Enjoy the season as much as you can, everyone! Peace!

Lori Buff said...

Ditto Meredith - sage advice from a wise woman.

Michèle Hastings said...

I am with Meredith, use the money for something the whole family will enjoy. Buying gifts, and Christmas as a whole, should be a pleasant experience. Everyone in you home is an adult now and I am sure they would appreciate doing something special and sparing you the shopping misery.

smartcat said...

I'm listening to Meredith. I have no wish to have snakes coming out of my ears. Hope you get past this to a happy time with your own family.

Tracey Broome said...

Hy everyone, see why I hang out with Meredith? She IS a wise wise girl!! It's all good now, my mom and I have had way worse than this!

Scott Garrett said...

Hey Tracey, I'm always playing catch up! You know Meredith is right, nothing's going to change by now. It's a gift, you can spend it how you like and I'm sure Gerry and Wes would swap individual gifts for hanging-out time. After all time's the best gift (I'm telling myself that as i know there will be very little under the tree for me!!)
Just take yourself out of this negative equation. Now go have a good one! it doesn't have to be 'anything', make it what you want it to be. We all feel that pressure.
I won't be seeing my family until feb, so I haven't bothered! Jakki and the boys are sorted and that suits me fine. I'm really looking beyond to our trip Stateside, can't wait (even though chunks of that are going to be dictated by family(Jakki's). Tracey... fuck it. None of it really matters, the past weeks events have shown us that. Relax, let go, weave, make, cook, whatever gives you peace. That's life. If I don't hear from you before I'll See you in 2013!

Tracey Broome said...

Hey Scott, absolutely right! Thanks!!