Miscommunication is a monster. Outside of evil itself, it is the most insidious thing. Often times, no one is wrong OR right, but the resulting hurt and damage is done regardless of fault. That was what happened here.
On Wednesday and Thursday of last week, I drilled my dad. His senior brain doesn’t work like it used to, so I felt that driving down the facts TWICE would help him remember. I told him I had a debriefing all day Saturday for the organization I volunteered with to help plan next year’s event, and that on Sunday, I was covering both shifts for coffee ministry at church so the moms that usually help could enjoy their day. I told him that we should plan on celebrating Sunday afternoon sometime after 2 when I’d be home and my brother and his wife we also done with church and lunch.
He complains that he wants to take my mom to dim sum and insists that’s what she wanted. And dim sum ends at 2. I told him we could go somewhere else.
On Friday, he tells me matter-of-factly that he and my mother are going to dim sum Saturday. It’s exactly what I asked him not do. I was rushing to my painting class so in the minute I had I asked, “Did you at least ask if N and R could go?” He replies yes, he planned this with my brother (N.)
Ouch. Freaking Ouch. I walked out that door with a bullet in my heart. At least my brother and sister in law could go, but what about me? Why did they have to deliberately celebrate when I couldn’t be present at all?
I got home late that night and waited to speak to my mom. I told her I heard about their plans for tomorrow and wondered why they couldn’t do something all together on Sunday evening. She explodes at me (whether she wants to admit it or not) and calls me selfish for wanting to do what I want on her day. She told me it was for her and she could do as she wanted. She added that she in fact, did not necessarily want dim sum.
Stifling showing my hurt, I offered to contact my group and tell them I couldn’t go last minute to spend part of mother’s day with my own mother. This is the second time she has called me selfish this month so I am incredibly wounded. The fact that they planned to exclude me and that my own brother didn’t mention a thing to me was painful. And to add insult to injury, that word selfish was thrown in.
On Saturday, I got up and stayed quiet in my room. I built a bridge and got over all the hurt from the night before and focused on being home after everyone came back from dim sum. I hear my dad’s voice booming to my mom, “She’s still here, did she oversleep for her meeting today?”
Minutes later my mom comes up to my door and asks if I’m joining them for dim sum. As politely and respectfully as possible I tell her I wasn’t invited to join them but if I was invited I’d go. I only meant to not assume, but she translated that as me testing the waters and trying to sound petty. I hear her complaining and tell me she doesn’t want anything and I’ve ruined her mothers day. Then she goes to tell my dad his plans made me feel excluded and they start bickering. I come out and try to say my piece but my dad is yelling at me and my mom is fed up and walks out to the backyard.
My dad then proceeds to call me a liar and says he told me yesterday what he planned to do and he planned it because I wasn’t available.
I’m very emotional at this point, like any fucking human being would be. I walk outside and tell my mom I’m sorry and that I want her to have a good Mother’s Day and didn’t mean to cause all this. She is freaking out that the neighbors will hear me and is further angered by my actions. I. Can’t. Fucking. Win.
Finally N is on the phone and several phone calls later we finally resolve enough to go to dim sum.
My dad is losing his marbles. It’s frustrating but also sad. I could hear by the way he answered my brother he never took time to understand me. I was telling him my schedule and to plan to celebrate on Sunday after lunch. He took it to mean I was too busy all weekend. His lack of rationalizing is what made him assume that dim sum was what my mom wanted, and that the priority of night church service was more important that working around his schedule to celebrate when we could all be together. N tells me on the phone he specifically told my dad to tell me that while they’d go to dim sum together, the main celebration would be on Sunday.
So yeah, the first half of our celebrating was hell in a hand basket. Even at dim sum, the first half hour felt so awkward, with everyone contemplating if they were even in the mood to eat.
Once again, I had to remedy how I was feeling inside and I went out of my way to be nice to my dad. My mom and my brother told me to excuse him for his actions because he’s getting old and any grudge I held may turn sour if anything happened to him. I know that to be true, but the fact that I have a right to feel hurt is what really complicates things. Much later in the day he finally told me he was sorry and didn’t wish to see it turn out so badly. I’ll accept that.
N+R had to run after dim sum (gotta celebrate both sides, so two brunches!) , and we did get together on Sunday. This is R’s first mother’s day, as she’s expecting, so we did a little photoshoot. That was probably the highlight this year. They got to use those pictures to announce publicly via social media that they are expecting. And you know what they say, “It’s not official until it’s facebook official.”
Now I can freely share I’m going to be an auntie.❤