For those of you who are married or living with someone in a committed relationship, you have an issue which must be resolved on Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chanukah…you get the picture, right? It’s: Where do we go? Your mother’s house or mine? Hmmm. This is the kind of dilemma that we need to keep King Solomon away from. Not okay to cut my mamma in half. Oh, no! If you want to sacrifice yours to the cause, be my guest. Oh, yeah? What was that you said about my mother?
And so you see how fraught this entire issue can be, and how it can burst into flames at any moment. So what’s a girl to do?
We have tried (as I imagine many of you have) to make it fair and just – splitting our time equally between the two matriarchs, for example. What does that look like exactly? It looks like an exhausting trip from Manhattan to Brooklyn in stop and hardly-go traffic, followed by a grand effort to appear relaxed and delighted with the bagels and lox (which is the traditional celebratory fare). Choking it down while trying not to look at your watch is not that easy. You know you have to be in Suffolk County for an early dinner; which means possibly four more hours on the road. Mamma number two (don’t let her hear your refer to her that way!) will be in full-on denial that you had any kind of conflict of interest. She is, in fact, the one and only mother – as far as she’s concerned.
Ah, the drive…The kids will be in monster-mode, requiring the ultimate threat: “Don’t make me come back there!” It’s equally ineffective when expressed by either the driver or the driver’s spouse. Kids know that, unless we’re on the cusp of Armageddon, there is little that will be enacted in the way of discipline in a moving vehicle. “Wait till we get home,” doesn’t really work. Those kids count on your failing memory, which is only further compromised by the kind of exhaustion that comes from a day filled with bumper-to-bumper traffic and too many carbohydrates (dinner will consist of a six course meal at ye olde Chinese restaurant – the only one that still uses MSG.)
Now would be the time to encourage one mother to move down to Florida. Expectations for holiday visits are muted by the sun and all those beige buildings. There is also another solution to this and the other comparable quandaries: avoidance.
I can’t (yet) speak from personal experience, but a dear friend can always be found on one breezy Caribbean island or another during each and every family-oriented holiday. She has found a way to turn dross into gold. Now – do you have the courage to say: “I won’t see you on Mother’s Day”? I know, it’s daunting. But, let’s make a pact, you and I. Next year in Antigua!!
Look for my new non-fiction book, FEAR OF LANDING, The stories we tell about commitment and their meanings. It’s available on amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Fear-Landing-stories-commitment-meanings/dp/1539179095/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1476027342&sr=8-3&keywords=karen+krett
Also available on amazon.com is my science fiction novel, RAYMÒN AND SUNSHINE, It’s about the relationship between an autistic man and a female android three hundred years in the future, when what was once seen as a disability is merely a difference. http://www.amazon.com/Raym%C3%B2n-Sunshine-Karen-Krett/dp/0692660887/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1461866431&sr=8-1&keywords=krett+sunshine
You can find more information about me and my books at www.karenkrettauthor.com/