Friday, December 15, 2006


Thank you very much, girls, for your encouragement on selling my creations! ^v^ Following your advice I'm going to start and Etsy shop and see how it goes. Probably in January though because now I'm frantically finishing commisions and Christmas presents for the family (photos soon! ^^)

Talking about Christmas...

If you love Christmas you may want to stop reading this post, because it's going to be a very personal story of a girl who hated it from the early childhood.
(and I'm not talking about the religious aspect of it, because it doesn't concern me at all, I'm talking about the family part of this holidays)
When I was a child Christmas for me was always the time when I had to sit at a table with a huge family and eat lots of food, and I always got some educational presents like books (which did me good because I fell in love with reading and this love affair continues up till now, but when you are 6 or 7 years old and you open your gifts and see books when at the same time your cousins get dolls, Legos and fancy clothing, you're not happy at all...). ~

When I grew up and had a boyfriend for some years (my current husband), we had to spend each Christmas separately with our families because my parents thought that Christmas is a family holiday - the time when you meet with your family, not some strangers (and I wasn't allowed to leave the table and visit Robert's parents). And the ritual continued - long hours at the table, which legs were wobbly because of the amounts of food my mom prepared for the holiday meals (do you know this Polish proverb: "zastaw sie, a postaw sie"? it roughly means: "morgage yourself but show everybody that you CAN AFFORD a lot", and it's mainly used while talking about Polish cooking and partying habits...). Not to mention the gift problems - my mom always seemed unhappy about what she got from me, as if she always expected something more or different, I could see it in her eyes, when she unwrapped the presents.
(BTW, do you remember the story about the beautiful elegant green candle I gave her this year in May as a name's day present "What is it? Oh,... [dissappoined look and sigh] a candle?... What's it for? [sheepish look in her eyes] I don't use candles. [my gift unwrapped went onto the cupboard shelf]"? She haven't even pulled down the cellophane wrapping, it still sits exactly where she put it 7 months ago...)

Then I got married and there was no excuse for me and my husband not to spend holidays together, so another problem occured - we always had to visit my family FIRST, irrespective of the fact that we also wanted to visit Robert's mom and his father (they're divorced and have separate lives and homes). On the smallest suggestion that this or that year we could first meet my Inlaws my mother got into a neurotic mood and a huge arguments started right away - "You don't respect me at all! I always spent Christmas with MY mother! Do as you wish! Don't come to me at all! We don't have to see each other at Christmas!" ect .

And it brings me to this year and another source of stress for me - this year Robert's father decided that because our families do not know one another they are going to organise Christmas supper and invite Robert's mother and my parents to their apartment. My husband's mother thought about it for a minute and decided that it's a good idea.

It wasn't the case with my mom...

She hates going out and spending time with strangers, she practically goes nowhere apart from some local shopping and for a walk with her dog. Really. And now she's been faced with a threat of spending a whole evening with some strangers!...
I couldn't get the answer from her for three days, (and it was polite to give some answer asap, either yes or no, because with a holiday supper some preparations have to be made, like shopping for more food, Christmas gifts for the guest, ect.). At first she gave this idea a quick thought and said "No, we cannot go because of...(some imaginary reasons)", but then I told her to ring Robert's father and explain why she isn't coming - this gave her even bigger fright - she was supposed to ring a stranger and talk to him, and invent the unexistent arguments!... My mother is all about the appearances that MUST be kept at all cost, so she couldn't do it! She said she'd think about it more.
Finally after a huge argument with me including many grievances and bitter words from her side, she agreed to go (appearances again - she couldn't be perceived as a person who didn't want to come...).
Now, she' s unhappy because it seems that I dragged her into the unpleasant way of spending Christmas evening and I didn't let her stay at home and I didn't agree to invent some reasons for her not coming to my Inlaws, I'm unhappy because I'll have to spend a whole evening with her at my side, artificially smiling and probably talking about the children we still don't have, my father's unhappy because he would also prefer to stay at home, eat some food and go to bed early (plus mom is now angry as a bee and he has to live with her under one roof for the next week till Christmas, when her mood is probably not going to change much...).

Have I told you that my mom is not going to say a word to me for the next week?
(which is, in fact, a plus in this situation! ^^)

I am fully aware that I am not what she wanted me to be - I don't have a career in business, my husband neither, we live in a small apartment and spend time in a different way then just watching tv and reading gossip magazines (what she does), we don't (and probably won't) have children, we don't care for money, cars, stuff, we have hobbies, passions which she obviously lacks of. I am a big disappointment to her. She doesn't want to admit it but all the time she tries to change me bit by bit, and gets only more and more frustrated when it doesn't work. She never praised things I've been making all my life, or she could say straight in my face "It's ugly!", instead of maybe softer way of expressing it like "I don't like it much." Even if she did, it was a quick and meaningless "that's nice", which didn't carry any emotional feel to it. She never believed in my choices and always was very surprised when they turned out right or somebody else praised me. I am aware that the way she is now is a result of her life and all different events during her 58 years of living, pleasant and unpleasant, but why the heck does she have to blame it all on me?... A child is not a clay doll that can be formed according to our views and stay like this forever, it's not a toy.

I can feel that I cannot take all this anymore - sometimes I feel like I am a grown-up in this relationship and she is my child, a very spoilt child who doesn't talk to you and stamps her foot or stares in the window silently when you start talking about some important things between mother and daughter. Either I'll stop talking to her at all or I'll go crazy soon!

Please forgive me this personal musings, but I had to let it off somewhere...

1 comment:

  1. Ugh, I'm so sorry Joanna, this sounds like a real drag. I used to hate christmas too (one, because I'm non-religious and two, because I hate trying to find the "perfect gift" for people). My grandma can be a lot like your mom, never happy with whatever you get her. My mom has had a lot of baggage and emotional problems due to this and other problems, although she has worked through them a bit.

    Anyway, I say good for you for putting your foot down and not making excuses for her. I hope that the holidays aren't too bad for you...if nothing else they'll be over soon!