Through the Back Loop

Adventures in knitting, fiber arts, and family.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

I must be Insane

The Traveling Shells is going ok, very slow, but ok. I wanted to post a picture yesterday, but I forgot to bring my knitting bag to school with me (that almost never happens) and today I am not going to work because I have a funeral to go to. First I'll talk about the knitting, then the funeral.

I finished the mitten on Sunday while I visited my mother-in-law in the hospital (the funeral is not hers.. many people at work thought it was, it's just wierd timing) and we all had a good laugh. The darn thing is so tight, you can't even get your thumb into it, but IT IS DONE! I put it away, never even thinking of giving it a mate, and feeling absolutely no guilt about it's status as an orphan mitten. I may end up ripping out the yarn and making a standard mitten instead of double knitting.. that created too much bulk in the thumb, and made the inside fabric of the mitten slip and slide along the outside which also drove me nuts.

Then I got rid of all of the DPNs in my bag by using waste yarn to finish off the arrrrrrrrggggghhhhyle sock I made for TKGA Master's II but will never turn in because the colors are too dark for their requirements. My MIL, who is a knitter, was very impressed by the sock. "It looks very English" she said, which in her words is a compliment. She is a fiesty little German lady with a thick accent, and I love her dearly.

Next I cleaned (YES CLEANED) out my knitting bag. The different yarns were talking to each other way too much and getting unruly in there, so I wound up all of the left-over skeins in there and tossed out all of the chip bags, candy wrappers, and receipts. Wow! It looks nice and tidy now! Then I really got at the Traveling Shells, but it is slow going.

Now the funeral:

To make an 17 year story short, my widowed mother (widowed for 27 years without a date... EVER) and I have had a very strained relationship since I grew up at 18 and started to want a life outside of her house. In her opinion, I married way too early (21) had my first child way too early (23) and shouldn't have had a second child so soon (26). Not to mention I have the wrong job, live in the wrong city, married the wrong guy (but she likes him now.. FINALLY) and pretty much have never done anything right. We rarely speak. In fact I've been so angry with her since her outburst over us moving to Cincinnati (we didn't move because of her and my in-laws, who also acted like jilted children) in July. She has called me twice, but all I could muster was a, "Uh-huh" or "OK" here and there. She called me Sunday night, and had to leave a message because we were out. I called her back (after a stiff drink... she is always more dangerous over the phone than in person), and after my hello, her comment back was the ever present, "Oh, so you ARE still alive. I was beginning to wonder." Off to a great start! Next she asks if I would do her a favor. After I ask her what it is, she tells me that my great uncle Albert died last Thursday. It is a blessing, really, because he had suffered for more than five years with advanced stages of Alzheimer's and his poor wife spent every waking moment taking care of him. Would I take off of work to drive her to the funeral? Before my brain thought about the ramifications of my answer I blurted out, "Oh, sure". Who invaded my body to make me want to 1) drive 35 minutes out of my way to pick her up, 2) spend 3 hours in a car ALONE with her to remind me of every mistake I have made in my life and 3) watch her be all lovey to me when the family is around. I have been here before, I know what will happen. But I want to go to the funeral, and my guilt won't let me go and leave her at home. She is afraid to drive (at 67 years old) anywhere outside of her city. She never liked to drive, and I can deal with that, but my life is ALWAYS about taking care of her. We have role reversal BIG TIME here. Saturday I was thinking about her, and I thought that if she died and we still had this kind of a relationship, I wouldn't forgive myself, but I have tried so many times to make it better and she won't. I thought, on Saturday, that I could offer to take her to a counselor, go with her if she wanted, to find out if she wanted things to stay the same or not.

I leave in fifteen minutes and I already know how the conversation will go for the first 30 minutes. She will first say, "Is that what you're wearing? You could have at least dressed nicely for this." I have spent about an hour trying to figure out what would be "nice" in her eyes, and this black pants with red coat is what I finally decided on. Next she will criticize my daughters for at least 5 things from this list:
1. How heavy my second daughter is.
2. How inactive my second daughter is.
3. How I never should have had my second daughter for a million reasons in her eyes.
4. How my oldest daughter worries too much
5. How she would like to spend time with my children, but they are too difficult for her to deal with.
6. How my oldest daughter is too busy.
7. How my youngest daughter is too lazy.
8. How she thinks my youngest daughter should be on more medication for her ADD.
9. How she thinks my youngest daughter is "just like" my husband's family.

She has issues with Anna, my youngest daughter, and Anna knows it. We keep them separated as much as possible.

You also need to know that my mother is a retired second grade teacher of 35 years. She doesn't like children, and never did. She told me at age 14 that she never wanted me. She's a charmer.

Sorry to rant here... but my Metamucil isn't working and the stomach cramps are kicking in just thinking about how this day will turn out. I'm home at about 6:00pm and my youngest daughter (who will be 9 soon and is always wanting to diet because she hears grandma saying she is fat) has Girl Scouts. I would like to be home before then, we'll see if I'm still alive by then, or if I have been booked on charges of "mother abuse".


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