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Sunday, April 24, 2011

House Guests

Happy Easter.

My parents are driving me insane.

As much as I love them, we do better on the phone.  I realized this shortly after moving out.  It was as if a lightbulb went off in my mind. "Hey, we actually get along pretty well and I kinda even like talking to them when we're not in the same room." Perhaps its awful, but we're so different that when we're together, someone is always either bored, frustrated, annoyed, or annoying.

Although I asked them what they wanted to do while they were here multiple times before their arrival this past Thursday, I always got the answer that they'd figure it out once they got here.  Great. Worst possible response ever.  There were NO PLANS. Yet, when we found ourselves sitting in the car, ready to go somewhere, there had been no decision made as to what to do and people start getting pissed.  No one brought directions or addresses to any of the options, so we guessed on a location and relied on the GPS.  My dad hates his GPS.  He says he doesn't, but I'm pretty sure that's just because we got it for him for Christmas and he doesn't want to hurt our feelings.  I think it probably hurts my mom's feelings when he gets annoyed and rips it out of her hands, but I'm sure it was a good gift.

I'm not a big holiday person. I even started to dislike Christmas a few years back, because holidays are when I saw my family and that almost always puts me in a bad mood.  There are plans that get changed at the last minute and schedules to be stuck to, and when things don't go exactly as planned, or as he wanted, my dad gets quite cranky.  My mom also has a tendency to be late and do things at the very last minute, so I'm sure you can imagine how that turns out.  She says he comes up with expectations about how things will be and gets upset when they don't work out that way, even though he won't voice those expectations.  It feels impossible to please him.

My parents are staying until next Sunday.  10 days.  I'm sure my discomfort with their presence is already driving The Writer crazy.  They're on their best behavior around him, but they still bring out the worst in me.  As I mentioned, they've made no concrete plans as to what they're going to do while they're here.  I think they're looking to me.  They want to help me pack for my move on Saturday, but packing is a highly personal thing to me and I don't like the idea of my parents poking through my things.  They're highly conservative to my moderately liberal and we have increasingly different interests.  I came upstairs to write just now because my dad began playing his new Christian CD (which sounds just like all the others, in my mind) at a volume which made it impossible for me to concentrate on May's Vogue that I was trying to read.  It clearly did not interfere with his ability to concentrate on his devotional book.  I have my faith, yes, but I also have other interests.  I see religion as nearly all-encompassing in my dad's life.

The need to occupy them leaves me with little alone time.  Forget alone time with The Writer.  I need both for my sanity, which I feel that I am losing at a rapid pace this week.  I don't have time off from work this week and there are still a ton of things to be done for the move.  I doubt they want to be dragged along on my errands, but I feel bad leaving them sitting at home, trying to learn to use the cable (they've never had it) even though there isn't much they'd want to watch on there anyway (too worldly).

I know I probably come across as ungrateful for their willingness to help.  I feel bad about that.  I don't know what to have them do though.  They didn't ask if this was a good week to visit, although it was the one my mom had off from work.  I think I could enjoy them if there wasn't anything to do.  I felt this way last year when they came out for my graduation.  There were schedules to be kept and events to attend, therefore, there was tension.

I wish we could just call each other.

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