The Non-Adventures of a Reality Anvil
2011-12-26, 9:39 p.m.
recently on Chaos Attraction
(So we're here in the hotel with net access, so there's an entry. A very sad one. There will probably be massive mood whiplash between this one and the next one. Be warned.)
Mom has a stiff neck. This led her to suggest that I start out driving this morning.
So I got into the car and tried to re-orient myself to it. I asked her how the cruise control works, since (a) we were going to be on a very long freeway and it seemed relevant to know, and (b) I'd rather learn this before I hit the freeway. Well, that just kind of made her go nuts right there. "I can't tell you," she yelled, "I only know by feel while driving. I'll show you on the freeway!"
I stayed calm. "I hear that, Mom, but could you tell me what you know about it before we drive, anyway, at least what you can remember, so I'm not 100% learning this from scratch on the freeway where I might kill someone if I screw it up?"
This did not go well. Between that and her being pissed that I asked her how to adjust the mirrors and things like that...well, she demanded that I exit the driver's seat BEFORE EVEN STARTING THE CAR. That's a first.
The first hour of the drive was me asking her how she learned to drive-- basically, she took to driving like a duck to water, with VERY little instruction ("20 minutes a day for 2 weeks in driver's ed") and no trouble whatsoever. Well, isn't that nice for you..I pointed out that when you immediately know how to do something, it might be difficult to teach others, and I shouldn't be magically expected to know how to drive "just by watching you drive." It is vastly fucking different when you are behind the wheel. And yelling at me for asking reasonable questions is not cool.
After the first hour of driving, the Advil Mom took was kicking in and she was getting sleeping and could I please drive. We switched.
She pretty much kept bitching for most of the time while I drove, albeit it was low-level enough for me to not end up screaming back. But after an hour and 45 minutes, there was a big slowdown of traffic trying to merge into 2 lanes, and she kept yelling at me to merge left NOW and there was no room to do that. I said that and she still kept yelling. Coincidentally, there was a rest stop around there, so I pulled off and quit driving for the rest of the day. And cried again.
That's when (after much more lecturing me about how to drive), she started in on "Why do you want to move to LA in the first place?" Which she knows because I've told her multiple times-- the entire list of reasons-- but she keeps asking anyway. She never likes the answers (okay, not that I expect her to), and I'll admit that a lot of them aren't especially great. And she reasonably, logically, pointed out that if I can't handle driving yet, how am I going to move? Shouldn't I have a car and a job first? (Answer to the last one: duh, but research I've done points out that my odds of getting a job before I move to the location are low, so I might have to suck that one up.)
She said "You're not the type to just take any job." True. And it's not reasonable to move while unemployed. Duh. She said I am putting too much pressure on myself to move soon. Which is true. And it's dumb to move somewhere where I don't know anyone in the event of emergency. True.
And then she really got started on my vaguer and hard to talk about reasons, which make me sound like an idiot when I try to explain them (and that's why I'm not even bothering to do it here). Suffice it to say that even a partially inflated bubble can be popped. And she'd only be able to see me once a year and there's the long list of things I'd never be able to do here again...
You may have noticed in my whiny-ass journal over the years that I am Mom's reality anvil. I'm the sane one (comparatively speaking), I'm the one talking her down off the crazy ledge if she's in the mood of the moment to listen to me. You may have noticed that I was doing that to her in the very start of this journal entry. Really, who loses her shit if you ask a fair question as to how to operate the car?
But this time (possibly for the first time ever), she was reality anvilling me. With all the same arguments I've made to myself over the years as to why it's a bad idea to pursue this. With all the same arguments I have in my head all the time every day. Oh, and why do you want to do this again? Those are really vague, highly unlikely, long shot things you want there. And you kinda don't have those things you'd need to do them, do you? No, I don't. She's right. I know she's right because those are the the arguments any sane person would make to me upon hearing me talk about this. I have those arguments with myself already. Except today I had to hear about this for hours with no escape and really, no arguments to combat her.
Earlier in the day while talking about how she learned to drive so easily, she said it was because she really really wanted to drive more than anything, and isn't there anything that I've wanted THAT badly? I said no, because the first step to doing any damn major thing I wanted to do is being able to drive a car, and for a very long time that wasn't even an option. If you can't even do step 1 of what you want, then you learn to stop wanting it. Or if you have no idea how to do it, then you never end up doing it. (This is pretty much why the last ex and I broke up, I think: we were burned out on status quo and he was never going to figure out how to get a job and move here... You know, I really shouldn't judge because I can't figure out how to do any major stuff either.
If I can't handle real adult stuff like moving and driving, I can't get anywhere. I'll be here forever. And if my one big want is something that anyone would find really fucking stupid... is that big enough to move me? Move me past that damn driving and lack of job, friends, help, anything ... How likely is it?
I should just give up now.
I don't know because I am not a parent (and thank god for that, under the circumstances), but if your child tells you that she feels like a kid and a loser as she is now... shouldn't that bother you? Make you worry about her mental health? After you've talked her out of doing anything she might want to do differently, is it right that you're just sitting there happily bopping along to Gloria Estefan? This seems like bad parenting to me somewhere along the line.
Hell of a way to feel on the ride to Disneyland.