I keep coming back to this phrase. Because, really, it sums up the issue in a lot of different instances.
For instance, my mother comes to lunch today. And brings up my father’s behaviour towards my aunt and uncle at the induction ceremony. And it’s no surprise, right? I mean anybody paying attention knew it was coming. It’s (not a big) part of why I ran away and had my weekend of solitude on Thanksgiving. Because while it would be rude of them to speak about my father when he’s not there to defend himself, it would be so much more of a hazard to speak my mind to them while they’re hosting the family supper.
And let’s be honest; they can’t help themselves.
So my mother’s all worked up and wants to know why they all can’t just get along.
It all comes back to expectation versus reality, like I said here.
So, in this case, for whatever reason, my mother is expecting something very Norman Rockwell to come out of it… uh, Norman Rockwell, while under-rated, didn’t paint split families that communicate in proxy and through sarcasm, Ma.
So, I look her in the eye, and I tell her, like the grown up that I am becoming, that it is not my problem. That she (or my aunt and uncle, for Pete’s sake!) can talk to my father about his behaviour anytime they feel moved enough to pick up the phone. But it has nothing to do with me.
We’ll see what tomorrow brings to try to make it my problem.
Ah well, one day at a time, right?