Thursday, September 30, 2004

Shut Up, Already

Last night after hours at my mother’s house, I went home exhausted, crawled into bed and watched three hours of reality TV – America’s Next Top Model, followed by The Apprentice and Wife Swap. These shows all shared a commonality – yelling. Yelling because this black girl acts too white, yelling because this lady is a horrible project manager, yelling because not everyone lives in a multimillion-dollar apartment with four nannies, a housekeeper, cook, and driver. Yelling, yelling, yelling.

The funny thing is that I had endured my own three hours of yelling – at my mom’s house. Being the oldest kid sucks big time in my family. The responsibility heaped on my shoulders for the well being of my family is at times overwhelming. I normally enjoy running things, event planning, and bossing people around and am really quite good at it, which is why my talents are completely wasted in this nothing, slavish job, but lately my family has piled the role of matriarch on me and it is driving me to exhaustion. I am seriously considering moving elsewhere – back to the land of sunshine and happiness, perhaps.

As I have said repeatedly, I have been ill, and in the meantime my mother is moving for the first time in 7 years – a huge feat for our family – and requires much assistance from her children, but when they don’t come through – guess who has to hear about it…why, me of course. I have received about 20 phone calls since the weekend from her complaining about the lack of help she is getting from her four children, one of who is an hour away starting his freshman year in college. Only one still lives with her, and she is practically only good for staying out all night and sleeping the day away. The other has had it up to here with my mother’s irrational yelling sprees, so who does that leave? Me, the sick one, no less.

But that is okay, I love my mother and always want to help her when she needs it, but I can’t take the yelling. To be subjected to it with my mother and then to turn on the television - my mode for escape since my scattered brain hasn’t been able to focus on a book since the divorce – and find more yelling was annoying, but the crime dramas were definitely not a good alternative for me last night – would only provide new and interesting fantasies for offing my mother.*

So yelling stresses me out, so I slept terribly, so now I have a terrible crick in my neck, so I haven’t yet heard about the apartment – it’s okay. I will be okay. It will all be over soon, and my mom will go back to normal. There is such a thing as normal, right?

*Disclaimer – will never actually whack my mom, so if she ever does show up dead…it wasn’t me.
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