8:51 a.m. - 2012-11-21
It would be a terrible thing for me to say that I would rather hibernate, or that I look forward to a trip to the dentist more than a trip to Vermont (a lot more). I love my family. I don't want anything bad to happen to them and I want them to be happy. That doesn't mean I want to interact with them.
It's hard to explain because I don't have any ill will toward them, or at least I don't think I do. I hated my parents when I was a kid and a teenager, HATED them, and with good reason I think. But people change. Feelings of reserve, or 'let's live happily on opposite sides of the planet,' don't. Not much anyway.
When we were growing up, I was the perfect child and the perfect has-all-the-answers takes-care-of-you big sister to my brothers; in adulthood I ended up being the most screwed up one and I feel like they all judge me. (Whether they do or not I'll probably never know; my brothers don't talk. They show up for stuff, like Thanksgiving, and they Do Stuff Together, like fix cars and plow snow, but they don't talk and I'm not very good at the stuff they do.) My mom and I always end up fighting about stupid stuff because she is irrational, oversensitive and impossible, and I am probably the same way.
But this is only because we are mother and daughter. I know we would probably get along if we weren't, but the fact that she is my g-d mother just magnifies everything she says and does to me.
When I cross the Vermont border, I shut down. I hate that state and I hate how I feel there. If I could erase the first 18 years of my life and everyone in it, I would. It's not that there weren't a lot of good parts about growing up in Vermont (and going to school in a two-room schoolhouse); there were, but overall it is a bad memory and makes me hate myself.
A is coming up on Thursday and I am looking forward to that. She doesn't really have any family, except her grandmother in Alaska (who is still trying to convince her she's a straight Christian and needs to move back home and get married) and I am more than happy to share mine with her. "Your mom is cool," she says. Ah yes, she is, and you can have her! My mom definitely has her cool points. She has been vocally pro-gay-marriage since long before she knew her daughter was dating a woman, so it's not like I had any family drama to deal with. (My brothers are all happily heterosexual, but my mom lives in VERMONT. You don't have to have gay relatives to be pro-gay marriage there.) My mom has a beautiful picturesque farm with chickens and sheep and cows that A. thinks are great and I would be happy never to see, clean up after or milk again.
My mom likes her; she can bond with my mom along with my kids and I can watch how happy they all make each other and leave as soon as possible. My ideal Thanksgiving is a) my mom is surrounded by family and happy and doesn't notice that b) I don't get stuck alone in a room with her for a second.
Happy Thanksgiving, world.