This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things, Mom

, , , , , | Related | January 4, 2019

(Four years ago, my now-husband proposed to me, and obviously, I accepted. To celebrate, we decide to have a small, casual engagement party at the park near my house. My parents are divorced and do not get along well. To try to prevent any disasters, I approach both of them individually well before the day of the party. I go to my dad first, and after giving the date, time, and venue, I then say:)

Me: “Now, feel free to bring [Girlfriend] along, but I’m warning you, Mum’s going to be there, and she might be bringing [On-And-Off Boyfriend], too. So, this is just me telling you — and to let [Girlfriend] know as well if she’s coming — to please be on your best behaviour. No fighting with each other during my engagement party. Okay?”

Dad: “Of course, of course. No need to worry. We’ll be on our best behaviour.”

(A day or two later, I approach my mum and give her the same speech practically word-for-word. Her response:)

Mum: *instantly defensive* “WHAT? Why do you feel the need to tell me that? What makes you think I’m not going to be on my best behaviour? Huh?”

Me: “I’m just saying, I don’t want there to be any trouble between you and Dad or [Girlfriend] or whoever. I don’t want anyone fighting on my engagement party, that’s all.”

Mum: “But why do you need to tell me that? What did you think I was going to do? You always make me out to be such a bad person for no reason. I bet you didn’t give your dad this ‘warning’! You’re already ready to accuse me of doing something before I’ve even done it! Shame on you!”

Me: “I did tell Dad. I told him the exact same thing I told you.”

Mum: “Well, of course you have to tell him, because you need to tell [Girlfriend] to behave. But I’m your mother. How dare you act like I’m going to start something with them?”

Me: “You do realise that the way you’re going ballistic right now, just from me asking you to be civil because Dad will be there, is hardly reassuring, don’t you?”

Mum: “Well, of course, because now I’m angry. You brought out my bad side! I can’t believe this!”

Me: *tired of this nonsense already* “You know what, I said what I needed to say, and those are the rules for attending my engagement party. If you don’t like the rules, you don’t have to come. The end.”

Mum: “Well, fine! Maybe I won’t come, then!”

Me: “Okay.”

(My mum sulked for a few days afterward, and my nanna tried to get me to apologise for “offending” her, but I refused. Eventually, she did end up coming to the party, with her on-and-off boyfriend. She never brought up our bizarre argument or her threat, and from what I can tell she ultimately decided to pretend it never happened. My dad also attended the party, but his girlfriend opted not to. Thankfully there was no further drama.)

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