Sunday, July 13, 2008

Expectations are premeditated resentments

The title is one of the first topics I heard about in Al-Anon. I had expectations of how my weekend was going to go. For better or worse, that isn't how it is going.

First, after getting soaked yesterday (my seats were drenched in my car from leaving the moon roof vented during the thunderstorm), I was in panic mode the whole way home. I left work later yesterday than I had planned, and I was aggravated that I'd have to rush to get home, pack up Sophie, and then leave for the BBQ. I called my mom on my way home, and I found out I was a day early: the BBQ wasn't until today (Sunday). Part of me was upset--this meant I had to switch around when we would visit Tim's parents to get the furniture--but the bigger part of me was happy. I had an entire evening I hadn't planned on.

Tim and I decided to get out of the house last night. With the weather, we couldn't walk outside, so we walked the mall a few times. It was nice to have a few hours with nothing going on.

Of course, I had to reschedule today. I went to 10:30 mass, since I didn't want to rush again (and going to noon mass somehow seems to kill more of my day). I got home, clipped coupons, went through the paper, and generally tried to get organized.

The expectation had been that I would pick my mom up at 3 today so that we could get to my cousin's house at 4:30-5. At 2, I figured I'd better call and make sure that was still the plan. I expected my mom to back out at the last minute, and sure enough, that's what happened. Her reason was that she hadn't been to mass yet, and she'd have to go to 5:30 mass. That's a true statement. However, talking to my brother, I had an idea of why she didn't get up to make it to a morning mass. I didn't have it in me to get into it. And it's not like I could change the situation.

I resented that I was now in the situation to make a decision about my cousin's BBQ. My dad was out of town, my mom was not going, I don't think Jason was going (although I wasn't sure), and the other siblings were out of the picture too. I didn't want to be the only "representative" of my family and constantly have to answer as to why no one else was there. I was also resentful that I was the one in my family that had the farthest to drive, and yet no one closer was going. And I resented that I had changed other plans around to make this BBQ work.

I still haven't decided if I am going or not. It's be easy to back out--technically, I was invited through my parents, not directly, so that always gives me an out based on etiquette. And I have a million other things I could be doing. But it is a family event. And there are always the picnic politics involved. And I shouldn't let other people's issues dictate my actions.

If it were up to me, no one else's decisions involved, and no ramifications, I wouldn't go. Seriously, almost a 2 hour drive, each way, during Sophie's nap times/feeding times equals not fun. But it's also so easy for me to always find an excuse not to go. And how would I feel if I planned something and no one showed up? Granted, I don't expect anyone to show up to my events. Even though I am less than an hour away from most of my extended family, they think Cleveland is another country. That's part of why we did Sophie's baptism at my parent's house: I figured very few would make the drive to our place.

So, ultimately, I have to weigh my reasons and decide what to do. And I'm trying to quell the resentment I have about being put in this position in the first place. My dad's family doesn't know about the alcoholism issues my family has been dealing with, and I don't want to be the one to explain it. Which means I have to make excuses. Which I don't want to do either.

I don't know. I'll see how I am feeling in an hour. Why do simple things have to be so complicated? It's times like this when I envy my sister Amy, who lives in California. There are no expectations that she comes to every family event. How could she? But living 1-2 hours away, we're on the bubble. Oh well, no one ever said family politics were simple.

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