This weekend has been "the experience of a lifetime," truly. I'll begin writing this, though if it turns into a rant I may scrap it or come back and edit it at a later point in time. I'll try not to get too far off topic, though. :)
Last weekend, my mom's computer screen died. If you read the last blog (hint, hint) called "failure," you'll know all about that experience. Well, my mother had requested that I come "home" again this weekend to help her pick out a new computer (laptop). She also promised that I could pick out my birthday present (a pair of "real" headphones). So, Friday evening I took the Metra out to the suburbs. Within an hour of being there, I got into a fight with my mom AND my dad. Not the same fight--but awful all the same. I was seething pure rage, and couldn't stop sobbing. Thankfully, an old friend came and picked me up around midnight. We stayed out most of the night, and I strolled through the door around 4:30AM. We ate tacos (haha!) and then sat in a park, and looked at the stars, and talked for about 3-3.5 hours. We talked about everything--life, school, family, philosophy--it was absolutely what I needed. I came back home and slept, recharged for the next day (Saturday). On Saturday, I found out my mom was working both Saturday AND Sunday. I asked her why she made me travel out to the suburbs over the weekend if she was busy anyway--when was I supposed to go help her shop for this computer? She said she effed up, that she had forgotten she was scheduled to work on Sunday, and that we'd figure it out. Best Buy is open until 7PM on Sundays, and she only had to work until 4PM, so her plan was to go right after work.
In the meantime, she asked me for help in finishing up her schoolwork. She had to submit an entire portfolio for one of her classes by 11PM on Saturday night. At 9:50PM, I informed her that the program would lock her out after 11PM, if that's when the due date was set. She was unaware, and started cursing. Then, she asked me for my help. What was I supposed to say, no? So, I offered to help her. I thought I would just be typing assignments, since she still hand-writes all of her assignments before typing them. I typed one, and then she typed one. While she typed hers, she asked me to do one of the assignments for her. Yes, that's right, my own mother was asking me to do her homework for her. I don't think I've ever done someone else's work to that extent before. Sure, I've done the majority of the work in group projects, but this was different. My mother put her own, and only her own, name on this assignment. I, however, wrote the entire thing.
It was not a long assignment--just a one page reflection on her "philosophy" of teaching students with special needs. I wrote down my philosophy, and hoped she agreed. At the end, instead of thanking me, she simply pointed out that I left a typo near the end ("fins" instead of "finds"--not an easy one to catch). As it was, she only submitted the assignment two minutes before she would have gotten locked out of the program. She left the room, and fell asleep on the couch. But she didn't leave the room before yelling at me. I had checked out several things at Best Buy early in the day on Saturday, so that I could prepare myself for taking her shopping on Sunday. I had found about 3-4 computer models that were acceptable (in her price range, decent hard drives, processors, RAM, and so on), and I also found a pair of headphones with which I completely fell in love. After she submitted the work (on my computer, nonetheless), I asked if she'd like to see the headphones. After one quick glance, she snottily said, "Humph, you can show me headphones but no computer models! I see where your priorities are!" and then she left the room.
I was a little more than peeved, at this point, but I kept my cool, and went to sleep. I had awful dreams about her, but at least I didn't say anything to her face that I wanted to--then, I would have had even deeper problems.
Sunday morning came around, and she agreed to go to Best Buy shortly after 4PM. Before she left for work, she said something along the lines of "I want to talk your birthday surprise over with you at Best Buy, I think you'll be happy." I asked her why she could't tell me at home, and she said she didn't want anyone to overhear it. So, for those of you who know how curious I am, you know that all day this killed me--would I get the headphones? Would she make a further mess in my life? Who knows? I was nervous, but excited. Shortly after 4, she got home from work, and (after she changed, had a glass of iced tea, etc etc) we headed over to Best Buy.
On the way into the store, she mentioned that, because I had saved her all sorts of money (oh, yeah, I ordered all my brother's textbooks for school online this weekend--with my half.com/credit card, and had them shipped, saving around $200 compared to what she'd pay at his school), she decided she could go ahead and get me the headphones. She had originally wanted to spend about $100 on me, and then when I saved her $200, she realized she could probably spend $300 on me. Well isn't that nice! I was ecstatic.
We first stopped to look at the headphones ("Oh wow, all I hear is bass!") and she was sort of impressed, though still stressed about the $300 price tag. Then, I led her back to the computers. I showed her what I had it "narrowed down" to, and then I proceeded to talk a bit about each one, in terms that she (hopefully) could understand. I even had another customer (actually 2-3) asking me about computers, having me compare them, and giving them my opinion on different models. I guess I sounded like I knew what I was talking about (ha! No really, I do know a little bit about computers...). My mom was happy with her choice, and we made the purchases. While checking out our items, the salesman talked up the headphones I had picked out. He said that he had a pair, and loved them, and gave me a few "start up" tips and so on. I appreciated his advice; however, my mom had already told me that I'd have to wait until my birthday to get them. Actually, she wants to have a "party" in the suburbs the weekend following my birthday, and I'd have to wait until that time (or so I assumed, as I won't be traveling out there before that time). So, I politely thanked the man, and told him that I'd definitely take his advice--in four weeks, after I obtained the headphones. He looked at me strangely. I explained that they were a birthday present. He pretended to understand, and wished me the best.
On the way home, things took a turn for the worse. My mom started berating me for how ungrateful I am. "You have everything you want, and you can't even wait a few weeks so that I have something to wrap for your birthday? You think you should have this now? What have you done to deserve this?" I choked back the angry tears stinging the backs of my eyes.
Well, let's see, Mommy dearest. This weekend I:
-made a trip to the suburbs in rush-hour traffic, because it fit YOUR schedule.
-ordered $240 worth of textbooks, without you pre-paying me, and saved you about $200 in the process.
-cleaned my turtle's tank, bought new litter, and rearranged things so that he doesn't smell (something my parents promised to do when I moved out...).
-wrote an entire assignment that I will NOT get credit for, and helped you submit it minutes before the deadline.
-let you use my computer, so that you'd even get the stupid assignment submitted on time.
-sewed your son's shoes back together, so he can continue wearing them (they've only been broke for three months now...).
-looked through over 20 laptop models, and did a price/quality analysis, so that you could get the best deal for the money you were willing to spend.
-spent 2+ hours downloading and installing everything you needed on your computer, and even tried to provide over the phone support once I left/was on my way home.
-did NOT ask you once for money for food, pet supplies, or anything.
And I don't deserve anything? Do you know that the entire weekend, she didn't even thank me for my help, not once?! She did call me ungrateful about 20 times though, because I wanted to take my birthday present home three weeks early. Because in those three (four) weeks, I'll actually have a long commute to work, and one of my earbuds blew out this week; travelling on the el without headphones is pretty much hell, especially the 1.25 hours it takes me to get to work (and back). Basically, by the time I get my birthday present, it'll be time for school to start, and (though I'll still use them a lot!) I won't get a "marathon" listening session like I would if I were to take them on the el. I tried to point this out, but apparently this made me even more ungrateful.
It's like I can't win with the woman. All I did this weekend is give--give to her, give to my dad, give to my brother--and she couldn't even do one favor in return for me! Once I left with my dad to come back to my house, she started talking about me behind my back, to my brother. She was definitely talking smack, and Doug would not have it! (Man, I love that kid. He truly has my back). She started in on how ungrateful I was for "everything", and my brother wouldn't have it! He looked her in the eye, and said, "She worked for you all weekend, she doesn't have her birthday present yet, and she's not 21, what exactly should she be grateful for right now?" and he's absolutely right! My mom then turned and yelled at him, but he stood his ground and backed me up across the board.
So now let me ask, who's the ungrateful one? Yes, I know my mom has it hard, I know that she thinks her life sucks...but if she'd look past the end of her nose she might be able to see that she's making the rest of us miserable!
I know I take advantage of people sometimes (I think we all do), but I try to always keep myself in check a bit (quite a bit) better than that. I guess now I wait for the "birthday faerie" to decide to bring me my present...
"At least you have something to look forward to"...you ungrateful bitch.