As mentioned, my parents came to stay last week and it was lovely to see them. I love them both dearly, I enjoy talking to them, I love being able to give them a hug and I love that they will take the time and expense to come and visit us.
I don’t love the stress involved in preparing for their stay.
I cleaned so thoroughly that I emptied every kitchen cupboard and cleaned them out (there was no need, but I did it anyway), I ensured that I had bleached the floors several times before they arrived, I even made sure that the office was spotless (they had no reason to ever go in there). It was all required though. I was drawing attention to our new lounge tables (they all match now) and the first comment made by my mother was, “You need to dust.” I wanted to scream we had only finished the final mop and dust an hour before their arrival.
I appreciate that my stress levels, prior to their visit, stem from seeking approval from my mother. It is a normal response. It probably explains why I proceeded to get extremely drunk on the Sunday night. Yes, you can see the effects of that a few posts ago. I shall not refer again to that terrible abuse of my website; it was the self-indulgent equivalent of texting an ex. However, I did get some good ideas down and you will see the results in later posts, mostly in the fiction section (drink tends to fuel my creativity, but I shan’t be using it as a stimulant for my imagination because I don’t like to drink alone).
I like seeing my parents, it’s a fabulous thing that they visit, but that is no reason to spend every available minute together.
I am being unfair. My stress levels and general agitated state had more to do with the fact that I was hormonal, nasty-tempered and, feeling fat. After weeks of worrying that my TOTM hadn’t turned up for over eight weeks after my coil removal, the stress of the parental visit must have shifted my focus. Consequently, my first real TOTM arrived on the same day that they did and proceeded to last for five of their seven day visit. Great timing!
I did NOT want to go out, I was feeling supremely bloated and suffering (greatly) with lower back and stomach cramps that paracetamol wouldn’t shift. In addition, I couldn’t go to the beach with them and swim. I’ve been dying to go swimming at the beach (with someone because I hate swimming alone when I can’t see without my specs) and I couldn’t go. This made me a bit grumpy.
I made dinner on Monday evening (the prawn cocktail and chicken were a hit, but the lemon posset failed miserably) and I became so agitated that I just lost any ability to perform in the kitchen. When cooking for J I’m fine, better than fine, I’m a reasonable and creative cook. However, when I’m working under the watchful gaze of the woman who raised me I’m a mess. I should know by now that trying to impress my mother is impossible because I let myself down. As with my writing, I strive for perfection in certain areas and consider myself a failure when I can’t achieve it. That first dinner was a personal let down. I’m ignoring the fact that the first two courses went down very well (one of which was a new recipe) and just fixating on the fact that reconstituted double cream substitute will not whip to a strong enough consistency to ‘hold’ white wine and lemon juice, hence why my lemon posset separated.
I did serve the meal with a good white wine, though, a local (Okay local-ish, it’s from Kathikas, in the Paphos region) called Vassilikon
The second meal I made was only meant to be a simple pasta dish with salad, before they left. I have to admit it came out better than the first one and now I’m kicking myself for not serving it with a nice Prosecco. I even prepared a ‘build-your-own’ salad plate, for those who dislike cucumber, olives, onion or peppers, with a range of salad dressings. Perhaps I should just go with simple in the future.
Anyway, that’s enough of my culinary attempts and I shall continue with the parents visit.
This visit can be summarised thusly: much eating of large meals, large amounts of alcohol, a weight gain of 4kg (that’s including the stressful three week run up) and spending a lot of time avoiding starting arguments.
I have learned several things in the past week
- Do not discuss politics with my mother, there will be blows exchanged
- Do not voice any anti-royalist sentiment (I’m not even anti-royalist, I’m just not a big fan of the Queen, living with and trying to impose 1950s standards)
- Not a word to be uttered about the benefits of the EU (I know there are big drawbacks too, but some anti-EU people don’t see the benefits)
- Not to show overt loyalty to my husband because it can be construed as family disloyalty. Conversely, any criticism of my spouse is openly given and I am not allowed to be offended.
I have always known that my mother and I have antagonistic personalities, we lived in the same house and didn’t get on very well for a long time. Our relationship improved when I moved out. I adore my mum, she raised me well and I appreciate everything she has ever done for me. I seek her advice when I have a problem or a decision to make, but we are such very different people with different views on life and how we should live it.
Irrespective of our differences, she is still my mum, I love her and miss her. I love that she comes to visit me, I think I will just have to accept that I am, and always will be, a Daddy’s Girl.