This weekend I went to see my parents. They live a while away – a few hours – and it took a couple of train rides and a car ride to get there. I took Dog, because I don’t like to leave him.
The main reason I went to see them is because T was going to see a friend along the way, so we thought we could take the same train for a bit and then I’d go and see my folks. Same for way back. Also, in the UK it’s Mother’s Day / Mothering Sunday next weekend so I’m kind of due a visit (although on the actual weekend next weekend, we will be at an engagement party / recovering). And also because they live a while away, I don’t see them as often as I should.
Anyway, I had literally been there for less than an hour when we got into a huge argument! I don’t know how this happens. I guess it’s families. T even texted me and said he hoped I was “being nice” and I thought, probably not.
Got me to thinking about how much of us is tied up in history and triggers and the roles and identities we’ve had since forever. I’ve always been the headstrong one. I’ve always questioned things and refused to go along with the status quo. Maybe I’m the difficult one. (I probably am… Funnily enough we all have our difficulties and mine wasn’t a life threatening one like my other sibling, or a “lifestyle choice” like another. We are all unfavourably compared with The Golden Child and we’ve all railed against it at one time or another. I’ve kind of always done my own thing rather than seek my parents’ approval.)
The reason for the argument was the decision I told them about to buy a place with T. They started asking about the settlement with my ex (which I’ve mentioned before which is in the works) and I’ve already told them I’ve done everything I possibly can to sort it out. They’re not happy that I’m getting next to nothing for the house (which I paid half the mortgage for the entire time I lived there), but I don’t really have a choice. I’d have to either take him to court and try to evict him (which I don’t want to do because I’m not heartless and I can’t afford anyway), or wait for it to be resolved (probably years and years by which time we would be old and grey!).
They also asked about some stuff that they’d given me that they wanted to make sure I got back from the house. I got exasperated then and said I have sorted it out and everything is in storage, and I’m picking it up in a few weeks when I have time off work. They literally can’t understand the stress I’ve had to go through to try and get to this position, negotiating with a mentally ill person who won’t allow me access to the house I half own, and who insisted the only way I could get my belongings back was for him to put them in storage – at a place near him, which is only open during work hours (hence having to take time off to go and get them).
We all have our triggers. Being questioned on my ex relationship, the one I left years ago and have tried to move on from, is one of mine.
It’s worse because my parents, especially my mother were against it from the start. They made it really clear they didn’t think it was a good idea. But offered no actual alternative other than the fact that I’m not The Golden Child (married to childhood sweetheart: perfect family, one boy, one girl, naturally and easily conceived). When they question stuff like this, the old resentments come to the core.
They questioned whether the new place was “a good investment”. It makes my blood boil. Not only was I the only one of the four kids not to get given a deposit to help buy my first house (because I was proud and wanted to do it on my own, so went ahead and did it anyway) but now they think that the new place isn’t worthy either. I’m not looking for an investment. I’m looking for a home.
This very small flat we are looking to buy is half the price of The Golden Child’s house. They made a lot of money on their first flat. In all honesty I think between the two of them, they probably earn less than I do, but they struck lucky on the property market and their previous modest flat tripled in price. They also had help from both sets of parents. The flat we are looking to buy is easily affordable and either one of us could afford it on our own.
We are trying to be sensible, and we are trying to get something we could live in and call home for a few years. Then we’d either trade up (if we have a baby we’d probably outgrow the flat by the time it’s two or three) or we’ll stay put and pay off our mortgage really quickly. And hopefully have an easy early retirement! There has to be some consolation to not having kids. Either way we are trying to do the best we can, and parental disapproval is really tiring – especially when you’re the adopted one and you feel you’re constantly being negatively compared to the real firstborn.
I guess it’s a trigger for me. The funny thing is, my parents love us fiercely and they don’t see anything wrong with making their feelings known. I guess sometimes I just wish they were those more standoffish parents (like most of my friends’ parents seem to be!) who approve of everything or don’t care enough to intervene. I think mine care too much!
We made up of course. And I’m sure it will be okay until the next time. Although I’m on the train back and get a little text from my mother saying that she wishes I’d speak with my father about whether it’s a good investment or not. That’s the other thing about my folks: they don’t live in London and to anyone outside of London, London things seem crazy. When I mention people are sexist at work, they just sort of say things like “Well you just have to tell someone about it!” (Yep, it’s that easy.)
Aside from that we had a pretty good time. My family are definitely the kinds who have fever pitch arguments and then completely forget about them and you’d think nothing had happened. It’s a bit strange actually. I’m the kind of person who likes to have a resolution rather than pretending that nobody got upset. I think it’s a British thing. I often feel like a bit of a foreigner in my family. (Ironic.)
We took Dog to the pub. It was funny because it’s only when you take Dog out of his home environment that you realise just how badly behaved he can be. I guess he’s nice most of the time, and he’s little and cute but omg does he make a fuss over food. We got to the pub super early so it was quiet, and even though he had food and I gave him some of mine, he kept yapping silly little yaps (in Dog language “How dare you leave me on the floor and not let me sit at the table and eat with you!”) until the couple on the next table decided to move tables. I was very apologetic but the wait staff said not to worry. Once the pub had gotten a bit more busy, it wasn’t bad at all – it was just his little yap in the middle of silence that was bad. (I probably sound like one of those horrific parents pretending their kid isn’t Chucky.)
Then this morning I took Dog for a run about the garden. This went fine for a bit. He’s tiny and he’s a Londoner so he likes space. So much so that he ran out the back of the garden and onto a golf course. This wasn’t planned at all. I had to get across the divide and onto the golf course all whilst wearing high heeled boots. It’s been raining a lot so the whole place was waterlogged. A load of golfers were pointing in a direction and it turned out they were pointing to where Dog had run off to.
I had to run as best as I could all the while calling Dog’s name. His name is a human name which means it’s quite comical. I ended up over the far side of the golf course where Dog was happily running about and sniffing things. I eventually coaxed him over to get some food (as the only thing he’s motivated by – he’s so disobedient) and grabbed him for the walk of shame back to the house. Of course the golfers thought this was quite funny. My boots will probably never be the same.
One of the saving graces about going to visit parents is that you get to go home again! (I promise you I love them; I just find them a bit much at times. Like all adults I think. Maybe it’s always a bit weird to be forever someone’s child, even though you’re grown up.) We are currently sitting on the very slow train – this is the result of Austerity (our plan to save enough to buy a place). It costs about £50+ less than the fast train so it’s worth it. As long as you don’t have anything else to do!
Some other funny stuff: I’m actually going to get interviewed on radio talking about a work event I organise for my company. It’s pretty cool but obviously the idea of being interviewed gives me the chills. It’s all part of my plan to do things that are outside my comfort zone.
Also: I had a really positive meeting with the HR lady about the job! They definitely want to offer me the job. Which is awesome! (We got on like a house on fire- she was so lovely and was like a good friend. We happily chatted for two hours instead of the allotted one! Haha. One hour for worky stuff and one for chat.) I’m hoping to get an informal offer on Monday and then if I agree then they will formalise it. It would really be a great feeling to hand in my notice! Not to mention that it would probably coincide quite nicely with IVF and moving house.
I’m the kind of person who doesn’t count chickens before they’re hatched. But we do have a few things going on. A few eggs that might turn into chickens!
Our house is progressing – I signed the papers to sign over the old house to my ex last week, and we have a lawyer working on the new one doing whatever it is they do.
We are seeing Dr S tomorrow for the test results. T can make it, as it’s after work. Which is great. I’m interested to know what is wrong with me, if anything. (“Personality disorder” – haha.) But at least we can try and figure out what the plan is for IVF 2. I mailed my clinic about the random bleed – it didn’t turn into a full period, which was weird – so hopefully will get some answers, and a plan for the second round. Second time lucky, maybe!
And I won’t believe I have another job offer until I see it in writing. But… I think it’s progress.
I hope it’s progress. I hope we have some chickens to count in the next few months!