I have asked my fourteen year old to remind me-when he is forty-one years old--how much I resented it when my mother twisted my arm into doing things I didn't want to do.
"Sure," he said, "but all you're going to say is, 'but this is different'."
You know the mother on "Everybody Loves Raymond"? All five of us have agreed that we should be collecting royalties because she is based on the woman who raised us. I love Mom to death, I really do, but there are certain things about my life she does not understand. For instance, when I say I'm too busy to do something, I mean, I'm too busy to do it--not just that I don't want to. Between working two jobs, homeschooling, keeping house, the church youth group, singing on the worship team (which means weekly practices) and choir (which currently means two weekly practices), I am truly swamped. This does not even include writing or keeping house.
I did not want to sing in this year's Christmas Cantata because of this, but when I stated this, I heard, "But you're the only strong soprano we've got." (This isn't saying much; I'm also the youngest soprano in a choir with a median age of 65). Then it became about choosing solo material. I saw the one I liked early on and mentioned it to the director (who frankly only cares that all the solos are covered--she doesn't care who does them).
"No," said Mom. "We need you to sing this one instead. You're the only one who has the range for it."
"But I don't like it."
"But we really need you to sing it." And the tone she delivered the statement in said, "And if you don't do what I say, I'm going to take every opportunity to make you feel guilty every time you sing the wrong song between now and the Cantata and you will be so upset, you won't be able to sing it well in the end anyway"
I'm truly irritated at myself for letting her twist my arm into something again. I have no trouble standing up to her when it comes to my kids or my husband. Why can't I do it when it involves me?
Footnote: I was singing the dreaded song today and my eleven year old who was within earshot says, "Nice job Mom." I thanked him and said that I didn't like the piece.
Being Joseph, he asked why.
"I don't know. I just don't. Why don't you like pickles?"
"Good point. Still, you sound pretty good for someone who doesn't like the song they're singing."
And that's exactly the story of my life. I can be counted on to do it well, even I don't want to do it. Maybe if I started screwing up all the time, they'd all get the hint. It can't be any worse than the reaction I get when I say no.
Don't mind me, it's been a crummy day all the way around (sick kids, messy house, major bill worries and I'm running a little depressed). All I really want to do is stay home and clean and hang with my kids. I get to do everything except that.
Nanowrimo wise, I'm aiming for 9000 words tonight (total--I will not try and write 9000 words in one night).
I'm going to clean up "Sing" and sub it this weekend. It's a good story. I should have no trouble finding a home for it.
For now, I'm off to choir practice.