Mother's day reminds me of the Harlow Monkey Experiments. My mother was wire, so I get pretty resentful that I have to send her a card and a gift.
Yesterday a box from my mother arrived. Inside was a purse of insufficient pockets. Not too long after that, she called to make sure it arrived. I confirmed it did and thanked her for the gift.

That should have been the end of it right?

No, she had to ask if I liked it. I'm terrible at lying so I squeezed out an, "It's nice," which unfortunately was not the answer she was looking for.

My mother then went on to tell me that it was a coach bag and was very expensive and that everyone told her I needed to have one now that I am a professional woman. (Side note: What was I before my new job? A garbage collector?)

I asked her who "everyone" was, because anyone who knows me knows I really don't care at all about name brand status items.All her female friends and relatives. Who don't know me at all. Great group to take gift giving advice from.

The whole conversation was very awkward. She was annoyed that I wasn't glowing with gratitude over the overpriced bag and I was annoyed that she expected me to act that way over something I didn't want in the first place. I thanked her for the gift. A thank you is all that is expected in gift giving. I couldn't believe she had the gall to try to guilt me into liking something I didn't actually like. By the end of the call, I was so annoyed I was considering putting the stupid thing up on ebay.

I don't know what I'll do with it. Maybe I'll still sell it. I have a perfectly good no name professional bag WITH LOTS OF POCKETS that I use maybe twice a year. It has served me well for the last 4 years. Looks almost brand new, I use it so infrequently. And it's in such a simple style, I don't need to worry about it being unfashionable. This coach bag will probably be yesterday's fashion by next year. And then I'm stuck with a crappy bag with insufficient pockets that no one is going to want. Probably better to unload it now.

It constantly surprises me how little my mother actually knows about me. I think I'm fairly vocal about my interests. Purses is not one of them. I did my part and thanked her for the gift even though I didn't want it. That should have been sufficient.

AND why is she spending so much money on things I don't need/want anyway? She's constantly broke. I know for a fact that ben and I are significantly better off financially than she is. She goes without heat for days because they need to wait for the next check to come in to pay for oil. And she buys me a ridiculously overpriced bag? Why does she do that? It's infuriating. She's broke all the time BECAUSE she wastes her money on stupid stuff like this.
Last night I made chickpea curry which was quite easy and tasty. And it was simple enough that I can make a lot of substitutions for variety. I will probably keep this recipe for the future.

My mother called just as I finished making dinner though. It was so upsetting. Like a telemarketer that you can't hang up on. Dinner is the only time lately I get to spend with ben, but she talked the whole way through it. In the mean time, ben ate his dinner and retreated back to his office. I was so upset, I cried myself to sleep.

And then this morning, ben had to go into work at 6am for an emergency call. He wasn't able to get out until 8:30. Since we only have one car, I was very late for work.

When I got to work, everything was exploding. So the first 30 minutes were very frantic. Things have finally calmed down now.
We ended up not going shopping cause I wasn't feeling too great. Instead, I tried out my Pie Machine that I got for giftmas.

When my mother was visiting, she (quite insanely) made a turkey for us. So ben and I have a ridiculous amount of leftover turkey to use up. And it's not even good turkey. My mother has an amazing way of serving turkey with the texture of ash without actually burning it.

I took the dehydrated turkey and turned it into turkey pot pie filling. I am especially pleased that I made the chicken stock myself from old bones from a chicken dinner we had while my parents visited. (I ate more meat during my parent's visit than I normally eat in a whole month.)

End result: Awesome tiny turkey pot pies.

Turkey Pot Pie

I made four, but they were very filling. So I have one for lunch today and one still leftover in the fridge.
Ben and I went to see Tangled today. I thought it was pretty cute! I liked it better than Princess and the Frog. The music was a bit better and the story was funnier.

I wish I had magic hair! When I was a little kid, I wanted hair as long as Rapunzel's. (Nowadays I only want my hair long enough to cover my butt.) And I was really impressed by how nicely everyone's hair was animated. It was very well done.

The evil mother reminded me so much of my mother. Especially the insults and reminders that I'm not capable. (Fun story: My mother once screamed at me and ben that our marriage would never last and that I should appreciate her more because I would come crawling back to her after he left me.) Too bad I don't live in a disney movie...

So disney's plan to attract boys to the theaters by renaming the movie failed miserably. Kids can see straight through dishonest marketing. Anyway, in following the renaming scheme of Tangled, which was formally called Rapunzel Unbraided, I tried thinking of some other names for disney princess movies.

Snow White and the Sever Dwarfs = Dwarfed
Sleeping Beauty = Pricked?
Cinderella = ? I was thinking Enchanted, but that movie exists already
Little Mermaid = Beached

What else?
Toe is feeling somewhat better. I taped it to the other toe which really did make a difference. It's still a bit swollen though. I really hope that goes down soon.

Loaded up on painkillers, I went out to buy fabric today. I always forget how terrible joann's fabric selection is when I want to buy something specific. After much deliberation, I decided on fabrics that I think will work for my mermaid costume.

I thought about embroidering beads to the outfit rather than buying expensive trim, but I couldn't find thread conditioner anywhere. I think I'll just plain embroider instead.

While washing and drying my new fabric, I knit and watched terrible children's shows. Then ben took me out for dinner. I got chicken fingers which left me quite pleased.

Ben went to take a nap after that and I got the weekly parental phone call over with. Ended up screaming a lot because my mother thinks I'm an idiot. We were talking about how I needed to change the locks on the doors as soon as we move in (I knew that already) and she was telling me not to get a locksmith to do it. And I told her I already knew how to change a lock. They are ridiculously easy. And then she was telling me that the old owners would give me the keys to the house. I knew that already too. How would I get in in the first place without the old keys?

It's about time for me to load up on painkillers again, and then I'm going to start cutting out fabric for my costume. I hate that part. That is my most hated part of sewing. I wish I could pay someone to do it for me.
holytoastr: (melting panda-aurianrose)
This morning I went to the closing down yarn store, but the discounts weren't very good at all. Only 20% off. I ended up buying only one ball of yarn - the pink I need for the skulls on the sleeves.

The rest I ordered online. I'm too poor to afford yarn in a real store!

In the evening, ben took me out for chinese food. And he bought me a new video game. He's sweet.

I told my mother about the attempt to buy a house during our weekly miserable phone call. That was a big mistake. All of her advice involved breaking the law in some way. If this is how she has bought her past houses, it's a miracle she's not in jail.
Today was a failure day.

I fell asleep on the bus and a woman sat on me. I must have slid a bit into the seat next to me. Rather than poke or tap me to wake me up, she just flopped herself right on top of me. RUDE!

The metro was no better. I did my best to stay to the sides of the walkways away from the fast crowds, but I was never out of the way enough. I kept getting pushed and shoved all over. It was sad.

I tried my best to get through work, but I had a terrible time concentrating. I did manage to get a couple easy things done. I was sent home early though when I tried to give my boss my fortnightly (because bi-weekly is confusing) status report and wasn't able to make a complete sentence.

I was wearing my glow in the dark shoes today and fell down as soon as I got into my dark apartment because they were so shiny and I was so dizzy. Ben sent me to bed after that.

He woke me for dinner. Mashed potatoes again. Then my mom called and complained about my lack of food variety. Like I have a choice? I'd love a big slice of pizza or a burger, but that's not going to happen until these gums get their chance to heal.

I really don't want to go back to work tomorrow. My mouth hurts so much. Will it ever get better?
I got up early this morning and applied for my passport. Now I can go on my cruise! YAY!!!!!

The passport guy was weird though. He made me fill in the optional stuff even though it clearly said optional. So I had to call my parents at 9am to find out when and where they were born. My mom didn't want to stop talking. I kept says, "Mom, I'm AT the post office getting my passport... Mom! The guy is waiting for me to get off the phone!... MOM! I HAVE to GO!"

But passport applied for. Yes. CRUISE!!!

We already signed up for our excursions. We did it good and early so we got all our first choices. :)

In Belize, we're going on the Raiders of the Lost Mayan Cave trip. We'll get to climb through caves that were used for mayan rituals. I read that the rituals were to communicate with their gods. I can believe that. Caves are really cool and always seem like part of another world.

In Costa Maya, we're going to visit the mayan ruins of Chacchoben. These ruins are supposed to be in pretty good shape because they weren't discovered until the 1970s! The pyramids are supposed to date back to 700 AD.

And in Cozumel, we're going to the Tulum mayan ruins. This site was still occupied when the spanish arrived and brought diseases that killed off the population. Before that, it was an important trading port.

I think I'm going to read up on some mayan history so that when I go, I can appreciate the stuff I'm looking at more. Also, I'll be more likely to know when the guide is totally making stuff up. Can anyone suggest some good books on the subject?
I've had this bizarre but mild fascination with fudgie the whale for the longest time. For the wedding, I was going to buy ben a whale cake that said he was "one whale of a husband!"

Then at the worst shower ever (I left crying), my mom bought a fudgie the whale cake for me. I don't even know what she wrote on it. I was already crying and then I saw the cake that I wanted to get especially for ben and I stormed off in tears. (Yes, it was a dumb thing to throw me over the edge, but really you had to have been at that party. It was horrible.)

I've decided I need to plan Operation: Take Back Fudgie. Cause I still have a mild bizarre fascination. But every time I think of that cake, I get a tight sad feeling in my chest as I remember that horrible party. I need to plan something that involves this cake that will be so happy, it will erase the bad feelings that I previously have connected with the cake.

I did that with my birthday, so I know it can work. (I no longer cry on my birthday!) It will just require persistence. Maybe I can have the cake for a birthday party and totally mess up my insane brain.
Woo, 82 people are coming to the wedding. I'm only a slight loser now, rather than a complete loser.

I emailed a ton of people telling them, "RARR! RSVP!!!" Haven't gotten anything back yet, but hopefully they will answer in a day or so so I can get this seating chart stuff done.

Also, my mom gave me NO contact info for her list except addresses. So I made tracking those people down her problem. Turns out most of them did rsvp. To her! How useless! What was the point of giving a card to mail, a url, my email, and my phone of they were going to be stupid and rsvp to my mom? I really hate people sometimes.

I'm going to have to do a ton of the wedding prep stuff in ny. Being sick has totally destroyed my productivity. I hope I get better before the wedding. Being sick for the wedding would be terrible.
holytoastr: (angry gir)
My mother tried to sneak 9 extra people onto the guest list when she printed up my invitations. Did she think I wouldn't notice?

I'm going to ask her who these people are. If I don't know them, I'm not sending them an invite. Simple as that. I don't recognize any of the names, so I probably don't know them.

Also, my mother tried to fancy up the addresses of people on my guest list. So she changed people's names and ripped away the female identities of married couples. Seriously not cool. I told her to print them exactly as written for a reason. And while she fancied things up, she ended up MISSPELLING names and places! Grrrr....

Oh, and out of all the envelopes she printed out, the one envelope to Obama is totally scuffed and crushed up. A little bit passive aggressive?

I am sick of this wedding. My mother does everything in her power to make it as unhappy a process as possible. If I could go back in time I'd tell myself to either not have a wedding or not let my mother touch anything. Cause seriously the only stressful stuff has my mother's fingerprints on them.
I have no intention of stamping the rsvp cards. My reasoning is that 1) if they can't afford a stamp they can't afford the gas to get to the party, 2) they can rsvp online, 3) if they don't have a computer they can pick up the phone and call me.

We live in the future. I do not need to provide stamps for these people.

My mother is horrified and embarrassed by this. So she has taken it upon herself to put stamps on the rsvps of her guests.

I know it's not a big deal, but I'm a bit insulted. Ste really needs to stop stepping on my toes before I decide to bash and break them.
Housekeeping came at 8:30 this morning. Too early!!! I shouted at her to go away, but then I was awake and could hear her knocking on every door on our floor.

Once we got up, we went to pick up ben's mom because we were going to go to the planetarium with her and tara. Unfortunately ben's mom asked us to come in. As soon as we walked into the house, my mother started screaming at me.

Ben was amazingly wonderful and argued with her for me so I could focus on not crying. I seriously love this man.

Among the things she screamed about:
- I need to learn to respect her
- She will always be my mother
- I upset her guests so bad they don't want to go to the wedding
- I need to start appreciating all the things she does for me
- My marriage to ben probably won't last
- My friendships definitely won't last
- I have no soul and don't care about others

Ben's mom seemed to not realize this thing would happen if I came into the house and looked really sad and awkward the whole time. It wasn't until tara came to pick us up that it got a little less awkward. She was able to laugh at how insane my mother is.

Together we went to the vanderbilt planetarium where we saw a show about the planets. I thought it was decent, but ben fell asleep. It rained in the theater.

Our admission to the show included admission to the vanderbilt museum. There was a big hall of fish with dead fish from all over the world. Then there was a safari room full of artifacts from the vanderbilt's world travels. It included things like ceremonial sticks and shrunken heads. We also saw a lot of stuffed birds, mounted butterflies, and preserved shrimp, crabs, and cephalopods. In another room, there was a real mummy. The tour person told us it was thought to be a man when the guy bought it, but after x-raying it they learned the mummy was a woman. It's a good thing vanderbilt is dead, or he'd be annoyed that the mummy salesman ripped him off.

From there we went to the re-scheduled food tasting. I feel a lot more confident about the location because the food was quite tasty. I wish they had been able to prepare all the samples we wanted to try, but the ones we had today were pretty good.

After eating we learned to my delight that our location installed speakers all through the room we are renting. That means we don't have to rent them! Yay! Extra money!

My parents went and we all pretended not to hate each other. My mother made a few inappropriate comments, but nothing that caused me to cry.

We hung out with ben's mom for a bit more - I showed her my veil and wedding shoes - then took her back to my parents house. When we took her back to my parents house, we were asked to come back in again. I didn't want to. I really didn't want to. But I did and thankfully was not yelled at again. We all sat around awkwardly and talked about dogs and birds.

I was getting hungry, so we left after an hour. I took ben to dave and busters because he deserved to have a little fun on the trip. He was tremendously clever and suggested we share a dinner and dessert. It was the perfect amount of food. We also shared a strawberry red bull smoothie drink which ben said made me sassy.

Then we played lots of fun games. I showed off my awesome arcade shooting skills and embarrassed myself with rhythm games. Ben found a sniper game he really liked. And I screamed a lot.

We ran out of money a little bit before the place was closing, so we made our way back to the hotel room where I am waiting for my red bull drink to wear off so I can sleep. I think I'm on the edge of crashing, so it won't be much longer.

Tomorrow we flee the island. I will return home and cuddle my dog. It will be glorious.
Wow, today was worse than I could have imagined.

It started out decently. My dress fitting went well. Amanda's mom was good about telling my mom to keep her unwanted comments to herself. I think I look really good in my dress. It'll be fun once it fits and I no longer trip over it.

After that, I was dragged to the bridal shower I didn't want to go to. I figured I would try to grin and bear it, then skip out early for my food tasting. Except when I told my mom I was leaving for the tasting, she told me she had 1) changed my appointment to tomorrow at 4, and 2) told them to lie to me and pretend the tasting was on saturday as expected.

What makes her think she has the right to change my schedule??? I was shooting fire from my eyes. You cannot imagine my anger levels.

I was a lot less accommodating for the rest of the shower. I tried not to take it out on any of the guests, but I was not a happy party girl. Opened gifts. Thanked guests. Cursed out my mother with every breath.

When the shower was over, we went to the after shower with the menfolk at my parents house. Then I got a call from the caterer asking why I never came to the tasting. I didn't know what to tell her. What do I say? My mother lied about changing the date and time of my tasting????

At that point I started to cry. Ben and tara took me to her place to try to calm down. I cried the whole car ride. Eventually they decided I needed food. They took me to a diner.

Back at the hotel now and doingg my best not to cry because tara and amanda might stop by. I will save the rest of my crying for later in the evening.

I don't know if the tasting is still tomorrow or how I will handle it or if my parents will dare show their faces. If they do, I may stab them in the eyes.

It's one thing to tell some white lies to surprise someone. It's horribly rude to change someone's schedule for a surprise. And it should be a crime to tell that someone you changed their schedule without actually doing so, causing all the people that person was going to meet to get incredibly angry with the person you are surprising.
Short post because I am super sleepy.

Woke up early to pack and panic. Noname thought she was coming with us and was very sad when I left her home.

Flew to NY without any problems. Got slightly lost in JFK airport until we figured out you need to take the train to get to the rental cars.

Got my "one bad thing" for the trip out of the way by forgetting my backpack full of electronics and important papers on a bench at the car rental bus stop. The shuttle driver went back and actually found it!!! I made sure to mention to as many people who seemed to be in charge that the shuttle person was my hero. Hopefully they give her something nice for saving the day.

After we got our rental car, we checked into the hotel. I am surprised by how nice the room is. This was one of the cheaper hotels we could find. We have a king sized bed, a couch with foot cushions, a mini fridge, a microwave, free internet, and free breakfast. And it's near all the stuff we have to deal with on this trip. I should make ben handle the hotel on all our trips.

I grabbed a quick lunch then raced down to meet up with ally and get my makeup trial done. Tara was there too! I was glad cause she helped me be less indecisive. Ally did a good job of making sure the make up didn't feel too massively heavy on my face. I was definitely aware of it there all afternoon, but it wasn't suffocating my skin.

I got to wear my makeup to my engagement photo session which was right after. I hope it looks good in the pictures.

Our photographer took us to a beach my parents often go to. He took many many pictures, but seemed to be having a lot of fun. He took one of my must-have pictures right at the beginning without me asking, so that pleased me.

It was a lot easier for me to smile naturally than I expected. Probably because ben was with me. I hope our pictures come out nice.

Then to test the waters of the angry mother, I called about my dress. She wants to come to the fitting tomorrow (doom!) so she's going to bring it. She fed us an awkward dinner instead. I ate corn.

I think I need sleep now. This entry was not as short as I had planned. I need to rest for another long stressful day!
Tried to cancel the shower. It did not go well. :( I hate my mother so much.

I explained to her that we didn't want a shower to begin with, but had agreed we would go along if it was co-ed and that we were upset that she changed the plans without telling us. We wasted money on a plane ticket for ben. Money we could have used for the wedding. And I told her that her total disregard towards us was extremely rude.

She flipped out at the rude comment telling me that I shouldn't call her rude because she's my mother and I need to learn some respect.

I repeated again to her that she has been rude to us. And she flipped out some more. She finally threw the phone at dad when she told me I had to start respecting and obeying her and I responded, "Or what?"

Talking with dad was less loud and screamy, but not any more productive. He said the reason the shower was all women was because none of the men wanted to go. Maybe if they hadn't called it a bridal shower and only mentioned the bride and bridesmaids, men would have been more interested in free food.

And even if that was the case, why was I not told? I didn't want a shower. Ben didn't want to go to a shower. We could have canceled our trip and saved a ton of money. (In addition to the plane tickets, we had to get a hotel and rent a car.)

I was basically told that they were not calling off the shower and that I am expected to come. I don't know what I'm going to do. :( If I don't show up, it blows up in my face. If I do go, I will be miserable.

And of course people are probably now thinking I'm a spoiled brat for not wanting a party thrown for me...

There's no way for me to win no matter what I do.
After much discussion with several people, I think I have decided to tell my mother to cancel the shower.

Amanda pointed out that just not showing up will probably look bad for me, especially if people had to travel.

Well, it's going to look bad for me no matter what really. But at least this way mom gets the wonderfully awkward situation of calling up everyone and telling them not to come.

She rented a god-awful wishing well. And keeps bugging my friends to think up party games. I hate party games. Plus it's at a restaurant that doesn't serve anything I'd want to eat.

I think the shower is more what she wants rather than what she'd think I'd like.

Of course she's going to scream like a crazy person. And she might do something extreme. So I'm going to wait until after she orders the plates for my invitations. Then there isn't anything immediate in her hands to destroy and hopefully she'll calm down before the plates arrive for printing.
It had been a week and my mother was still holding my invitations hostage. I was forced to call her to find out why she hadn't sent me my stupid cards and if I needed to settle this nonsense by going out and buying new cards.

She proceeded to scream at me about how she had raised me better than this (obviously not) and she was going to be so embarrassed in front of all her friends (not my problem) and I was acting so childish (I wasn't the one screaming over cards) and that I should stop throwing it in her face that I'm paying for the wedding (I wouldn't have to if she didn't keep trying to take control).

I refused to argue with a crazy lady so I sat there silently. (I was crying, but that's a Pavlovian response from my childhood.)

Eventually she got too angry to even scream at me (one of her highly sophisticated arguments was that I should do what she says cause she gave birth to me. My response: That was your mistake.), and handed over the phone to my dad.

My dad and I had a decent argument. He saw my side and I saw his. We compromised that mom would print the language I like on the cards to my guests, and print something more neutral (that I still get to write) for my mother's guests.

Cause honestly, the language was not a big deal. The guests are going to look at the cards for 30 seconds at most. The big issue is that my mother insults me at every turn and thinks this wedding is hers.

Dad and I agreed that the parents' names should not be on the cards because ben and I are paying for the wedding. Fair is fair.

My parents were also upset that ben and I wanted to stay at a hotel rather than at their house. Mom was angry cause she thought it was just because ben and I wanted to be in the same room and we were throwing our bad behavior in her face.

But I explained to dad that mom makes me crazy and I NEED a place I can go at the end of the day to get away from her. I cannot handle that much time with her. I pointed out that getting away from her will make it a lot easier for me to put up with her during the day and I will be able to be more pleasant around her. So he agreed that my argument made sense and would not fight with me about that.

Dad is going to tell my mom about the compromise we reached. Cause I still don't want to talk to her. I absolutely cannot stand that woman. After this wedding, I never want to speak to her ever again.

After the call ben had to hug me while I finished crying. Once I calmed down, we ordered plane, hotel, and car stuff for our trip. I think if I had known how horrible my mom was going to be (I expected her to be bad, but not THIS bad), I would have eloped. I don't need this stress.
I don't think I'm actually invited to the wedding shower my mom is throwing. Which is fine by me, but very bizarre.

My bridesmaids suggested to her that I would prefer a jack and jill party instead of a traditional bridal shower. My mom's reply was basically, "You can do that if you want, but I'm taking my friends and family to this restaurant." (A restaurant, by the way, that puts meat in everything. The spinach salad even has meat in it.)

Which I think means I don't have to go to her traditional one. I'd much rather do the one my friends are thinking of. And my mom can go to her women-only party and explain to everyone why she threw a shower for someone who is not attending it.

[EDIT] Fun things I learned about bridal showers:

The custom of the bridal shower is said to have grown out of earlier dowry practices when a poor woman's family might not have the money to provide a dowry for her, or when a father refused to give his daughter her dowry because he did not approve of the marriage. In such situations, friends of the woman would gather together and bring gifts that would compensate for the dowry and allow her to marry the man of her choice.

Sociologists like Beth Montemurro note that the ritual of the bridal shower "socializes women into the hyper-feminized traditional wife role," with its emphasis on the future role of the bride-to-be as family cook, homemaker, and sexual partner.

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