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The Affair of the Necklace - The Book of the Celestial Cow

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January 10th, 2010

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11:53 pm - The Affair of the Necklace
So my grandmother, who art in India, consulted a psychic or priest or something, and he said that I have some sort of bad juju related to Thursdays that has been keeping me from finding a wife. He blessed a locket that was supposed to unblock my chi or something, and my grandmother mailed it to California, and my aunt provided a gold chain to turn it into a necklace. That I was supposed to wear.
you need to go on thur. and wear the necklace. and say 21X everyday OM SHREE SAINATHAI NAMAHA. PLEASE. DO THIS FOR ME AND YOU. WEAR THE NECKLACE EVERYDAY.

I thought I only wore the necklace on Thursdays. Every day??


I don't like wearing necklaces. Or bracelets or rings or any other jewelry.

So clearly I was just being a brat about not wanting to wear a necklace, but I was so tired of arguing about this that maybe wearing a necklace was not that big a deal to make her happy. Picking my battles and whatnot? I was more willing to do it when I thought I only had to wear it one day a week so it wouldn't really affect my life that much. I had no desire to wear a necklace, so why should I? It ought to be that simple. I was about ready to just tell her to stuff it entirely and let me die alone.

And then she called seven times on Thursday to ensure that I would go pick up the fucking magical necklace and wear it, and I had just had it. I didn't want to talk to her about it because it would just ruin my day more than she had already ruined it, so I ignored her calls. Plus, it turned out the woman who had the necklace did not live in Oakland, she lived in Union City, and that was too far out of my way for something I didn't care about at all.

sunil why are you not picking up phone? are not going to aisamasi today? this is for your own good and your life. mommy

I am not driving down to Union City to pick up a necklace I'm not going to wear. And I am not going to pick up the phone once when I'm getting ready for work, twice while I'm settling in, three times during a meeting, and once while I'm trying to process a case. I couldn't concentrate all day because you kept calling, and my work suffered.

Once and for all: I am not wearing the necklace. We disagree on what's for my good and my life, and given that it's MY life, I think I get to not wear a necklace if I don't want to. If you continue to push this, I will not pick up the phone for a week.
It took a really long time to hit send. And then...an hour later:
That's fine. I won't call you anymore. When you think that you need your parents, we might not even be there for you. If you don't want anymore contact, then that is your choice. It is obvious that you want to live your life without us in it.

And I wouldn't have kept calling you if you had ever bothered to return any of my calls and let me know what was going on. I'm sorry for being a concerned mother.
I didn't even know whether I was supposed to respond. The Buffistas counseled me not to, so I refrained.

The next day, my sister brought up that my mom was really mad at me. I told her I knew and that we weren't going to talk about it, just let her cool off. She said that both my mom and my dad were acting like they're not talking to me again, so she hoped it blew over.

Geez, all I did was refuse to wear a fucking necklace. I could have done so much worse. So much worse.

And then yesterday I got an e-mail from my mom. But not really. I had wondered whether her decision not to talk to me would include not sending me mass e-mail forwards.

This one was called "Being a Mother - a must read," and it was one of those sappy stories about a guy who goes and has a nice dinner with his mother after not seeing her very much over the past 20 years...and then she drops dead of a heart attack a few days later, and he appreciates her so much now!

Nicole put it best:
P-C, I think if we tried real hard we could all put together a heart-warming story of a mother that badgered her son so much that they were never able to share a true relationship. UNTIL one day when she witnesses a GOOD relationship between a friend and her friend's son. And only then does she learn how to treat her son with respect and allow him to find his own happiness, so that he will want to share that happiness with her.

And they all lived happily ever after. The End.
I am trying not to succumb to the guilt trip. I can't let them win. But they can't let me win either. I feel like we're playing phone chicken. It's not the first time we've played this game, and it likely won't be the last. I'm just so tired of it all. But it's not me, it's them. Not me, it's them. Not me, it's them.

What a way to start the new year.
Current Mood: cynicalcynical
Current Music: Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins - Rise Up with Fists!!

(42 memoirs | Describe me as "inscrutable")


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(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
Date:January 11th, 2010 04:56 pm (UTC)
I appreciate the advice from someone who's been there. I was already going to suggest that I just keep the necklace in my pocket, although I don't even want to go down and get the stupid thing.

Everything you say sounds very familiar, though.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
Date:January 11th, 2010 10:14 am (UTC)
Oh, Sunil. *HUGS*

I can't sit down and write the response that I want right now, but I will as soon as I can. But you and me, baby, we're peas in the same freaking pod boat.
[User Picture]
Date:January 11th, 2010 01:09 pm (UTC)
Wow. Incoming emotional blackmail much?

I'm glad they love you, but this is Loving Too Much which becomes Trying to Run Your Life For You. You're not five or fifteen anymore - you're an adult and deserve to be treated with respect and the expectation of independence. FWIW, I applaud and hope you maintain your boundaries - and I know it's hard to do. :-(
Date:January 11th, 2010 01:17 pm (UTC)
Good lord. Even by the high standards of awful guilt trips, this is exceptionally disgusting.

Sympathies, man. You're right, it's absolutely not fair to you. You can't let them win, because it'll never stop if you do; and if they can't let you win, if they can't understand that you need a life of your own, that's something they need to confront.

It's probably bad form to quote this--you're facing real life, not a novel--but it's what came to mind...

"You can't make them--whoever your particular them is--do anything, really. Adulthood isn't an award they'll give you for being a good child. You can waste...years, trying to get someone to give that respect to you, as though it were a sort of promotion or raise in pay. If only you do enough, if only you are good enough. No. You have to just...take it. Give it to yourself, I suppose. Say, I'm sorry you feel like that, and walk away. But that's hard."
--Ekaterin Vorsoisson, in Lois Bujold's A Civil Campaign
[User Picture]
Date:January 11th, 2010 04:58 pm (UTC)
That's a very good quote.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
Date:January 11th, 2010 05:00 pm (UTC)
Are your parents this hard on your brother and sister? Is your sister the only one still at home?
My sister is at home, and I'm the oldest, so all the marriage-attention is on me.

I'm assuming you never went to church growing up, so I'm thinking The Lord's Prayer must show up a lot more often in movies and TV than I realized.
Date:January 11th, 2010 01:51 pm (UTC)
Wow. These shenanigans sound like something out of my own parents' passive-aggressive playbook. Even when you win those fights, you lose, because the whole thing is such a fucking drain. It's like they enjoy emotionally punishing you, because the fact that they can do it is proof that they're still important.

Good on you for holding out until they're ready to engage you without histrionics.
[User Picture]
Date:January 11th, 2010 05:01 pm (UTC)
Even when you win those fights, you lose, because the whole thing is such a fucking drain. It's like they enjoy emotionally punishing you, because the fact that they can do it is proof that they're still important.
I know! I hate that I'm even being affected at all.
[User Picture]
Date:January 11th, 2010 01:52 pm (UTC)
Yeesh. Oh, Indian mothers. Mine has thankfully mellowed over the past five or so years, but she used to be so clingy.

And you could have done so much worse, but she doesn't get that. Maybe she will sooner or later...?
[User Picture]
Date:January 11th, 2010 05:02 pm (UTC)
I thought of threatening to start drinking and doing drugs and quitting my job and anything else if she didn't shut the hell up.
[User Picture]
Date:January 11th, 2010 02:40 pm (UTC)
Oh fucking christ. *so many hugs*

It's REALLY not you, and it REALLY is them.
Date:January 11th, 2010 03:07 pm (UTC)
Go Sunil! I think starting the new year by standing up for yourself in this way is impressive. Although you probably don't feel impressive. I wish I had been well enough to set boundaries like this with my Scylla and Charybdis parents when I was your age.

It is absolutely them, not you. You are a kind, compassionate son.
[User Picture]
Date:January 11th, 2010 04:01 pm (UTC)
Obviously a different situation, but I have a very controlling mother and the only way I was able to cope was by putting distance between us (not calling, not visiting) until she acknowledged that I was going to live my life the way I wanted.

I hope it doesn't come to that for you, but they do need to realize that you're an adult. They got to live their lives. You get to live yours. That's the way it goes.

Good luck.
[User Picture]
Date:January 11th, 2010 04:30 pm (UTC)

Any reason you couldn't just tell her you're wearing the necklace and then...not?

And I am very confused about this Thursday/Every day business. Why'd they even mention Thursday if it's something you do every day?
[User Picture]
Date:January 11th, 2010 05:06 pm (UTC)
Any reason you couldn't just tell her you're wearing the necklace and then...not?
I don't feel good about constantly lying? Also, surely one time I'll go visit my aunt and uncle and grandmother and I'll forget to put it on and they will report back to her that I wasn't wearing it. SHE HAS SPIES EVERYWHERE.

And I am very confused about this Thursday/Every day business. Why'd they even mention Thursday if it's something you do every day?
I was supposed to start wearing it on Thursday. Even though I'm normally not supposed to start anything on Thursdays. Because Thursdays are bad for me.
[User Picture]
Date:January 11th, 2010 04:59 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry, Sunil... that sounds seriously rough. That kind of guilt tripping is horrible, and I think you were right to stand up for yourself. You are already following their wishes on some really big, fundamental issues in your life! I can see that she is mostly worried for you, but the way she allows that worry to manifest is destructive to you and your relationship with your family.

Hang in there... I'm rooting for you.
Date:January 11th, 2010 05:23 pm (UTC)
Why do parents have to be like that?? I'm personally tired of my parents acting like I have a cushy job when I spend most of my breaks writing lectures. (I know this is nowhere near your level of WTF-ery, but....)

Good on you for refusing to wear the bloody necklace. As for the communication thing--I think I'd be as flustered as you are. ((hugs))
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
Date:January 11th, 2010 05:41 pm (UTC)
Ha ha ha. I seriously kind of want to do that.

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