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Author Topic: Stiffened Spine with Mom  (Read 4995 times)

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Stiffened Spine with Mom
« on: August 31, 2012, 08:59:52 AM »
My mother is...well, my mother.  I've posted up about her before.  My mom and I both ride motorcycles. 

BG: Some really good friends of mine are getting married.  They both ride and met at one of the sportbike club's functions and feel deeply in love.  After he proposed, she and I were talking about what they were going to do for the wedding and she was lamenting the cost of a wedding dress that she would only wear once, I suggested that she borrow my wedding plans (since I'm not even dating anyone) and get full racing leathers ( for herself and the groom, post a ride and have all the wedding guests who ride follow them to a site in the mountains (other guests have the option of driving or being shuttled in buses the HC are providing).  She fell in love with the idea and ran with it.

My mother really, really, really wants to go to this wedding ever since she came to one of the BBQs and heard the HC talking about what they are doing for their wedding but alas she is not invited (the HC asked if I would be upset if they didn't invite my mom and I said no, I'd rather they didn't invite her). She has been trying to get info out of me ever since the invite came in. The wedding is next weekend and the ride will be in the morning up to the mountains for the ceremony and the reception is later on in the afternoon back in town.\BG

This morning I called her and she started out by asking me where the staging point for the ride was so she could take pictures of all of us in gear and on our bikes.  I laughed and said I had no idea where we were staging since the wedding is a week away and I would worry about it then.  She then asked if I knew the route because she'd like to video from the side of the road (creepy!) and take pictures because it would be really cool to see.  I told her, again, I don't know the route, the wedding is next week and I will worry about the details then.  I also told her there would be plenty of GoPro's and plenty of cameras and I'm sure there would be lots of pics to show her.  She went quiet for a few seconds then she asked me if I wanted her to get this white dress out for me to wear to the wedding.  Glossing over the fact that she has things of mine at her house when she's not supposed to, I thanked her and told her no, I have a dress for the wedding.  She asked if the reception was close to where the wedding is being held and I told her I didn't know and would look closer to the date.  She again stated that I would look really cute in this white dress and was I sure that I didn't need her to get it out for me and bring it to me so I could change after the ride to the wedding (ah ha! the truth comes out)?  I thanked her again for offering but told her I had a dress for the wedding and would figure it out next week.  Her voice filled with frustration and she quickly said goodbye. 

I have no doubts that if my mom finds out details of this wedding she will crash it.  Before I would have told her everything not realizing what she was trying to do.  Now, I keep my voice upbeat and tell her no, over, and over, and over.  Thank you EHell for my spine!


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Re: Stiffened Spine with Mom
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2012, 09:05:59 AM »
Good for you!  Keep up the good work! I have to ask, does your mother even know the HC?  Or is she simply interested since she rides too?  And is there anyone else who might not be as close mouthed as you, and inadverdtantly spill the beans?


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Re: Stiffened Spine with Mom
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2012, 09:18:43 AM »
Backtracking a touch... why would anyone wear a white dress to a wedding, especially one that is a) prefaced by a motorcycle ride, and b) is in the mountains?  I realize that the days of "only the bride may wear white" are past, especially if you color it up with a scarf/shawl/jacket, but it still seems like a rather passive-aggressive jab at the OP's own "wedding plans" especially if she has ever mentioned these plans before -- i.e. if Mom recognizes that this wedding is similar to what the OP wanted to do for her own. 

Simply keep bean dipping on info. "No Mom, I don't have the info you want, and I'm not going to bother Bride for it.  She will get me the info when I need it.  I'll try to get a good bunch of pictures to show you later."  There is no rule that OP AND her mother must also go, especially if the bride/groom are not people that the mother also knows well.  The fact that there's a big ride is reason enough to exclude anyone - one more motorcycle/rider can be enough to make a fun day into a tiresome one.


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Re: Stiffened Spine with Mom
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2012, 09:24:12 AM »
@ siamescat2965 - She knows the happy couple.  She's not a member of the club but she comes to a lot of the functions esp if they are at my house.  As these functions are posted on our public forums and on FB and anyone is invited, she's allowed to come to those functions.  The HC had just gotten engaged and had just decided to go with my idea when we had a function.  Hanna was showing off her ring and my mom asked if they had a date and what they were doing for the wedding.  Hanna said they had not set a date yet but told her the plans for the wedding ride and getting leathers as she was very excited about the whole thing.  A year and a half later, the invitation arrives and since then my mom has been trying to manipulate details out of me. 

@sevenday - I honestly don't think she thought about the color.  It was the first dress she has of mine that popped into her head when her first plan to be allowed to take pictures and video didn't work out.  The ceremony is pretty early in the day and the reception is in the evening allowing those that ride to take a lovely ride home and still have time to shower and change for the simi-formal reception.  The dress mom offered would not be appropriate for a simi-formal even as it is a white sundress about 7 years old.  I honestly forgot I had it until she said something.

Question: is it rude to discuss plans for the wedding (ie, possible locations, ministers, general ideas) with people?  The HC hadn't even set a date when she talked to my mom and only had the vaguest idea of a guest list.   I don't think Hanna was rude to discuss with my mother, but I would like to know what ya'll think.

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Re: Stiffened Spine with Mom
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2012, 09:43:03 AM »
I don't think bean dipping is enough.  Your mom needs to plainly hear that showing up would be really rude and very uncomfortable for the couple and their guests.  It doesn't seem as though you or anyone else has flat out told her she may not just show up and that she wasn't invited.  Instead you have simply avoided those questions or redirected them (which isn't working since she is still bringing it up).   She will therefore keep hinting and show up if she gets the information she's after.


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Re: Stiffened Spine with Mom
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2012, 09:55:54 AM »
My mom doesn't understand the word no when she wants something.  From past experience, if I were to tell her she's not invited and she shouldn't show up, it would lead to a 3 and a half hour crying, wailing and screaming match about how she would never do that and how could I possibly think she is that kind of person and what has she ever done to me to deserve such treatment.  In her mind, she's not coming to the wedding, she just wants video and pics of us staging and on the ride so how could that possibly be a bad thing. 

The only access she has right now to details of the wedding is through me.  There will not be another BBQ until after the wedding and I am working out of state so she has no opportunity to talk to my friends even in passing.  She only has a couple of their numbers and those few know my mother really well and don't really have any desire to speak to her.


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Re: Stiffened Spine with Mom
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2012, 10:05:53 AM »
Sounds like you are handling your mom about as well as can be expected. 

And the ride to the wedding sounds like a lot of fun!  Full racing leathers are a great idea.  My wedding dress still hangs in the back of a storage closet, but I wear my motorcycle stuff at least 2-3 times a week when the weather is good. 

"Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat."  Robert A. Heinlein


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Re: Stiffened Spine with Mom
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2012, 03:05:37 PM »
It sounds like you're dealing with two issues: 1) Mom doesn't understand the word "no." And 2) Mom wants to be one of the "cool kids" no matter what sort of embarrassment it causes her or you.

Issue 1) Mom doesn't understand the word "no."  Sure she does.  She just thinks that if she makes enough of an ugly fuss, you'll give in.  She knows what she's doing, asking all of these leading questions.  Frankly, I would be a little insulted that she doesn't seem to think YOU can figure out what she's doing.

So she doesn't want to hear "no?" Not your problem.  She needs to understand that she is not welcome to take pics or videos or whatever she thinks she can do to end up in the same place as the wedding party and make it extremely awkward for the HC not to say, "Why don't you join us, peach's mom?"

Basically, you need to tell her, "Mom, this is a very small wedding.You barely know the HC, who are very private people.  They would not be happy if you showed up to take pictures or video from the road."  If she screams and cries and carries on, let her.  If she's on the phone, hang up.  If she does this in person, leave. 

Also, make sure that your friends KNOW not to pass info along to your mom, because you would be amazed at the lengths some people will go to get what they want.

But honestly, Issue 1 is just a symptom of Issue 2) She is fixating on the wedding of a couple she doesn't know very well because she wants to be one of the "cool kids." Sometimes, as parents of adult children age, they struggle with the concept of not being the "young" generation anymore.  And then, when their child finds a good group of friends involved in a fun activity, they want to be included, because, afterall, that group accepted the adult child, and the parent, in their own mind, is just as cool/fun/important as the child- if not more!  This can lead to power struggles with the adult child for the friends' attention, the parent doing things to intentionally embarrass the adult child in order to make themselves seem more important, or just ignoring boundaries, leading to the child leaving the group, just to get away from the dynamic.

We struggle with this with some relatives who were always more "buddies" than parents.  They were always the ones hanging out with their kids and the kids' friends, using the excuse that if their kids were going to party, they would want to be there to "supervise" and make sure the kids are safe. The end result was that no one in the family trusted them with their kids, because we'd seen how they "supervised" their kids. And now that the kids are grown, the parents are still hanging out with the kids and their friends. And because the parents tend to revert back to some pretty silly behavior to fit in with the kids' friends, it's pretty unpleasant for everybody. 

And when the family gathers, the aunt and uncle glom on to their kids and us cousins, which changes the group dynamic and can make things sort of awkward.  It's like they're so afraid of being left out or being seen as "old and boring," that they're willing to alienate their kids and insult their peer group (by calling the other aunts and uncles "old and boring") and generally make fools of themselves.

The kids haven't figured out how to handle it beyond staying completely mum about any plans they have with friends, avoiding posting pics or info about any plans with friends to facebook, even after the fact, and telling their friends not to mention plans or gatherings if they happen to see the parents at the grocery store or something.

PS, why does she have items "that she's not supposed to have" at her house?
« Last Edit: August 31, 2012, 03:14:32 PM by weeblewobble »


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Re: Stiffened Spine with Mom UPDATE
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2012, 01:58:01 PM »
Mom kept trying up until the very morning of the wedding to find out where we were meeting etc.  I, and all my friends, held firm.  She didn't get to go, the day was wonderful, and we had an awesome time. 

@weeblewobble - I'm ok with telling her no and taking the crying and screaming.  The problem here is she knows how to contact the HC (facebook) and would have done so had I not kept stringing her along.  The HC would have refused her graciously (I know because I talked to the bride about it), but there's no need for them to deal with my mom's temper tantrums.  The other problem is, she will "forget" she has been told no and you will get the same reaction over, and over, and over again.  I've left, I've hung up, I've ignored to no avail.  This is one behavior I can't train out of her around me so I go with the option I know that works. 

You are right about her wanting to seem like one of the cool kids and be included in the cool crowd.  She usually only stays an hour or so and leaves as soon as someone starts talking about subjects that offend her "delicate sensibilities".  It's a game to most of the guys now to see just how long my mom will hang out before she turns red from embarrassment and leaves. 

I found out she has all my dress clothes, my jewelry, stuffed animals, Legos, and some things my dad gave me.  For now, they are ok where they are at since my roommates have 4 very large dogs, but when I move home permanently, I will take movers to her house and take all my things back.  She may also come home to a house completely boxed up and in the basement.  I wouldn't do it, but it sure is fun to think about.


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Re: Stiffened Spine with Mom
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2012, 02:29:16 PM »
OT - Peach, how did she GET your belongings?
Double MIL now; not yet a Grandma.  Owner of Lard Butt Noelle, kitteh extraordinaire!