Author Topic: Giving PA people what they "want" (Stories!) UPDATE P27  (Read 121242 times)

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Elisabunny

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Re: Giving PA people what they "want" (Stories!)
« Reply #345 on: December 24, 2012, 07:02:24 PM »
Last year my mother decided she didn't want to "do" Christmas anymore.  So we invited them over for desserts on Boxing Day.  But that wasn't good enough- from various comments she's made over the last year, I was magically supposed to know to call or email or something on Christmas Day.

Well, we're not doing the Boxing Day thing this year, and she won't answer the phone if she sees me on the caller ID- apparently she got offended by something (during the funeral, as near as I can tell) and is Not Speaking to me.  Eventually I suppose she'll tell me what I did that was so terrible.  So I guess I'll just send an email.  Because I'm supposed to wish her a Merry Christmas on the actual day.
 
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jedikaiti

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Re: Giving PA people what they "want" (Stories!)
« Reply #346 on: December 24, 2012, 08:46:17 PM »
Last year my mother decided she didn't want to "do" Christmas anymore.  So we invited them over for desserts on Boxing Day.  But that wasn't good enough- from various comments she's made over the last year, I was magically supposed to know to call or email or something on Christmas Day.

Well, we're not doing the Boxing Day thing this year, and she won't answer the phone if she sees me on the caller ID- apparently she got offended by something (during the funeral, as near as I can tell) and is Not Speaking to me.  Eventually I suppose she'll tell me what I did that was so terrible.  So I guess I'll just send an email.  Because I'm supposed to wish her a Merry Christmas on the actual day.

Evil Jedi says to send up smoke signals. If she doesn't see them, it's her fault. ;-)
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aiki

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Re: Giving PA people what they "want" (Stories!)
« Reply #347 on: December 25, 2012, 05:59:10 AM »
At least once a visit, my Mom will start cleaning something around the house. Like windows or ovens or the steps to the basement. When I came home from the hospital after my c-section, Mom decided to clean all the blinds in our house. As in take them all down to wash & dry each & every blind. Took something like two days & when she finished, Mom said something along the lines of how her blinds hadn't been cleaned in forever :o I cheerfully replied that there were cleaning services that would do it for her if she didn't have time!

The cleaning ticks DH off because it's her PA way of saying we don't keep a clean house but I just remind him that it's a free cleaning service >:D

I'll try to think of it your way. During the rare visit when my mom comes & stays, she also does that kind of cleaning & it makes my blood boil. When she stayed last year, my roommates & I had just done a really good cleaning & the only thing she could find to pick at was the dish drying rack. It had gotten a little dirty at the bottom. Which she made a huuuuuuuuge deal out of. Ugh.

Next time, leave a few things deliberately dirty. Run a betting pool on which one gets picked. Celebrate your win/commiserate over your loss with strong liquor, if you are that way inclined.

"A true gentleman is one who is never unintentionally rude."  - Oscar Wilde

sevenday

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Re: Giving PA people what they "want" (Stories!)
« Reply #348 on: December 25, 2012, 08:16:04 AM »
My ex calls this "salting."  If you give them something to do, they forget to nitpick at you for the 258157 other things that they normally pick at you for... at least for the time they're cleaning! 

otterwoman

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Re: Giving PA people what they "want" (Stories!)
« Reply #349 on: December 25, 2012, 12:03:36 PM »
My ex calls this "salting."  If you give them something to do, they forget to nitpick at you for the 258157 other things that they normally pick at you for... at least for the time they're cleaning!

I do that with my MIL. Clean what I feel like, leave the rest for her, so she feels like she has something to do. She gets to indulge her OCD, I get a cleaner house. Win-win!

ica171

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Re: Giving PA people what they "want" (Stories!)
« Reply #350 on: December 25, 2012, 12:10:16 PM »
This thread has helped me decide how I'm going to deal with my mom the next time she tries this stuff. I have a 9 month old daughter, and ever since she was about 4-5 months old, she's cried whenever my mom walks into the room. No one knows why, she just does. Now, when my mom does the "woe is me, why don't you love me, you'll have to come stay at my house and I'll make you love me" talk to DD, I ignore her. She knows that's not going to happen and I just don't even feel like it needs to be addressed. But one day a few months ago as she was leaving my house, she held DD, who started crying. I said jokingly, "Wow, what did you do to her?" She started in on "How could you say I'd do something to that little girl, I'd never do anything to hurt her, I love her," etc etc. The first few times I reassured her and said "I know, I know, it was a joke, she's just a baby, she just needs time," on and on.

Then she brought it up at Thanksgiving. I said "You know that was a joke, right?" She said "Yes" and then carried on with her woe is me speech. So next time she says "You said I did something to DD!" I'm just going to say "Yep" and leave it at that.

It worked (I think)! We had our big family Christmas on the 23rd. My baby was being her cranky self (because she was sleeping when we got there and DH woke her up) but after I calmed her down she more or less tolerated one of my sisters. Said sister was standing by my mom, who talked to DD, who started crying. Everyone laughed over DD crying when Grandma talks to her, and Mom made her comment about "and Ica171 had the unmitigated gall (one of her favorite phrases) to ask what I did to her!" I said "yep, I did." She didn't say anything else and the topic wasn't brought up again. We might go up there again today, so we'll see if it comes up again. I plan on doing the same thing if it does.

Redneck Gravy

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Re: Giving PA people what they "want" (Stories!)
« Reply #351 on: December 28, 2012, 10:07:28 AM »
This incident happened right before the end of my marriage and months of marriage counseling.

My ex was upset about something but wouldn't tell me what it was; he just kept picking at me over other little things.  I finally said tell me what it is you are really upset about.  He said it was something that had happened before we ever married (19 years previously).  I asked what in the world he was talking about?  He said you don't remember?  I said obviously not so tell me.  He said well if you don't remember nevermind.  I said okay, here is your chance to clear the air but if you choose not to I don't want to hear about it ever again. 

A half hour or so passed and he mentioned it again.  I said okay for the second time tell me what it is you are talking about?  He said I can't believe you don't remember, I am not telling you.  I said okay once again here is your chance to clear the air.  No, he couldn't believe I didn't remember what it was.  I said okay your choice. 

Another half hour or so passed and once again he brought it up.  I said - LAST CHANCE either tell me what you are so unhappy about or let it go, I am not going to remember something that happened over 19 years ago if you don't tell me what it is!  Colorful adjectives & adverbs followed but he never did tell me what it was.  I have been happily divorced 15 years - still have no clue what incident occured that kept him upset for 19 years. 

hobish

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Re: Giving PA people what they "want" (Stories!)
« Reply #352 on: December 28, 2012, 10:47:23 AM »
This incident happened right before the end of my marriage and months of marriage counseling.

My ex was upset about something but wouldn't tell me what it was; he just kept picking at me over other little things.  I finally said tell me what it is you are really upset about.  He said it was something that had happened before we ever married (19 years previously).  I asked what in the world he was talking about?  He said you don't remember?  I said obviously not so tell me.  He said well if you don't remember nevermind.  I said okay, here is your chance to clear the air but if you choose not to I don't want to hear about it ever again. 

A half hour or so passed and he mentioned it again.  I said okay for the second time tell me what it is you are talking about?  He said I can't believe you don't remember, I am not telling you.  I said okay once again here is your chance to clear the air.  No, he couldn't believe I didn't remember what it was.  I said okay your choice. 

Another half hour or so passed and once again he brought it up.  I said - LAST CHANCE either tell me what you are so unhappy about or let it go, I am not going to remember something that happened over 19 years ago if you don't tell me what it is!  Colorful adjectives & adverbs followed but he never did tell me what it was.  I have been happily divorced 15 years - still have no clue what incident occured that kept him upset for 19 years.

Dangit, now I want to know. What's his number?
 :P >:D ;)
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Otterpop

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Re: Giving PA people what they "want" (Stories!)
« Reply #353 on: December 28, 2012, 10:55:24 AM »
This incident happened right before the end of my marriage and months of marriage counseling.

My ex was upset about something but wouldn't tell me what it was; he just kept picking at me over other little things.  I finally said tell me what it is you are really upset about.  He said it was something that had happened before we ever married (19 years previously).  I asked what in the world he was talking about?  He said you don't remember?  I said obviously not so tell me.  He said well if you don't remember nevermind.  I said okay, here is your chance to clear the air but if you choose not to I don't want to hear about it ever again. 

A half hour or so passed and he mentioned it again.  I said okay for the second time tell me what it is you are talking about?  He said I can't believe you don't remember, I am not telling you.  I said okay once again here is your chance to clear the air.  No, he couldn't believe I didn't remember what it was.  I said okay your choice. 

Another half hour or so passed and once again he brought it up.  I said - LAST CHANCE either tell me what you are so unhappy about or let it go, I am not going to remember something that happened over 19 years ago if you don't tell me what it is!  Colorful adjectives & adverbs followed but he never did tell me what it was.  I have been happily divorced 15 years - still have no clue what incident occured that kept him upset for 19 years.

I do too!   >:D

Wow!!!  You have to wonder why it didn't bother him enough to NOT get married/spend 19 years with someone he was "upset" with. 

It's really the power to dredge stuff up, to hold it over our heads and be "mysterious" about it that they like.  If we decide we don't care and aren't going to grovel, it diminishes that power.  When one person decides to be reasonable and talk things out, that often signals the end of the relationship.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2012, 11:12:09 AM by Otterpop »

Morticia

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Re: Giving PA people what they "want" (Stories!)
« Reply #354 on: December 28, 2012, 11:05:42 AM »
I would bet that there was no incident that he had been holding a grudge about, but he was justifying his dreadful behaviour by claiming moral "high-ground." Which is why he would never say what it is. Also, if it was so egregious, why marry in the first place? Nope, never happened.
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gramma dishes

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Re: Giving PA people what they "want" (Stories!)
« Reply #355 on: December 28, 2012, 12:15:08 PM »
He couldn't tell you what it was because "it" never happened!!   8)

blue2000

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Re: Giving PA people what they "want" (Stories!)
« Reply #356 on: December 28, 2012, 12:43:41 PM »
Chances are there was something that upset him. Considering his behaviour, I would find it downright astonishing if nothing upset him - he seems to be a very negative person.

But if he has to dig back 19 years to find a good offense, that says something! :P
You are only young once. After that you have to think up some other excuse.

GratefulMaria

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Re: Giving PA people what they "want" (Stories!)
« Reply #357 on: December 28, 2012, 01:35:16 PM »
Trying a positive feedback loop with my mother often works to dial it back.  For the last couple of years, I'd taken to offering to run errands for her before she thought to ask.  For one thing, I'm always out and about anyway; for another, the way she asks annoys me, and my main goal was to head it off so I don't have to hear it.  Well, unintended consequence:  she's gotten more straightforward about asking (while still absolutely polite).  She's also likelier to arrange things for herself.  We're both happier!

DoubleTrouble

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Re: Giving PA people what they "want" (Stories!)
« Reply #358 on: December 29, 2012, 01:33:17 PM »
At least once a visit, my Mom will start cleaning something around the house. Like windows or ovens or the steps to the basement. When I came home from the hospital after my c-section, Mom decided to clean all the blinds in our house. As in take them all down to wash & dry each & every blind. Took something like two days & when she finished, Mom said something along the lines of how her blinds hadn't been cleaned in forever :o I cheerfully replied that there were cleaning services that would do it for her if she didn't have time!

The cleaning ticks DH off because it's her PA way of saying we don't keep a clean house but I just remind him that it's a free cleaning service >:D

I'll try to think of it your way. During the rare visit when my mom comes & stays, she also does that kind of cleaning & it makes my blood boil. When she stayed last year, my roommates & I had just done a really good cleaning & the only thing she could find to pick at was the dish drying rack. It had gotten a little dirty at the bottom. Which she made a huuuuuuuuge deal out of. Ugh.

Next time, leave a few things deliberately dirty. Run a betting pool on which one gets picked. Celebrate your win/commiserate over your loss with strong liquor, if you are that way inclined.

Well, if DH & I done a bet for Christmas neither of us would have won as she didn't clean a thing! Guess she got worn out by a couple of 4-year olds & a puppy  ;D

snowflake

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Re: Giving PA people what they "want" (Stories!)
« Reply #359 on: December 29, 2012, 03:42:10 PM »
Chances are there was something that upset him. Considering his behaviour, I would find it downright astonishing if nothing upset him - he seems to be a very negative person.

But if he has to dig back 19 years to find a good offense, that says something! :P

I was going to ask if you were married to my sister!  She's mad at me over things that happened years ago but won't talk about them.  She says I don't understand because she never, ever did anything that a reasonable person would consider even annoying.  Um surrrrrrreeeee.