Dumped and Stumped

March 30, 2008

My relationship with my daughters has been good for so long now, I’d forgotten how much it hurts when something goes wrong. Last night was a painful reminder. Rebecca came over mid-afternoon to do some laundry. Daniel and I were cleaning the house. By 5:00, I had been on my feet for five hours, and was in a great deal of pain. But, because Rebecca said she was hungry, I offered to take her out for nachos. She said she wanted to finish her laundry and take a shower before we went out.

She wasn’t ready until 8:00 p.m. I was exhausted and hurting, but I hadn’t eaten anything all day (except for a few jellybeans), so I was pretty hungry. Plus, I didn’t want to let her down, so off we went. In the car, Rebecca asked if we could go somewhere else because she is trying to eat more healthfully, and wanted to get a salad instead of nachos.

I wasn’t thrilled with this change in plans because the nachos place is close to home, and I really wanted to wrap the day up as quickly as possible. Also, I was afraid there would be a wait at the restaurant she wanted to go to, since it was a Saturday night. Still, I agreed to go where she wanted.

As I had feared, there was a wait, but it only ended up being about 15 minutes. After we were seated, the waitress took our drink orders, and we were looking over the menu. It was then that Rebecca got a call from her boyfriend with the news that he had gotten out of work earlier than expected. (He’s a restaurant manager, and thought he’d be working until 10:00.)

When Rebecca got off the phone, she said, “Let’s go get him.” I looked at her in disbelief, and pointed out that we had just been seated, and it was now going on 8:30. It would take at least 40 minutes to pick him up and return to the restaurant. Rebecca’ eyes filled with tears and she said, “You don’t understand. I hardly ever get to see him” (because of the hours he works).

Of course, she sees me even less, but I do understand how she feels. She’s young and in love, and wants to be with her boyfriend as much as possible. That’s fine. What isn’t fine is the way she behaved when I told her that we could leave so she could go get him, but I wanted to go home. I was exhausted and in a great deal of pain, and hadn’t even wanted to go out in the first place. I did it for her. So, yes, my feelings were hurt, too.

I said I would tell the waitress something had come up, and we had to leave. Rebecca sulkily said that we should just go ahead and order. She said she didn’t feel right about ditching me. That’s all well and good, but I had lost my appetite, and there was no way I could bear to sit across from her knowing she didn’t want to be there, and was harboring resentment because I didn’t want to extend the evening long enough to go get her boyfriend. By now, I was near tears, myself.

I put money on the table to cover my soda (Rebecca was drinking water) and the tip, and got up to leave. I had to get out of there. Rebecca stayed to tell the waitress that we had to go because of an emergency.

We drove home in complete silence. She was very upset with me. After I waited three hours for her to be ready and then had to force myself to go even though I really didn’t want to. Then I relented when she wanted to switch restaurants. Finally, I had had enough, and wouldn’t agree to an additional change in plans – a change that would cause an increase in my pain and fatigue. How is it right that the blame for this fiasco was being placed at my feet? As Steve Martin used to say, “Well excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me.”

Right now, I have to get ready to go to a rummage sale at the Jewish Center with my mother.This evening, Daniel and I will be going out to dinner to celebrate our anniversary. I hope we have a more pleasant experience than the one I had with Rebecca.

Song of the Day: Song For the Dumped by Ben Folds Five

18 Responses to “Dumped and Stumped”

  1. Stefani said

    Happy anniversary!

    And good luck with the Vitamin D thing. Ever since I’ve been reading about all the good it does, I’ve been trying to absorb as much sun as I can. Ain’t easy in Rochester, NY in the winter – but any little bit helps.

  2. Anna said

    Hello – I just clicked on you randomly in the new blue box and there you are, telling my life, killing me softly with your song, as it were. I don’t have any pearls of wisdom to impart, but you are not alone in feeling used and abused by your daughter, but still somehow in the wrong. Like you, I mostly have a good thing going with my daughter, but every now and then it leaves me feeling like shit. I hope you have a fabulous anniversary dinner. Best wishes.

  3. Bex said

    Of course you know (I know you do!) that you were the injured party and she was the perpetrator in all of this. I’ve never had human children, so can’t put myself in your shoes, but it seems to me that kids these days are lacking in some basic human traits – like consideration for others, for a start. I am sorry you had such a horrid night. You don’t deserve any of that treatment, and your daughter should be informed of that somehow or other.

  4. mercystreet said

    Happy Anniversary to you and Daniel.
    Daughters sometimes forget that mother’s are human too.

  5. chaosdaily said

    Bummer. My Kid did something similar to me, and it does hurt. Hang in there, some day she will come to her senses!

  6. goatbarnwitch said

    Happy anniversary!

  7. Sasha said

    A few jelly beans all day? 😐 You know that’s really bad. I don’t know, I think you should have just stayed at the restaurant and ordered because then maybe your daughter will learn (eventually) that she’s never going to get everything she wants when she wants it and that her attitude needs to be decent for what she actually has, not what she wants to have. I know you were upset but she does need to learn that. I hope you have a wonderful anniversary dinner to make up for the hurt and upset, Stephanie. Many congratulations to you and your husband! xoxo

  8. Jim said

    Happy anniversary!

  9. terri t. said

    I don’t think you were wrong. I do think your daughter took you for granted and forgot about your needs. Why didn’t her boyfriend come to the restaurant on his own? Anyway, I am sorry it didn’t turn out well. Guess next time, IF you offer a meal, you can make sure that it will be on your terms i.e. time, place and who is going with you.
    Enjoy your dinner tonight, I am sure it will be better than the last one.

  10. Jeanette said

    Happy Anniversary. We just celebrated our on March 18th.
    I’m sorry for what happened with your daughter. Young adults sometimes can be so self involved they forget that other people have feelings, too. My daughter and I used to butt heads all of the time. It takes a effort on everyones part to keep the peace.

  11. ky said

    Like many other readers, I rather randomly clicked on your blog and decided to read a bit.

    First, happy anniversary! I hope you and your partner have a wonderful evening.

    I don’t have any children, but as a daughter (I’m 25) I’m thinking back to how my mother and I used to butt heads. It took a long time for me to realize that she wasn’t just “mom” but a person with dreams and feelings, etc. We get along great now, so I can only hope that your daughter realizes how valuable you are to her someday as well.

  12. I moved from NYC to Houston (where my family lives) so I can “save” my money and get a cheaper place, and somehow within a few weeks of being here I now have my 25 year old nephew, his girlfriend, and their 2 year old kid living in my 1 bedroom apartment, because they have no where else to go. SAVINGS GONE! I know all about what family can do to your spirit if you allow them to, stay strong girlie!

  13. LeAnn said

    Happy Anniversary!! Do you get to pick the restaurant? Rebecca obviously knows you love her enough to be able to take you for granted once in a while. Did you ever get to eat anything???

  14. WCD said

    Happy Anniversary, you are a great mom, and she’s acting spoiled rotten — you go above and beyond the call of duty. When she’s older she will appreciate you more – guaranteed:)

  15. Michael said

    Happy anniversary! You know, sometimes I get sad that I never had any children, and then sometimes I don’t feel quite so sad about it. Probably in the long run the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. I guess it’s a matter of surviving until the long run kicks in.

  16. Joan said

    Rebecca is not a bad kid, she’s a typical kid. Do you remember when you were her age? I wouldn’t have known if my mom was in pain – I was too focused on my boyfriend and my car and the highlights in my hair and my tan and…
    So we’re hear to say, we’ve been hurt by our kids, we know it feels AWFUL and we all want to give you a big hug and the nachos you deserve!!!!

  17. Sunshyn said

    Happy anniversary! My mom sort of pulled something similar yesterday. I gave her EVERY opportunity to invite friends to her birthday lunch with us. No, no, she just wanted me and husband and kidlet. Fine. So we call to let her know that we’re coming to get her, and so-and-so is just about to get out of church, and could we come to her house and wait (45 minutes) til she could get there? Well, no, because I hadn’t eaten all morning, and kidlet was having behaviors, having been at Wicked’s for a couple of days, and HE was hungry, too, and besides, so-and-so could just drive from church to the restaurant, right? So we got her and went straight to the restaurant, and it turned out that so-and-so didn’t even plan on showing up, anyway. And Mom saw how out of sync kidlet was, and it was ok. Because she’s a mom, too. And lunch was nice, and it was the only real rest I got all bloody day.

  18. LA said

    Happy Anniversary, you two!

    As for R? Wanna bang her and Alex’s heads together? ~LA

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