Tuesday, December 02, 2014

See? This is what I mean!

Last week, while sitting by the luggage carousel, waiting for my friend to arrive in Las Vegas from LA, I scribbled off three postcards. One to my aunt, one to my niece, and one to my Cousin Rose. Rose loves to receive snail mail, and I wanted her to know I was thinking of her.

Well, she responded. "Hope you had fun in Las Vegas. Not my preference, but then, not my birthday."

This is why I'm most emphatically not looking forward to her staying with me in early 2015.  Nothing I do or say is "her preference."

For example, she was telling me how much I was missing by not shopping at Costco. Now I live in a two BR condo with precious little storage. I have no desire to spend any of it on a 12-roll package of paper towels. On the other hand, I wanted to be polite and keep the conversation moving. So I said, "Hmmm ... you know what I could buy in bulk? AA batteries. I'm always running out of them for my TV remote and my shower radio."

"SHOWER RADIO? That's the craziest thing I've ever heard of!"

Or when she kept haranguing me for the size of my purse -- even though I never once complained about its heft or asked her to carry it. Or ... or ... or ...

In addition to making me feel, well, homicidal, she also makes me feel guilty because I know how much she cares about me. (Even though it seems everything I do is, to use one of her favorite words, "stupid.") For my birthday, she got me a pen and letter opener, both inscribed with my name, because she says I'm the last one who bothers to write letters by hand and mail them, and she appreciates it. She always wants me to visit. She fantasizes about trips we'll take to Europe. (I can just imagine her criticizing me all over Poland.)

During my turbulent adolescence, my Cousin Rose was my idol. My role model. The only adult in my world it seemed to support me.

I do honor and treasure that relationship, and wish we could go back.