Where i came from... Well, technically I was born in Slidell, Louisiana. My dad was a computer programmer and my mom has been a number of things from a programmer, to a math teacher, english teacher, and ended her career as a Software Quality Analyst for the the US Government. I have one sister who is a lawyer and lives in Arizona. She is better than me at most things, or so I'm lead to believe.
Oh my parents never came right out and said that, parents never do. But, that doesn't mean that I can't read between the lines. And the truth is, she is better than me at most things. She had great grades, got a full scholarship to LSU and later to ASU for law school. She graduated the top of every class she was ever a part of. Have you ever met someone who seems to have a charmed life, they somehow seem to just fall into things and everything works out great? Well, meet my sister. Now don't get me wrong, she's worked hard for what she has. You don't get scholarships and graduate the top of your class because you are lucky. But she is lucky. For example, on her honeymoon, Mike Tyson happen to be dining at a table nearby and joined them, AND he was in a good mood. If that happened to me, somehow I'd get my ass kicked. She once went to ask her bosses about getting some tickets to the NFL draft since both her and my mother are biig fans. The boss called the Arizona Cardinals and got them box seats in their area. That was the year that Matt Lienart was drafted and guess who they got to hang out with. You see what I mean. For most of us, just going to the draft would be supremely cool, but somehow life always manages to kick it up a notch for her.
They say all of life is a balance of things and "they" may be on to something. You see, everything I touch turns to shit somehow. Well, that may be an exaggeration, but lets say I can never measure up and I'm reminded of that in many subtle, yet obvious ways. Nothing that I do is ever quite up to par and seem to generate "little" comments that get the point across. Here's a tip for parents, if you wonder why your kids don't call enough, it just might be because you make the whole deal rather uncomfortable.
Here's an example. I have a tattoo. Nothing terribly ostentatious and its not in a highly visible spot. I have a Celtic cross on my upper arm with my kids initials around it. To me, a tattoo is a personal thing, and frankly I could give a shit if other people approve. My tattoo has meaning to me, it says something about my dedication to my kids and their protection. Its not like I got a tattoo of a butt on my butt. So I decide to have a family vacation at the lake and invite them. I drop some serious coin renting a very large house, 5000+ sq ft, for several days and invite them. I figure they'd have fun with the grandkids and we'd all have a good time. Well, it rained when they got there. Not just a little rain either, it rained a lot and we spent most of the afternoon playing a game called Apples to Apples. That actually turned out to be fun for a while. Apparently my sleeve moved up enought that the bottom of my tattoo was showing and my mom's reaction was to ask if I was stupid and why I would do a stupid thing like get a tattoo. Well, I didn't react well to that. I'm 38 and I'm not going to run around desperately seeking their approval for much of anything, and I said that. I also was VERY generous in my usage of the many forms of the work fuck. Look, its my body, its my tattoo. I'd had it for over 6 months and hadn't shown it to her because I knew how she'd react. Tattoo people are evil in her world view. She didn't ask to see it, in fact she never saw more than a small part of the bottom of it. But that didn't matter, I'm not a scummy tattoo man. I went downstairs and refused to talk to her the rest of the evening. I was a little pissed off and had nothing constructive to say. The next morning I awoke to a note on the table saying they had gone. Now, you might think she felt sorry and apologized, and in a way she did. To my wife. To this day she's never apologized for the things she's said, and to this day I haven't really forgiven her for it. Now I don't walk around all pissed off about it, but our relationship is definately frosty on my end, and she doesn't even notice.
My adult life has been full of my mom making assumptions about me and the decisions I make to the point of insulting me on a regular basis. Usually I just sort of ride it out, old people are crazy and say shit. It's easy to get locked into this view of how the world should work and be very close minded to anything outside your small isolated world view. I get that. But, on some level, having someone that close to you judge you over and over again and appear to continually find you wanting is not a lot of fun and wears you down. My reaction is to avoid it, and unfortunately that means avoiding her.