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Language Log

Sunday, Oct. 02, 2022 - 11:06 a.m.

Today between 7-11 am I:
Weeded a lot in back yard, took out trash from back yard and kitchen, swept and scrubbed kitchen floor, swept patio, hung the second set of purple LED lights along the casita in back yard, unloaded/reloaded/ ran dishwasher, made E toast, organized the laundry area and got E to sweep and mop it, also got his help scrubbing fronts of appliances in kitchen.

I feel done, but at least there’s a good reason I need a nap.

Mom called and wants to take us out to dinner or lunch one day. She’s clearly hurting and worrying herself about it all and feeling sad. I’m not really ready to deal with it yet. Everything always on her terms. I don’t want to go out to eat, it’s so hard with the kids and I don’t like it. Why should I just because she’s decided that’s what we should do to make her feel better?

I read this meme the other day. Or a shared tweet, to be more precise. A woman dropped her cane and someone asked permission before retrieving it for her. She was wowed by that. The tweeter was wowed by her being wowed. “You mean people just… touch your stuff without permission?”

And I reflected on the time when I was maybe 21 and mom and I were driving near campus in the rain and there was a wheelchair user kind of stuck having a hard time getting up onto the sidewalk in this downpour. “Hop out real quick and give them a push” mom said. I didn’t. I felt like it would be presumptuous, but I didn’t know why because it seemed like help. I didn’t know any wheelchair users. But I didn’t, and I actually wondered for years, maybe up until I read that tweet, whether I had done the right thing. I guess I could have gotten out and asked first but anyway. That wasn’t the act under consideration.

But it’s this way that even if dominant society says “this is how to be nice”, there’s a lot of internalized be around that if you are the non consensual recipient of that intention.

This goes with other forms of generosity as well, as I’ve discussed many times wrt my in-laws.

You don’t get to decide how other people are going to take your actions. That’s one I struggle with too because I want people to just accept me as I am. But then I don’t get to decide if they take it personally or not, I guess.

Anyway, I’ll ask Q. But I’m not going to make her go do this other thing that causes her anxiety just so my mother can perform apology in the way that’s most comfortable to her.

I’m not supposed to be mad at her, or so I hear. But I’m disgusted at the labor heaped upon labor she’s demanding of me to make her feel better about her fuckup.

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