Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Perfecting Passive Pressure

My mom loves to say that she doesn't pressure us to get married and have kids. And she doesn't, actively. She's never specifically told me that's what she wants me to be doing with my life right now. Instead she has mastered the art of passively pressuring me.

She loved to recount how when people would ask how many grandkids she had she'd tell them none because none of her kids were married. I know none of your kids are married. I'm one of those kids. And yes, you don't have grandkids because I'm not having any for you. Why do you need to remind me that you don't have grandkids because none of your kids are married? I know it. Trust me.

I told her that came across, particularly with the frequency she'd tell me about it, like she was wishing we would get married and have grandkids for her.

Then I had a sibling get married. So she had to stop saying that anyway.

She also likes to tell me how the guys I know need to marry me. Luckily, she hasn't started telling them that. It's been more than ten years now that I've limited my mom to only asking about my social life once a month, but even that seems like too much some times. And some times she forgets about the once a month limit.

This year, my married sibling had a kid, and my parents have their grandkid. I love that kid. That kid is the cutest, smartest kid ever born into the world. Being an aunt is the best!

It is the time of year when people are writing letters recounting the high points of the year in their family and sending those letters to friends with a Christmas cards. My mom generally runs the letter past all of us to make sure she's got her facts right. She was telling me about the letter the other night. It's one page of pictures. There's a picture of my sibling with their kid. There's a picture of just the kid. There's a picture of my parents with the kid. There's a picture of my other sibling with the kid. There's a picture of me with the kid. And there's the words giving the basic facts about the birth of the kid and a witty line about how pictures are worth more than words.

I asked my mom if nothing else exciting had happened in our family this year. She said no.

It's good to know that me leaving my career, moving states, and starting a graduate degree aren't anything exciting in our family. The only big thing I did this year apparently was become an aunt. Passively she's pressuring me and saying that there's nothing that important in my life because I'm not married and having kids like my sibling.

It's nice to know you matter like that. Especially during the holiday season.

I don't want to feel like this. I really really don't. And I'm working real hard on not feeling that way. I've been trying to get over it for a year now, ever since I first found out I was going to be an aunt. But that letter isn't helping me any.