The other morning I was in line waiting for the 6:26 train to arrive and I was facing the parking lot across the tracks where my car is parked. As I was looking in that direction movement caught my eye and I spotted a bunny! He* was poised as though he knew I was watching him. Having lived on the farm for umpteen years I’m no stranger to seeing wildlife but the last thing I expected to see at the train station was a bunny! While I watched he hopped back and forth and eventually became hidden by some shrubbery around the base of a tree. I found myself hoping he had a safe place to sleep and wondering if he had enough to eat. That made me wonder what food he’d like if I could come up with the bucks to provide some.
Whoa, what just happened? I’m not usually inclined to nanny-moments but there I was thinking I needed to make sure that bunny had food. On the one hand that makes me compassionate and caring; those are good things. On the other hand though, that could make the bunny dependent on handouts when he obviously survives just fine on his own. Once he starts relying on others to feed him what happens when the food doesn’t show up?
This must be part of the mommy complex I’m starting to identify in myself. There’s a deep need to take care of everyone; to make everyone happy. I couldn’t do it when I was a “mommy” with young children (who, let’s face it, are usually pretty easy to make happy) so I don’t know why I think I should be able to do it now.
Hubs’ folks want to see us this weekend. This request was sort of tentative, no date or time was mentioned specifically. In fact, Mom told Hubs they were going to try to talk SIL into bringing them down to meet us for a meal so we wouldn’t have to drive so far this time. Thoughtful right? But we’re struggling to keep gas in the car to get me to work this week so my first inclination is to bow out even knowing that if we could get there they’d probably slip us some cash on the sly to help out. Nice parents but I don’t like that I’m still needing help from family. I’m not a bunny who needs someone to feed me. At least I shouldn’t be. I’m fifty-umcoughsplutter years old and I should be self-sufficient. Forget that Hubs can’t work and we just lost the farm and we’re still in debt to the blasted I.R.S.
Then, a couple days ago my best friend invited us to a going away potluck dinner for a couple who are mutual friends. We haven’t seen these friends in a really long time and I so wanted to go! But again, there’s the gas issue. I told her I’d check with Hubs but I was pretty sure we didn’t have the gas. She shot back an email saying she’d pony up some gas money (we’d done that for her so she could visit us last year so I don’t feel so bad taking money from her) and R & E would really love to see us since it had been over a year AND they’re getting ready to move out of state. Nothing like the old guilt is there? And did I mention I really, really wanted to go?
Now I have a dilemma. Do I blow off the terminally ill father in law to go see the friends? Hubs has guilt issues of his own, heck he’s Jewish, of course he has guilt issues. So I’m texting like mad all the way home last night trying to get the meeting with the folks moved up earlier in the day on Saturday so we can meet the friends, who’ve agreed to push back dinner. Now you have to realize meeting the folks is half an hour to forty-five minutes northeast of us. The friends are over an hour west of us. It’s doable in a day but would be exhausting. And there I am, trying to make everyone happy.
I didn’t bring up the weekend with Hubs until I was ready to go to bed. Then I let him know how I’d tried to rearrange things so we could see both his family and our friends but that it didn’t work out. The bottom line? I made the decision to go to our friends and he could like it or not. As I pointed out, I don’t ask for much and I really want this. Now I get to call Mom and Dad to explain why we won’t be there Saturday. But heck, I’m not Jewish. Their guilt trips won’t work on me…much. So much for making everyone happy huh?
*Shut up. I know it could have been a girl bunny. I chose to use the male pronoun to avoid the whole awkward he(she) mess. Deal with it.