Monday, March 30, 2009

Drama Free Zone

No drama I talked to my folks today. It had been over a week since I talked to them, so it was good to get caught up. We couldn't talk long, since they were getting ready to go to a viewing (a woman from their church), so between a conversation with both Mom and Dad, we kept it to under an hour!

When I talked to Mom, she told me that she kind of got into some trouble.

My Mom? My sweet, 80-year-old Mom who wouldn't hurt a fly got into some trouble? (In retrospect, I wish I would have asked her, "Uh oh. Are you pregnant?" Hee hee! She would have cracked up!)

Let's see if I can figure out how to put this without giving any details away, because I never know who is reading this. A younger family member talks often with my Mom. This person tells her things about another family member, in the context of being worried and wanting to help, but these things worry my Mom. Apparently the first family member told the second family member something that Mom had said, something that wasn't specifically said about the second family member, but as a generality. As in people deserve to be happy, and if someone isn't happy, then maybe they should not be with someone with whom they aren't happy. When Mom talked to the second family member, they asked Mom if she had said that they and their spouse should get a divorce. The second family member's spouse was apparently hurt by this situation. Mom said that she only spoke in generalities, and never said "So-and-so and their spouse should get a divorce." Are you still with me?

Then Mom called up the first family member and said, "Thanks for telling them that I said something like that." The first family member said that they were just trying to make a point.


My advice to Mom? Let the second family member know that if they want to talk to Mom and/or Dad, they are there and available. Tell them you're sorry if any feelings were hurt, but leave it at that, and just be open to being there to talk to. Stop talking to the first family member about any of this. Just say, "I'm sorry, but we aren't going to discuss this anymore." (Supposedly the first family member has said that they are stepping out of it. Good decision.) If the second family member really wants to make a change, they need to do so, and no one needs to be playing counselor. That is not a family duty, and will probably only complicate matters. And the first family member was wrong to try to "make a point" using something that they and Mom had talked about in a private conversation. In other words, leave my Mom out of it. When Mom told me what she'd said to the first family member, the "thanks a lot for narking on me" remark, I said "Good for you." (And no, my Mom didn't use the word "narc." But that's exactly what it was.)

So how did I do?

No drama2 I also told Mom that one of the (many) things I've always appreciated about her and Dad is that they have never been the meddling type of parents. I've always known that if I needed their advice or help I could go to them and talk with them (and I have done that), but my feeling is that just as they don't pry about what is going on in my life, I don't burden them with any problems I've had going on. They've done their job in raising me, and they taught me to solve my own problems. (But yes, we do sometimes talk about things, when I ask for advice, or just in providing each other moral support.) If anyone has a serious problem that they need to address, it should be obvious that a family member is not always the best person to look to as a counselor. Find an impartial third party, someone who won't be afraid to tell you some hard truths.

I believe that we sometimes make our own problems, but we also make our own happiness. We should all be self-aware enough to realize that there is a problem in our lives and to know the steps we need to take to solve it. I believe my folks are very wise, and I value their advice greatly; but they are not counselors, and no one should be putting them into that position, or putting them in the middle of something.

I briefly thought about speaking to the first family member and saying, "You really need to stop talking to Mom about this," but then I figured that would only be creating more drama. Mom can handle this. She's a big girl. I'll step in if I need to, but I'd rather just stay out of it, and I told Mom that was my plan. I'll talk to her next week and see what the dealio is.

But don't mess with my Mom and Dad. I don't care who you are, I'll cut you, man. (Thanks for the phrase, Milwaukee Dan #2!)


  1. nyuck nyuck nycuk at 'i'll cut you'


  2. Hi Beth,
    I feel badly for your mom ... she was put in an awkward situation. For my part, I do tend to turn to family members for advice from time-to-time, mainly because I value their opinions and family is ... well ... family!

  3. Yeup, stay out of it. You'll only be adding another iteration of "she said, she said". Sounds like your mom handled it just fine. But what is family without a bit of drama?

  4. That is why we keep most of our dealings private, because we hate drama.

  5. It's hard to avoid drama with family and extended family and the ongoing drama of family, but I say your advice was good.
    My parents raised us to believe that all you really get in life is happiness, so you'd better work toward that, and everything else falls in line.
    It's funny how, when we were younger, our parents protected and took care of us, and now that shoes is on the other foot. I kinda like it.

  6. I have a few family members I need to forward this to. I spend as little time as I can because I don't need, nor want the drama. I draw firm lines and wish them to be honoured. Since they aren't, I limit my time and my words. Your adivse to your mum was right and from time to time I have remind myself my mum is a big girl too :)

  7. I actually followed all of that. Good explaing! I don't blame you though about your Mom....I'd step in if I needed to also.

    Keep us posted on this situation!

  8. I had a trainer who used the 'i'll cut you line' ... I will email you a couple of 'i'll cut you stories!'

    No drama ... it is hard to say 'no drama' when drama is everywhere. Sometimes, no matter how well we do our thing, there it is just lurking about!

  9. 'Violators will be Bitch Slapped!' ROTFL!! 'I'll cut you, man!' MORE ROTFL!!! You are too funny!!! Your poor mom, it's hard when it's happening, but it'll blow over, and I'm sure your mom will now be VERY CAREFUL what she says to that family member in the future. My parents weren't meddlers either, well, my mom's tried, but we don't let her... my SISTER is the drama queen, I just stay away from her. LOL!!

  10. Loved this entry! The family member who "narc'd" should be slapped for putting your dear, sweet, 80-year-old mom in that kind of position! Eighty year-old moms/gramdmas are precious and should be dealt with with kid glove and handled like precious china and not used or abused in any way. Ditto for Eighty-year dad/granddads. I think your mom sounds super, by the way. My mom and dad are appreciated for never being nosy or giving unwanted advice in the family. All the in-laws love(d) them to death.

  11. I'll cut you so bad, you'd wish I didn't cut you so bad. LOL Best. conversation. EVER. ;) Hope your mom puts the smack down, yo. haha

  12. I cracked up as I tried to follow all the drama from the first family member to the second......LOL

    I'm sure the problem will get resolved.

    Hugs, Rose

  13. I totally agree with you, Beth. Let it die a natural death and don't add any more fuel to the fire. It'll blow over. See, even at 80 we still learn lessons. Sorry your Mom had to be put on the hot seat, she sure didn't deserve it.

  14. Drama is rampant in my family. (Ahh Camile, fetch me a fan, I do believe I have the vapors.) I really do try to avoid it at all cost.
    Tehehehe @ "bitch slapped and I'll cut ya".


I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you?