Thursday, January 12, 2017

An epiphany over mom's jewelry

I had another epiphany about my family dynamics.

I was awkwardly telling someone about how my dad asked me to take my mom's awful costume jewelry. We were talking about jewelry in general, and this person didn't know anything about my mother--I only said that she was very ill, which made it al the more awkward to talk about her terrible taste in jewelry. It was fine, but in retrospect I might have said that my mother and I have very different tastes in jewelry.

Our very different tastes in jewelry very much reflect who we (each) are: my mother chose large, statement pieces, whereas I prefer subtle jewelry that enhances my overall look. I like to wear jewelry and clothes, and thought that my mother went for jewelry (and clothes) that wore her. She didn't hesitate to tell me that I had terrible taste, that my choices were insufficiently loud. In a way, my rejection of her jewelry choices then and my aversion to them now goes beyond aesthetics; it's an aversion to her tastes and to her relentless campaigns to impose her choices on me.

She was the same with food, or, I should say, we are each the same with food. I like for garlic, or any other flavor, to enhance my dish; she seemed to think that the dish should be a vehicle for garlic. She didn't hesitate, on more than one occasion, to interfere with something I was preparing by blatantly adding more garlic against my objections. Similarly, she once ripped lady fingers out of my hands and over-soaked them in coffee--she didn't think I was using enough coffee--to the point where they practically fell apart. That was how she rolled.

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