“I have a gift for you! …These are RAGS.”

No seriously. That was what she said.

Her gift to me – the gift for giving her a grandson?

Rags.

And not just ANY rags. No, no, no. They were “good rags” that she sacrificed a “good towel” to make. Not only that, but each one had a purpose that had to be explained to me. One was for the bathroom. One for the kitchen. One for other sorts of cleaning.

Now here’s the thing: Even if it weren’t so insulting to be given rags, I HAD spent the better part of two weeks cleaning my house to an almost-completely-tidy state. Only a month ago had I given birth, prior to which I was on bed rest/limited mobility for 3 months. I had done so so that she wouldn’t be too upset by the state of the house, since I know she’s an insane neat freak. Considering that I was pumping milk every two hours, and caring for a baby as well who was not sleeping through the night, resulting in my…basically not sleeping at all, I thought I had done a pretty fantastic job.

But even IF she had thought that she’d give me rags IF the apartment was a disaster, to still go out of her way to not only explain their use, but also to try and make me feel guilty that she had cut up a towel, packed it up, taken it all the way across the country, JUST so I could have them…it defies explanation.

And let’s re-emphasize a few points:

~ She had come “to help us out”.

~ She had promised “to play nice”. (yet more words that I understood as a warning sign, but was begged to ignore)

~ She had said, flat out, that she understood post partum depression, and that she was going to help me through it.

I’ve been wracking my brain ever since, trying to figure out how this was a positive gift. How you could be warped enough to really, REALLY, think that you were helping someone, being nice to them, and not actively trying to hurt them and not trip their depression…by making their new-mother-gift…be rags?

I managed not to burst into tears, though I recall my cheeks coloring and my throat closing.

I was furious, but actually, somehow, managed to thank her. My mind did also immediately flicker to the huge pile of rags that were sitting in my art studio. Which then begs the question, did you really think an artist wouldn’t have rags? Really? C’mon now.

Oh and a few hours later we got this comment: “I know you don’t keep a clean house, but I’m dealing with that.” In a very sympathetic tone.

I…I’m still beside myself.

And if any of you understand this, I have one thing to say:

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Posted on August 29, 2012, in Chores, Doing Right, Evil, Family, Mother in Law, Motherhood and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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