Thursday, December 14, 2006

Family Burdens

For most of my life, my dad has been a special event and gift giving idiot.

For Christmas he would always drag me out on Christmas Eve to find something for my mom, hours before the family was supposed to show up for our celebrations. Then there were the years that my parents decided not to get each other anything, but my mom always made sure to get him some snacks and a couple of his favorite magazines. Dad always took their deal at face value and so my mom never got anything. Then there are the many, many birthdays and anniversaries that he flat out forgot.

Regardless of who was right or wrong in any of these situations, Mom ended up feeling sad and neglected. Over the years I began to email or call my dad a few days before a big event to remind him that it was coming up and encourage him to pay attention to it. In fact I just sent the "Remember your anniversary" email today. And for those that I forgot to remind him about, inevitably I would call my mom to wish her a happy whatever and she'd be melancholy b/c my dad didn't do anything.

I don't know how it happened, but all of a sudden I feel responsible for this reminder and consequently guilty if I forget. How did I end up in this position, squarely between my parents? I don't know where exactly it comes from. Perhaps from the very close relationship I have with my mom and that I would do anything I could to make her happy. Or maybe I'm just too damn meddlesome and I should keep my nose out of other people's relationships. I don't know the why of the situation, but I know that it sucks to feel like I could have done something when he has disappointed her again.

How do I extract myself from this loop?