Close up Hands Tea x

Sit a bit and hear some observational stories I’ve been steeping.

You are cordially…UNvited.

UNvite

 

Some people reach out and invite you to things.  I just received what I’ve decided to call an UNvite.  Basically, I was told that I was no longer going to be invited to any and all future events that a friend of mine might ever again hold in her home.  The reason that was given for this UNvite, was that she felt she “…can’t be in the same room” with me and my Maternal Unit.  Ever again.  Never-ever.

Well, that was harsh.

Now, before you go picturing cat-fights and fur flying – that is NOT the nature of the relationship I have with the Maternal Unit.  Far (fur?) from it.  What usually happens is now and again, the Matriarch claws and scratches while I retreat.  She is — and always will be — the Alpha Cat and I most definitely know my place in the cat box.  I also know that crap happens and I do my best to just quickly cover it and pad away as silently as I can.  Now, I’m not gonna lie — on occasion there are tears.  Because, being attacked when you’ve done nothing to provoke it will do that to your tear ducts… if you’re normal.  It’s also normal that being in the same room with cats in a sack might be uncomfortable for some people.  I get that.

I’m not a big fan of minutiae, so I’m not going to go into the nitty-gritty kitty litter that make the dynamics of the life I’ve spent with my Maternal Unit, but I think you should have some of the broad points in order to form an opinion:

  • I am the product of adoption.  It’s complicated, but the Maternal Unit has been the most constant mother figure I’ve had in my very long life. On good days, she introduces me to people as her daughter; on bad days, she introduces me as her niece; on really bad days she doesn’t bother to acknowledge me, at all.
  • My Grandpa Andy is the one who took care of me from the time I was a toddler until I was 11 years old.  It is because of that man that I love music, words and people.  Due to divorce (and his randy-Andy-dapper-dandy ways) he did not live with or take care of his daughter: my Maternal Unit.  He did spend the last year of his life, after a devastating stroke, in her care.  In total, out of the nearly 50 years of her life at that time, they really only had spent a handful of time together.
  • As an ex-supermodel (one of the first, I might add), the Maternal Unit has always had very high standards.  Unfortunately, for both of us, I have never been tall enough, thin enough, smart enough or enough-enough for the Matriarch.  It didn’t help that she married into a well-known fitness family and the pressure on both of us grew.  Honestly, those were some pretty tough shoes (and skinny jeans) to fill.
  • For many people (and for many years), I have been nothing but the middle-man – the go-between, connection, communicator and (for the most part) cheerful conduit – to my well-known, wealthy and slightly wacky “family” members.  I have tried to be diplomatic and graceful in all matters over the years, so that connections could be made and relationships kept intact.  Sadly, since the Patriarch passed away, I seemed to have lost most of my usefulness… and a great many people have lost my phone number, address and email.  At least, that’s the road I’m going to take on that.
  • The Maternal Unit is difficult.  There’s not a soul in her inner circle who knows her who would disagree with that assessment.  Those who only know her socially and peripherally do not get an opinion on this.  In fact, I hereby give those people an opUNion about it.
  • Out of fierce love and obligation to my Grandpa, the Patriarch and even the Matriarch herself (despite her prickly ways), I would give a kidney to this woman (that is — if she really needed it, not just wanted it).  And, no matter what — in order to help, protect and take care of her, I would fight for her.  Just not with her.  I don’t want to hurt her, even if she hurts me.  [Let me give you an example: Have you ever given a cat more love and petting than they can handle?  They will bite you. They will even draw blood.  Yeah… she’s kind of like that.]

So, back to the UNvite:

In my efforts to NOT fight with my Maternal Unit, I do my best to tap dance around some of the machinations she engages in.  Perhaps the person who issued the UNvite doesn’t really like dancing.

It is no easy task to NOT have conflict when the great Matriarch gets in a dither about trivial things (and, please forgive me, I happen to find menus, brands of cheese and whether cocktails should be at 5 or 5:30 to be trivial) and in order to not engage, I do tend to walk away.  Sometimes, I cry on that stroll.  So, I can understand how it might be difficult to be “in the same room” with saltwater leaking nearby.

There is a quote floating around the internet that says, “Your friends should motivate and inspire you. Your circle should be well rounded and supportive.  Keep it tight. Quality over quantity, always.”  Call me the crazy one, but I really believe those are the kind of people whose addresses, phone numbers and emails should be on your invitation list (should you ever again decide to invite someone).

xo – t.

“You don’t have to accept the invitation to get angry. Instead, practice forgiveness, empathy and encouragement.” – Dan Fallon

“When autumn darkness falls, what we will remember are the small acts of kindness: a cake, a hug, an invitation to talk, and every single rose.  These are all expressions of a nation coming together and caring about its people.” – Jen Stoltenberg

“A real conversation always contains an invitation. You are inviting another person to reveal herself or himself to you, to tell you who they are or what they want.” – David Whyte

2 thoughts on “You are cordially…UNvited.

  • Annette Uthe says:

    I do hope you are watching Ken Burns, “The Roosevelts” this week. How did that magnificent woman, Eleanor, overcome the tragedy of her early life to found her legacy of kindness and equality as she continued living as a second class citizen in her own home? What courage and tenacity! BTW, these are only 2 of the qualities I see in you, T. Plus creativity and loyalty. You became the parent you wished to have. I’m only one of the legion of fans who would be happy to entertain you.

    • TKatz says:

      Awww – thank you. This warms my heart and makes me incredibly happy. I send you hugs and tremendous appreciation for your kind words. They help carry me through and I am grateful.

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