And I laughed.

We've never been close, and for many years I was far away, on purpose, but I'm old and I'd like to be part of the a family, so they're all invited to breakfast every second Saturday morning. It used to be every Saturday morning, but that proved too much.

Haven't written about our breakfasts lately, because there've been no big explosions. Why, after breakfast with the family a few days ago, waiting for my bus home, it occurred to me that I'd had a very nice time with the family.

Twice monthly is better than once weekly, perhaps because I've adjusted my attitude and expectations.

♦ ♦ ♦   

If I tell my mom anything, she'll ask everything, every time she sees me or texts me, so I don't tell her much. It's self-defense.

And I've drawn the line at talking about work. The more she knows, the more she asks, but I don't want to spend five minutes of every breakfast answering the same questions from Mom about where I'm working, do I like it, what are my hours, etc.

So some months back I told her that the subject is closed. "Work is boring and I'd rather not talk about it," is my cover story.

Mom had a hard time with that. She's accustomed to asking questions and getting answers, but after telling her a hundred times that I won't talk about work, she's finally stopped asking.

Instead she asks, "Do you still not want to talk about where you're working?" and I tell her that I don't even want to talk about not talking about where I'm working. And I laugh.

She's sometimes taken her questions to the third level, asking whether I still don't want to talk about whether I still don't want to talk about work. And I laugh, or try to.

Of course, info given to anyone in the family is fed directly back to Mom, so everyone gets the same line from me — "I'm temping at different offices, but it's boring and I'd rather not talk about it, please." My brothers, my sister, my niece, nephews, and in-laws all shrugged and said 'OK', and with them, the question's never come up a second time.

Except at breakfast.

So there we were, me and Mom, my sister Katrina, and Katrina's friend Adelle, at the restaurant on a Saturday morning as usual. After saying hello and before we'd even ordered, Katrina asked, "So, where are you working, Doug?"

"I'm temping at different offices, but it's boring and I'd rather not talk about it, please."

"Well, you tried," Adelle said — confirmation, as if it were needed, that as those three had driven to the restaurant together that morning, Mom had pressured Katrina to ask me. And I laughed.

A few weeks later, my brother Clay and his wife Karen came to breakfast, and Clay asked where I'm working. He knew the answer would be "I don't want to talk about it," and I knew Mom had put him up to it. And I laughed.

Sure, I could've been furious about it, but I'm learning that it's softer on the soul to let it go.

Anyplace there are people, but especially at breakfast with my family, someone's going to say something annoying. If it makes me scream, then breakfast will suck and I'll come home in a bad mood. But if I take it as comedy, there might be good times, and there have been.

This is as close to 'victory' as I'll ever come with my mom and her questions. It's been a month since she asked where I'm working, three weeks since she asked whether she can ask. I'm almost proud of her.

The last thing I said on Saturday was, "Thanks, everyone, for coming, and I love you all," and I meant it. "Breakfast again in two weeks."



  1. I like it, keeping the family vibe alive...Eel

  2. Thank you, Eel. Keep it slippery. :)


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