mercoledì, settembre 10, 2014

Your slacks match your loafers

So anyways . . . this cousin of mine. The son of the woman I nearly clocked the other day because she was trying to check my attempts to let my son walk up a forest trail he really wanted to walk up. I love my cousin very, very much. He is a nice person and has a good brain. He's also been doing the same undergrad degree for the last 24 years.

We've all heard stories (haven't we?) about Italian men still living with their mammas, getting cooked for and cleaned for and otherwise taken care of well into their middle age or until their incompetencies can be handed off for a wife to enjoy. Well, this guy is the extreme end of that; he has never had a moment of anything like even the possibility of independent living. His job has been giving his mother something to do by endlessly. Fucking. Fretting. About his health, about his driving, about his clothes, about his diet, about everything, in fact, except apparently his ability to function in the world independently of his parents.

The way she has raised him, to treat every tiny contretemps like a huge and intimidating mountain that is not necessarily there to be climbed, has left him . . . not soft . . . but slack. And I write that as someone who's loosely strung herself, but I've been more or less taking care of myself for awhile now, or at least splitting burdens with the F-word, so I don't think we're talking the same category of thing.

And if I sound like I'm blaming her too much, that's not fair of me. His father helped by handing off responsibility for raising the children to their mother - let her exercise the one power Italian women of her generation got to exercise. He gets pissy his son is so slack, and has arrived at middle age still so dependent, but he never did a damn thing to prevent it.

ANYWAYS. In my head it's been a pity for awhile that my cousin is as he is. He could have been a much happier person if he had been allowed to dip his toe in the deep end once in awhile (literally - he lives next to some of the most beautiful tideless beaches in the world and was never allowed to go in the water. Can't swim). But it hadn't been a thing that riled me until my aunt tried to do it to Godzilla. And then it REALLY riled me. It still riles me . . . I'm glad we're leaving so soon because she's going to keep doing it, even if I get positively ruder. She can't help it. That should make me more compassionate, but as the F-word said the other day on a different topic, "it's only not his fault in the same way that nothing is anybody's fault."

I have a lot of fears for Godzilla's future, most of which I just sit on and don't think about, because why would you? But one of them that I've been forced to think through here this last week is a fear of him ever suffering this slackness. This helplessness . . . this inability to see anything but problems. Because un-Pollyannaish and bitchy as I am, I honestly believe most things that aren't actively nice aren't problems either - they're just a bunch of things that happen that you deal with - and real problems are few and far between. And I don't see how life would be bearable if you couldn't believe that. 

3 commenti:

mujerlibre ha detto...

Ditto. Not that I have a middle aged cousin who needs to get leaner or tighter. But that fear - that my child ends up fit for nothing; dependant; incapable and unwilling and lazy and full of expectation that parents exist to make things (life) easy. Ugh.
It's a given that if they ever needed a kidney then they could have mine - no question. But life needs them to be hard and resilient and capable. They need to go out to meet it.
I've failed a few times.
It's hard to sit back - or to tacitly refuse to intervene... If you're interested, see here: http://primerascanciones.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/weaning-adult-child-next-step-in.html

Dread Pirate Jessica ha detto...

What what what? Where's your blog?

sansserif ha detto...

...relocated to here: http://aglaiketstirk.wordpress.com/author/theglaiketstirk/
- and not improved for the change either.