A simple "no" would be fine.

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by SpergLordGamecock, Mar 21, 2015.

  1. SpergLordGamecock

    SpergLordGamecock Cock of the Spectrum Walk

    This has been driving me nuts for years, and maybe one (or more) of y'all could help me solve this problem, which only just now has caused a mini mental breakdown.

    Recently, my boyfriend and I have been talking about having people over at his place for dinner, because, honestly, he has more space to host in his townhouse than I do in my house out in the (relatively speaking) sticks.

    I've also been wanting my parents to meet him. My father doesn't pay house calls anymore (except to my cousin and my remaining blood paternal uncle, but even then, that's rare), so boyfriend and I met him at a local buffet. That went great, and him and the boy could not stop talking about old video games.

    However, National Chain Buffet won't cut it for my mother, whose tastes are, for lack of a better word, more refined. That said, she generally doesn't say no to the offer of a home-cooked meal, even if it's slop.

    I was heading to the bathroom earlier, and on my way, this conversation happened.

    Me: Hey, would you be at all interested in coming over [boyfriend's name's] place[, where I've been spending increasingly more time] for dinner one night?
    Her: (disapproving face) I would rather that we clean up this house a bit. You always find a way of avoiding it.
    Me: ...all you had to say was no.
    Her: I didn't say I wouldn't, I just said that I would -rather- do that.
    Me: (on the verge of tears) ...never mind.

    I'm mild Sperg, so sometimes communication issues do come up; we've talked a few of them out (e.g. she knows not to pile on things for me to do, and instead have me focus on one task at a time; also, she's getting better with the "here's all the things you didn't do, let me re-emphasize how disappointed I am in you for not doing those things but completely disregard anything you did manage to accomplish"), but this is one that she still doesn't understand how much it hurts and/or messes with my wiring. I try to explain to her, and she'll just dodge the matter again, saying "Well, XYZ -does- need to get done."

    Difficulty Factors: My mother, in addition to providing my housing and a lot of my means of living, is also my employer, so my words must be delicate; I don't fear any employment repercussions from any potential confrontation, but I'd rather not take that gamble.
  2. Ink

    Ink Well-Known Member

    Do you think she understood that it was a formal invite?
  3. cantankerousAquarius

    cantankerousAquarius Acrasial Macrology

    That seems kinda out-of-left-field to me. Maybe she thought that you considered your house unfit for cleanliness reasons and she would rather eat at your house and wants you to clean up so it's more suitable? Maybe she thinks that you're spending time at your boyfriend's house to avoid cleaning? I have no idea, moms are weird.
    I have interactions like this every so often, and I just ask the person wtf they thought I was getting at or wtf they meant. Is that an option?
  4. SpergLordGamecock

    SpergLordGamecock Cock of the Spectrum Walk

    Unfortunately, no. She's unfortunately the kind of mother who will take the slightest bit of questioning as defiance, insubordination, or "attitude." Also, in the past, when she's reduced me to tears, she's told me to "stop being so dramatic," but now that it's pretty clear I've got something wrong with my mental capacity (what it is remains to be seen...kind of frightened at the thought of seeing a psychiatrist, and also anti-depressant meds for reasons involving aforementioned mother), she's stopped doing that and let me get space to calm down when I get worked up.

    As I've said, there's progress, but sadly, my mother is on the proud side and can sometimes be a tough nut to crack.

    It wasn't really a formal, more of a "Wouldn't it be nice to do XYZ some time?" kind of statement.

    Talking to her again, she did say that she meant "I would rather we clean up this house so that -he- can come over -here- for a change," but she didn't say that up front. Saying so up front wouldn't have made me any happier, but at least it would have been a far more direct answer.
  5. Ink

    Ink Well-Known Member

    Yeah. The way you related the discussion it did seem like she was replying more to some unspoken subtext than to a simple invitation, but in a side-ways manner. Stuff like that can be tearful-making, with half a dozen emotional reactions vying for expression depending on the meaning and the meaning being rather covert.

    I'm happy to hear you guys managed to get the actual thought processes behind her comment out in the open.
  6. cantankerousAquarius

    cantankerousAquarius Acrasial Macrology

    What ink said. Glad you got the information all correct now.
    Subtext is annoying af.
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