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Argue the point? or let it lie?

 
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I am faced with a dilema...

My parents are visiting me for a while (here in Australia, visiting from UK) and we sat around chatting the other night when my mother, without being at all aware, offended me deeply:

I long ago realised that my mother was a snob in denial - she likes to think that she is open minded and un-pompous, but in reality she is apalled by anything cheap, popular or remotely junk like - she has tastes and attitudes that would not be out of place besides TV's "Dr Frazier Crane"...

In my student days I lived a life in close to poverty - none of my firneds had a lot of money and what we had was reserved for recreation! (mainly alcohol, cigarettes and less legal drugs). We lived in a house where cleanliness was not a huge deal - it was a bit of a tip - but it was a fun place to be

She commented in a positive way about how much my life had changed since my uni student days and how I was now responsible and trustworthy - The implication being that as a student I was irresponsible and untrustworthy. She even commented that the standard of the house I lived in in my uni days was a clear indicator that we (my friends and I) had no repect for other peoples property.

Reading between the lines here I see that my mother regards my educational years as an extreme low point in my development and a point from which I "fortunately escaped".

Form my personal viewpoint, my educational years were the richest most fulfilling time of my life, where I was surrounded by friends and people who respected me for who I was. It was an honest world where shallow facades didnt really exist. I lived in a house with people from a whole range of social and cultural backgrounds and learnt a great deal about people. Since then in my opinion I have given up searching for an ideal life and reverted to the shallow baseless existence of professional middle-class suburbia..

Should I bother trying to explain to my mother that her attitudes offend me and that what she regards as my lifes 'success', I regard as merely a disappointing acceptance of the inevitable and inescapable treadmill of life?

Or should I just shut up and let it lie?
 
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Originally posted by Adrian Wallace:
...
Or should I just shut up and let it lie?[/QB]



You shouldn't be offended. Your mother is glad to see that you have graduated from your "hippie" days and are now a responsible adult. She won't be convinced and can't be replaced, so you might as well make the best of her happiness and enjoy her visit.
 
Ranch Hand
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To provide the useless answer, that all depends on your relationship with your mom.

<Drum roll for a mosterously large cliche...>

Listen to yer heart

<cliche over>

If you feel like you want to talk to her, do so.
If it is really troubling you, it's probably worth it.


And now you have your advice from a 17 year old.
 
High Plains Drifter
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Why don't you say something like this to your Mom:

Originally posted by Adrian Wallace:

In my student days I lived a life in close to poverty - none of my firneds had a lot of money and what we had was reserved for recreation! (mainly alcohol, cigarettes and less legal drugs). We lived in a house where cleanliness was not a huge deal - it was a bit of a tip - but it was a fun place to be.

You commented in a positive way how much my life had changed since my uni student days and how I was now responsible and trustworthy. The implication being that as a student I was irresponsible and untrustworthy. You even commented that the standard of the house I lived in in my uni days was a clear indicator that my friends and I had no repect for other peoples property.

Reading between the lines here I see you regard my educational years as an extreme low point in my development and a point from which I "fortunately escaped".

My educational years were the richest, most fulfilling time of my life. I was surrounded by friends and people who respected me for who I was. It was an honest world where shallow facades didn't really exist. I lived in a house with people from a whole range of social and cultural backgrounds and learnt a great deal about people. Since then in my opinion I have given up searching for an ideal life and reverted to the shallow baseless existence of professional middle-class suburbia.

What you regard as my life's 'success' I regard as merely a disappointing acceptance of the inevitable and inescapable treadmill of life?


If you can be honest and complete, I think you'll be both able to see past the harbored disappointments/resentments and get to something more real.

For example, if I was your Dad, I might (at great personal risk) arbitrate and say, "Well son, a place doesn't have to be a sty to be full of honest people with truth and integrity to their Credit. And there's no rule that ennobles using drugs, so I'd get over defending that if I were you."

And to the Mrs: "You want your son to remember you as the person who comes to judge the progress of his life? When did we ever raise a child for the expressed purpose of making sure he met with our approval?"
 
Leverager of our synergies
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Perhaps you should try to talk to your mother, I am just not too optimistic about the results. From what you wrote, she doesn't look particularly attentive to you and willing to understand, otherwise her judgment about your young years wouldn't be so different from yours. It seems that only some extraordinary event can change her way of thinking. But you could try to understand her. What is her background? Is "professional middle-class" the environment she was brought up, or had she to get into it? I wouldn't be too much offended by what she thinks about you. Somebody said: first parents teach kids, then kids teach parents...

There must be something else you can appreciate her for, so it's better to concentrate on what connects you.
 
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Mums are mums, they always want something better for their children. Of course it's THEIR idea of "better". It's only natural that it doesn't meet with YOUR idea of "better".
Neither is right or wrong, just different. There are more important things to worry about and it's really not worth potentially having her leave to go back to the other side of the world when you've had a disagreement.
Remember that she loves you and she would never intentionally hurt you and enjoy your time with her.
 
author and iconoclast
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It is always hard to tell Mom that you feel that professional middle-class suburbia is shallow, insincere and dishonest. If she's at peace with her own life, you will have offended her as much as she has already offended you -- and that's not the goal at all, is it?
 
mister krabs
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I think the problem is that you and your mom are both right but neither can see that. It will be interesting to see how you feel about this in 20 years.

It was either Winston Churchill or Mark Twain who said that he couldn't believe how much smarter his parents got as he got older.
 
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The fact that you are asking if you should say something indicates that there is some tension in the relationship and that your mom is hard to talk to, sometimes at least. I know... duh! Dr Freud.

The point is, most of us have people in our lives, to which, we must weigh our responses carefully before speaking. I dislike confrontation for the sake of confrontation. If there is a purpose to a confrontation then I'll jump right in. If the confrontation appears useless or worse will result in strife and anxiety, with no foreseeable benefit, I generally avoid it. Just having my say and making my opinion known is not that important. Just my personal view.
 
Michael Ernest
High Plains Drifter
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Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
I think the problem is that you and your mom are both right but neither can see that. It will be interesting to see how you feel about this in 20 years.

It was either Winston Churchill or Mark Twain who said that he couldn't believe how much smarter his parents got as he got older.



Twain
 
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Was your mom ever poor, if not she wouldn't have a clue anyway, if so i guess she has forgotten where she has come from and it wont make any difference anyway.
 
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