It is 6am Thanksgiving morning and I could not sleep last night. We are hosting our first Thanksgiving in the house, and I am excited. That is not why I cannot sleep. We prepped everything we could last night but still have a ton of cooking to do this morning and early afternoon. That is not why I could not sleep. There is going to be a ton of food, I am bummed I will not get to enjoy it all but also this is not why I could not sleep.
So why couldn’t I sleep?
Because I was up all night reflecting. Reflecting on my life, reflecting on family etc. I grew up in New York City. To me, there is no better place in the world than the 5 boroughs and I would give up anything to move back there, well at least in my mind I would. Sure there are solid concrete reasons why I should not move back to NYC, such as the fact that I pay less for my 3-bedroom house in North Syracuse than I would for a 1 bedroom apartment on the 4th floor of a building with no elevator or security. I commute to work in the comfort of my car and do not have to stand outside in the rain or cold waiting for a bus or cram into a packed subway car light cattle off to slaughter. Everything is more expensive in NYC. A gallon of milk is $4 in NYC vs $1.93 at Wegmans. These are all clear cut reasons as to why I should not move back, however, these reasons do not change my mind about wanting to move back.
There are reasons, however, as to why I will never, ever, move back to New York City. Mainly, my mother. I love my mother, do not get me wrong. She raised me right, helped me pass my road test, did a countless number of school projects for or with me, has bailed me out of poor financial situations more times than I am ever going to admit, even to this day when I need something and do not have the money she is always willing to add it to my running tab as long as she has the money. I could not ask for a better, more caring or more loving mother. However, she is also the most stubborn self-centered woman I have ever met. She is set in her ways and will do things her way no matter what. If you try to get her to do something your way or different than she knows how you are met with sarcasm and a tone that makes you feel like a 5-year-old child. If you try to express how her actions make you feel you are met with phrases like “Oh well”. “Ok, it is done, move on” or “get over it”. Then the next time she sees you, she still doesn’t respect your wishes. I am not going to go into specific examples because well I think I have aired enough dirty laundry. Spending time with my parents is the greatest, something I greatly look forward to and something I do not get to do as often as I want because of the distance between us (they are in NYC and I am in Syracuse). However, sometimes spending time with my mother reminds me why I keep this distance between us.
Do not finish reading this post and think “Geez, Ben hates his mother”, on the contrary, I love my mother very much and cherish every moment I spend with her. I just wish she would see me as an adult at 33 years of age and not her child. I wish she would treat me, my house, my house rules (simple things like taking your shoes off at the door), with the same respect Allison and I show her home whenever we come to visit NYC. I wish she could have come to my house for Thanksgiving and allowed me to host my first Thanksgiving how I want to instead of telling me how to.
We all have a family, we all have family drama and we all say that our family puts the “fun” in dysFUNctional. All of that is very true. My issues with my mother are not unique and by a lot of standards not abnormal either. They are a by-product of having the most stereotypical Long Island Jewish mother in the history of Long Island Jewish mothers. In the end, she is my mom and I love her, I just wish she didn’t make it so damn hard too sometimes.
I hope you all have an amazing Thanksgiving feast with lots of love, good food, good conversation and as little family drama as possible.