Dinner follow up

My mom was so desperate to find out who paid for Friday night’s family dinner that she had to call me from the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses during one of her preaching outings with a worshiping friend. She couldn’t even wait until she got home to call me. She tried to delay it a lot by asking things like who actually showed up, what we ordered, how long we were out. And of course, the standard question finally came, “So who paid the bill?” I told her that my cousin paid the majority of it, my cousin’s wife’s sister paid a small portion, and I paid the rest. Then she annoyingly asked, “Russell didn’t pay the whole bill?” And then “Ellen and her husband didn’t even offer?” Notice how those questions are framed: in a negative, why-did-it-end-up-this-way-and-why-did-you-have-to-pay-at-all? – type way. It’s always negative, and it’s always as though she or I have been slighted. I didn’t feel slighted. I expected to pay a portion of the bill. I don’t like visitors paying unless they are staying for an extended time. She still doesn’t seem to understand this concept, so I have to reiterate it to her. Over and over again. My friend suggested to me to not tell her at all the result because it simply just does not matter (which it really doesn’t, and I agree), but I have a feeling that would result in far more nagging than I can tolerate.

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