Monday, December 20, 2004

Happy Coincidence

Coincidences often make me wonder if there isn’t some kind of greater cosmic energy at play on the planet. Here’s an example.

Saturday night, after helping out at a Christmas party, my son and I went to gather Arthur and my daughter from the in-laws, where they were waiting for us. I couldn't help but mention to the group, but specifically my mother-in-law, how I had been interviewed for articles in three prominent IT journals, had my own article being published in another IT magazine, and was being quoted on two major software vendors sites, all in connection with some research I had done lately. I didn't get to finish telling her, though, for about 30 seconds into it, my mother-in-law cut me off (she heard the word IT, and this must have triggered something for her) to ask me if I knew how to reset a password on Windows XP. No one else in the room, including Arthur, seemed to notice the virtual slap in the face, and I went home, deflated, in a huff. Sadly, I took it out on Arthur.

On my third glass of red wine, I sat on the couch and took out my frustrations. "If this happened to anyone else in the family, it would be a big deal. But it happens to me, and no one cares. Not your mom, not any of our siblings, not even my mother has acknowledged how cool this is. If this happened to your brother, your mother would have taken out an ad in the paper. Apparently an article about me isn’t as big a deal as I thought it was." Poor Arthur.

I was starting in on a crying jag, when my mom called (unusually late, for her) to ask how the party had gone. At the end of the call she said, "Oh yes, I meant to tell you that I read the links you sent me and that’s pretty neat that you've got your names in lights like that. You must be very proud. Good job!"

I smiled. Arthur swears he didn't put her up to it. I guess Moms just know when you need an ego massage. Well timed, Mom. Thanks very much!


At 12:30 PM, Blogger Rachel - Wicked Ink said...

I used to think it was a syndrome only my family carried, until I saw it on Everybody loves Raymond. Where the mother brags about child A to child B, and child B to child A, but never directly tells either child how proud she is and how wonderful they are.

I am completely impressed that you are being rewarded for your hard work and enthusiasm and energy and intellect (and all the other parts that have taken you to where you are today). As much as you may barely tolerate your work sometimes (I get the feeling the novel you tease us with bits and pieces of is more of a self-portrait than not), you really do enjoy it.

Have you considered talking to your mother in law, one on one and telling her how you feel?

Forget what other people think, say or don't say. I am sure that Arthur was proud, and I feel that you are immensely proud. They all might be too, without knowing how to say it.

Happy holidays, and don't let other peoples lack of reaction or recognition take from you the feeling of success that you so richly deserve.

At 1:38 AM, Blogger Wheelson said...

Bonuses, promotions, awards and blog comments are all great, but it's amazing just how much a "Good Job" from your parents still means to us as adults.

At 9:00 AM, Blogger withknivesout said...

yeah, my parents' compliments mean more than anyone else's.

At 8:01 PM, Blogger Janet said...

Coincidences freak me out. I don't think there are only coincidences. I think everything happens for a reason, even if we don't know what the reason is and we try like hell to figure it out.

At 12:33 PM, Blogger Carmi said...

I hear you, Trillian. My father never seems to have the time to read my columns. Then he gets angry at me if I dare ask if he's read my latest. The last time we played this silly little game - almost two weeks after I had published my piece on Beslan - he e-mailed me afterward as a way of proving he had read it. Problem was he misspelled Beslan. Horribly.

My in-laws bug my wife constantly about what I'm working on and when my work will next be published. They even print my blog and share it with whoever will listen.

Wheelson's right on the money: sometimes, a nod from Mom or Dad is enough to make it all right. And the opposite can leave you scratching your head.


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