Want vs Need

My mother is not happy with me, AGAIN…

She called me on Tuesday asking me when I was coming to the care center where she lives to see her again. I told her I would be there Wednesday at 8:00 a.m. like always. She said “good, I want to show you some shoes I need. They are SAS sandals and they are on sale right now. I saw them in the news paper so I want you to go get them for me”. I said “mom, you already have two pair of good sandals like these, in different colors,


and three pairs of walking shoes like these, in different colors.


I said you have more shoes than I do and you don’t even walk”. And, not only that mom, but you don’t have any money to be buying shoes. I reminded her that all but 60 dollars of her social security check goes to pay her rent at the care center, and the remainder goes for her hair cuts, and monthly field trip to Wal-Mart with the other care center residents. I reminded her that my husband, Bill, and I, buy all her personal need items, and her clothes, including all the shoes she already has which is why I know she doesn’t need any more shoes.

After a long pause on the phone, mom said “well, I guess you just don’t want me to ever have anything more the rest of my life, and I feel like an orphan.” I told mom it wasn’t that I don’t want her to have anything, it’s a matter of want vrs need, especially when she doesn’t have any money to spend. And Bill and I don’t have it either as we are trying to help our daughter, Shantel, get through college, so all our “extra” money goes to that cause…

Again, there was a long pause…then mom said “I have to go now” and she hung up.

I sat for a while and thought about what my mother said and my mind went back to when I was growing up and I would ask for something my mother didn’t think I needed…she would say to me “people in hell want ice water too but that doesn’t mean their going to get it”. That would be the end to my asking again… I don’t know why that came to mind now but it did… just saying…

In the past, that kind of interaction between my mother and I would have really upset me, but through my therapy sessions, I’ve learned how to handle my emotions, and I made the choice now to not let my mother upset me. I decided I was not even going to mention the shoes when I went to visit her today and I didn’t, but she did…

As soon as I walked into my mother’s room, she handed me the news paper and showed me the sandals saying “I’m going to ask your brother, Danny, to buy me these shoes”. I said “if that’s what you want mom, but I don’t think your being fair to Danny to expect him to buy you these sandals when they are almost exactly like the ones you have on your feet right now, and like the other pair sitting in your closet. I said Danny just bought a new home and he has expenses there too, but you do what you think you need to do mom.”

Then, as I was looking at the ad for the sandals in question, I noticed, after all this commotion about the sandals…, the sale ended on August 3rd, which was last Saturday! I told mom the sale was over as of Saturday. She just looked at me and said “Well, I know Danny would have bought them for me if he knew I wanted them, and I don’t know why you don’t want me to have anything new so you can go now because I’m not happy with you…I smiled and said “that’s OK mom, but you have the same shoes to get glad in…I’ll see you next week. 🙂

Stay Tuned!

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. gotham girl
    Aug 07, 2013 @ 21:42:04

    Want vs. Need…still a lesson to be learned no matter what stage we are in life! Proud that you handled it with aplomb! xoxo MORE!!


    • beyondcinderella
      Aug 08, 2013 @ 00:09:43

      Thank you frissy for understanding how hard it is to help aging parents understand we are really trying to do the best we can…I know you, of all people, understand this as I follow and support your blogs everyday…Thanks for your continued support of my blog, and your continued responses. It means the world to me… XXOO


  2. katsbynp
    Aug 08, 2013 @ 02:45:25

    I love the phrase want vs need. I think we all need to think in these terms. I think I always found it difficult to deal with my mom when she lived with me those last few months. The difficult thing was the role reversal of now I was the one making the decisions and she is more in the role of listening to me. It did not always go smoothly but I know I did the best I could just as you are doing a tremendous job. You handled the situation well and thanks for sharing


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