Dear Inga la Gringa,
My mother wants me to join her on a trip to Bangkok and parts thereabout. The last time we traveled together was about a dozen years ago, when I was 15 and we went to Memphis in search of Elvis. I love her to death, but sometimes we can’t make it through a dinner without going at it. So how about 10 days in Thailand?Ever-Devoted Daughter,
Dear Devoted Daughter,
Since you don’t mention any past sexual, mental or physical abuse, I am going to assume any problems you have with your mother are the garden variety problems people have with their mothers.
Treating you like a child, bragging about you to people who could give a rat’s ass that you exist on the planet, bossing you around, guilt tripping you and saying stuff like, “Is that all you’re going to eat?” or “You’re not going out wearing that, are you?” all fall under the category of garden variety problems.
I don’t, however, know what race you are. This puts a twist on my advice, because certain stresses may arise, depending on your race. For instance, if you are Thai, and this is your first duo trip to The Motherland, both of you might be dealing with identity issues, which would call for certain measures of support and compassion for one another that have, to this point, possibly never come up. Perhaps you are half Chinese and half black. Maybe you are Puerto Rican, Indian or Haitian.
Because I am a white person, with limited experience with Thai people, I cannot project what stereotypes you may be dealing with. I do know if you are white, or of Arabic descent, then Thai people will be pretty nice to you because you mean $$$.
So, depending on your race, and the history Thai people have with your particular race, you may find yourself coping with a myriad of possible stereotypes, which could add pressure to your mother/child interactions. These are all things to take into consideration whenever one travels to a country where their skin tone, facial features and dress differ from the cultural norm.
I am also unclear on your gender. If you are a woman, you and your mother will be treated a helluva lot differently than if you are a man.
Now, to get to the relationship maintenance issue. Pretend like the trip is a big experiment, and your job is to say “yes.” Unless you deem it life threatening, say “yes” to everything your mother suggests. Wake up each morning and say, “I say ‘Yes!’ to mom!” Remember who provided you with your first meal on this fine planet of ours. Think about who snuggled you when you were a scared little kid. If you are feeling low on Mom Appreciation, take a journey to Bangkok’s Red Light District and think about how many mothers have had to work there in order to feed their babies because countries like the United States keep Thailand’s economy on the constant defensive.
Some moms are spoiled little princesses who had children because they had to in order to be highly socially regarded, but most women have children because they want them. Moms the world over are quite famous for loving their children with all their hearts. If you have a princess mom, I hope she digs her head out of her high class ass one day, but chances are, you have a mom who loves you with all her heart.
Count your blessings, and say “Yes!” to your mother. Make the trip one big fat Mother’s Day, and I promise, you’ll get along fine.Love,
Inga la Gringa