Releasing the past in order to find myself

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Dot, dot, dot

My mother has the very annoying habit of using (...) repeatedly in her emails.   There are very few punctuation marks beyond (...).  A typical email will be written like this.

"I went to the a few apples...saw our old neighbor in the parking lot...she looked old.  Drove home but didn't really want to...thought I'd rather be there with you...saw something for the kids...didn't know if you had it already...   Feeling a little cold...not much else going on...wondering how you were doing..."
These messages go on and on, with ...s through the whole thing.

At first, I thought maybe she just didn't realize how the message read.  How it was so annoying to read long pauses between each statement.  That punctuation actually means something and isn't just for visual effect.  Then, I figured she thought it looked cool.  Like she was some sort of intellectual with a stylized way of writing.

I finally explained it to her.  She laughed uncomfortable.  She hates anyone, especially me, to correct her.  She always claims to be stupid and uneducated and tells me I'm making her feel that way more.  But I just couldn't stand the damn dots anymore.  She stopped for awhile, but they soon came back full force.  I know partly she's doing it to annoy me.  She so loves to annoy me.

But then even more, it seems like a metaphor for our relationship.  She's always stringing those dots out between us.  Uses them to keep me on the hook and maintain attention on herself.  It's her way of being the center of attention.  Even in an email, I must maintain total and complete focus on what SHE is saying.  I'm not allowed even one period to stop and think for myself.


  1. Sheesh, I think you're right! I think those words are the placeholders and the dotdotdots are the email! What a bitch.

  2. When she talks to you in person, does she take forever to finish a sentence, knowing you're stuck hanging on her every word until she lets you off the hook?

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  4. Actually, Cassandra, she does! Well, sort of. After she has exhausted all possibly topics when we are on the phone, she'll say "well, let's see, let's see...what else is going on" until she comes up with something else to say. She rushes this statement over the top of me as I try to wrap up the conversation, trying to delay the inevitable.

  5. Oh, yeah, I remember reading that in one of your posts and thinking, "Yep!"

  6. OH HOLY CANOLEY!!!!!!! (I hate the use of excess exclamation points, but they were so necessary!)

    I'm speechless right now. If I may, could I suggest that you read my post:

    See the title?

    No way, I'm in shock.

    1. So very interesting. Thanks for the "proper" terminology for the dot, dot, dots. My mom is so into inspiring the "melancholy longing". I got a fresh case of the dot,dot,dot in an email tonight. Large paragraph about her, small half sentence about me. blech. I can hear her big sighs and see her sad expression as I read her crap, guilt oozing out of it all.
      And P.S. to the comment below: I also use the dots. I have no problem with their correct usage (as in, someone is actually implying thought, or a pause, or anything else besides CRAP) so use them whenever you need to! I just hate the use of anything to passive-aggressively attack someone and use manipulative b.s. to get to someone and I hate how I can hear her sad little diatribe in my head whenever I read her emails.

    2. I remember writing the post, I had to look up the terminology for them then and I've never forgotten it. I just thought, for a title, "dot dot dot" worked really well. (And apparently, so did you). Plus, I think that's how people think about elipses anyway.

      Isn't it annoying? You can't even escape her "sighs" and ridiculous pauses in writing. Oh the drama!

  7. PS. I use those dots too often in my own writing, I have to admit. Now that I know you feel that way, I'll never use them in my comments here.

  8. Narcissists are all the same. Right down to their annoying cases of the "dot dot dots"

  9. OMG; that is what it feel like. When I read my aunt's e-mails I had to print them and read them 3 or 4 times before responding. I had to give her all the attention even when it came to writing. This is what it felt like talking to her - all attention on her.

    That makes a lot of sense re the e-mails I received. xx TR