Saturday, November 28, 2009

Holiday Mother-In-Law

You know, the holidays are tough enough if you have a blended family like my husband does. Every holiday is full of running around to this dinner and that, ensuring that every single member of the family is satisfied and no one feels slighted or forgotten. Fortunately for my dear husband, he married me. And my only real family consists of my two parents who are married to each other and who are more than willing to see us on a day OTHER than the actual day of said holidays because they did lots of running around on holidays during the first years of their marriage and they understand how totally exhausting and holiday-ruining it can be.

Enter my mother-in-law.

My considerate and wonderful husband called her early on Thanksgiving morning to see when we could see her during the day because (and I don't know if this is because fate hates us or because no one else really cares that it SUPER sucks to run back and forth from, literally, one end of the city to the other) we had decided to go to another family gathering that was scheduled at the same time as the one that she was attending. I feel the need to interject here that she hates the part of the family she was going to see as much as we do. So really, you would think she would understand. Oh, no. Not this woman.

The conversation went something like this:

Husband: Mom, when would be a good time to come see you today?

Mother-in-law: No time. I am going to the dinner and then over to my friend's to get ready to go out shopping starting at midnight.

Husband: OK... What about tomorrow?

MIL: I already told you. I am shopping starting at midnight tomorrow and then I am sleeping.

Husband: Oh... well... I guess give us a call when you have time to see us.

MIL: Fine. Bye.


Excellent. Well, then MIL went to her other son and complained that my husband was "trying to get her to rearrange her schedule to fit HIS needs while have no concern for her." Punch me in the face. Please excuse my husband for trying ot be a good son and find time to spend with his mother on Thanksgiving. If he hasn't already apologized.... Please, let me. We're SO sorry.

Of course, she ended up calling to ask us to come over on Saturday to help put up the tree and spend some time together "as a family". Of course, I already had plans with my best friend who is in town from college. Which I had to rearrange for HER.

What a bitch.



Anonymous said...

WHATev. If you ask ME? I would be all,,,,post her cell on craigslist and have people call and ask for Osbourne Cox.

Anonymous said...

You think you got prahblams? Tigahh Woods....He has some prahbelm.

Anonymous said...

Your husband had the right idea. Oh well, Mom. I tried. Be miserable this weekend, then.

My suggestion is, keep saying no. Rearranging your schedule for someone who treats her son in such an emotionally abusive way, and by extension, you... it rewards her nastiness, to cave in and rush over there when she finally gets over her pity party. You're doing it out of love but it inadvertently rewards her crap.

I know I've fallen prey to such manipulations before, plenty of times, still do at times, so I'm not saying this from my high hill of holiness. Not at all.

But one day my husband and I decided, or I should say, HE decided a long time ago and it took me several years of taking hurtful sh*t from both of our families, to brave this new approach, but we came to the conclusion to cave in far, far less often to toxic family members.

It is still tough sometimes, backlash can be a mofo, but overall our lives are less stressful. More enriched because we choose to spend more time with our little family and our chosen family -- good friends. Maybe you can consider getting there, too.