What i’m thankful for…

Mostly?  i’m thankful that i live an hour away from the Trailer Park.

i’m thankful that they think driving an hour is a hassle, and rarely visit me.

Having adult children provides absolution from many family events (ie: “Well, not sure what i’m doing for Christmas this year – it depends on what’s up with the kids”).  Not at the top of the list, but another reason i’m thankful for my children.

(sigh)

The saddest part?  i was genuinely looking forward to seeing them.  Hoping it would be a chance to play, relax, talk, listen to tunes and visit.  With no drama.  My brain is still scrambled, and i’m not having much luck sorting out what it was that really tripped my “Pissed Off” circuit breaker.  Some highlights…

– Schedule:  Having been told they’d arrive at noon, i planned for 1:00 pm.  Clocks are challenging for selfish Trailer Park inhabitants.  First to arrive was my oldest sister, S, her husband, J, and S’s grand daughter, DQ, Jr.  At 1:15pm. The second batch (niece, DQ, husband, BJ, baby DQ, III and Mom) arrived about five minutes later.  When we’ve traveled together, they refer to me as “The Little General” because i have a moral aversion to showing up an hour late for a meal – when others are waiting, or attempting to prepare hot food.  I’ve explained that it’s rude and self-centered.  They laugh and call me a “Clock Nazi”.  Yesterday? i didn’t put anything in the oven until the doorbell rang…

– Gluttony:  My poor dining room table.  i’d set out “cold kibbles” (nuts, chips), breads, cheeses, dips – the table was nearly groaning under the weight.  As they arrived, i started warming the “hot kibbles”.  i couldn’t schlep food fast enough.  It came out of the oven and straight into hungry gullets.  Like a gaggle of over sized baby birds, it seemed i was flicking the hot ham and swiss rolls into their gaping mouths with a spatula as i pulled them from the oven.  When the hot food had been vaporized, it was time to reload the nuts, chips, cheeses and dips.  An unbelievable amount of food vanished in 30 minutes.

– Priorities:  i don’t need to be the center of attention in the family.  i’d be happy with the occasional acknowledgement they are aware of what goes on in my life.  Two months ago, i uprooted, moved for the first time in 20 years, to my dream home.  i invited* them to visit for a holiday event.  Do you think they might at least pretend to want to see the place?  Nope.  See item above on “gluttony”.  They ate.  The tour was an afterthought.  Reminded me of the day i told Mom i had cancer.  She never stopped chewing her pizza. 

– Lack of Empathy:  My brother, T, his wife K, and their son Little T, were planning to join us.  i talked with T last week, and he was excited to see us all.  K and i exchanged e-mails.  She was planning to bring food to share!  Had they made it here, she’d have been the only one to contribute to the trough.  They called around 1:30pm, letting me know that they were home with stomach flu.  Immediately the assembled Trailer Park crew started rolling their eyes and saying “Well, there they go again!  Skipping out!”.  My brother gets grief from the clan because he rarely spends much time with the extended family.  There are many good reasons for this – but primarily, it’s because when they DO show up, all they hear from Mom and S are “Why don’t you come around more often?” and “You never call…”.  Why the fuck would you visit people who treat you that way?  Passive aggressive guilt mongering is NOT a good time.  Not one of them asked about the health and well-being of my brother and his family…

– Drama:  Sister, S, kept racking on my brother, suggesting that he probably never planned to show up.  After listening to my sister bitch about T and K being insensitive and selfish, i hit my limit.  i said i was certain they planned to come up, because K wanted to try a new recipe, and T had been very excited to see the new audio system.  i told her that if all i heard from the family was barking, that i probably wouldn’t hang out much either.  S proceeded to stomp downstairs, and stayed there with her husband watching a football game.  They left as soon as the game was over, with S not saying “thank you” or “goodbye” to me.  Nice.  Happy Fucking Thanksgiving, Sister!

– Entitlement:  My niece, DQ, and her husband are excited about the new house they are building.  Yes, with my Mom’s money, they are going to be able to build a dream home on 17 acres (that Mom has already purchased and will be giving them).  When the plan was first hatched, it was to be a modest home, with a small apartment attached for Mom.  The blueprints ordered?  The home will be over 3200 square feet.  Hmmm… how did we go from 800 square feet for Mom and 1600 square feet for DQ and family to this?  Requirements creep, i suppose.  How are they paying for it?  Mom’s construction loan, of course!  BJ works hard, but DQ spends fast.  They have bad credit, no savings, tons of unsecured debt.  So imagine my annoyance when they looked at my 52″ flat screen HDTV and said “That’s just like the one we’re getting ourselves for Christmas”.  Ummm… really?  i’ve worked continuously for almost 28 years**, saved my money, paid off my first home, put money aside for rainy days, shipped two kids off to university.  And JUST NOW, i’m starting to blow money on extravagant things.  Which i can afford.  Because i have this thing called A JOB.  She sleeps til noon, surfs the web and drives Mom to the store every now and then…

– Silver lining:  BJ laid out plans for the custom bar he’s building in my theater room.  He’s very clever, and had some wonderful suggestions.  Including a beer tap, mounted on the wall so i can keep a keg in the utility room on the other side if i have a huge party.  Nice.  i’ll pay him.  DQ will use the money to buy shit from The WalMarts and fast food rather than put it toward a rainy day, or toward the house that Mom is buying for them.  And me?  i’ll have a nice place to drink when they get on my tits.

Final thought – Death bed promises.  Perhaps best avoided.

___________

* Funny thing about that “invite”.  On the phone with Mom a couple weeks ago, and she was complaining that no one wants to get together as a family.  i told her to let me know what she wanted to do – i’d be happy to drive down.  i acknowledged that the rest of the family doesn’t like driving that pesky hour on a holiday weekend, but they’re always welcome to come up to see me!  A week later, DQ called to say “Granny said we’re having Thanksgiving on Saturday at your house”.  Great!  Sure!  First i’d heard of it, but it sounded like potential for fun.  Right.  Fun.  Silly, silly me…

** First job at 16, i never stopped working for more than a few months.  Worked my way through university in the co-op engineering program, which alternated work semesters with school semesters.  During the school semesters, i picked up a job as a secretary in the engineering office – not just to look through the records of my classmates, but to keep a paycheck coming in… i believe that a work ethic is either hard-wired in you or it isn’t.  DQ is allergic to employment.  At the mere suggestion that she get a job, she breaks out in welts and has to buy furniture and electronics then eat her weight in pizza and Oreos to recover.

22 thoughts on “What i’m thankful for…

  1. Thanksgiving: that time of year when we become acutely aware of how thankful we are that we are not within easy walking or driving distance of our family.

    My crowd just left, they were here for WEEKS. Okay, since Tuesday, anyway. I don’t mind this sister by herself, or my mother by herself, but together plus the bro-in-law and husbeast’s sister and family is more than I can take.
    This year, my bro-in-law groped me. I told my sister, and she said, “Yeah, he’s like that.(!!!!) I had to tell him to quit groping the girls [her 3 daughters by another husband] because you just can’t do that in this day and age.”
    I can’t decide with whom I am more disgusted.

  2. Ahh, daisyfae. I’m laughing out loud and appreciating my extended family just a wee bit more.

    I read this to Ann and, as we’ve found that her family is reading her blog now, she says, “I hope none of her family is reading this! I’m mild in my blog compared to this!”

    Anyway, we hope you’re recovering from yesterday. The nice thing about these holiday visits is that they’re finite.

  3. Your poor brother. I used to get the opposite. I was showered with their pleasure to see me. BabySis once groused that she wished our parents would be as happy to see her. I pointed out that the difficulty with that was she lived with them – still and perhaps if she too would move out and support herself, they would be happy to have her visit too.

  4. When Thou didst call me to serve my brothers and filled my soul with humility, one of Thy deep, piercing rays shone into my heart; it became luminous, full of light like iron glowing in the furnace. I have seen Thy face, face of mystery and of unapproachable glory.

    Glory to Thee, transfiguring our lives with deeds of love
    Glory to Thee, making wonderfully Sweet the keeping of Thy commandments
    Glory to Thee, making Thyself known where man shows mercy on his neighbour
    Glory to Thee, sending us failure and misfortune that we may understand the sorrows of others
    Glory to Thee, rewarding us so well for the good we do
    Glory to Thee, welcoming the impulse of our heart’s love
    Glory to Thee, raising to the heights of heaven every act of love in earth and sky
    Glory to Thee, O God, from age to age

  5. beth – Ewww… been there. seen that. You may want to have a more direct conversation with your sister… it won’t end well for the girls, even if it’s “just how he is”…

    rob – i used to wonder if any of them would stumble upon it. as of this moment? i don’t care. i’m about two chocolate bars short of giving a shit… there’s nothing but the truth posted. dangerously close to just leveling the whole bunch of them…

    annie – there are issues with my brother as well, but i admire him for regrouping with his wife and dealing with his own shit, rather than expecting anyone else to take care of it for him. i think my siblings didn’t like me doing the “prodigal daughter” routine either – but again, i moved out. they generally were glad to see me!

    MDP – i know. virtue is its own punishment reward. and this is teeny-tiny stuff in the grand scheme of things. i’m just having a dark day… i’ll take a deep breath, put it back in perspective, and get on with it. but i never asked for glory. just a normal fucking family…

  6. sorry it sucked so, daisyfae… you’d think that it would be family that you could relax and enjoy holidays with, not fear and loathe. my offer for that “emergency therapy” remains valid… sounds like you need it.

  7. This is all tragic but true .I could be your brother as far as that goes .In another vein i have been working a job since i was 11yrs so i understand that.It has not been unusual for me to work 7days a week 12hrs aday during this time of year.as far as family the Christmas party has become all about Peter Pan and her kids and my niece kelly and her kids.Frankly speaking(as only i can do)I’ve grown tired of the show and am ready to disappear again.My Mother is the only reason i returned to this point.And that may not be enough this year .Still contemplating the situation.But I do Have a show Dec.16 9PM so that is something to look forward to hope to see you there.

  8. Daisy Fae- this makes me glad that I live 1500 miles away, and I suspect that the rest of my family is equally pleased. Of course, being the designated crazy person ™ helps. You can get away with crap.

    I worked almost continuously from the time I was 14 until I was 52. I was a nurse for over 30 years. A lot of that time I worked 12-16 hours a day as a nurse, on my feet. Sometimes I wish I could still work, but then I think, “you know, if you had been a cop, a firefighter or a teacher for 30 years, you would have had a pension.” Then I quit feeling bad.

  9. Ah family whats the old saying… often the reason for shooting sprees… wait thats not a saying. Where having christmas at my house for the first time ever this year which should be interesting, we all get along though. But that might be the alcohol.

    Can I assume all the darvocet is gone? 🙂

  10. thanks daisyfae for reminding me to be grateful for my tiny family of three.

    though I am going to Victoria for NYE to see my mother for the first time in about 4 years and my sisters and brother and a zillion nieces and nephews will be there too. As this is the family I didn’t meet until I was 30 it’s all still kinda fun and exciting 🙂

    but ask me about it in january…….

  11. manuel – thanksgiving is just to prepare you for christmas. like a pre-nightmare family warm up game or something… i’ll take st paddy’s!

    gnu – might have to take you up on that! does it include “scream therapy sessions”?

    AJ – like you, i’m hanging with it for Mom. but am seriously contepmplating my own disappearing act! not sure if i can make the show, but will try!

    silverstar – i’m not certified crazy, but i am the certified “accountability bitch”. and that may end up being enough to get them out of my hair. no one should be working forever – you earned retirement!

    kyknoord – there was on sub-species of my ex-husbands family that i truly enjoyed… am staying in touch with them, but i’d prefer to swap them out with my own clan. looking forward to that “actually fun” thing…

    alex – maybe i should have served alcohol? it was early on a saturday, and i didn’t feel like getting blasted (which i probably would have if i’d started pouring). good luck with christmas. and i’m saving the rest of the darvocet… they’ll be back…

    nm – i like my tiny family of three. it’s the extended ones that melt my brain! will definitely check in with you after the family visit – are you going alone or are you taking your boys?

  12. That’s the sucky thing about fables like “The Grasshopper and the Ant”, in humans the ant would work itself to death, while the grasshopper just moved in with another ant.

  13. kono – aren’t jokes funny?

    uncle keith – and the grasshopper drank up the ants booze, screwed his wife, surfed for underage porn on the internet and then got busted for selling weed in the ants house, so johnny law confiscated the ants house, car, and everything the ant worked for in the first place. and the grasshopper just moved in with another ant…

  14. I’m thankful for surving this year. Which is more that I might be able to say for some family. Sadly.

    Eish. I need to write a little gratitude list soon. Naff, but dammit it works.

  15. dolce – yep. i’m guilty of a bit of whining here. The BLT saw me at work yesterday and gave me a “Well, aren’t we the little Princess of Darkness”. and it helped me mostly snap out of the funk… i’m a lucky pup, with a fucked up clan. i’ll deal…

  16. Pingback: How to reacquire patience*… « Trailer Park Refugee

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