Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas is over...

Aside from getting Bill's flu, it was pretty nice.  We exchanged gifts with his mom, who gave us some really wonderfully thoughtful presents.  She gave me a couple of framed photos of Bill when he was a little kid with funny captions under them.  She gave Bill photos of her dad, whom Bill is apparently a lot like.

Bill gave me a scarf that he had given me last year… he bought the same one.  So I gave it to his mother, who also thought it was pretty.  He got me a new phone, perfume, earrings, and a bright yellow  RedOxx bag for my iPad.  Last year, he got me another case for my iPad, which I never use…  But he likes those things and I guess he figures I do, too.  And RedOxx does make very nice bags, though I would not have picked yellow for myself.  At least it's distinctive and I can see it from a distance, though… that may be a good thing.  And I'm happy that he was thinking of me.

We ended up being late to the gathering at the Riverwalk because I got the time mixed up.  That's not really like me, but I had a brainfart.  We still went and had a good time, though I did my best to keep my distance from folks who hadn't already been exposed.  I probably shouldn't have gone, but we had fun anyway…

Bill's father left a shitty voicemail on his phone that, in essence, said, "I don't know why you're mad at me, but since I know you won't call me for Christmas, I'm calling you to wish you a good holiday."

Bill got very upset and, once again, I feel like sending my father-in-law an open letter

Unfortunately, I don't think my words would be understood.  He thinks he's a victim.  He thinks he has the right to screw Bill over by not holding the ex-daughters accountable for their actions and telling Bill hurtful things on major holidays.  He blames us because we took a stand with him last year and don't just humor him by continuing to call and visit, when he is certainly capable of doing those things himself.  I also suspect that father-in-law and his wife blame me for the fact that Bill's ex wife took the kids out of their lives.  But the kids are now adults and have the freedom and ability to do their own thing.

Bill called his dad back and left a message.  I hope he calls him again and has a serious talk with him.  If it were me, I'd be telling him that if Bill wasn't angry with him before, he was after he got that message on Christmas day.  It wasn't as bad as last year, when Bill called his dad, got shamed for not visiting him at Christmas, and then was told about how his younger ex daughter called and didn't want to hear anything about her "real dad".  My father-in-law immediately forgave that ungrateful, misinformed little shit and then broke Bill's heart on the biggest holiday of the year, right before we went to see my two oldest sisters for Christmas dinner.  Speaking in completely figurative terms, I wanted to go knee Bill's dad in the groin after that.  No father should be making his son cry sorrowful tears on Christmas, even if the man is in his 40s.

I also have a suspicion that two of my three sisters are pissed at me.  I detect the "silent treatment" going on.  That's okay, though, because I never really talk much to them anyway.  I did send all three of them Christmas e-cards, just to let them know I was thinking of them.  One sister responded… the one who typically causes a lot of drama, but with whom I usually get along because we seem to be on the same wavelength.

I suspect the oldest sister may be disappointed in me for skipping Thanksgiving and the one closer to my age is probably angry, because for years she's been trying to manipulate me into attending a "reunion".  She has a son who doesn't know me because we haven't seen them in several years and he's ten now.  But they live in Minnesota…  and I have seen the other family members more regularly.  I guess she feels like since she lives so far away, I should make an effort to see her.  But whenever I see her, she criticizes me about everything from my laugh to the things I talk about.  She either bosses me around or acts all stiff and formal.  It's like she doesn't know how to talk to me.  All she has to do is treat me like she'd treat any peer.  Instead, she treats me either like I'm 12 years old or I'm some acquaintance.  Tell me why I'd want to hang out with someone over the holidays who acts like that?

Back in 2009, Bill and I bought my Mini Cooper brand new.  We had the money to do it and got a favorable interest rate.  We also got a military discount.  When I told my sister about it, she asked, "Aren't those cars expensive?  How can you afford that?"

It was an unbelievably rude question.  I bet she'd never ask a friend such a thing.  Incidentally, that car is going to be completely paid off in February, months ahead of schedule.

These are the reasons why I prefer very low key holidays.  I like spending them with agreeable people who are kind and loving and aren't going to stir up old issues.  In fairness to my family, I do my share of stirring, too…  but Christmas is not the time for that shit.  And I can't even really trust myself not to.  So it's best to stay away.

Bill's mom is wonderful company.  I have told her she is welcome anytime… especially since she heard a song by Alison Krauss on my iPod yesterday and thought it was me…  Talk about flattery!


2 comments:

  1. If I were either you or Bill I would be really upset with his father.

    Is Bill a genius? My dad is, and he gives people the same gift two years in a row. Once he bought the identical sweater three straight years for my mom. It works a lot better since he's learned to save his receipts. It also works better since he pays me to do his shopping.

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    1. Bill, mother-in-law, and I are all pissed at him. I don't know WTF is wrong with him.

      I don't think Bill is a genius, but he is a guy. I don't wear that scarf often and he probably forgot he already bought it. No biggie. His mom was happy to take it. It is pretty... Black and gold silk.

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