So, now you are up to speed on my family dynamics. Kind of. Keep in mind that my siblings hold our family up as the tightest of siblings, the closest of families, the most normal of all. I guess that seems weird to me, but do most families view themselves in this foggy kind of light? Whether they are totally off the mark or not?
Marie wanted to know if my brothers and I would be in town for Easter. Yes, we would be in town. I hoped to avoid another holiday with Marie swishing around trying to secure her already cemented spot in the favoritism lineup. Ann's kids have all moved in with their dad, which has made her unthinkably miserable. It is impossible to compete with a man who has no scruples and offers new cars and better phone packagers at every turn to their teenager/young adult kids. Constant harping on her offspring in front of all available family members is probably not the most sane way to try to keep said offspring close.
Ex: one year my nephew procrastinated about applying to colleges, so at Christmas at my folks' house every family member who inquired (big family: many asked the same question in various rooms of the house) about where he might go to college the following year heard a rant from Ann:
'Well, he probably isn't going to college, right (big) Reg? He hasn't applied ANYWHERE. Are you going? Tell your uncle how many colleges you applied to - ZERO! Right? Why don't you tell him?'
This falls into the not-helping-category. I can't honestly say I would have handled the situation any better, but why, oh why does someone who has some kind of influence over Ann gently ask her to try another approach? Seek counseling? This is not the role that I play in the family. I cannot offer Ann guidance.
I asked Coach if he wanted to host his family for Easter. His brother just moved out of state, so now it is just a different brother with wife and four kids, and a sister with a husband and two kids. Both families rank pretty high on our list of people we enjoy spending time with, so I texted them to see what they wanted to do. Come to our house? Too busy with whatever plans exist on their other less-cool side of the family?
Both Coach's sibs agreed that it would be great to get together. They live about 40 minutes to an hour away, so we don't hang out regularly. I preferred Sunday, sort of. Really my motivation was warped. Tainted. If we hosted Coach's family on Easter Sunday, then we could avoid my side entirely.
Oddly almost none of my siblings have another side of the family that they need to factor into holidays. Ann is divorced. Marie's husband has a sis and a mom on the east coast. They come in town for graduations only. Pat's wife is from Ireland. Mike's wife has a sister, and sadly both parents are deceased. She and her sister tend to celebrate the day before or after the 'legit' day.
My brother, Mike, texted my sister Marie back that his family would be on vacation in Florida. That left Pat and I. I texted back that we were spending Easter with Coach's side. And I began to hum, 'Everything is awesome' from the Lego movie, until . . . the very unthinkable, dreaded occurred . . .