April 6, 2020

Where the EF are the girl scout cookies? Plus a confrontation

Right before we started enjoying endless amounts of family time due to the pandemic, I attended Ed's fraternity's mom's weekend at his college in Indiana.  People, I feel bad that so many things have been cancelled, but I cannot even begin to tell you how flipping much I enjoyed my last weekend of normalcy.  It was glorious.  I am very grateful that we squeezed that in.  
Our sons took us out to dinner to a burger joint,
and the mom across from me ordered a hot dog.
 The moms were laughing their butts off when the
 waiter tossed this bad boy down on the table. 

Really, I cannot even consider it 'normal' because I rarely have that much fun on a given weekend.  There I said it:  my life is boring.  Would you like me to tell you something you didn't know?

Remember how my sister initially wanted to come with me to see her daughter's apartment?  Is it me or does it feel like this dilemma happened months ago?  Of course I was glad that she didn't tag along.  I was able to get better acquainted with Tank's good friend's mom on the drive there.  

So, I met Ann's daughter - my niece, Beast, for a smoothie while Ed took some time to go study.  I texted her and half hoped she wouldn't respond because I had decided to address some shit with her.  But she did text me back.  While we had a tasty smoothie, I confronted her.  I told her that it weighs on my heart that she doesn't have a better relationship with my sister.  

Well, so . . . that happened.  It was NOT easy.  Have I described how my family walks on eggshells around Ann?  Coach and I cringe at family gatherings when Ann berates her children for showing up late, or not applying to study abroad programs, or not spending Christmas morning with her, etc.  Like my stomach  gets all knotted up.  It is all kinds of awkward.  

My family feels sorry for her.  Don't get me wrong - her situation is heartbreaking.  Her ex is crazy and has turned her kids against her, but she needs to take a different approach and no one will tell her to do that.  In a word:  issues.

So, Beast and I discussed quite candidly these issues.  I enlightened her with my perspective on a few things that I assume her father brainwashed her into believing.  I agreed with her 100% that Ann is a broken record with MAJOR control problems.  I told her without mincing words what I thought of her father.  Beast doubted that her dad had ever hit her mom and told me I had no proof.  Oh yeah?  I know he did Beast believes it too (not the same as cares, but she no longer is in denial), plus I told her that her oldest brother witnessed it plenty.  

Besides, I pointed out that calling out to the mother of your children in front of the children:  "Hey I bought some more pinwheels, you fat bitch, so you can get fatter" is another form of abuse and I know she witnessed that.  She agreed.

Beast even asked me what her mom did to make her dad hit her.  Like did she deserve it?  I almost knocked over the table between us, but instead I reminded her that no matter what IT IS NEVER OK FOR A MAN TO HIT A WOMAN.  THE END.  I used Coach and I as an example - never would he raise a hand to me no matter what kind of bat crazy ass shit I was tripping about (like waving a naked pillow close to his face).   And my friends, she said:  "True."  Progress?  I hope.  

Dang, this post is NOT supposed to be about this.  Talk about sidetracked.  Anyway, I wrapped things up by telling her that I would talk to Ann and suggest that she see a therapist.  I suggested that Beast join her (and the other 3 kids), to which Beast said:  'Um no, she's the one with the problem.'  I beg to differ - they are all troubled after living in that nutty household, but baby steps.  

So, I am nervous that I crossed a line here.  I totally went against my family's typical gloss over it behavior.  My mom would say with a shrug, "You know, that's just how Ann is."  No room for growth, for help, for change?  

But I keep reminding myself that my sister KEEPS complaining that she has no relationship with her kids.  She seems to want to fix that.  Guess what - the path she has been following for the past 12 years, not so effective, right?  So here's to something new.  Once it is OK to meet up with people, I hope to invite her oldest son/most reasonable kid 'Sonny' over to pow wow and see if he and I can get on the same page and attempt an intervention with:  a therapist/very dear family friend, Sonny, Coach, myself, maybe Ann's BFF, and Ann.  Keep you posted.

So -while I was in Indiana I ran to the grocery store to get an apple for lunch.  These little girls were selling girl scout cookies.  I bought 6 more boxes.  These kids could not have been more excited.  "We never had such a big order before, Ms."  And this was before hoarding was a thing!

The initial order of 10 boxes were delivered several weeks earlier when I was not home.  Coach accepted responsibility of the goods.  He hid them in various places as one does after living with Tank.  For the next several weeks we all laughed our heads off as Coach tried to find the peculiar, Tank-won't -look-here hiding places.  He eventually found them all, but he was rewarded with comments from Mini like:  "Who doesn't remember where they hide girl scout cookies?"

So, I hauled my 6 girl scout cookie boxes into the house after Indiana in a my-mom-went-to-mom's-weekend-in-Indiana-and-all-I-got-was-this-lousy-stash-of-cookies celebratory way and I was CRAZY TIRED.  So I let them open a couple of boxes/devour them and then I took the other boxes up to my room when I went to bed.  I could not see straight, because HELLO -college kids kept their moms up way past their bedtime.  I proceeded to hide said cookie boxes in my closet.  I think . . . 

Um, I can no longer laugh at Coach because I CANNOT fucking find these boxes of cookies in my closet.  These cookies are a drug for Mini and the girl has searched my closet like she is trying to get a fix.  No.  Clue.  

My fear:  Tank found them in my closet and ate them all.  He is not above it.  He would never throw away a box, so if he did this the evidence will one day turn up.  

Oh, while I was dragging in my Indiana cookies - my sister came over.  Curly stayed at her house at the last minute - long story.  Ann asked me if I saw Beast's apartment.  I said I did.  She was furious that I did not take a video of it to show her.  That is one of Beast's sticking points.  Her mom doesn't live in the real world -she is just hung up on a photo of this and recreating that and this having to be exactly this so she can record it.  Beast said she is not genuine - she is not real.  Yikes.  

This intervention is gonna be ugly  - it would sure be nice to serve some delicious girl scout cookies.  Where the fuck are they?  Anyway, hope I don't lose my nerve after this quarantine ends.  


Marie Smith said...

Lol at the hidden cookies!

Ernie said...

Marie - It is seriously driving me crazy. Like I don't think I had the energy to hide them well - which means. . . Tank had a hand in their disappearance.

Nicole MacPherson said...

I vote someone ate them!

Kari said...

That hot dog is pornographic! Also, I have issues with a hot dog that doesn't have equal parts bun. At that point, it's just a sausage to be eaten with a knife and fork.

I am laughing at you losing boxe(s) of Girl Scout cookies. Although, that can happen here too. We stick stuff on the middle top part of our refrigerator in the kitchen because it's the blind spot of the kitchen. But then the adults forget stuff is there and then find expired cookies, chocolate (yes, that expires too) and the like up there. Have you checked the top of YOUR fridge?

Busy Bee Suz said...

I too have hidden things before and then couldn't find them. It's frustrating. But, I do wonder if Tank found them. Your cookies, not my hidden things.

This intervention sounds dicey. Do you think that your sister can change her ways after so many years? Hmmmmm.....maybe?

Laughing at Kari and the hotdog comment; I was thinking the same thing.

I AM so happy that you had a great weekend away before the shit hit the fan. YOU deserve more good weekends my friend.

Ernie said...

Nicole - I tend to agree with you. I wonder how many years before we find the boxes. When we re-finished the basement Coach moved the ceiling tiles and it rained down empty pop cans. We don't keep pop in the house - only for a party . . . so now we know what happened to the leftovers. If they had recycled it we would never have even noticed.

Kari - Oh my gosh - your hot dog and bun equal parts is slaying me. Too funny. Yes - it was an odd presentation and the part of the photo that I cropped out is the two moms laughing hysterically. Of course.

Suz - Yes, the hot dog comment will make me smile all day. Too funny!

This girl scout mystery will most likely remain just that: a mystery. I usually have a moment of clarity when I first wake up . . . need to pay that bill, or gotta email that teacher but those cookies are not calling out to me.

The intervention - dicey, I don't disagree. I am just EXHAUSTED about her complaints that her kids hate her, are horrible/spoiled, disrespectful. Yet she is blind to her role in their distance - not just social distance. She talks to them with venom - in front of everyone and makes us all feel awkward. The family friend therapist (who actually babysat for us as kids) is like a spiritual kind of therapist and very peaceful and says things like "Oh, that's toxic" - I called her and ran the idea past her and she was open to it.

I feel like something needs to be attempted. I think it will kill my sister if things don't improve with her kids - like no invites to moms' weekends, no shopping for wedding dresses, etc. Even if just Coach and I sit down with her and express what we have witnessed and how we feel like her talking to someone to formulate a better approach might help. Not sure if it makes sense, but Coach has seen the whole thing unfold over the years (and he is not aggressive or confrontational) and he agrees - someone has to tell her to TRY something new.

Ernie said...

Suz - Oh AND thanks, I would LOVE more fun weekends - I too am so glad I got to attend the mom's weekend. Such fun. My therapist friend was like, "What was good about it?" Cuz she's all about getting deep and discovering what we need in life, etc. and I called her to talk about my sister when I got home. I was like - 'Not a care in the world. A hotel room to myself. Meeting people and no one cared what line of work you were in or weren't in, but just getting acquainted. Laughing non-stop.' I wish some of them lived closer and we could meet up on the regular. I was shocked at the number of people from California. I know it is a good school and all, but I would never leave California for Indy-fricking-ana. The one draw back was that at times it was hard to converse because those dang college kids like their music LOUD! (insert image of old lady leaning on a cane with gray hair here).

Of course I feel bad that Lad's small school didn't do anything like that. Need to find more things to connect with him about. :(

Anonymous said...

Ok, I have to know, why do you call your niece Beast? Lol
Glad you got to have some fun for the weekend, I agree that you deserve more of that once we are able to finally be out and about! That hotdog had me cracking up too, haha!

Ernie said...

Anon- I call her Beast on this blog only because she is very mean to my sister. Very disrespectful and snippy and rude. It is a twisted relationship and my sister has a horrible ex husband. My sister also only talks to her kids with a short fuse and judgement about everything. In a word the whole thing is ugly.

Bibliomama said...

I don't know why everyone's laughing, there is NOTHING FUNNY about lost cookies. I think talking to your niece was brave and right, and I would have barfed with nerves over it too. I think an intervention with a good therapist is not a bad idea too. I so hope something will help improve their relationship. I was so glad my parents got their vacation in before the shit hit the fan, and I'm glad you got your weekend away too.

Ernie said...

Ali - You haven't lost your humor in all of this nonsense - I just burst out laughing at your 'there's nothing funny about lost cookies'. Amen, sister.

Talking to her was a slippery slope but I just feel like she needed to hear some honesty and she seemed overjoyed to know that someone in my family recognized that Ann's way of conversing with people is far from acceptable. I feel like it was good that I stuck up for Ann too - like, hey kid your mom was dealt a raw deal and I don't know that I could have handled myself any better than she has, but I hope that if we ask her to see the writing on the wall maybe she will make some adjustments. Not gonna lie - I still worry that I could have overstepped but watching everyone act like how she behaves is normal IS AWFUL.

Oh, glad your folks got their vacation in too. And I am already looking forward to next year's mom's weekend. Will definitely reserve a room in advance. I stayed at a dive. Only place that was left - rookie mistake.