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.
ON A LIGHTER NOTE/ ORIGINAL POST FOCUS:
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.