On Christmas the kids were surprised by their stickers. Well done, Santa. I told them I had additional stickers stashed away. Trades were possible. I also informed them that I ordered a bunch of stickers that we'd later deliver to my local siblings and their cousins.
One of Curly's favorite stickers.
She hears this often, even when
she isn't wearing a wig.
Once everything was opened and wrapping paper still littered the floor, they were like LET'S SEE THE OTHER STICKERS. I patted myself on the back for this 'big hit' (and yes, SO economical) gift.
I got the extras and we shuffled through them and allocated them: 'SACRACASM IS STRONG WITH THIS ONE' - Pat. Fiddle - Aunt Leprechaun. An abundance of Notre Dame ones and other Star Wars ones for the kids' cousins and my sibs. Ann - Ed Sheerin sticker. She's obsessed.
Coach came to my folks' house to deliver their gifts, but we dropped him home before we headed to Ann, Mike, and Pat's houses.
My Milwaukee sis, Marie, texted me to say that they enjoyed the stickers I mailed to Wisconsin. Remember, she got young Rob Lowe on a sticker?
Marie: How did you make them?
Me: Huh? Have we met? I ordered them.
Mike's wife wondered the same thing. If only I was that crafty and was posing a threat to Red Bubble.
My dad liked the books that I got him - straight off of his list.
My mom's response to the gel mat for her kitchen floor: Oh, can this go next to my car? Ever since we did the epoxy on the garage floor this summer, I'm afraid that it will be slippery if it gets wet.
*Note: my folks' garage floor was already spotless, ready-to-be licked if Reg felt so inclined. But they made it EVEN more spiffy with epoxy.
Me: Um, I'm not sure if it's made for outdoor use. If you want, we can return it and I can get you something from Weather Tech for your garage.
Coach asked her to try the mat for its intended purpose before she decided anything. In other words, he told my mom to get in the kitchen and start baking some damn cookies. (recently she admitted that she's worried that she or my dad will trip on it. I've gotta drag that thing back to the store).
Off I went with the youngest 4 to Ann's house. She didn't answer. We were about to leave. Hey, it was 20 degrees out so we weren't cold or anything.
Finally, she answered and was surprised to see us. Said she was busy on a zoom call doing trivia.
Me: Oh, are you doing trivia with your kids?
Ann: No. The McIrish side. (my side)
Me: Huh? We didn't know about it.
Ann: Marie's daughter set it up (shrug). Curly what did you do to your hair. (insert unflattering voice here)
Curly: Oh, I just put it up in a clip today.
Ann: But it's different. What did you DO to it?
Apparently Ann didn't pick up on my facial expressions that were screaming: STOP! THIS IS WHAT HER HAIR IS LIKE. IT'S VERY FRIZZY AND FLUFFY. THANKS FOR NOTICING. Read the room, Ann - or in this case the front porch.
Sheesh. Curly stood their patting her hair down as a self-confident reflex.
On our way to Pat and Aunt Leprechaun's, we discussed this trivia Zoom that we weren't invited to. Seemed strange, but we thought maybe it was just Marie's family and Ann - who was alone because her kids opted to be with their dad. Marie and Ann: practically Siamese.
Then Pat admitted that they were Zooming, too. They'd lost the trivia game.
Last stop: Mike's house. They invited our masked selves inside to see their new pup. On their table: a laptop Zooming with all of my other siblings. Marie's kids started hollering greetings to us.
I leaned towards the laptop and said out loud: Huh, we didn't know anything about this.
Then we finished our quick visit with Mike and family.
Later in the car: Witnessing the Zoom made it harder. My kids expressed total disgust that we were clearly the only ones left off of it. Hurt me, fine - but upset my children? I started to cry. The kids were like: WHO NEEDS THEM. (followed closely by) WHY WOULD THEY LEAVE US OUT?
Mini and I had the same thought. Ann really hasn't spoken to me since I opted not to participate in the gift she was organizing for my dad's birthday in May. Not surprising. A more controlling person doesn't exist.
Maybe she agreed to Zoom so long as I was left off? Seemed like a stretch, but the rest of the siblings all tip-toe around her. She's never held accountable. I have no patience for that.
At home, Coach and Ed were shocked but also believed it was possible. They felt bad. Ed was like, but none of their kids are as cool as your kids.
I sniffled my way through my hurt and we had a delicious meal. The girls and Reg made more Christmas cookies, which was more entertaining than I thought possible. Then we watched 'While You Were Sleeping' which wasn't completely embraced. Tank was like a ROMCOM? WHAT?!
Mini's were artistic and Reg joined late. His were hilarious.
The next day, Mini told me that a Milwaukee cousin put a picture of the Zoom on her snapchat.
Mini: Why were the Shenanigans not included?
Cousin: What? No idea. My mom sent out a text.
Mini: My mom never got it.
Cousin: Oh NO!
Marie's kids are crazy about my gang. It seemed strange that we would've been left off if her kids were involved. The next day, Marie texted me to say that she felt awful that I never got the text. She pointed out that Mike got her text hours after she sent it. She invited me to Zoom the next day. I texted back and said I didn't get the text and that another Zoom wasn't necessary, but thanks.
I admit that I keep my responses to family group texts to a minimum because I HATE GROUP TEXTS, ESPEICALLY WHEN PEOPLE RESPOND WITH THEIR APPLE PHONE EMOTIONS. THOSE ARRIVE ON MY ANDROID PHONE LIKE A WHOLE NEW TEXT. In other words, group texts with my family cause my phone to ping CONSTATNLY. I wonder if they have nothing better to do than to 'love' or 'laugh at' texts. I usually respond in some way to the initial text though.
|This was the last cookie who looked a little rough around the edges when I discovered him in an otherwise empty bin in the fridge.|
Would've been nice if someone explained the missing text message to me when I pointed out that we knew nothing about the Zoom. A trivia game on zoom with my siblings would NOT have enhanced my Christmas in the least. Trust me.
Not the point though.
I shared this not-quite drama with my therapist on my birthday. I was kind of like, WHY DIDN'T ANYONE REACH OUT WHEN THE SHENANIGANS DIDN'T SHOW UP ON THE ZOOM? Like not even a cousin reached out to the kids.
She said that in a normal family that would've probably happened, but my family has too much dysfunction. This cracks me up, because my family firmly believes that our family is perfection. Really?
Perhaps they should add the definition of dysfunction to their trivia game. On Dec. 26th, we enjoyed hosting Coach's sister's fam and brother's fam. Funny, when I used to drink the Kool-Aid I always preferred to hang with my family. I was still craving their affirmation, interest, etc. Even though I've moved on, it hurts to be excluded - even though this time it looks accidental.