I attempted a short post, because I love them. I failed. Involved topic. A for effort?
March 13th I got my first vaccine shot. My sis in law, Aunt Leprechaun the doctor, set it up for my brother, Pat (her husband), my sister Marie from Milwaukee, and me. We have asthma. Marie and I were both at 11:30 am. I saw her there.
I passed Marie's two daughters sitting in her car on my way in. I asked if they wanted to come watch me pass out. I'm the funny aunt, which trust me isn't saying much because Ann and Marie set the bar low. I might out myself as 'aged-before-my-time' when it comes to tech stuff, but lawdy these two . . . Marie is plain old aged. Ann is ultra controlling (remember Dad's 80th gift that I took a pass on being involved in?)
Marie was done before me and texted to say she'd try to swing by my house later.
It happened to be Mom's 78th b-day. I hoped my siblings (who all live nearby except for Marie) would gather around the same time on our folk's patio to say Happy B-day. I had something to share with them (not as exciting as a move to Hawaii, mind you) and I was hoping to do it once. I didn't want to try to organize it with the 'I have something to talk about' premise because I didn't want them getting worked up. Staggering 'news' leads to head's-up phone calls and side conversations, etc.
I texted Marie while I waited to be released: ARE YOU GOING TO MOM'S NOW?
Marie: GETTING SOME LUNCH.
I drove home, and wondered if maybe my sisters were at Mom's. I drove by. Mom lives around the corner from me. No cars. When I got home, I called Mom.
Me: HAPPY BIRTHDAY. (chatter, chatter) DO YOU KNOW WHAT TIME MARIE'S COMING BY?
Mom: SHE WAS PICKING UP SANDWICHES AFTER HER SHOT AND THEN SHE AND HER GIRLS WERE HAVING LUNCH AT ANN'S .
*insert dagger #1 My thoughts: I JUST saw Marie and she didn't invite me to lunch. One of the daughter's she brought is my goddaughter. I would've loved to get caught up.
Mom: ANN WANTED TO HAVE DINNER WITH US FOR MY B-DAY. SHE WAS GONNA ORDER US STEAKS FROM GIBSONS. I TOLD HER TO JUST USE MY GIFTCARD RATHER THAN SPEND HER MONEY. THEN THE SHOTS GOT SCHEDULED, SO I TOLD MARIE TO JUST COME WITH HER GIRLS FOR DINNER TOO.
*insert dagger #2 My thoughts: I'm the only other daughter. If the girls are having dinner with the folks, why not include me?
Background: My sisters were always grouped together growing up. I was 2.5 yrs younger than Marie, but you'd think it was a decade. My 2 brothers weren't invited. Mom used to host Pat and his kids every Sunday for lunch while Aunt Leprechaun cleaned her house. My rug-rats and I were never invited over just for kicks. In other words, my brothers have their own 'audiences' with the folks.
I wish it didn't hurt. I DON'T want to care. Really. I'd like to carry on like I GOT MY OWN THING GOING ON AND I DON'T NEED YOU. My sisters annoy me and my folks play favorites, but being excluded sucks.
Me: OK, WELL I MADE YOU SOME IRISH SODA BREAD, MAYBE I'LL STOP BY WITH IT LATER.
*silly me, I was still considering sharing my news with them and I wanted them in one place. I figured they weren't as likely to call and leak it to my brothers, but I decided against it. My mood had shifted.
|Irrelevant pic. It's a GF cupcake aka a little bit of heaven. A woman I know who has celiac sent two cupcakes home with Tank. Photo taken after I inhaled the first one. He works with her and someone gave her too many for St. Pat's day. I needed this!|
Coach was standing there during my phone call. I motioned to him that I had a dagger in my chest. He winced. I couldn't wait to get off the phone so I could cry, but Mom likes to ramble, pretending this is all normal family dynamics:
'WE'RE HAVING DINNER AND DIDN'T INVITE YOU, BLAH BLAH BLAH.'
I hung up and cried for a long time. The kids who were home came running. They were appalled. Not surprised. Reminded me that I didn't need my sisters/ family, etc. Coach hugged me and told me he wished he knew what to say.
Later we delivered the warm soda bread. I wanted to see them eating and make them feel like the ass wipes that they are. Curly came. Mini and Tank weren't home. Coach needed to drop Reg off somewhere, so they literally popped in and left. We were masked. Mom, Dad, Ann, Marie, and 2 nieces were not. They were schmoozing with Marie's other kids on a zoom. We stayed 5 minutes. Coach made me promise not to lash out. Who knows how many b-days Mom has left? I decided not to ruin it.
I simply said: LOOKS LIKE YOU GUYS ENJOYED YOUR MEAL.
Curly said about 4 times: WELL, WE NEED TO GET GOING. WE'RE GOING TO CHURCH. (mass is at 5:30 and it was 5:00. Church is 30 seconds away, but Curly wanted OUT OF THERE - she was being
my body guard protective).
Things I wanted to say but didn't:
My kids would enjoy a steak dinner. Let me know when you'd like us to schedule that.
Hope you enjoyed your dinner, minus the most interesting person in the family.
How do you sleep at night?
Kiss my ass.
Marie wanted to stop by my house so I wouldn't find out about the 'gathering'. I'm sure Mom called her at Ann's and told her that she'd 'told me' so Marie stopped texting me to see when she should stop by.
Not sure which is worse:
1) Mom acting like their dinner plans made sense, or
2) Marie trying to keep her lunch and dinner plans a secret.
I can't help but wonder if some of this stems from Ann's dislike of me, because she can't control me - she'd rather I keep my distance. The family generally tries to keep Ann happy. An impossible task.
The next day Marie texted to ask how Pat and I felt after our shot. I was tempted to call her up and say: MY ARM HURT, BUT MY FEELINGS HURT MORE FROM HOW YOU CREEPS BEHAVED. I ALMOST picked up the phone to tell her this. Instead, I just didn't respond.
I've said nothing about the 'incident'. Mom NEVER calls me. As a rule, I think she expects her kids to call her. She called me on Tuesday to say the soda bread was great. Perhaps a twinge of guilt? Or just testing the waters to see if I was ticked? Fortunately, I was busy with the toddlers, so I chatted for less than a minute.
Where to go from here? Suggestions?
*Remember that talk with my parents last year when my dad blew off our Yellowstone plans and my folks didn't seem to get it. Maybe they're too old to grow or apologize or be called out for lousy behavior. What excuse does Marie have? I was on a road trip Friday and didn't get to meet with my therapist, so relying on you to sub in for her. So much cheaper than real therapy. Lay the advice on me.