July 21, 2021

issues: editing addict to anti-vax in laws and everything in between

There is much going on here that we, or I, or someone needs to figure out. All the balls in the air is starting to get to me. I feel like it might be messing with my sleep. If my sanity doesn't return, will sleep?

The lack of sleep:  my own fault. I've started making a video to show during Tank's Aug 7th grad party. Montage of video clips/photos. Full disclosure:  I've gone over board. Way too thorough. 


I gather cute clips. Then I continue going through every video file that MIGHT be relevant. Or funny. Or cuter than the first round of cute. My dream:  organize all  our family clips and save them to DVDs/flash drive. Who has time for that? Not a certain someone who took A LOT (understatement) of video and photos. I think looking through all of the clips is my way of FEELING organized. If I visit those memories often enough, maybe the distant project of editing them into watchable family movies won't seem so impossible. 

Perhaps watching all the clips is my version of therapy for my heart . . . another guy heading to college, but look at all the good times to look back on. 

This week I've found that I can't quit editing till midnight. 

Me (to self):  Great, I got lots done. I can sleep in.  

This message doesn't compute with my system. I'm up before the sun. 

The benefit:  I've found some amazing clips that I must share with you. Get excited. Exhibit A is below. (explanation below - sorry it's lengthy, skip it and you'll still laugh at the video)

When Mini was less than 2 months old, I did a boot camp class. Prior to this my only form of exercise was walking. I thought I'd run really fast during class. Coach asked me to prove it. I didn't realize he was videoing my VERY slow run in the yard of our first house. How disillusioned was I? Define fast, sister. He never laughs like this in real life, but he was intentionally being obnoxious. It's a little fuzzy. I had to record it off of my desktop. Couldn't figure out how to edit and save it. It's part of a 2 hour video we had converted from VHS to digital. You can laugh at me. I'm funny. And slow.


Our swing set was knocked over in the tornado. It could be repaired. Perhaps. It was old to begin with. The stain job adds to the 'turn-me-into-firewood' look. I've looked at used swing sets that people are trying to sell online. Some of those look like they've fought 8 tornados, and lost. Basically people are hoping someone will haul away the beat up mess in their yard.

Coach doesn't want to take one part, transport it, and put it together. He'd also like to not spend time giving our current set the love it needs. His real preference:  no more swing set. Um, hi, have we met? I run a daycare and I put the tots in the swings ALL THE TIME.   

Sobs softly.

In my opinion, there are a few reasonably priced sets in great shape. One homeowner is even offering to help dismantle, and his doesn't need to be stained. 

Maybe the guy (Ziggy), who we've hired to do our siding (please, sweet Jesus - help us agree on a color), can have one of his guys repair it for a fee. Coach plans to spray some paint on it. Sounds ugly to me. The damaged playset is propped up in our yard. It needs to be repaired BEORE the grad party. Injured cousins = party foul. 


The struggle is real - there are NO gently used, former airport shuttles for sale. We'd like to add one to our fleet BEFORE we drive Tank to college. My kid working at a dealership isn't scoring me an inside track. 


With Tank's party approaching, I wonder what to do about Coach's parents. They're anti-vax. My FIL even sends alarmist emails to us. As my kids say, he suffers from 'confirmation bias'- he only reads info that supports his opinion. In other words my in-laws are uninformed about actual science and facts. "Most people who get the vaccine will suffer from a blood clot."

My dad is immune compromised. He has leukemia. He's been vaccinated, but he could get covid. He'd likely die. Honestly, I can't be sure all of our other guests have been vaccinated. I just KNOW these two ass-hats haven't been.

Coach doesn't want to tell his parents to stay home. He thinks they'll be fine to just keep their distance (and wear a mask when they come inside?). Maybe. I'm struggling to see this clearly though. I've got my reasons . . .  basically, I'd like to tell his folks more than just stay home. The issue runs deep. Layers. 

To summarize:  we've been married for almost 25 years. His parents' controlling, overstepping, judgmental, religious zealot tendencies have hurt me/upset me over the years. The stories I could tell. Coach has always been adamant that I not speak up. No voicing my feelings. 

Well. That's not how I roll. Holding it all in has me about to burst.


Call it a character flaw, but that's where I'm at.

Thoughts?  Besides:  you lost in the in-law lottery.


Ally Bean said...

In the video you were running and that in and of itself means you were going fast. One must not worry about one's speed, I say.

I agree with your kids about your in-laws. 'Confirmation bias' is the scourge of our times. People who want to believe the worst will find a way. You can't change them, but you can avoid them. Not everyone you meet will be your friend.

Martha said...

I agree with Ally about the running! Once again I don't know how you bite your tongue when it comes to extended family Ernie. I wish you, Coach and the kids could all just pick up and move far far away from all of them!

me said...

Could you invite the family in shifts? So that your inlaws would not cross your father? Or set up a sitting area for your dad that is separate from the rest -so he can hold court and keep non-masking wearers 6 ft away? It's not easy to hold a party at the best of times - I admire you for putting this together in spite of the tactical difficulties!

Kari said...

I agree with Ally AND Martha about the running.

Is the party inside? Could it be held outside? I mean, I know we live where the weather changes hourly. But that could help to keep things from spreading (literally).

I like the commenter above who suggested shifts, although I know how hard that could be to control on your end. It would be nice for you to enjoy your son's day without worrying about family. Maybe give that responsibility to Coach for the party? Say, since I birthed Tank maybe you can worry about handling the parents? ;)

Anonymous said...

Re: the anti-vax family:

Coach may not like it, but I wouldn't invite your in-laws. I wouldn't tell them why at first, I just wouldn't ask them to come. Put it on them to ask about it. If they're rude enough to ask about a party they haven't been invited to, then I'd tell them that it's because they aren't vaccinated and the lack of invitation isn't up for discussion. If they try to argue against it, either say goodbye and hang up or delete messages without reply if needed.

One of the consequences of being anti-vax is that you shouldn't get to do All the Things because you're putting other people at risk. If your in-laws don't like not being invited, they're welcome to get vaccinated. If being anti-vax is more important to them than keeping your dad safe, that's their choice.

(I'm trying so hard not to be mad about all this in our own family. We're currently refusing all family invitations because we know the politics of the extended family members and don't trust my MIL to not invite the unvaxxed. And my own extended family isn't doing any inviting at all because they know that my answer would be NO. My kid is too young to be vaccinated and I have reason to be concerned if she catches this thing. I'm her best line of defense, and anyone who wants to threaten her health for the sake of being at a party can go to hell.)

(Oops, got mad again....)

Kara said...

My in-laws are also anti-vax. My thrice married, thrice divorced, feuding with a grocery store, hoarder father-in-law believes that there are microchips in the vaccine, and he believes he's already a "person of interest" to the FBI because of something... Yes, he's mentally unstable. Yes, there's probably a whole book there if anyone wants to take him on as a case study. He is a primary reason why we live 3000 miles from our families of origin.

Nicole said...

Ugh, sorry about your in-laws. Honestly, I don’t know what I’d do. I’d want to do what the commenter above says, just not invite them and if asked, say it’s because of the vax. But probably I wouldn’t do that. I’d want to though. Maybe if it’s outside, ask them to distance and wear a mask? It’s a sticky one.

Anonymous said...

The in-laws will only be a risk to people who aren't vaccinated, the vaccine is 99% effective in preventing death from Covid, even for those compromised.

Bibliomama said...

I am a hundred percent with anonymous, but also like Nicole, I would probably lose my nerve at the last moment and invite them. Honestly, they're probably at more risk than anyone else, but the smug stubbornness of the anti-vaxxers makes me SO ANGRY. I'm also angry that Coach is adamant about you not speaking up too, although the sad truth is it probably wouldn't make any difference. I also have hundreds of pictures and go way overboard when I need to choose any for events. And that video is really funny, even though it was made out of your husband mocking you.

Ernie said...

Ally - Laughing at your appreciation of my version of running. Confirmation bias makes ignorant people intolerable, at least that's my opinion. I don't get how people can't embrace information and science. Sigh. I do avoid them, which is easy enough since they live fairly far, live in fear of 'weather', and spend half the time near my brother and sister in law because they rely on them heavily for help with their kids. I used to call my MIL regularly and update her on the kids. That stopped about 3 years ago. Only Coach calls them.

Ernie said...

Martha- Hilarious take on my running - but I suppose it is true that I WAS running. Technically. Yes, living in close proximity to family is challenging.

Ernie said...

me - Yes, I could possibly ask them to come later. I was in a hurry to send out the invites so I mailed them out AND then saw my dad a few days later and thought: oh wait a minute. How is this going to work? The party will be mostly outdoors, weather permitting - so there's that. But my dad is old and my in laws are old but not on chemo pills every day. So, if it's too hot for them - they'll need to stay outside regardless. I guess.

Ernie said...

Kari - Ha. Oh that video clip. It makes me laugh. I remember that night so clearly - did I mention I'd JUST HAD A BABY? I felt like I was flying.

The party WILL be outdoors - plus indoors. Our umbrella for over the patio table just bit it and we are trying to figure out how to offer more shade, and possible escape from rain. Of course with it being August - who knows what we'll get. Extreme heat? Then my in laws will have to stick it out in the yard. I've grown weary of them over the years. They are too much for me and I'm too old and secure to keep my mouth shut. How bout some fireworks on August 7th? Maybe you should drive down - might get interesting.

Ernie said...

Anonymous - I wish that this would've occurred to me BEFORE I mailed out invites. I still can tell them to a) plan to stay masked and outside (no trouble asking them to stay away from my father, my folks will keep their distance - fun fact: our parents used to be very good friends. Then we got engaged and they treated me like dirt. I do very much like the point you make about how they shouldn't get to do ALL THE THINGS. I like your line about the importance of being anti-vax vs caring about my dad's health. Good point.

The longer I keep my mouth shut, the more their nonsense bugs me.

Ernie said...

Kara - Now I understand why you put up with the oppressive heat in AZ. ;) Seriously, that sounds so awful. Sorry that you're related to that. A chip? My in laws think everyone is going to get a blood clot and die from the vaccination.

Ernie said...

Nicole - You said it - sticky. Yes, I'm ready to get all confrontational on their butts, but then what good does that do? They aren't going to change. Oh, but how I have THINGS TO SAY after almost 25 years of mostly keeping my mouth shut. I once told my MIL to stop sending my kids Catholic magazines. It just felt passive aggressive. I'm Catholic. Why not ask if this subscription is something that they'd read? It felt very 'YOU'RE NOT DOING ENOUGH, BUT I'M HERE TO SAVE THE DAY AND TEACH THEM THE FAITH.' Gross.

I think I will probably say come with your mask on and stay in the yard. But I'm considering saying COME AT 5 OR 6 - others come at 3. They don't mingle. They surround themselves with Coach's siblings and 'hold court' like their own little entity - not like HEY THIS IS A PARTY. There are people at these parties that they've been seeing for YEARS.

Ernie said...

Anonymous - In fact, my dad's doctor has told him that the vaccine isn't as effective for someone who has what he has. He has no immunity. When he gets a mosquito bite, for example, his entire arm blows up. He's been told that he still has to be incredibly careful. My dad will wear a mask, for sure.

Ernie said...

Ali - I do want to go ape-shit on them. It's been accumulating. Now it's like King Kong shit. It's late. I should go to bed.

They tick me off - have been for over 25 years. Put up a big fight when we got engaged because Coach was starting PT school. They feel that if you are getting married without a plan to procreate on day one, then you are a sinner. Wanted us to wait. They assumed that we wouldn't have kids until after he was done with school. Not that it was any of their business.

I know some people who haven't gotten the vaccine, but they aren't sending bat-shit-crazy emails out with bad information to everyone they know. Get a clue, people. My SIL texted me and said that she thinks they already had it when they were sick and couldn't get a test. Still. They're old - just get the vax and shut up already.

I meet with my therapist on Friday. How to handle the pent up frustration from YEARS of their crap IS TOP ON MY LIST OF TOPICS TO DISCUSS.

KP said...

Just as a fact. There have been over 5,100 breakthrough COVID cases in Massachusetts. That is among people who were FULLY vaccinated. 80 of them died. It is important to note That death toll reflects 0.0019% of the 4,195,844 people fully vaccinated in Massachusetts. But it is NOT true that vaccinated people can not get COVID.

I don't know what do do about coach's parents. I would think after 20+ years it would be hard to put your foot down. But, maybe this situation is exactly what you need to feel justified in saying NO.

Good luck

Ernie said...

KP - Look at you with your knowledge of numbers. I think my dad will be OK - especially because he will keep his distance from my in laws. Of course their overall approach to this is irritating. Guessing I will just tell them to mask up and to possibly arrive on the later side. My MIL emailed me the other day to ask if she could bring. I might say: JUST YOUR MASK. AND A LATE ARRIVAL. ;)

Busy Bee Suz said...

wait. That wasn't fast running? It looked like fast running to me. That is about as far AS I can run, and it wouldn't be as fast as you.
Your whole family should be put in a time-out for laughing at my friend.

The poor swingset. I was thinking; let it go, let it go. But you do have little kids around the house and they'll enjoy a swingset for many years to come.

You lost the in-law lottery. Sorry. I would put something on the invitation stating that we have 'immune-compromised guests' and ask that only immunized people join in the celebration.
I know though, 'they' will say: The immune-compromised person should stay home. :(
I don't know if this is one you can win.

Ernie said...

Suz - Hee hee - no, that was Slow Motion thinking it was Full Speed Ahead motion and as I was demonstrating it, I suddenly felt very slow so I fully understood the joke.

I am ready to let that 10 year old (and I now know this because of my work on the grad video - found photos of when we put it up) swing set go, only to be replaced with a slightly used version. I found the perfect one but it sounds like there is someone ahead of me who will most likely buy it. It's EXACTLY the same as ours, but much newer. I told Coach the other day that I was removing him from the equation. It's my day care. I'll replace it if I want to and just hire a handy man, or the 4 billion college boys I happen to know . . . who like my cookies and cash.

This whole un-vaxed thing came up AFTER I mailed out invites. The week in a hotel followed by AZ had me feeling rushed and I got that invite out in lightning speed. Saw my folks a few days later and realized, oh - crap. The in-laws have been sending me anti vax emails and we need to mask up around my folks who still don't go many places. I think I'll tell them to show up a few hours late, stay outside, and wear a mask. My doc friend says my dad will be fine with distance and a mask. Have I mentioned my in-laws make my blood boil?