I swear one day I'll get around to sharing snippets of our trip to Europe here. I want to vent, hope you don't mind.
A few days after we got back, Lad shared with us that he'd tried to get together with Ann's son, my nephew 'Reg' while we were away.
*Ann didn't speak to me for a year after I had my Reg, because she had a 9 year old named Reg. Well, it was my favorite name FOREVER, which was no secret, and this was my 4th son and our kids have different last names. My maiden name is also a popular boys' first name. Ann used our surname for her first born son and forbid me from using it. What on earth? In case you missed the memo, Ann is VERY controlling.
Cousin Reg, or 'CR', just moved to Indianapolis a few months ago. He's a year older than Lad and just landed his first job after college.
Lad said CR wanted to bring his mom's dog over to hang out with he and Finn. Ann said no, because . . . wait for it . . . she's too mad at me, as is Marie, as is our mom, etc. "Because of some story your mom wrote."
Well. I sensed Ann was angry with me back in Feb when she came to one of Reg's b-ball games. She wouldn't speak to me, only sneered. I wondered if she didn't like Driving with Bird Girl, (link to my published story in question) or maybe she was upset that my kids weren't cooperating fast enough with her request to send her notes about why they love Nana so she could include them in a photo book she was compiling.
I called her the next day and asked her what was up. She ignored my first 3 calls, then finally picked up and sneered at me again, but refused to divulge what her issue was.
OK, you're mad. At least be adult enough to articulate why.
I thought I'd nipped jetlag in the bud, but I started getting up really early. I was upset. Here's why: We were raised to have a thick skin. I have often been the butt of the joke in the family. I told a light hearted, hilarious story from over 35 years ago and suddenly no one has a sense of humor. Plus, why not speak up if you have a problem?
Take the tone from Ross on Friends: 'WE WERE ON A BREAK' and insert 'IT WAS FUNNY!'
I'd sensed that something was up. None of my siblings or my parents commented, congratulated, or reached out in anyway about my published story. I don't need their praise - it would be nice though, enough people told me how much they enjoyed the story. But, really their lack of response made me sad.
My youngest brother's wife texted me the day after I sent the link. She found it hilarious. Loved it. Asked if I was writing other things, etc. Aunt Leprechaun texted to say congrats on doing what I love, but either hadn't read it at that point or had read it and didn't comment on the 'controversial' subject matter. Maybe my brothers didn't read it?
The morning after Lad told me about this fallout I called Marie. Honestly, I don't talk to my sisters much. I used to. In recent years, I've found that they tend to be narrowminded, whiney, judgmental, and they act twice their age. They talk to one another a ton. I used to try to spend time with them, but we aren't really on the same page.
Ann doesn't like me, it's just that simple. She tells me to stop talking if I tell a story with energy. She criticizes things that I do, or how I do them. Once when my kids were young and I mentioned how I did such and such (no clue what, but I believe it had something to do with a playdate gone bad), she literally said THAT'S NOT WHAT YOU DO. Huh? Just because that's not what YOU would do, doesn't mean it isn't what I would do. Being upfront is not their default mode. So, they gravitate towards each other. I find their gripe sessions epic.
My mother joins them for lunch or weekends away, and I'm not included. They think nothing of this. I live walking distance to my mom's house. Since Ann got divorced the family has adopted a 'POOR ANN' mentality and they tiptoe around her to make her happy. My presence isn't part of that equation, so I'm out.
Do I enjoy my sisters' company? No, quite honestly I find them to be stuffy and irritating. Does it still hurt that I'm always excluded? Yep. Perhaps mostly that is because my mom is part of their circle. I used to do a ton with my mom. Not anymore. Marie calls her daily at 5:00 and if I happen to try to call my mom at that time, she will not click over from the other line.
When I called Marie, I said: SO YOU NEVER TOLD ME WHAT YOU THOUGHT OF BIRD GIRL?
Marie: I DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU WANT ME TO SAY?
Me: SAY CONGRATS, IT WAS FUNNY.
Marie: PARTS OF IT WERE FUNNY AND PARTS WERE REALLY MEAN.
Me: WHAT? ARE YOU STILL THAT HURT ABOUT A HAIRCUT FROM 3O SOME YEARS AGO?
Marie: I'M AT WORK. I CAN'T DO THIS RIGHT NOW.
Me: OK. WHEN DO YOU WANT (click - she hung up) TO DO 'THIS' BECAUSE IT WAS PUBLISHED TWO MONTHS AGO AND YOU'VE SAID NOTHING. WHEN IS A GOOD TIME?
A few days later my mom came out of her house when she saw me on my walk. She wanted to give me an envelope for Mini's bday. After we chatted, I told her that I was hurt that no one could say anything about my story. (when prompted my mom had eventually said: IT WAS VERY INFORMATIVE, as if I'd written a piece about he migration of birds, a moment later Reg burst in the house saying he needed me to drive him back to school because he forgot he had practice and that conversation ended).
Me: WHEN DID WE BECOME A HUMORLESS PEOPLE? I KNOW MY SISTERS HAVE LITTLE GRIPE SESSIONS WITH YOU. I'VE ASKED ANN WHY SHE ISN'T TALKING TO ME. SHE WON'T TELL ME. SHE TREATS PEOPLE SO POORLY AND NO ONE HOLDS HER ACCOUNTABLE. I'M HURT AND I DON'T KNOW WHERE TO GO FROM HERE.
Mom: WELL, I DON'T TALK TO THEM ABOUT THAT STUFF. (no way is that true) I DON'T EVEN KNOW IF DAD READ IT.
Than the other day Ann posted a photo of the 5 of us on her FB page to celebrate national sibling day. Why? This boiled my blood. She cares too much about appearances to NOT post something. She's a robot, if she did it before, she must do it again.
I want to post a photo of me, alone, and thank my siblings for making me who I am: independent, genuine, engaging, open minded, and strong.
Then Marie texted Mini and I to say that she had a gift to drop off for Mini's bday. No mention of finishing the conversation and about how she hung up on me. So that's what we're doing? Just pretending this didn't happen?
We are supposed to go to the Lake hotel thing for to celebrate my mom's 80th. I honestly don't know if I want to go anymore. It might be torture. My parents are the hub of this wheel. They drive a lot of the behavior and the way people treat one another.
OK, friend. What would you do?