Out of touch

October 15, 2010

The MIL turns 70 next month.  Which is quite an achievement as she’s a cancer survivor and hasn’t been in the best of health for the past few years.  She’s a fighter though.

The SIL suggested a few weeks back, that we throw her a party.  At a local all-you-can-eat bufffet.  With 70 of her closest friends.  Paid for by the “kids”.  Which means the Hubs and the SIL.  Uh huh.  Because money grows on trees in our backyard and we burn $100 bills for fun.

Now don’t get me wrong, a 70th birthday is quite a milestone and should certainly be celebrated.  But you might want to ask what the birthday girl what she wants and how she wants to celebrate it before you start planning and spending money like a drunken sailor.

So the Hubs asked and was told flat out NO.  Which, I would like to smugly add, I predicted.  But did the SIL, the Hubs and assorted cousins listen?  No.  They forged ahead and called banquet halls and thought about menus and guest lists…which grew and grew and grew in size.  All the while ignorning the no no NOs coming from the MIL. 

And let me tell you, even at paying half the tab, the tab was still several thousand dollars.  Again, I’m not discouraging the Hubs and his family from celebrating his mom’s birthday, I just want to see it done so that most people, especially his mom (who is afterall the star of the show for the day), get what they want.

But all is well that ends well.  In a conversation with the SIL, his mom put her foot down and flat out refused a party.  It seems that people of her generation don’t like to celebrate birthdays and she’d rather have her close family around her instead of basically everyone she’s ever spoken to.  Which is fair enough.  Not everyone wants a big party.

But what really makes me wonder is what the hell was the SIL thinking by suggesting all of this.  Afterall, shouldn’t a daughter have somewhat of an idea as to what her mother would like?  I don’t expect the Hubs to know, because as sons often are, he’s kind of clueless.  I think, that because she’s lived away from home for so many years, she’s lost touch with her parents.  Which, despite the fact that the outlaws are not my favourite people in the world, is kind of sad.  And even though she comes home for a few weeks at a time, much of her “home” time is spent out.  In other cities, at friends and relatives’ places.  And when she is at home, the SIL spends a lot of time “sleeping”.  Which I suspect is code for texting her friends on her Blackberry.

So the SIL is not actually drawing on much current knowledge of her parents.  And it’s a sad state of affairs when I can better predict how the MIL will react than her daughter can.  I think it’s time for the SIL to move home.  Or at least back to North America.