Ah, it all makes sense now

March 16, 2011

So this past weekend’s outlaw drama (f’ing link won’t insert….scroll down if you want to read about it) was sort of resolved on Monday night in a rather surprising turn of events.

My MIL, who annoys the snot out of me most of the time, was not to blame for most recent bout of outlaw asshattery.  Whaaaaaaat?!  I know.  While the MIL is responsible for about 93% of the drama in my life, I can’t pin this one on her.  This time it was the FIL.  Yep, the FIL.

Turns out, unbeknownst to me of course, that I’m in the wrong.  I don’t show him the proper “respect” that a daughter-in-law (or Mafia capo apparently) should.  I don’t enter their house with gandiose “heeeeellloooooos” (think that Seinfeld episode with the Big Ball of Oil…ya, you know the one).  Instead of taking my coat and shoes off upon immediately entering their house, I should instead be rushing (with dirty outside shoes) into the living room and genuflecting in his presence.

Well, ok, the genuflecting probably is going too far (only a bit though) but I should be IMMEDIATELY offering my greetings.  I should also ask about his day, what his plans are for the remainder of the week and I DEFINITELY have to sit, in rapt attention, while he pontificates about things I could care less about or tells my husband he’s an idiot for not agreeing with him. And I should not expect the FIL to ever ask about me, my day, my job, my friends or my family.  None of those things matter now that I have married into his family.  Oh, also I’m forgetting that it’s also my fault that we have no children.  Also, as a woman, I am automatically a lesser being and forget the fact that I have three degrees and eight years of post-secondary education, I am an idiot, I am always wrong and I never know what I’m talking about.  That last bit wasn’t exactly stated this time round, but it’s pretty obvious how my FIL thinks.

You know, as my dad says, you can’t fix stupid.  Arguing with it doesn’t work either.

Can we go back to the MIL being the dramatic one?  That was much easier to deal with.

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Again with the drama

March 14, 2011

It’s been a while since the outlaws acted up so I guess I was due. 

Let’s go back to Friday shall we?  After some annoying (yet thankfully still under warranty) car trouble and a very very VERY long week I was exhausted and fell asleep, without dinner, at 6:30 pm on the office futon.  With the cat.  Around 9pm I went up to bed (sans cat) and slept until midnight.  And of course, after sleeping for nearly six hours, I couldn’t fall back to sleep.  After lying in bed and listening to the Hubs snore and groan and mumble I got up, went downstairs, knit a while, read a while and purged some recipes and patterns that I’ve had kicking around forever, before going back to bed at 4am.

I woke up around 9am Saturday morning and came downstairs for coffee.  I’m still more tired than normal given my weirdo sleep the night before but I spoke with the Hubs for a bit and then settled in the living room to knit a dishcloth while I waited for him to leave for the day.  Along with his parents, he was going on a visit-ALL-the-cousins-north-of-the-big-city trip and would be gone all day and for much of the evening.  The outlaws were told to arrive for 10am and the three of them would leave post-haste.

As an aside, for the past few years I’ve refused to go on these jaunts as a) I don’t want to give up my Saturday visiting his family b) I don’t like many of these cousins and c) figure if I’m going to get insulted or told what to do by virtual strangers I’d rather have it happen at work where I’m both getting paid AND not giving up my valuable free time.  Yes the Hubs was a little pissy he had to go “alone” but he’s finally figured out how far he can push me when it comes to non-command performance family events so he was sucking it up.

At 9:25 I heard a soft knocking on our door (we don’t have a doorbell and the Hubs hasn’t been “in the mood” to put up the door knocker yet) and I told him to answer it as I was in my pj’s and I couldn’t be arsed to get up or put aside my knitting.  Besides, at that time of the day it’s likely someone we didn’t want to speak to andI’d rather he give the Jehovah’s Witnesses/door-to-door marketers the brush off.

How right I was.  It was someone I didn’t want to talk to…it was his mom.  She’s standing on our front porch, telling him that they’re here (35 minutes early) and that they’ve parked on the next street (instead of in our empty-for-this-reason) driveway since they didn’t want to “inconvenience” me.  WTF?  Hubs tells his mom not to be silly and to come inside. She refuses.  He raises his voice and tells her again to come inside.  She once again refuses.  She then asks him if he’s ready to go.  He’s standing in the doorway wearing warm-up pants and a sweatshirt and he tells her no, he’s still eating breakfast and has to shower, shave and get dressed, all of which he was expecting to do in the next 35 minutes before they were supposed to arrive AT 10 AM.  She tells him she’ll be in the car with the FIL.  From my seat in the living room I do a mental eye roll and keep knitting.

Hubs comes in and we give each other the WTF look and he proceeds to finish eating breakfast before getting ready.  He leaves 10 mintues early, kisses me goodbye and tells me he’ll be home around 10pm.  Which is fine with me since I’m going to my sister’s house to help babysit my nieces and don’t expect to home until then either.

My day progresses nicely.  I knit a bit of a pair of socks I’m making, I sort through some yarn, I look at some patterns in myqueue, I eat a leisurely dinner.  It’s a delightful day.  Then I drive off to my sister’s house, get greeted like a rock star by three little girls, proceed to have two of them “help” me knit and play some Angry Bird on my sister’s iPad.  It’s a nice night all around.

Turns out the Hubs came home much earlier than anticipated and I got home much later than anticipated but whatever, we had no plans and neither of us was particularly put out.  We go to bed and I sleep and sleep and sleep.  DST always knocks me for a loop..

So, we’re sitting around the living room later in the morning on Sunday and I ask Hubs what the hell was up with his parents yesterday and why didn’t they a) park in our driveway and b) come into the house and wait.  Not that it was super cold outside but why wait in a car when you can sit on a comfortable sofa and drink coffee?  He tells me that his parents didn’t want to inconvenience me.  What?  Again with the not wanting to inconvenience me business?  Yes, seeing them is an inconvenience but really, they couldn’t sit in my house for half an hour?  Sure it’s not super tidy but whatever.  There was fresh coffee and I could have scraped up bagels or cookies or something to nibble on. 

Nope he says, they didn’t want to bother you.  Which is weird.  This is the second time this year they haven’t wanted to come in our house.  Clearly I’ve done something to annoy them, but in her classic passive-agressive fashion the MIL won’t tell me what it is and now I’m being “punished” by not seeing them.  Which is ironic and hilarious but whatever floats your boat lady.

Then, and here’s where the real drama starts, Hubs tells me that I should ask them tonight (at our twice a month scheduled dinner) to come to our house for dinner. 

I’m surprised you didn’t hear the F#CK NO! in your town.  I reminded him that we asked his parents over not so long ago.  Together.  At their house.  His parents refused.  Several times.  He argued with them and they dug their heels in and said no.  So we left it.  For whatever reason they didn’t want to eat with us in our house.  No skin off my nose. 

Now Hubs says, they don’t feel comfortable coming over (despite having been over for coffee AND dinner several times in the past three years) and need to be invited over several times before they say yes.  Umm are they vampires?  Is this is a scene from The Lost Boys where Max the Head Vampire has to be invited to cross the threshold?  Can I expect my inlaws to want to suck my blood the next time I see them?

So the Hubs tells me to just ask them and I tell him fine, seeing as how I’m not going to win this argument, but if his mother says no, this is THE VERY LAST TIME EVER that I will invite them to our house.  He can invite them but I will never again issue an invitation.  Ever. 

And since we’re scrapping I figure hey, I may as well make this a full blown fight, and tell him that I’m actually insulted that they preferred to sit in a cold car rather than come in our house and talk to me.  And he says ok, tell my mom that.  Fine.  I.  Will.  And you can bet, with his blessing to let it all out, I won’t be subtle about it either.  Six years of slights and passive-agressive BS is coming to an end.  Either she backs down or I do.  And I’m not backing down.

At the very worst, they  accept and come for dinner….in June which is the next time we have a free Saturday.  And at the very best she says no and I am forever off the hook for cooking for them ever again.  Best of all though, the Hubs will be sitting there watching.  I’ll mention it over dinner.  Captive audience and he can watch his parents squirm when I ask them if my house is not good enough to sit in and my coffee is not good enough to drink. 

Oh my darling husband.  Be careful what you ask for.  I didn’t work with a thousand lawyers in my former life and not pick up a few tricks.  Cross your fingers for me.  And watch the news at 11.  Hopefully the lead story isn’t about a 30 something Librarian who has gone postal.  I don’t look good in orange.


So that was Christmas

January 6, 2011

Christmas is not my best season.  I haven’t liked it for years.  I find it stressful and disappointing and far too busy for my liking.  I wish I could go to sleep November 30th and wake up on January 1.

Christmas lost its allure for me at a young age.  I think was 7 when I realized that my mom’s handwriting looked an awful lot like Santa’s.  And his boots, which left imprints in the ash of our fireplace, were exactly the same size as mine.  And had the same sole.  Also, Santa for some strange reason, liked to leave his presents for us in the linen cupboard…which was accessed regularly by us all and right between my room and my sister’s.  So yeah, Christmas lost a bit of sparkle when I was young.

It became further tarnished when it became obvious I never got what I wanted.  One year, I think I might have been 15, I fell in love with a floor-length black velvet skirt.  Emminently practical for a 15 year old right?  Not so much.  I pined for that skirt.  Never a day went by when I didn’t mention how I would die if I didn’t have that skirt.  I pictured myself floating down the 6 steps separating the bedrooms from the main floor and into the dining room in my fancy new skirt on Christmas Day.  Didn’t matter I didn’t have a top to wear with it.  Didn’t matter that we never dressed for dinner in my house.  And it totally didn’t matter that within seconds of sitting down half my dinner would be in my lap.  No, I wanted, nay I NEEDED that skirt.  Instead I got a gold necklace.  And likely that’s why I don’t wear yellow gold to this day.

I still don’t get great gifts for Christmas.  Mostly this is my fault as I don’t ask for much.  Out of consideration for other people’s finances, I try to keep my present requests under $50.  Which you would think would be plenty of money to buy a nice gift.  Sure, if you like getting towels and sheets every year like the MIL buys me.  This year I requested steak knives.  And lo and behold….eight steak knives.  The Hubs’ family is literal and unimaginative.  If you tell them you want something one year, you’re likely to get it for the next three or so.  I can’t imagine what I’ll do with 24 more steak knives.  Perhaps join a travelling circus or carnival as their new knife thrower?

The SIL enjoys buying us things she picks up on her travels.  I shouldn’t complain as I got a Gucci scarf one year…that’s white and beige.  I’m blonde and fair.  It makes me look dead whatever colour side I choose to wear.  Plus it’s scratchy.  I probably should sell it on eBay so that someone can get some enjoyment out of it.

This year was extra special though.  She brought us all back marble eggs from her trip to Morrocco.  Marble eggs.  I’ll let that one sink in for a bit.  Marble eggs.  I put it next to the sand rose she got us last year.  Sure it’s an interesting conversation piece, but it leaks sand all over my display case and I suspect one day it will just fall apart and I’ll have big mess to clean up. 

Other family members have bought me hideous serving dishes and knicknacks (glass purse anyone?), ugly picture frames and appallingly awful kitchen linens over the years.  Goodwill gets a lot of business from me in early January as you can no doubt imagine.

What kills me is that the Hub’s family knows what I enjoy doing….reading, cooking, knitting, sewing, gardening…yet they refuse to buy things that I will like or use.  I suspect like many people, they buy me gifts they’d like to get or they just buy stuff and don’t care one way or another if I like what I get, my name is checked off a list and they feel good about getting their Christmas shopping done early. 

And the Hubs is no better.  For our first Christmas together he bought me a space heater.  I think I’ve complained about mentioned this before.  He later told me he thought I’d like it because I’m always cold.  I can’t fault him for having a good heart but I can fault him for having poor judgement.  Like this year.  I told him for months I wanted something sparkly.  I even pointed out sparkly things I liked when I saw them. 

Granted I don’t wear a lot of jewelry but I do like it.  And he has ready access to my jewelry box so he can see what I do like and see what ring size I wear.  And, best of all, he knows I could care less if the sparkly stuff is fake.  In fact, I’d prefer fake so that when I lose it, it’s only $29 down the shower drain instead of $329.  Not that I speak from experience or anything.

So even though he was armed with some pretty explicit instructions for what I wanted, I unwrapped a 19 piece set of Pyrex this Christmas.  Under a certain light, yes it does sparkle, but it’s frigging hard to wear around my neck, in my ears or on my wrist.  Thank you my darling husband for giving me more casserole dishes, which I needed, but also thanks for an epic-ly disappointing Christmas gift.

For 2011 I’m taking charge though.  I’ve had it with craptastic gifts.  I’ve started my list early and I’m putting on it all manner of things I want and damn the price.  And unlike previous years, I’m not buying things off this list when I see them so that all I can offer as a gift suggestion is a set of steak knives.  No siree.  I want board games and Ravesburger puzzles and books and yarn (if someone else buys it it doesn’t affect my going cold sheep this year) and pretty, sparkly things that are not cookware.  Of course, I can’t make people buy what I want but a list should help minimize the chance of getting crap.

Same goes with the handmade presents.  This year I killed myself.  I made one pair of felted clogs, three pairs of socks, one shawl, seven Saroyans and two shrugs.  I was knitting since May 2010 for his family.  Not this year though.  Nope.  I will likely still make them something but it’s going to be sewn.  Probably placemats.  Maybe market bags.  Socks for the men, but out of worsted weight yarn so they go fast.  In fact I may dedicate February to making gifts for his family and then I’ll have the rest of the year to knit for me and my family and anyone else I care to make things for. 

And as for being too busy, especially visiting his family.  That will also end.  This past Christmas we started holiday visiting on Dec 21 and it didn’t end until New Year’s.  To be honest, the Hubs will still visit family well into February but I won’t be accompanying him to see those family members.  Don’t like them enough to give up my weekends sitting in their houses listening to them moan about how tough their lives are. 

There is a plan afoot in my family to move our celebration from Dec 24 to Dec 25.  Which will conflict with the Hubs’ family but I don’t care.  This Christmas was the first time in my ENTIRE life I did not see my parents and that really bothered (and still bothers) me.  It’s a new year, a new decade and new traditions are going to start.  Hubs and his family can suck it if they don’t like it. 

Also afoot is a plan for us all (on his side) to stop buying gifts for each other and instead take that money and have an “experience” like meeting up in Vegas in the fall.  This has many benefits.  Yes we’re still spending money but at least we’ll spend it on something we like….travel.  I will not have to feign delight over weird things my SIL brings back from her trips.  I will not have to find places to show off (but not really) said weird things.  We get to hang out together, for a few days, enjoy each other’s company and we’ll always have those memories to fall back on over the years.  Everyone seems to like the idea but now someone (that’d be me) has to organize it.  Sure it’s a lot of work but I’d rather spend my time organizing something fun than knitting the same damn scarf seven times.  Ahem.

Anyway, we’ll see what happens.  I’m hoping to have a more relaxed and restful Christmas season in 2011.  And if it doesn’t work out that way, well my mom always includes a bottle or two of wine in my “stocking” so I can at least self-medicate and blot out the parts of the season that didn’t live up to my expectations.


Why

November 4, 2010

is it that even though I start my Christmas knitting in May I’m still way behind with 50 days to go?

is it that I keep doing Christmas knitting for a group of people, many of whom I don’t particularly care for?

is it that I am dead tired at 6:30 pm but get my second wind at 10:30 pm and stay up way too late and thus perpetuate the cycle of exhaustion?

is it that deer WILL NOT stay off the highway?

is it that everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) in the world irritates me right now?  Oh, wait, that may be due to that whole exhaustion thing.  Maybe.  Or maybe I’m just super crusty right now.  Both are perfectly logical answers.

is it that I keep re-living something over and over and over that I can’t change?  It’s my own personal Groundhog Day.  Or version of insanity. 

is it that I can’t remember anything anymore?

is it that I keep having these ugly red freckly spots come up all over me and they refuse to go away? 

is it that I hate all my shoes?

is it that I have so much freaking yarn but not enough of any of any one kind to actually knit a garment?

is it that after 2 years of living in the Money Pit we STILL haven’t unpacked or hung up pictures?

is it that we ALWAYS have to spend Christmas Day with the outlaws?

is it that every year I dread Christmas more and more and wish that I could skip it entirely?

is it that I look like a wizened old crone on 4 hours of sleep yet the Hubs looks fresh as a daisy on the same number of hours?

is it that Canada Post has mysteriously lost my Sock Club shipment and the yarn store is not all that interested in tracking it down yet they want payment for the next installment?

is it that both of my sock clubs this year have sucked rocks?

Honestly.  It’s been that kind of week.  I want a do-over.  Or maybe go to bed tonight and wake up on December 26th.  Both options work for me.