More Shit I Can’t Say

Dear Mother and Father Chili.

You will likely be seeing a lot less of me in the immediate future because, to be completely honest, I have been finding it much less pleasant to be around you lately, and this is taking into consideration the fact that you have never been especially warm and inviting to begin with.  I have always managed to make allowances and put on a good face, but your behavior over the last few days has pushed me beyond the capacity of my acting skills.

I can handle, after a brief recovery period, some of the outright rude things that you say – either to us or to each other in our hearing – because, after all, you are getting older and I understand that the filters are going offline.  I’m certain that you don’t think the things that you say or do are rude, though I do wonder if, upon reflection, you later regret having said them: if I’m going to be realistic, I have to admit that I seriously doubt that you do pause to reflect, given that there has never been an effort to acknowledge anything after the fact.

These incidences of blatant rudeness are getting to be more the rule than the exception, however, and the fact that you’re beginning to spill it over onto my children – at moments when your commentary and judgment are the very last thing they need – is where I am drawing my line.

Punkin’ Pie is having a rough time with 13.  13 sucks.  I work with high school freshmen and can tell you with confident certainty that it sucks for just about everyone, and I recall very clearly it sucking for me, as well.  The stories my husband tells of his sisters at that age lead me to believe that even with your exceptional parenting skills, your daughters did not always have their shit neatly packaged and presentable at all times, either, so your stick-up-the-ass comment about there “always being an excuse” for bad behavior in my children did not sit well with me, especially as I was on my way up the stairs to comfort my clearly hysterical child.  To make it even better, this came after an afternoon’s worth of snide little comments about everything from the dinner to Beanie’s eating habits, topped by the fact that every attempt any of us made to engage you resulted in your literally getting up and moving into another room.  Honestly, it was only because of my husband’s pleading expression and the fact that I was already halfway up the stairs (and more interested in comforting my child than having it out with you) that I didn’t round on you and call you out on your shit.

I am choosing not to spend time with you for a while, and I’m going to allow my children to opt out of visiting, as well.   I understand that you clearly have no intention of making any room in your paradigm for anything other than high-tea-with-the-Queen manners, and none of us – especially me – is capable of that at the moment, particularly when you are so willing to pass high and mighty judgment without a thought to how your own behavior likely makes other people feel.

Sincerely,

Chili

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13 Comments

Filed under doing my duty, family matters, frustrations, General Bitching, holiday, Home and Family, Parenting, technical difficulties, this is NOT a drill, WTF?!

13 responses to “More Shit I Can’t Say

  1. Sadly, I have to agree with you–there probably is little to no reflection on the remarks that are made.

  2. I am surprised it has taken you this long. After the incident where Punk whacked her chin on the table when she was 3 and your MIL told her to stop crying I was done. I’m sorry for you and will remind you that MY MIL has extended an open invite to you and yours.

  3. I have met these folks, briefly, and although it is not my place to make comments on their interactions with others, I will say nothing in your post surprises me.

    I hope this doesn’t cause any dissension in your home.

  4. Kwizgiver, no; I’m sure there wasn’t. In fact, I’m relatively certain that they entertained themselves all the way home by clucking about what a terrible mother I am.

    Auntie, we’re thinking that if the elder Chilis don’t decide to holiday with one of their other children, we may flee to someplace with palm trees where they put little umbrellas in the drinks.

    Gerry, this isn’t upsetting OUR home at all; in fact, Mr. Chili was just as upset as I was by the comment (well, maybe almost as upset; the comment was very clearly directed at me). We may come and spend Christmas with YOU next year (and I know for sure that Mr. and I are going to have a long and serious talk about our annual whole-family trip to the lake….)

  5. In our family it is my mother who oversteps. There is a reason I do not live close enough to come over for Sunday dinner.

    One time when we were going up for a visit, we made a bingo card. Someone had blogged the idea for surviving a faculty meeting.

    So, we made the card of all the comments she would make.

    The sad thing, is no one won. Even though we each had a separate card, by the time we could check them, we all had full cards.

    Bingo.

    I tell myself that she loves me, because she does. I wonder if she realizes how far away she has pushed me.

  6. Oh, even if you said what you wrote, they would not see the flaw in themselves. Instead, they would see the flaw in you.

  7. We had nice weather for Christmas. It’s gonna freeze tonite, tomorrow and the next night.

    So, it’s not impossible you could do the holiday here.

  8. I am SO sorry you have to deal with this. There are few – if any – people in this world who deserve to be treated like that, and you most certainly are NOT one of those people!

  9. Oregon Sunshine

    I’m sorry. (((HUGS)))

    I can commiserate. Even after nearly four years, my in-laws still don’t consider my husband and I married. AND there is an obvious difference in how they treat my kids and my husband’s daughter.

    I try to remind myself that it could always be worse! I’m just glad we live 2000 miles away from my in-laws, who can’t be bothered to visit, even when they’re in town (because of me).

  10. Elizabeth George

    I’m really sorry you, your husband, and girls had to deal with such tension over what is supposed to be peaceful family time (in the perfect world we read about somewhere). I am going to my mom’s for a few days this week and it is always a bit tense with my husband and kids as well. We are on our ‘best behavior’ so we don’t ‘stress her out.’ Sigh.
    Sending blessings of peace through the snowflakes in NY to the snowflakes around your home in New England…

  11. I’ve been reading your blog for ages, though I rarely comment. I admire you for keeping your cool…I understand how difficult this is to do! My partner’s mother is extremely passive-aggressive and goes out of her way to disparage us at every opportunity. And we don’t even have children!

    You are an amazing lady and a great mom. I hope you know how many people admire and respect you.

  12. Thank you all very much for your encouragement. As if this parenting thing weren’t hard enough, I have to deal with crap from them, too?! I don’t think so.

    My biggest concern is what we’re going to do about our week at the lake in August. Last summer was tense and uncomfortable; I can’t imagine that this coming trip is going to be any different, much less any better. I may begin gently suggesting that we reconsider this little tradition…

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