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.