Walking on Eggshells

6 Dec

The mother-in-law.  And I hesitate to write that just because it’s SO cliche’.  Now, you might get the impression I’m disagreeable.  Which IS the case many times.  But it’s not because I TRY to be ornery.  And it isn’t because I LIKE drama.  No, no.  I hate drama and strife a lot, actually.  But I do require that everyone around me treat me a certain way.  And I will stand up to those who don’t.  I am unable to be phony, and I am unable to stay quiet while being mistreated.  So that leads to a lot of problems.  People don’t like being called on their $hit.

Here’s the story:

-I bought tickets to see Brandi Carlile at the Seattle Symphony for Saturday.

-Even though, we could have driven to Seattle and back over the weekend, I suggested we go early so we could spend Thanksgiving with Cool’s family.

-Both Cool and I had to take time of work to accomplish the family Thanksgiving.

-We could have easily stayed IN the city with my Auntie (who we lived with for a time) or friends.

-We got to Cool’s family’s house at 5AM and went straight to bed.  At 7:30 or 8AM, I woke up and woke Cool up.  I figured we had come this far, and rearranged plans so Cool and her mom had better spend some time together.

-When we went out to the living room, Cool’s mom (in an accusatory voice) asked why we were up.  We said we wanted to visit, then Cool’s mom turns to her baby and says, “Aren’t YOU tired?”  And Cool (who’s tired 24/7) said she was.

-This is literal now:  Cool’s mom turns to me and says, “Just because you’re awake means everybody has to be awake?”  So great.  You’d think she’d want Cool to be awake so she could see her, but any excuse to direct animosity toward me, right?

-Later we began to unload our belongings from the car.  Cool’s mom requested we bring 1 thing for dinner:  2 bottles of wine.  Thanksgiving morning, Cool drops one of the wine bottles onto the driveway, crushing it.

-TWO bottles of wine were so important to her mother that she sent us with money to the store to get a new bottle.

-Even though I am ethically opposed to shopping on Thanksgiving, I went (to appease her mother) without saying a word about my morals.

-When we came back, Cool’s mom said the bottle was too small and called Cool’s sister asking HER to bring another bottle (3rd) of wine.  This is on top of whatever alcohol was already in the house.

-During the evening, every single person there drank.  Including Cool’s mother.  Cool and I had brought our own beer.

-Wine has a higher alcohol content then beer.  Double, sometimes even more, I think.  And I was refilling everybody’s wine glasses.  It was a holiday after all.

-Cool’s mother didn’t say anything to anyone about drinking.

-No one was sloppy, drunk.  And Cool and I were sleeping there, not out partying, not driving anywhere.

-At the end of the night, Cool’s mom kept saying things (just to me) like, “You’re awfully social.”  Or, “Aren’t you cheerful?”  Kind of insinuating I was trashed.  Can’t a girl just have a good time at her VERY FIRST extended family Thanksgiving?

-I told a story to Cool, her step-dad, and her mom, and there was no reaction and no comment.  Just blank stares from all 3.  Crickets.  So, thinking they weren’t paying attention, or were old and couldn’t hear me (they are), I repeated the story.

-Not that the above should even matter.

-At that point, Cool’s mom got UGLY with me.  She insinuated I was drunk and sloppy and didn’t know what I was saying.

-Not wanting to have a huge confrontation, or to disrespect Cool’s mother (even though she was completely out of line) I said, “That’s it, I’m going to bed.”  And got up and went to the guest room.

-Cool, Momma’s Girl that she is, followed me and said, “She was just kidding!”  Because Cool doesn’t understand intention, and thinks just because something isn’t explicitly stated, it doesn’t exist.

-No, no way.  Cool’s mother was implicitly stating that I was some sort of sloppy drunk, and I do NOT deserve to be treated that way.  Nor was I drunk.  Or sloppy.

-Cut to Friday morning.  Which, by the way, we could have spent in Seattle, but didn’t.  I thought Cool should maximize time with her family.

-Cool’s Mom, specifically asked me how I was feeling in the morning–insinuating that I was probably hung-over (I wasn’t, because that would have required me to be drunk at some point, which I wasn’t).

-I spent the most awkward of mornings, turned to day studying while Cool and her mom watched TV/internet-ed/slept, without talking much.  I knew if I went to another room to study it would be seen as rude.  So I just studied my anatomy in the living room.

-I had initially wanted to go to ZOO Lights.  Cool’s mom wanted to go to just a plain lights because you could sit in the car, so I conceded  without prodding.  I knew it would be difficult for her to get around with her COPD and Oxygen tanks.

-Also, when it came time to pay for said light display, I held out MY $10.  And despite saying, “here’s our portion” and also having my hand, coming from the direction I was sitting, Cool’s mom goes, “Keep your money, Rebecca.”  Not acknowledging that I was the one trying to be polite.  (Cool had no cash on her, nor did she offer to pay)

-Also on Friday, Cool told her mom we were leaving for Seattle the next morning.  Her mom got the shittiest tone in her voice, and asked why so early.  She didn’t understand why we had to leave Saturday.  She couldn’t understand why we weren’t coming back to her house after the concert.  What about driving in the dark (We had driven from Spokane from midnight Wednesday when Cool got off work  until 5AM–with no questions/concerns from her mom)?  Why did we have to leave Sunday morning anyway?  On and on in an explosion of accusatory anger (directed implicitly at me).

-After we left, I asked Cool why she never stands up to her mother on my behalf.  As my mate, I think this should come naturally to her.  And get this irony–Cool said she didn’t remember the incident on Thanksgiving–she had blacked out??!

-So miss perfect sat by, black-out-drunk, while her mommy attacked ME for being drunk.

-After I nag Cool, to talk to her mother (which I’m certain her mother knows who is behind the talk) my mother-in-law leaves a note on my Facebook wall for all to see:  “I’m sorry you were mad when you left.  We do like you.  You’re welcome to stay over any time.”

-Let’s break that down, shall we?  I’m sorry YOU were mad.  Meaning, I’m sorry that you’re high maintenance and made my daughter upset with me.

-We do like you.  As if that was ever a question. Or relevant.  I don’t care if Cool’s mom likes me or not (she never will) but I do demand she treat me with the same courtesy and respect that I treat her with.

-And you’re welcome to come back–meaning if you don’t come, my baby will also stay away-waaaiiiiiillll.  And to that I say, Not.  On.  Your.  Life.  Woman.  Cool can do what she wants (if she plans it and pays for it) but I am not putting myself in that situation any more.  It never goes well for me.  Cool’s mom is toxic, and she’s officially extricated from my life in any meaningful capacity.

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