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Getting Back in the Swing of Things

23 June 2008

…is harder than I expected. It’s not that my life is dull these days, it’s just that I can’t figure out how to say what I want to say.

On Sunday, we will be going off for a week at a mountain resort to celebrate my father-in-law’s 75th birthday with the Consort’s two sisters and their families, the FIL with his wife and 11-year-old son, and my MIL (the ex-wife, who was invited). There will be drama. Heck, we’re already in the throes of anticipatory drama (not by me, I promise!).

Of all the in-laws, my FIL is the one I have the least pleasure being around. Depending on the day; sometimes I could honestly answer that his wife is the one in that spot.

I have no idea how I come across on my blog. Maybe you all know that I am pretty opinionated, stubborn, and have a memory a mile long when it comes to slights and pecadillos (or even the not-so-little sins*). Maybe I’ve hidden that pretty well from you all. Who knows?

I also feel the need to say what I think. Most of the time, I know when not to say things to others, so the poor Consort is stuck having to hear me rant in private.** When it is his family, it puts him in a pretty uncomfortable position, as you can imagine. Every time there is a get-together, I tell myself that I won’t bitch and moan to the Consort, I will “just let it slide.”

Yeah, that works about as well as when I tell myself that just because there are chocolate chips in the pantry doesn’t mean I should eat them. Ahem.

My plan this time is to bring a little notebook, in which I will record any of the comments I would normally feel the need to share with the Consort. If I get them off my chest that way, then it may be possible for me to not stress the Consort out during this “fun-filled family-togetherness week” (woohoo!***).

But all is not stress! On Wednesday, Impera turns 14 (holy shit!). Tomorrow evening, some of her school friends are coming over and we will have a picnic supper on the town green, listening to a Senegalese group’s concert. On Wednesday, some of our friends from Iowa are arriving for a visit; we’re planning a barbeque at the town pond to celebrate Impera’s birthday with these friends, my MIL, and my sister-in-law and her family. Fun, fun, fun!

 

*Look, if you’ve ever stolen anything, cheated on your partner, lied on your taxes, or done something else morally reprehensible, don’t tell me. I won’t be able to look past that. When people are praising your goodness to me, it will eat at me that I know the truth — and I will seethe. Every. time. we. are. in the same room. A professional**** told me once that my strong memory, which is a boon in my work as a copyeditor, is actually a curse when it comes to interpersonal relationships. Whereas others forget over time the tears and hurts inflicted upon them by others, I remember each incident. Especially the tears and hurts inflicted upon those I love.
**I also admit that although I sometimes think the comments I do make to the general populace are oh-so-subtle, they really aren’t.
***I did try this several years ago. I had a little notebook titled “Noxious Fumes” in which I ranted about a nasty-meanie of a woman who was the mother of one of Impera’s friends. It worked, meh, not so well. But I am more mature now; I won’t title the notebook with a silly pun.
****OK, a therapist. But it sounds so weird to say “a therapist”. At least coming out of my mouth. When it comes our of your mouth, it sounds fine.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. 23 June 2008 9:32 pm

    Ah, extended family. Always good for fun or angst … or both.

  2. 24 June 2008 4:24 am

    Happy birthday to Impera!

    I think you’re right, it’s hard to let go of injuries done to loved ones.

  3. 24 June 2008 4:46 am

    Hmmm…maybe I should rethink the rant I was thinking of blogging today.

    And happy birthday to the young one. My teenager will only be one for a few more months. Enjoy these years; they go by fast.

  4. 24 June 2008 9:48 am

    You’re bringing the notebook to the family thingy? Jebus, don’t set it down anywhere.

    Remember what happened to Harriet the Spy…

  5. Peaceable Imperatrix permalink*
    24 June 2008 2:54 pm

    Katharine: Ain’t that the truth!

    Z: Yes. I’m particularly bad, though. I still remember the name of the girl who made my sister’s life miserable in third grade. Third grade!

    KathyF: Why rethink it? Because I’ve made such a mess of mine? … Believe me, I am seeing the time zip by. And I am afraid!

    KathyR: Yeah, well, if they read it, they deserve it! Adults should not read other people’s notebooks. It’s not like I’m going to bring attention to it, though. I’ll try to use it surreptitiously. I won’t whip it out (for a completely random example *cough*cough*) as soon as my FIL says something thoughtless. I’ll wait until I’m back in the room. See? Being mature about it.

  6. 26 June 2008 6:26 am

    Happy b-day Impera!

    If it gets too much with my in laws (they can shout at each other, *shudder*) I just go for a walk. I don’t think a book would help.

  7. 28 June 2008 9:57 am

    My daughter got a dose of family this week when my sister came to town with her two sons we hadn’t seen in 13 years.
    It’s amazing how difficult it is to be at ease with family. Momo and Pop, three grown siblings, 5 grown children and 2 grandchildren–we might be the same, but we’re all so different. The age group was 4 to 74!
    Miss Jessica decided the problem was we just didn’t know how to act around one another.

  8. Peaceable Imperatrix permalink*
    28 June 2008 11:16 am

    D’you know, MizMell, my theory is that when families get together, it’s too easy to fall back into the roles we had when we all lived together: the youngest acts spoiled and whiny, the middle ones feel slighted, the oldest acts bossy, and the parents treat everyone like they were kids and not adults. That’s why I keep saying (but no one ever listens to me!) that we really shouldn’t do big family gatherings. Things are always better when there are only two sibligns together, or one offspring and the parents, etc.

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