Wednesday, December 06, 2006

There Are Times I Think I'm The One Who Is Crazy

So far this week my MIL has:

1) Told me to 'stay black'.
- Completely incomprehensible. Joe thinks maybe she was talking to someone else (we were on the phone. See why I never answer my phone? This is what happens when I do) but that still blows me away. Because really? Who would she be saying this too?

2) Asked me what size David wears, asked me if I was sure about that and then got him a size larger. Really not a big deal until she got upset with me for not telling her that I really did mean what I said.

3) Spent the night of David's birthday party telling and re-telling the tale of her 3-seconds of fame on Deal or No Deal. And with each re-telling the tale became grander and grander. Suddenly, she can't go anywhere without being recognized and she and Howie are tight like family.

4) Called the day after crying, left a message on our machine (Joe had assumed she'd just ask that we go to Vietnamese mass with her because she does that every other Sunday) about how his aunt was in Intensive Care.
Joe calls back all freaked out only to find out she's waiting for the doctor because she has an ear infection.
She starts wailing about certain things I cannot discuss but it ends when she says that only G-d could help her and my husband (I'm totally evil because I still giggle at this) asked her why she was calling him then. She hung up.

Most of the time I can laugh off the things she does and the mean things she regularly says to me. Not because it's ok, but because she's ill. I have to care about what happens to her because she is my husband's mother and it matters to him. And as sad as that is, that's how I view her. As someone I simply have to put up with. If I'm to be perfectly honest, I don't really like her.
I think it would be hard for anyone to like someone who has told you that she wishes you had never married her son, that you're fat and she was never that big when she was pregnant, that you're sloppy seconds and she doesn't consider your first born a part of her family even if her son did adopt her.
But what I'm finding harder and harder to justify is my tolerance of her. She has said mean and hurtful things to her son, my husband. Things that have cut him and they linger. Things she has never apologized for. And while I'd never expect an apology for myself, I will never be able to forgive her for not giving one to him. No matter how sick she is because quite frankly, even that is her choice.
Whenever I am near her I can feel my shoulders tense and I get a headache. She is a petulant child and my ability to manage my feelings towards her is lowering with each visit. And she knows it.
I know that I am angry with her. I hate the way that she has treated her kids, ranking them by order of favorite to black sheep. She has her number one son and the one she is forever upset by, my husband.
I hate that my kids see this. We have tried to show them that this is not the way adults behave, this is not the way good parents treat their children, this is not the way one person treats another.
I know my daughter is especially effected by it because she is at an age where she can easily blend in to the walls. People forget that she's there because she's so quiet and they start talking. So while I know she loves her grandmother, I know too that she understands something isn't right with her.
David is still simply afraid of her. Naturally this is my fault as I'm often told. But I would imagine he'd be afraid of anyone who came running up to him yelling and waving their arms like some scary-ass leprechaun.
You know, this started out to be pretty light-hearted. I guess it's been bothering more than I wanted to admit. Even to myself.
I'm glad we're going away for Christmas this year. I'm glad that I won't wake up Christmas morning knowing that will have already called 20 times to ask if we've been to church yet. I'm glad that she won't be there to take over and break things and tell the grandkids which ones matter more to her this year. I'm glad that Bre won't have to see her cousins opening these great toys she picked out for them while she gets a lighted moving picture of baby Jesus to make up for her non-Catholic mother's heathen nature. I'm glad she's someone else's problem this year.
And if I thought for a minute that I could get away with it? I'd never tell her that I'm pregnant. One day she'd come over for dinner and ask about this strange baby and I'd tell her we stole him from the neighbors. Then at least one of my kids would be free from her.