Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Welcome to the suck.

So, I am upset- mostly about stuff that I have no control over. But anyway...allow me to share some of this crap with you.

My husband informs me that we are uninvited to his family holidays, because his mother feels that I slighted her in some imaginary way three years ago. Evidently we had just been assuming that we were invited to family functions for the last couple of years, since every one else in the family would just let us know.

They had this conversation when I was in Disneyland, and she apparently stated that while she agreed both of us were at fault, she wanted an apology from me, and since that was unlikely to happen, we were cordially dis-invited from all holidays from now until the end of time.

The bone of contention? When Alan was leaving to go overseas three days after Thanksgiving, three years ago, I had a chat with her about the upcoming holiday.

Jenna: "I'd like to spend time with both families- we traditionally celebrate my birthday on Thanksgiving, and everyone wants to see Alan before he goes."

MIL: "Well, if that's the case, why don't you just spend the whole day there, and we just won't see him!"

Jenna: "Uh- well, I was thinking, Alan said you'd be having a dinner for Thanksgiving, and my family usually has a lunch. You guys only live 10 minutes away from each other. We thought we'd go to my family's until the early afternoon, and then spend the rest of the day with you."

In my memory, she agreed to this readily. I asked Alan if he remembers it this way, and yes, he agrees that my version is what he heard at the time, and that I am not going crazy.

Her version? That I lied to her. Somehow she latched onto "spend the rest of the day with you" and turned that into, "Oh yes, well then, we will spend the entire day with your family, and not see Jenna's family at all, because we agree with your asessment that they are baby-eating Satanists who fornicate with squirrels."

OK, so I would apologize just to shut her up. The problem? I am not making up anything to apologize for. I am not going to tell a lie to sanctify her insane notion of the truth. There is just a limit to the craziness, y'all. I have tried repeatedly to make this woman happy, and have been rebuffed and insulted at every turn.

I even invited my father in law to a clandestine lunch when my husband was overseas to discuss "The Thanksgiving Incident" and any means I might take to reduce the fallout. He admitted that it had been totally blown out of proportion, and then added sheepishly that he likes me and was glad I was part of the family, and then swore me to secrecy that the meeting had ever taken place.

I have just come to the conclusion (after much angst and upset howling of "what the hell am I supposed to do?!" to my husband, who just shrugs helplessly) that I intimidate her, and she doesn't want me around, because my presence reminds her of things that happened before I was born or thought of.

The gist of that sordid story is that evidently her in-laws (who were, by all accounts, a lot like my parents) didn't want her as a part of the family and treated her like crap.

She talks about how horrible they were to her all the time. The fact that she's treating me just as badly had evidently escaped her notice completely. And may also be the reason that when she met my parents, she was so defensive that she immediately verbally attacked my father.

Yet, I still feel bad that we don't get along. I love my husband, his family is important to him, and hell, I love them too. I don't know- should I just lie, and make her happy?

The worst part? Alan says that one of her techniques is to come up to you, magnanimously and out of the blue, and say, "I forgive you". For something that she has imagined in her CRAZY BRAIN.

I swear to god, that better not happen to me. I just might lose all control and punch her in the face. That'd be a Christmas to remember!

In other news- I went on the treadmill today and yesterday, and aside from a minor skirmish with some renegade potato chips, I am doing well. AND...I am working on the book. Seriously.

AND- I have decided how we are going to finish our courtyard, AND what colors we are painting the rooms in our house.

And...there's a hideous chance that I am going to be a bridesmaid in September. Or would I be a bridesmatron? (ICK.)In any case, I would probably be in a line-up with a bunch of 23 year-old physically perfect sorority girls AND my darling little sister. In strapless dresses. Oh, and be obliged to walk down the aisle with a frat boy who just might be half my age and have hair like an electrocuted hedgehog. So, on one level I am flattered and thrilled, and on another, deeper darker more nefarious level, I fear that the sheer terror of this nightmarish juxtaposition may cause me to vomit uncontrollably at intervals until then. (The horrible thought I just had? Involuntary bulemia might actually be a plus.)True, I could say no- but that's just dumb and selfish, not to mention chicken.

Oh, AND?! (This is the best part, although if you've read this far, I feel for you) When she (my brother's sweet fiancee) asked my mom if she thought my sister and I would like to be bridesmaids, Mom thoughtfully gave me an out. What out did she give me, ladies and gentlemen? "Well, Jen's thinking about starting a family....so that might be a complication."

Do I need to say that the pressure is officially ON?! Oh god, I am going to be a humongous, knocked up, frat-boy fraternizing, satin-clad beachball. In elbow length gloves and matching Dyeables. Eat your heart out, John Waters. (And no, I'm not pregnant, I just have an evil imagination- in case you haven't figured that out by now.)

I'm sorry. I may need to find a deserted closet and have a good cry.

4 comments:

Akasha said...

Oh boy, you sound like you need a hug and a good stiff drink. MIL problems...your husband needs to stick up for you to his mother. I don't think you should be the one to apologize, she needs to. If you aren't invited, fine. He should let them know that if you aren't welcome they won't be seeing him either.

The bridemaid thing, you are a brave one my dear. I gave those up quite a few years ago since the last one I did, not only was I the oldest in the party but I nearly passed out standing on the stage. So scared I locked my knees, couldn't breath from the girdle I was wearing cuz I had gained a few pounds since the last fitting. It was awful.

Here's hoping the baby thing works!!!

Cheers!

Akasha

Anonymous said...

hey Jenna,
I've been listening to these stories for about a year. First off I know your MIL is a crazy. Secondly. you have Every Damn Right to feel the way you do. Alan and you need to Talk. I can see that happening, if it hasn't already. she needs to be put in her place.
I think the bridesmaid would be fun. Hell I'll take your place. I wouldnt mind walking down witha Fratboy. =) *panting* .... Well, if he's cute anyway.
Just keep thinking, vacation over seas, vacation over seas. then click your ruby slippers together 3 times. and in 4 1/2 weeks you will be their. Damn I'm a good Fairy.
Your Neighbor. =)

jenna sais quoi said...

*Picturing my neighbor in a fuschia satin montrosity on the arm of frat-boy/hedgehog*

Bwahahaa! OK, that made me feel better. Thanks guys. I need to hear it sometimes. Mwah! I tend to second-guess myself so dang much.

Maybe this oncoming wedding will be the kick in the butt I need to start taking better care of myself. (Although, Akasha, I am not saying I won't avail myself of the Emergency Girdle Method. Because, breating is overrated, and swooning is so feminine!)

And I have to admit, not having the potential holiday screaming match at the in-laws is a huge weight off my mind.

Look at me! That thar's some mighty fine lemonade. :)

OK- now I am de-fused and off to Stitch N' Bitch- although, any passing observers who refer to me as "cute" just might get a knitting needle up the wazzoo.

Dan said...

"baby-eating Satanists who fornicate with squirrels." That... thats just... beautiful! It brought a tear to my eye...

So the MIL wants an appoligy... maybe you should do something like "I'm sorry you missunderstood... blah blah blah" You know that... I'm sorry but I'm not really saying sorry" That will either do 2 things... 1) She would see it as an applogy and life will be good... or 2) REALLY piss her off .. and well... life will be good... what could she really do un-invite you from all family functions?

You know, it only takes 2 people to have her commited... I'm sure your neighbor-across-the-street would help. Hell, even I would!

Treadmills are evil!!! I feel like a cow running towards a feed trough when I'm on mine...