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Monday, September 12, 2011

A funny thing happened on the way to the cemetery...

My sister-in-law recently told me that their family "puts the D in dysfunctional." Truer words were never spoken and I offer into evidence, the very fact that she's proud of that statement and uses it ad nauseum. She thinks it's a hoot.

Earlier this week, she let fly with a publicly placed post about her father's interment in a local Veterans Cemetery. "Gee" I said "I wish someone had told us that you were BURYING the hubster's FATHER." This was cause for text messages about guilt (apparently I'm not feeling enough of it - or any at all for that matter) and how we're just a couple of selfish, egotistical asshats because anyone knows that people routinely bury their parents without telling their siblings and do we really expect HER to take any initiative and call US? 

Well, actually, yes. we do.

The relationship between the hubster and his step-mother was contentious at it's best and this was no secret. One might expect that, knowing this, his sister might send an e-mail, knowing full well that the wicked witch of the MILs didn't even speak to us at my FILs funeral but no...WE'RE out of line in being pissed off. Besides, Miss "crying my eyes out my daddy's gone and I'm only 52" thinks that wanting to know when one's father is being buried is overrated and the hubster is way out of line for thinking otherwise.

In an effort to be conciliatory, I attempted to explain to my SIL exactly WHY we were upset. I was fairly gentle, tried not to place the majority of the blame on her (because, I must admit, most of it didn't belong there) and recounted to her, sans profanity, how we felt to be treated with such public disdain at a parent's funeral. I did this in attempt to let her know just WHY the hubster was reacting with negativity to her story of the hilarious hi-jinks that took place in getting her father's ashes to the cemetery and the wonderful ceremony with "full military honors" when he finally got there, which was the first we knew that the guy had been interred.

She responded with her usual letter B ( I think she keeps templates) which stated that I was out of line, she NEVER, EVER, EVER said she wanted to be friends (I admit, she was drunk when she made that call) it was ALL about HER and HER grief because she's going through the mostest worstest time ever (this since the LAST mostest, worstest time ever) and she's already had to suffer through her first golf game without "Daddy" and frankly, if I had the nerve to bitch that she and her step mother couldn't be bothered saving ONE effing seat in the family section for her brother I really need to get therapy as I apparently have fallen victim to a new psychological malady which is temporarily being called the "failed to kiss my ass" syndrome.

This from a woman who, every time I see her, tells me how her mother hated her because she was "daddy's girl." Every damn time! For the last TEN years. Her mother's been dead for the last EIGHT. She even recounted that again in yesterday's "Nothings my fault, how DARE you" email. Just in case I hadn't gotten it the first 420 times she told me because, well, yeah, I'm not too bright.

We paid a visit to the cemetery yesterday, it's an hour and a half away, most likely because my MIL made sure she found one as inconvenient as possible for us. Not to mention that, as my FIL was a veteran, it was free...this is a BIG decision maker for her. We ended up the day with a drop in visit to MY father, who was actually happy to see us. That alone was a 360 degree turn from the events of the last few weeks. We dined at a lakeside McDonalds and after returning to his home, adjourned to the kitchen table, where I was recounting the events of the last week.  The hubster joined us. At which point my father said to him: "This has got to be bothering you, we can talk about it later. I'm sure it's still be hard on you." The hubster was momentarily flummoxed until I explained that this is someone being considerate of another person, something he had never experienced in the presence of his sister or step-mother.

I just don't understand people who NEVER think of anyone else and don't see the problem with that. Not ONE of them would even, voluntarily, say something like my father did. Not ONE of them would ever say "we should call Bob and tell him to meet us under the second tree from the corner and be here early so we can all go in together." They say "WTF is YOUR problem? Was it MY responsibility to tell you what my plans are? Well, I was busy thinking about myself so shut up and get the hell away from me."

I'm mad at myself because, after over 30 years, I have ties to these people. They're the hubster's family and I admit, I STILL wish they would pick up the phone and say "I'm sorry, you were treated like crap and that shouldn't have happened" because, deep down, I'm a sap and I like people and I especially like family and I truly enjoy being together with the people that all threw into the gene pool that made my kids what they are today. I think sometimes people mistake my practicality for hardness because I'm WAY too soft on the outside to get involved in this kind of stuff, I lack the gene that allows one to walk it off. My grandmother was the same way. Didn't do her any good either.

I'm pushing 60 and, while my head tells me to walk away, my heart says "maybe she'll realize that we have a voice too." Because that's pretty much all any of us want in life...a voice.  I know it's not gonna happen but I keep hoping. Like Professor Harold Hill says in "The Music Man"..."I always think there's a band." Which, with any luck, is playing a Gershwin tune.

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