June 07, 2007

Mourning the Loss of a $25 Gift Certificate

I'm back.

I've settled in at my dad's computer after watering his plants since he and my mom are away. It's funny how I feel so at home at their house, but I don't feel like it was ever my home. I guess you can't really ever go back.

So since Katie fell asleep because of the boredom of watching me water someone else's garden, I decided to hang out a bit and write some more. Try to contain your excitement.

I just did a search for "I hate my in-laws" and it appears I'm not the only one in the world with an in-law problem. (That's sarcasm. Don't comment and tell me that I should have known that...especially if you're a fifteen-year-old kid and not married.)

We visited Dan's grandmother on Monday since her birthday was Sunday, bringing a card, gift certificate, and some flowers. We were invited to a party on Saturday for her at his aunt's house, but since we're not speaking to his parents, Dan declined. Besides, I don't like to spend my weekends in pure uncomfortable situations.

So we visit "Grammy" on Monday and she seems tired. However, like one of those beetles who slows down to thwart their enemies, she was just preparing a grand assault. She started with a terse "Why weren't you there on Saturday?"

Let me state for the record that she knows why. She's well aware of the problem and it was a loaded question. She started yelling and Dan clammed up. I bit my tongue and thought that I'd have Dan argue a bit with her since it's basically his issue, but then she turned to me and looked me straight in the eye:

Grammy: "We didn't have ANY problems in the family before..."
Me: "Before...what? Are you saying I'M the whole problem?"
Grammy: [Dramatic pause] "No."
Me: "I can't believe you're saying that!"

For some reason, I don't like to be insulted, told what to do, or spoken to like I am a child being scolded. I stood up and said, "That's it! Let's go." Dan set a new world's record for getting a baby into a car seat: 10 seconds and we set a new Grammy's house visit: 2 minutes.

I mourned the loss of the $25 gift certificate.

She knew that it was a sore subject, but like most self-centered people, figured that since she didn't get her own way, that she could say whatever she wanted. So yesterday we received the card and the gift certificate in the mail with a letter.

I created a shopping list with the spiteful return of my beloved gift certificate.

I read the letter and was quite surprised by the anger, emotional blackmail, and pure spitefulness of it. Some of the highlights:

I'm sorry I don't deserve this
Who knows it could be my last birthday
Kiss Katelyn for me since I will never see her again
How much punishment does a parent deserve?
You will never hear from Aunt X again
Fix things before it is too late

That last one sounds like the tagline to a summer blockbuster, doesn't it? "Fix things" is the key to all of this. Dan's family truly believes that he has no right to be angry that his parents have been ignoring major relationship issues for years and that recent events have hurt him tremendously. We won't even bring up my issues (and I've got lots of them!).

So why am I mentioning this? Okay, besides my attempts at self-preservation by writing my feelings, I have decided to start a self-help blog dedicated to helping those who have pretentious in-laws.

Ask yourself these questions:

Do your in-laws hate you but won't admit it? Did they talk about you to your spouse when you were first married, saying you were too clean, only liked to sit around and talk, and had too good of a relationship with your own parents?

Did they send a heinous newborn picture of your three-month-old child (who they hadn't even seen in months) with their Christmas card as a birth announcement (without your permission, of course)?

Do they tell you that they are jealous of your family? Do they call your family up after you and your spouse fight with them to tell your parents how poorly they think of you?

Did they show up late for the birth of your child and blame you? And then did they go home before they got to see their first grandchild because they didn't want to wait another half-hour?

Do they criticize what and how you eat/stand/sit/look/whom you speak to when you are gracious enough to attend their party? For example: "I know Kelly eats baked beans, but she didn't even take any and she hardly ate! I watched her. She doesn't have any problems eating when HER family is around!"

Does your father-in-law tell you you've ruined his business (that's still operating) by inventing things you're writing about him on a website that does not exist?

Do your in-laws go to a counselor and admit to you that the counselor turned them away after one session because your in-laws told the counselor they've "done absolutely nothing wrong" in the situation?

Do they get mad because you suggest you drive your car and not ride in their minivan?

Does your mother-in-law cry at your baby shower because her husband and son were not invited to the all-female event or because you didn't invite her daughter, who you haven't talked to in years?

Does your sister-in-law ignore you every single time you see her but no one cares because they say, Shucks, "that's just the way she is!"

Do your in-laws seat you at a table of random aquaintances (and not anywhere near the family) at their daughter's wedding?

Did your in-laws tell you not to get married? (And somewhere in the back of your mind you're wondering why you didn't listen and kicking your ass for being so in love with their offspring...)

Do they react poorly to your engagement supposedly because you've only been dating for a year but seem thrilled at their daughter's engagement after three months of dating a man she met on the Internet?

And finally...

Do your in-laws say that you are going to kill members of the family by ruining their health because you are not doing what they want?

...then my blog is for you!! Of course, I could only help you make them hate you more while still requesting your presence at functions and pretending that nothing happened. I'm currently working out the kinks.

P.S.: Thanks for reading this far. You either are amused or just shocked.


Glenn said...

I take it you don't like your in-laws?

Does your husband like his family?

Kel said...

Nope, I don't like them at all and neither does my husband. He's currently not talking to anyone in his family.

Sorry it took so long to publish your comment. I forgot to disable the "moderate comments" thingy.

Val said...

Holy Crap. Is this what's...holy crap Kel. Yes I am shocked. And I know pity is not exactly what you need, but aww man. They're hum-dingers. I'm at a loss for words.

Kel said...

Well, what doesn't kill us makes us stronger, right? :)

It's a far cry from the casual carefree life of PSU, that's for sure!