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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Merry Christmas, Dang It!

I was trying to keep the profanity out of the title, but couldn't. I just toned it down a bit. You know I talk a lot about my family and how they make me crazy at times but today I'd like to show you some fun from the 'other' side of the family - the in-laws.

About two years ago, my sisters-in-law began planning a 50th wedding anniversary celebration for their parents. I originally was working on it with the S.I.L. who lives on Long Island. The initial plan was for a big family party at her house - she has a wonderfully large backyard - and then perhaps we'd send the folks on a cruise. Well, after some deliberation, we realized that a truly nice party - even one that was in the yard - was still going to be very costly. After picking my mother-in-law's brain a little, she hinted on how she would love a trip with ALL of her children and not just her hubby. I adore my mother-in-law, I truly do. She acts WAY younger than my father-in-law and so I understood her wanting other people around her for entertainment. So, we all discussed it - my husband has three sisters - but only two were in on the planning. The older of the two involved took over the plans from here and wanted to do a family cruise. I was like "No way". My husband does not like cruises, never has, never will. He's not comfortable on them so would not have a good time and besides that, we could not afford one.

So what does she do? She planned one; for the first week that Nick was going to be in school (at this point he was still back in public school). So I told her that - and my husband DID give in and agree to a short cruise just to keep the peace - and what does she do? She complains to US on how this was the week that it HAD to be. She gave us all kinds of flippant details about how 'affordable' it was all going to be, just a small deposit, monthly payments, blah, blah, blah. The funny thing is, whenever she was giving that kind of info, she only gave it to Frank. Had she given it to me, I would have known better because I was researching it all too and KNEW that this was not an affordable option for us. But to him she made it sound all very doable. Well, she jerked us around for over three months with no confirmation and then on my birthday she calls with a demand of $1000 that had to be paid by December 22nd as a down payment for the cruise -which was still slated for Nick's first week of school and for EIGHT days! I was appalled. I mean, not only did she ignore the fact that we could not go that week (although she said that missing his first week of tenth grade was "No big deal"), and the fact that by staying away for 8-days meant missing even more school than that, and the fact that she was asking for a wad of money at our slowest time of year for Frank business wise AND right before Christmas!

Frank and I had a very deep discussion about it and knew that we were just going to have to back out of the deal. It broke both of our hearts because we wanted so badly to celebrate this milestone with his parents. So we e-mailed her - because that was how she had gotten the 'money demand' to us - and told her that this was not doable for us, we were very sorry, but to go on and go without us. Well, apparently the gloves were off. She e-mailed ME a scathing letter (Not Frank) calling me all kinds of horrible things and told me what a selfish bi___ I am, and how DARE I ruin this for her parents, I mean, on and on it went. She'd call here and ball us out and when Frank would go back at her, she'd hang up! I could go on and on about how this dragged on but let me just say that in the end, they all went on the cruise - mom, dad, three daughters and their families, but none of the other family members (aunts & uncles) who were invited went either. After all was said and done, I talked to my mother-in-law about the trip and she admitted that the trip was a mistake and they never should have gone. But the damage had been done.

The offensive sister? I have to be honest, I've never liked her. I've never gotten along with her. There is a lot of baggage there but I never stopped my husband from talking to her or seeing her. I don't believe in that. He, however, has finally had enough and does not feel the need to have her in his life. So today we get a cheery looking Christmas card where the envelope is only addressed to Frank and in it is a letter to him that is just meant to throw some guilt at him for his refusal to "get over it" - meaning the cruise thing. She wants to know "what she's done to deserve this". Man, could I write a LIST on that. But I won't.

So what's the point of sending a Christmas card that is meant to be full of well-wishes and good cheer if you are filling it with hate-mail?

I guess that's just one more thing I can add to my list of reasons why...

2 comments:

carol at A Second Cup said...

Need to write that book. Or even better, a screen play.

StaceyC4 said...

I'm telling you, if Aaron Spelling were alive, I'd be a millionaire by now!