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Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Family matters

On or about the time of my marriage to Chris, a new "friend" entered my life. Uh, let's call her Millie. You know, MILlie. Let me tell you a little bit about Millie. She is a nice lady with good intentions who happens to be passive-aggressive. She lives 2000 miles away and rarely calls us or returns our calls when we leave messages for her. She is famous for calling me at times when it is commonly known that I am not available to take calls. She will then leave messages that sound something like this: "Now, Kristi, you had better call me soon! I was just calling you because I hadn't heard from you in a long, long, long, long, long, long time and I want to know how my baby is. I would like it if YOU would call me sometime, not just Chris. OK? I'm starting to think that you don't like me and you don't want me to be part of your life. I just want to be part of Eric's life. [sniffle] I just don't want you to forget about me. [cry] You know, Eric does have TWO grandmas. [SOB] I don't think I can talk anymore. Just...I don't know. You had better call me back or else! [Gulp]" Then I will try calling her several times, leaving several messages until I eventually give up and a couple weeks later she leaves another message like that. When we do actually connect on the phone, this is how our conversation goes:

Millie: "How are you doing?"
Me: "Oh, I'm doing pretty well--keeping myself very busy. How about you?"
Millie: "Oh...me? Well, I'm just terrible--you know, the usual. [Insert 20 minutes of how bad she has it]. You should really call me more often!"
Me: "Well, Millie, as inviting as that sounds, I honestly dedicate the majority of my free time to sytematically ripping off my toenails."

Oh, wait...I don't really say that. In fact, it doesn't really matter what I say. She just says it as a pleasantry. Judging by the number of times I call and leave messages for her before she calls me back, she's really not that into talking to me.

In person, we generally get along fine. The way I describe our relationship to my friends is by saying that she is someone with whom I have very little in common and would not have ever crossed paths with were it not for the fact that we now have relatives in common. I fill her in on what's been going on for the past few months with Eric and our family, but other than that, it's a struggle to come up with things to say. She tries to be nice and helpful, but every once in a while, she'll say something that just really gets on my nerves. I think we have a bit of a power struggle wherein she feels that she has the authority to act like my mother while I don't feel that I have to take that crap from her--I already have one mother, thankyouverymuch.

I still can't tell whether it's her actual personality that gets on my nerves, or if it is her persona as Millie that gets to me. I think she has a certain image of how a MIL is supposed to act, so she acts that way. I know some things that irk me are really minor, and I shouldn't be so petty, but I just can't help it! First of all, MY child is a blend of both his mother and his father, in looks and in personality. He is not YOUR child, and he does not take 100% of his genetics from your son. I was not just some random vessel selected to carry the chosen one. Secondly, you see my baby once every three to five months, for a couple of days at a time--stop telling me what he likes and doesn't like, and that he "always" acts a certain way. And, thirdly, just know that my parents are going to buy him mostly practical gifts, at my request, for holidays, so don't waste your breath calling "dibs" on the most outlandish, overpriced pieces of crap you can find. Months ago, and then again a couple of days ago, she told me to let my parents know that SHE was going to buy him a Hummer power wheels for Christmas. I was thinking, "Uh, OK, Millie. I know my parents aren't going to spend $300 on something like that." And really, they wouldn't. It's not like they don't buy him nice gifts, but they tend to agree with me that $300 is too much for something like that. Another thing is that I know Millie really can't afford it. She just wants to buy it so that she can one-up my parents.

So, usually I just keep my mouth shut about Millie, because honestly I don't have it that bad. Mainly, I just find it fun to make an artform out of being annoyed by her. I kept my mouth shut when she caused a scene at Eric's birthday party and then stormed out. I suck it up and call her back when she leaves me messages that make me want to block her number from my cell phone. But this time, she's really gotten to me.

We found out last week, on Wednesday, that she was coming to town on Sunday (four days later). It was supposed to be a surprise, but her sister let it leak. I really find it insulting that she would come to town for a week, presumably to visit us, mainly Eric, and then not even tell us. She's staying with her sister, so I guess that takes a load off me. But, like I tell her every time I talk to her, I'm a busy person. Had I known she was coming, I would have planned for it. I wouldn't have made plans with other people. I might have even taken some time off work. The same goes for Chris, obviously. But now I just feel put out. Fuck that, I want to tell her. If it was important to her to see us or our baby, she certainly would have let us know that she would be in town. So, what can I deduce from that? It just makes me mad; I feel like the only way she can figure out how to deal with us is by hassling us.

We saw her on Sunday night. She slobblered all over the baby then handed him back to me and told me how she was sick as a dog and had been all week. "What do you have?" I asked. "Oh, first it was a cold and then it turned into the flu. I just feel miserable." Ugh. You know what...you haven't seen Eric in three months, another day or two is not going to hurt you. I mean, is it too much to ask that you be relatively germ-free before you get in my baby's face? Then she said something to the effect of how we'll have to get together during the week. OK, I'm not a complete ass, and I'm generally free during the day, until I leave for work at 3:30, so I say, "Yes of course." Then she says, "Yeah, you can just take some time off work and we'll go out some night." Uh, no...sorry. I completely forgot that this is the week that I have set aside to systematically rip off my toenails.

1 comment:

elisa said...

Ooooh! Reading that made ME mad! i am inspired now to go blog about my own "Millie" - lol, love the euphemism.