After visiting with family a few times recently, I’ve come to discover something. Somehow it’s new every year, but… I’m just NOT like the rest of my family… or my husband’s. Just not. While tackling the mountain of dirty dishes that has accumulated over the last couple of days of good home cooking (and family time that doesn’t involve doing dishes, of course), I was just to the ‘depressed’ point thinking about how much I do NOT have in common with them.
I mean, they were seriously discussing panic rooms. The fact that IL has a bill in discussion to legalize gay marriage scared the crap out of them. I pointed out the good economic factors. Hey flower shops, the state offices that take in the licensing fees, banquet halls, etc. are all going to make a bundle! No one laughed. They were more concerned about how all the partners of the gay people working were going to be ‘going on welfare’ as it were. With equal partnership, they would have health insurance. I don’t know about you? But I enjoy having health insurance. The likelihood that every single gay person is going to GIVE UP their own job’s health insurance and ‘sponge off’ of the state just because they got married does not.. what.. click with me? It just doesn’t seem realistic? *
*Note, this is not a discussion about gay marriage, health care, or panic rooms. Please don’t comment about that here, I’m just making a point.
I sat there the entire time after the failed economy joke trying to find something to say, but found.. nothing. When I finally found something to comment about, my 14 year old niece was wearing eyeliner… yeah, I got jumped on for bringing it up. I personally don’t like it when people use a lot of eyeliner UNDER their eyes. To me it makes them look like raccoons. Some 2nd? 3rd? cousins I saw a picture of.. eh hmm, they were wearing BLUE eyeliner. They looked like blue raccoons. It was seriously. Sad? Funny? I’m not sure. But their eyes were completely rimmed in thick strokes of blue. They didn’t even look like.. girls anymore. It’s just my preference, and quite frankly, I think that my niece looked like she hadn’t slept in a week because she was wearing a small tasteful amount. It gave her bags under her eyes. Whatever. Apparently I’m not allowed to comment on.. anything. I wasn’t being critical, just.. talking. But I was jumped all over because of it. Okay then, guess I won’t say anything at all.
My dad even mentioned several times (bless his misguided heart) that my brother was ‘just teasing’ about using a certain coffee mug at my mom’s house. Apparently my mom gave it to me one time with candy in it, but I left it at her house. My brother likes to use it, for whatever reason. I mean it is cute, it has a teddy bear on it, but I digress. He was completely teasing telling me I was using *his* mug. I laughed and told him when I finished my coffee, he could have it. I even TOLD my dad that I understood, that it was funny, and he re-iterated the point that my brother was just teasing me. ?!? Uh ok, what is your point? I laughed about it, I already told you yes I understand the first time, and you’re bringing it back up again. Why? If I had BEEN upset about it (like I was 12 or something) then I can see making that point. Once. When I played along with the joke, and verified I understood, I saw no reason to bring it up TWICE. Apparently to all of them I’m still a kid? Even though I have 2 kids, I’ve held a job, I am the first one in my family to graduate from college (my husband was the 2nd and only other if you want to count in-laws as well)… hell I’ve BURIED a child… and I’m supposed to be offended by my brother teasing me about a coffee mug? Yeah. That’s totally me. As near as I can tell, I’m the only one who is treated like this, even the CHILDREN aren’t told that they’re being teased or whatever, well I guess Keeley but she is FOUR. So why am I treated like I’m a 4 year old’s equal?
One of these things.. is not like the others… it’s me. *shrug*
Are we the same person?? I rarely visit my family and it’s for reasons just like this. My dad kept getting on to me about how my nickname for my son isn’t masculine, all the while referring to him as a “people puppy.” I mean, seriously? Don’t forget about my nearly 24 year old brother who still lives at home, no college education, and no job. Lets try and parent ME, the one who went to college, got married, bought a house, and started a family. I’m clearly the one who needs help.
I feel you, Jill. We now live 40 mins from my parents but we rarely get together. Personally, that’s ok with me. We have nothing in common. Like you, I’m the only one in my family that has a college degree. It took my brother forever to move out of my parents house, and then it was just next door to them. *sigh* Don’t get me started on that one. I struggle with things to say to them when we do get together, and that’s if my dad isn’t glued to the television or computer. Honestly, I enjoy getting together with my inlaws more than I do my family. We have more things to talk about with them. They get excited about things we tell them, rather than the comment “Oh, that’s nice.” Of course my inlaws come with their own set of annoying habits. 😉 I’ve finally come to the understanding that it’s no longer worth my time and energy to stress about it. I’m learning to accept my family and love them for who they are and just smile and nod. 🙂
My family is 5 hours away. We did that on purpose when we moved to Oregon. I love them much better at a distance.
You may have heard this one before (feel free to stop me) but you don’t get to pick your family. You are stuck with whatever one you get.
But if you’re not happy being around them and you don’t like the bullshit (and who does, really?) then just… don’t. Don’t spend the holidays there, don’t go hang out for this or that.
Crazy runs in families. One good thing, if you’re seeing the crazy in everyone else, then it isn’t you?