Dear Self In Twenty Years,
Don't do this. Don't do any of this.
HOW TO ALIENATE AND ANNOY PEOPLE IN TEN EASY STEPS.
1) Disapprove thoroughly, regularly, and vocally of your adult child's choice of partner, who is surely Too Something.
2) Criticize all joint decisions. Surely the spouse's choice will ruin your child's life.
3) Exclude the spouse from decisions, outings, and photos. Choose whatever's least considerate.
4) Disrespect all parenting decisions, but blame your child's spouse for making them. However, remark how pleasant your grandchildren are.
5) Complain you never see your grandchildren, then when you do, go do random shit instead of spending time with them.* In fact, complain about all the natural consequences of your choices.
6) Never change any family foods, traditions, or observances (ham and midnight church! Noooo).
7) Don't listen to or respect the preferences of your child or their spouse. Respond to differences as a personal attack. Don't ever ask them anything. Push every boundary.
8) For bonus points, openly favor your child's sibling, and prioritize them in your life. Your child's spouse won't find this unacceptable at all!**
9) Complain endlessly, but never listen to anyone else's life. This is an excellent principle for relationships in general!
10) Finally, despite all these things, be bewildered about why your child AND your child's spouse neither like nor respect you, and why they never come to your house.
(They're not terrible people! But I don't have to put up with constant belittling and disrespect. Dr. S sets boundaries and abides by them, but it's exhausting to do that all day every day while managing the self-absorbed planning, the biting dog, and the assumption that Dr. S is still bound by gratitude, affection, and dependence. NOPETOPUS! Never going back there for more than one day! Dr. S takes the kids out of obligaton- to our children, that is. )
* For example! Go look at houses for sale near Lake Whatever. All morning. No, really. This really happened.
** Military, with black ops. And ditto, this really happens. See also: Sepsis Plus Trip to Alabama, But Not Seeing Only Granddaughter.