Thursday, December 12, 2013

Choose Your Own Adventure, Annual Christmas Argument Edition

Dear Readers, every year Dr. S and I have the same argument.

Me: "I dislike your parents, there's never anything I can eat, they're disrespectful and annoying, why do I have to go there, why can't they ever bother to come see us*, we don't even celebrate Christmas."
Him: "They annoy me too but they're my parents and therefore I love them and mostly I want to see my brother** and could you maybe be a little nicer to them?  For 48 hours?"
Me: "We've been married for eight years and they haven't even bothered to ask if we'd like any input into the Annual Christmas Ordeal and I still hate it as much as I did eight years ago. No, more."
Him: "They're never going to change and we can accept it, or our kids can never spend time with their grandparents."
Me: "That would be fine with me."
Him: "BUT NOT ME!!!  Why do we have to have this argument EVERY YEAR???"

HOWEVER! This year we get a delightful variation of Choose Your Own Family Dispute!

You are a 67-year-old woman, 50 pounds overweight and in poor condition physically, who is having a bilateral mastectomy and radical lymphadenectomy on Monday.  The following Monday should you:

a) Attempt to have your Traditional Christmas with a big family dinner, six people staying in your house, four kinds of dessert, and all kinds of meals, while under the illusion that you, yourself, will be able to cook this;
b) Accept that you will maybe have been out of the hospital for five days by then and call this year a loss;
c) Insist that your small, snotty-nosed grandchildren come to 'play' with you even though you won't be able to lift your arms and they will give you a nasty cold and a hacking cough;
d) Be terminally miffed that your older son thinks (c) is both stupid and unrealistic and your daughter-in-law refuses to participate in this, and the son is therefore coming by himself;
3) All of (a), (c), and (d)!

* Tatoe is now 26 months old and his retired grandparents still haven't ever seen him.  He is their Grandchild Number Two... of two.  My parents and sister, all of whom are employed and lived twice as far away, each came to Cold State three times since Tatoe was born.  
** Army, therefore limited leave.  None of which he's ever used to come see us either, but whatever, not least because he doesn't expect us to come see him.


  1. Anonymous4:44 PM

    I try not to say it in front of my wife but the only reason I have a passing relationship with her sister is because her mother passed away. I totally get where you're coming from. Also, for shame never having seen Tatoe. For shame.

    1. It fills me with rage every time I think about it. PLUS he's super cute! They're missing all the "I wuv oo" parts and Bug's random discourses on dinosaurs flying military planes in outer space.

  2. Ouch. It sounds like nobody will be happy this Christmas, no matter what you end up doing.
    But really, they never came to see Tatoe?! The mind boggles.

    1. Pretty much. However, we are doing the *sane* thing as far as I can tell. And someone has to be an adult here and sadly it's not my in-laws. And some years are just full of SUCK, right?

      My mind also boggles.

    2. Yes and yes and yes. Sadly.

  3. I tried to leave a comment yesterday, but blogger ate it. I'll try to paraphrase.

    That all sounds awesomely bad. I can't even. Your in-laws might possibly be the worst and/or insane. I was irritated with my in-laws for insisting we travel the day after Christmas and stay for 4 days, which effectively eats up most of my paid vacation time. Why would they insist upon this? you might ask. Well, of course, to accommodate BIL-3&SIL-3's travel plans because we don't want to inconvenience *them* or use up *their* paid vacation. However, after reading this, my in-laws sound positively reasonable and generous. They have even traveled to New Zealand to visit their other grandson (we are in possession of one). Your in-laws are just bizarre.

    1. I could see going to New Zealand maybe once every year or two. That's FAR. It's now only a five-hour trip to the in-laws. However.... SIGH. MANY SIGHS. Relatives!!!! Their last excuse for not visiting - I am *not making this up* - was right after we moved 900 miles - Dr. S said, you know, I have to work during the week, this semester is a make-it-or-break-it very long job interview, maybe you might want to come on a weekend. So they said: Dr. S's cousin J argued with *her* sister S about S's poorly behaved dogs and now J won't watch S's dogs so we don't want to come between them so we can't ask J to watch our dog (kennels apparently don't exist up in Ohio) so we can't come visit after all. My favorite remains the week after Tatoe's birth, when we said no, this week, while my mother, who has just used up ALL her remaining vacation time for the year to come help us out, is still here, and oh by the way his bris is that Friday, this week is NOT OKAY how about next week, retired people, or even MONDAY... and then they didn't come meet him at all. Because they were offended by that. And then they couldn't come in November or December or January or February because, and I quote, "It might snow." (Unlike in Ohio, mind you.) And then in the spring... I don't even remember. "The FIL doesn't like to leave the house." OH MY GOD THE IN-LAWS. I try not to complain too much but SERIOUSLY. I try to think of it as "they're like four-year-olds and they throw a lot of tantrums." However, of all the annoying and disrespectful shit they've pulled over the last 9.5 years of our acquaintance, Not Bothering To See Grandchild is probably the straw that broke the last part of my forbearance here.

      (But tell us how your really feel...)

      Why can't everyone be as reasonable as WE are? I ask you.

    2. I often wonder that. Your in-laws. Sigh. All the sighs. I think the Not Visiting Their Grandchild would be more than enough for me to declare that I was done. Just, done. Dr. Man is the oldest of seven kids and, while I get tired of being the Ones Who Always Compromise, they (FIL and stepMIL) do *try* to see everyone every year (or so depending on whether or not said children live in this hemisphere).

    3. I'm pretty much done. Dr. S has agreed that, in fact, I should never visit his parents again. (My favorite aunt lives conveniently nearby.)

      SEVEN! Well. At least they try.


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