Thursday, December 28, 2006

I need a t-shirt

I need to make myself a t-shirt. On the front it will say "Fat girl with bald husband, hyper child, and ugly dog that makes bad tarts". On the back it will say "I am so stupid I could be a teacher". My paternal grandmother is not.....grandmotherly. All my life I have been telling myself that some grandmas are cookies and hugs and loveliness and others....aren't. I happen to have one of each. I didn't see this grandmother much growing up as she and my mother did not get along. Now that she is in her nineties and we are all older (although they STILL don't get along) suddenly she is being invited to all these events, where normally she would not be. And while I always got along fine with her BEFORE, all of a sudden I realize what a mean, nasty, bitter woman she is. She makes the rudest comments about EVERYTHING. While I do believe that some seniors and matriarchs should get some leeway in telling it like it is, there is a line between brutal honestly and sheer ugliness and she crosses it constantly. "Merry Christmas Mimi!" I said as we walked in the door. Her reply was a merry "My god, you are fat!". Minutes later she added that my husband was really going bald in the back, and why was my daughter so HYPER. Seeing as DD had just walked in the door and was hiding behind me (which she usually does after spotting this woman) I am not sure what constituted being hyper, but she asked me over and over again all night. We brought Ruby with us, which illicited cries of "How ugly!" and we got to hear at length how my dog was so hideous it was going to make her throw up or have nightmares. I survived dinner and gift opening by trying to avoid her as much as possible, and doing the mental ear-plug and "la la la" every time she spoke, because frankly she was harshing my Christmas buzz. Then came dessert. My family LOVES butter tarts. Plain, with raisins, with nuts, doesn't matter. Oh, there is some discussion about which is better. There is the raisin camp and the pecan camp, and the plain camp. There are the debates about how many raisins should be in there, should you use whole pecan halves or crumbles, that sort of thing. But they would never turn one down, ever. I brought a huge pan of butter tarts, nut and plain (there is a bag of raisins hiding in this house somewhere - I know I bought them). I used a different recipe, and the filling baked up a little darker than I am used to. But MAN, that is the best butter tart filling I have ever eaten. Considering they represent just about everyting I hate in a dessert (pie dough, sweetness, raisins, that sort of thing LOL) there should be NO WAY I could like them. But hoo-boy these were good. This grandmother also brought butter tarts. I am not sure if her comments were for self preservation or what, but after seeing my "burnt and overbaked" pastries she let loose a diatribe of nastiness that made me want to run from the room, tossing my tarts in the trash as I went. Sure, I laughed it off. But my feelings were hurt. How could a grandmother make such disparaging remarks? My niece picked up on this and made a point to tease me about my tarts, which made it better actually LOL. She said I had bad tarts, I told her she had hooker hair, and we both felt better. She hadn't made it much past the door unscathed either (none of us had). Somehow hearing it from somebody else made it LESS valid, because it sounded as silly as it was. Who cares what SHE thinks anyway? At least now I know why she was never invited for 34 years. Now I just have to wonder why they started inviting her after all this time. Now on to the BACK of the shirt. In DH's family, schooling is a waste of time. You go until legally you don't have to go anymore, and that is that. If it were up to them DH would NOT have finished high school but quit at age 16 to work full time. And if he had listened to them, he would have lost the job he has now. A few years ago they did a sweep to find all those employees without diplomas (many auto companies and suppliers did this) and told them to get their equivalency, or get lost. DH would have been in that number getting lost, because going BACK to school is worse than death and would never have been tolerated. When they found out I was going to University they complained loudly that it was a waste of time. Spending money on educating a FEMALE? That was worse than spending it on an education at all. They doubted I would pass anything, and were genuinely surprised when I graduated. And if there is anything worse, more stupid, than school? It would be those that teach it. Teachers are idiots who make up their own rules to mess you up and keep you down. They are part of "the government" after all. Just part of the conspiracy to grind the little guy into the mud while the rest of them live high on the hog. Somehow the paperboy fits in there as well, but this blog is not long enough to describe EVERY theory they spout. Let's just say we should pass out the foil hats and leave it at that. DH's cousin's son (did you get that?) has been getting in trouble at school for behaviour issues. DH's uncle tells him to do things like give the teacher the finger, swear, and belch words and they wonder why he gets in trouble, but I digress. This started a fierce ranting about how stupid school is, how teachers are such idiots who don't know anything. It was at this point in the conversation when MIL pointed at me and said "Teachers are such idiots these days. Even YOU could be a teacher". Now. To say that it was an insult is an understatement. Yet, in a room full of people not a single one understood how that statement could have been offensive to me. Not my husband, not MIL, not his cousin. "That's not what she meant". So what DID she mean, then? At this point I was accused of being too sensitive and trying to ruin the evening. Folks, the evening had been ruined before we even got there, so it had nothing to do with me. The subject was abruptly changed to discuss New Years Eve dinner plans. I was given a choice of Swiss Chalet or Applebees. I said I would rather stay home and cook myself a nice steak. But seeing as that was not going to happen they could choose between the two themselves. Just tell me where and what time to have DD there. What does it matter anyway? Who eats New Years Eve dinner at 3:30? I might be able to get them to hold out until 4:00pm but it makes them grumble. Plus they want to call the orders in so they are ready when we get there. I am not joking, it takes less than 10 minutes for this dinner from start to finish and they are GONE. They don't sit and talk, they don't savor their meals. I think this year I won't order at all, then have a real dinner later. I might be on to something. And heck, I might even wear my t-shirt!

1 comment:

mtnester said...

Dances, I hope you'll read the advice on the "Family fiasco" thread on the Cooking Forum (Conversations). Although that family has alcohol issues, a lot of the advice might help you, too.

It's great that you can turn these damaging, painful experiences into humor, but I wish you wouldn't subject yourself to them. It would be better to stay home and create new, happy traditions with your DD and DH. Best wishes to you!