Monday, April 17, 2006

No. 163 - A Nutbag Full of Bitch

It’s official: my SIL, Ella* is a Nutbag. Of course, I think for many of us, “SIL” is synonymous with "Nutbag", but in my case it has been proven. The story that follows is rather convoluted and not only potentially, but probably, very boring. Feel free to move on at any time.

It was a year ago, just a week or so before Mother’s Day that Mr. DD and I were jumping through the paper hoops that the county and city call “building permits” for the new house. It was a Thursday night when the city was holding the conditional use permit hearing and we had asked Ella earlier in the week if she would watch X for a couple hours while we attended the hearing. She agreed without a second thought. Thursday night arrived and we were literally preparing to walk out the door to take X to her house when she called.

Ella: “I won’t be able to watch X tonight. I’m going to the bar with my friends to watch Survivor. Mr. Ella will be home, but don’t bring any of X’s movies because Mr. Ella wants to watch his own shows. OK? See ya.”

Mr. DD was livid! X was an active three year old and wasn’t going to take lightly to watching whatever shows Mr. Ella had set his sites on so I agreed to stay home with him while Mr. DD went to the hearing.

About 15 min later, Mr. Ella called wanting to know if X was coming and I just told him that I had decided to stay home with him so he wouldn’t have to worry about it. End of conversation. And ironically, Mr. DD came home shortly after as the hearing had been postponed as one of the members was ill. All before Survivor had even started.

The next day, Ella called Mr. DD and started in on him about how rude it was to not call and let Mr. Ella know as he had got out a “bunch” of toys for him to play with. I have no idea what qualifies as a “bunch” as their children are both grown, married and living in their own homes. Mr. DD explained that he thought it was rude of her to call us at the last minute because she wanted to go watch Survivor at a bar. She grew even more pissy and said, “Well! Don’t ever ask me to watch X again!” and hung up on Mr. DD.

Mr. DD was asked by his mother a few days later to apologize to Ella to which he basically responded with “Fuck that!” We were both insulted that somehow she had turned herself into the victim when the real victim was X himself who was very upset when I had to tell him that night that he wasn’t going to be able to go see Ella after all.

Things remained rather tense for weeks afterwards. Even on Mother’s Day when we went out for supper (which unfortunately happened to be my due date with Baby May, so I was in no mood), X was acting up at the table. Ella had the gall to hiss under her breath, “Maybe you should put him in the car,” to which I quite clearly shot back, “Maybe YOU should go sit in the car.” Only Mr. Ella kept me from leaping across the table and gouging her eyes out by speaking up for me and telling his wife to shut up.

Mr. DD had already profusely apologized to Mr. Ella by saying he should have known better in thinking that Mr. Ella would not have ignored X and that he was sure everything would have been fine. Our whole issue with the matter was her fucked-up priorities.

Fast forward a year. The relationship that we have had with Ella has remained strained but at least everyone was talking again, but we no longer dropped by; called them to see if they wanted to go to dinner; and certainly NEVER have asked her to watch X. So when this past Friday nite when she called Mr. DD as he headed up to my parent’s farm to drop off X so we could get an early start for our trip to The Metro, she had the audacity to ask why we never ask her to watch X.

Mr. DD was stunned into silence and enough time passed that she thought the call had been dropped. He asked her if she was serious about her question, and when she continued innocently unaware of the fury building in Mr. DD he recalled to her the exact words she had told him a year ago. And do you know what she did? “Fine. Be that way. Whatever (WHATEVER???!!!). Goodbye.” and once again, she hung up on him.

Mr. DD has been in a furor since. He hardly slept Friday night and in those hours before he finally was able to doze off before our alarm again went off at 4:00 a.m. he sent Ella an email that vented his frustration, his pain, and his sadness for losing the close relationship he once had with his sister from all this; but at the same time he was sick of her playing the victim and he was done making nice and it was time for her to apologize for letting him/us down, and he wanted the apology to be to his face.

Her final response? “What is your mission? Get over it.”

Needless to say, we were absent from Easter dinner at her house on Sunday. Someone from the house called, but we did not answer the phone and no other contact has been made since.

His family’s answer to any confrontation is Avoidance, and right now neither of us need the stress of a family feud. Mr. DD was so affronted by this whole incident that he refused to attend Easter Mass even when I begged him that right now we need any and all help we can get to induce the embryo(s) to stick around, whether that help is spiritual or mystical as we’ve already used up our scientific card. But he was not to be swayed and our Easter Sunday consisted of feeling forlorn; leftovers for lunch; and Big Kid Meals from BK for supper. Basically, the weekend proved to be the antithesis of a holiday.

Do you think Mr. DD is justified in his anger and disappointment in his sister? Am I missing something? Does anyone have a Nutbag in their family that is so manipulative that they become their own victims? My heart is broken knowing how sad Mr. DD is from all this. It sucks.

Personal factoid: There is 8 years difference between Mr. DD and Ella (*not her real name), and she is the closest in age to him.

15 Punches:

At 2:03 PM, Anonymous erin said...

My in-laws don't even come close to that. For this, I am grateful.

He's justified in his anger. How awful to deal with this type of stress over a holiday. On the other hand, you did successfully avoid the jello-salad. And well, that would cheer up any day.

How are the embryos? Any feeling on whether they will be sticking around?

At 2:16 PM, Blogger Well-heeled mom said...

I don't believe in justifying feelings. How you feel is how you feel, and you are entitled to that. This coming from someone who can hold a grudge like nobody's business.....


At 2:29 PM, Blogger K&M said...

He is justified. I have a crazy MIL just like the matter how she offends, she's the victim and one must move heaven and earth to make HER feel better. People like that suck the life right outta ya.

At 2:46 PM, Anonymous Erin said...

Wow, I know I complain about my IL's sometimes, but that's truly a horrible way for her to act. I think that he's completely justified in feeling the way he does, and in wanting a face-to-face apology. It's really sad that their answer is avoidance, when family should be more important than that. It honestly sounds like she's quite immature in her actions and responses.

That said, I get along much better with my own family since we live 1000 miles away.

At 3:25 PM, Blogger Cricket said...

When I was married and had ILs, they did the fundamental christian avoidance BS, except they would tell me that they'd pray for me. I did send gifts and try to be part of their lives, but the happy happy joy joy religion stuff got in the way - and that was even while I was a good Lutheran.

Now with P and his family, well, you've read the horror stories. In his family, SIL would have taken X to the bar and bought him drinks, telling him that Survivor and backstabbing are the preferred ways of the world, along with Jerry Springer. Fancy that!

Mr. DD is justified. I think families are over-rated. Besides, they really influence children and it isn't all good. In fact, a lot is bad. I vote for non-exposure.

If I may quote a recent Dave Barry post: "If you're lucky enough to be with family [for Easter], bear in mind that no matter what it feels like, life is, in fact, mighty short."

At 3:30 PM, Blogger Suzanne said...

My mother in law insisted on having her own wedding reception for us in her city (despite the fact that we were in fact having one). She asked me nothing about who I wanted to invite (well that answer would have been no one), what food we should serve, where it should be, anything. It was at a weird supper club right behind the Oscar Meyer Wiener factory where cold cuts were served and left over paper flowers from her bowling banquet served as decorations. 100 people I do not know and will never see again gave me an odd collection of gifts. And the best part - the reception was my in-laws wedding gift to my husband and I. I thought at least I could be the center of attention when I got married but no such luck.

At 3:44 PM, Blogger Stacy said...

I truly believe that Mr. DD is justified in his anger, hurt and disappointment. Certain family members of mine are complete, vengeful and mean nutbags as well. Unfortunately, one cannot change the nature of the nutbag. You just have to accept them for what they are, forgive them and move on- if you want to have any relationship with them, that is.

At 3:45 PM, Anonymous Kim said...

Wow. What a lousy situation. I'm sorry. I think he's right to be upset and I can't even imagine how frustrating it must feel.

At 3:57 PM, Anonymous lala said...

I don't think I'd like Mr. DD if he rolled over for that kind of behavior. I'd be furious too. Thinking sticky thoughts for you!

At 6:45 PM, Blogger One Mother's Journey said...

Yuck. It's not like you need this right now. I feel bad for Mr. DD - the situation sucks. I'm sorry your Easter wasn't as good as it could have been.

At 8:17 PM, Blogger Trish said...

"Family" are the people God binds to you genetically to torture you. Otherwise you would have nothing to do with them.
Truth is we learn our toughest and most meaningful lessons with these people, if we survive the struggle.

At 4:13 AM, Blogger Thalia said...

It all sounds awful to me. families are really hard.

At 5:56 AM, Blogger Catizhere said...

Sorry your holiday sucked.
I can't complain though, both of my marriages, I've had great in-laws. Even in my own family, all 8 kids get along & we actually truly like each others spouses.

I know from "their" sides though, how weird some families and in-laws can be.

At 1:45 PM, Blogger Demeter said...

I have no MIL to deal with thank goodness. I think there is a good side to not having a family in law?
Where do they get the poison from?
Sorry about your DD hubby.

At 3:09 PM, Blogger Firebrand said...

I've got a sister to deal with who's kind of like this...well, really, she's a step-sister, but I don't usually call her that unless she's being an ultimate b!tch. ;)

I do think he's justified in his anger. SIL sounds extremely selfish!


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