Right now, I am feeling very sorry for myself. I feel like my extended family (as in the various in-laws) is really letting me down. I grew up in a very close family. That is, closely bonded, but not closely located. My grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins would come great distances for any family event. For example, I had twelve family members travel long distance to my college graduation. I had to beg borrow and buy extra tickets. I felt so special! I have been granted unconditional love, affection and attention throughout my life. Naively, I assumed all families were as caring and as involved.
Take my mother-in-law, for example. Seven weeks in advance, I told her the date of Eva’s ballet recital. “Oh, I have Goodman tickets.” She reported. She has a subscription. “Well, you’ve got plenty of time to change them.” I suggested. She replied, “We’ve already changed them once and our friends are too busy to change the date along with us.” Casually, I remarked, “Well, I’m sure they will understand.” Her response shocked me. “No, we are not going to change our tickets. We will not make it to the ballet recital.” She said matter of factly. Excuse me? You will not be attending your own granddaughter’s ballet recital? A ballet recital that occurs just once a year? I was flabbergasted. I simply can’t understand why this particular date with these particular friends at this particular theater is more important than her own granddaughter’s performance! I just can’t get past this. She has always proudly insisted that she “has a life” beyond grandchildren. But this is taking it too far! My whole view of her has changed.
Right now I am also pissed at my brother’s in-laws because they insist that he be completely unavailable to visit with me and my children (his niece and nephew) for the three days he will be in town for his wife’s sister’s wedding. They insist that the entire weekend will be taken up with events and that as a family member and a groomsman, he must attend them all. This wouldn’t be such a big deal if my brother didn’t live two thousand miles away. He will be in town for this wedding and they don’t want him to visit with us at all! Thankfully, he has promised to get away. He won’t miss the rehearsal, the rehearsal dinner, the wedding or the formal brunch the next day. However, he may miss some other ambiguous events (of which they refuse to divulge the details). Hers is a family that seems to value appearances over substance. They don’t want to have to make excuses for why he is missing an event. Don’t they realize that if anyone inquires about his absence at an event, it is perfectly understandable that he would want to see his niece and nephew? They claim that family is sooo important, yet they can’t see that my brother’s family is just as important.
Finally, there’s my brothers-in law and sisters-in-law. My father-in-law, who seems to be losing it, spread the word, to all of them, that Charlie had the mumps. Actually, he had the chickenpox, but that’s not the point. Do you think that even one of these people called to check on the health of their nephew? No! I just don’t get it. I know we are all busy, but are we too busy to make a telephone call to a sick family member to check up on them? I’m just disgusted by the lot of them!