Danger Will Robinson…this is an extra long post. And it’s my second post this week. What? Has AGMA lost her mind? Kind of…
Just think of it as a little extra to chew on because you’ll probably hear crickets from me next week. I’m pretty sure I’ll need to go back into therapy. And I’ll be busy trying to dry out, and jump back on the wagon after an anticipated hard fall off this weekend. Let me explain…
AGMA’s going to the beach tomorrow!
Most people would be really psyched for a trip to the beach . Yeah – not so much.
It’s really my fault. A few months ago I Sherlocked that my brother & family – kids and grandkids – were going to rent a house in August at a beach location only a five hour drive away from me. Perfect! Since it’s normally a semi-expensive flight and a rental car to go visit part of that crew, I seized the opportunity to see them so “close” to home. So far so good.
But then I got the brilliant idea to invite my kids along.
And that’s when the trouble started…
I invited my son and DIL to join us and bring my adorable, cute, chubby, happy eight month old grandson along so the rest of the family could meet him. It will probably be the only time they see him other than at his wedding maybe. Maybe. Or my funeral.
Yeah – we’re a wedding/funeral family (WFF).
You know – the kind that never gets together unless somebody get’s married. Or dies. Hopefully not simultaneously.
Maintaining relationships with my small, long-distance family has always been a priority for me. I visited them as often as I could in years past. I traveled to both of my niece’s graduations, weddings, and baby showers. Saw each of their babies as soon as I could after they were born – there are five of them – and visit yearly. I’m known to my great niece and great nephews as “crazy Auntie AGMA”! I like that.
Sadly, this effort hasn’t reciprocated by that side of the family toward my sons.
So I figured if I wanted them to meet and fuss over my totally wonderful grandson, it would be up to me to bring them together. And they say they can’t wait to meet him. As long as they don’t have to make much of an effort that is…
Did I just say that out loud?
Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely adore my nieces and their families. Really. They are truly the most “normal” people who share genetic material with me. I love spending time with them and they act like they enjoy spending time with me. I don’t get the stink eye from them like I do from my sons and they don’t whisper into their cell phones when I’m in the same room like my DIL. I honestly think they actually like me.
But a relationship with my family where one actually has to make an effort to connect wasn’t high on the priority list with my brother and SIL, so it just sort of transferred to them through osmosis.
Anyway, in what can only be deemed a miracle, my son (or rather my DIL who pretty much makes all the decisions) gave the thumbs up to joining us at the beach. The Second Coming has to be close… Our younger son managed to wrangle some time off of work so he’ll be there too. And the plot thickens.
So I’ve spent to slew of $$, and invested lots and lots of time coordinating this for my relatively high-maintenance family. I rented a condo (it’s a very high rent beach area!), bought gently used baby “stuff” for the little guy, and cleaned and disinfected it all. I’ve also had to deal with my son and DIL, being tightly wound, first time parents, obsessing over every aspect of the trip to make sure the baby’s every need and desire is handled. It’ll be his very first airplane ride so there’s high drama afoot. And of course there’s the stink eye and whispering to look forward to for the next three days.
This is going to be so much fun. Like going to the dentist.
Then, the icing on the cake, my sister and my BIL decided they were going to join the party. Literally. The last two times (2007 & 2010) my sister has been around my brother and SIL with me present, she has gotten very, very drunk. And it wasn’t pretty. ‘Nuff said.
Oh my – the prospects for the weekend just keep getting better and better.
So here’s the skinny on what I’ve got to look forward to (and why I write an anonymous blog…)
My BIL doesn’t like my SIL. My SIL doesn’t really like anybody in our family. Or my BIL. My DIL doesn’t care for us very much. She’d much rather be whispering on her cell. My older son loves us in his own distant way, but doesn’t really like to spend time with us. My younger son is going through a difficult time and blaming us for part of it, so he’s being distant and judgmental. My Libertarian brother doesn’t like anybody in my family because we’re all Progressives (although he’s not sure about the baby’s political leanings, so the little guy might get a pass for a few years.) My nieces have a slightly troubled relationship with my emotionally distant brother – their dad – because he is so incredibly conservative and intolerant that he’s a bit crazy about it. Their mom, my SIL, just flat out says crazy ass *hit sometimes and has serious control issues.
And my sister lives in a fantasy world where she thinks we’re all one big happy family. Duh. But remember, she’s usually drinking when we’re all together.
Maybe the drinking thing isn’t such a bad idea and it’s time to fall off the wagon. Starting tomorrow.
OMG – shoot me now.
But as a friend of my said this week, you can “unfriend” friends, but you can’t “unfamily” family. You only have one family. There’s wisdom in that… Somewhere.
So I’m rolling the dice and praying that, in some miraculous way, we might all be brought a little closer this weekend. That maybe we won’t be a WFF in the future. That the good ju-ju of those of us who do get along and like each other will rub off on the rest.
Call me a crazy and idealistic kid.
But I only have one family. And I really do kind of love them, warts and all.
Is there a diagnosis for that?
I guess I’ll find out when I get back…