Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Gone Fishin'

It will be quiet here at Chez Blah Blah for a few days. Tomorrow, we are leaving for a three-day junket in Palm Springs. Sweet Willie has a work conference, so since we have a free hotel stay, we are lugging our (rapidly growing, increasingly heavy) Viva along to enjoy the luxury resort and spa. I picture her lying back on a chaise by the pool, drinking a lovely frosty drink with a paper umbrella sticking out of it. And then later, enjoying a seaweed wrap after her facial, followed by a Swedish massage. Oh, wait, that's me.

HA! As if. I will be gamely shepherding Viva from the pool to the zoo to the children's museum and back again, like the selfless, kick-ass momma I am.

Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city. - George Burns

Oh, where to start? I have not mentioned this most recent family issue because I try to respect the privacy of my family members. However, they provide some of my best material, and there is a situation going on with my grandmother, mother, and sister that has been gnawing at me like a tireless giant rodent for weeks. It has, unfortunately, brought up a lot of stuff that I thought I had buried quite conveniently and deeply in a far corner of my psyche. Apparently, repression is not the happy catch-all solution I have been brought up to believe it is.

At the crux of the issue is this: my family tends to treat me differently than they treat my sister. My theory is that this is it is part of our family culture to do things the hard way. My sister seems to love to choose the hard way, while I have no patience with this and generally say so, despite all the aforementioned repression. One example of this is that my grandmother had the expectation that we would each pack up all our Christmas gifts and come and stay at her house with our kids and husbands on Christmas Eve. This is so we can all wake up together as one big happy family on Christmas Day and share in the joy of the kids opening presents, stockings, etc. To my sister, this is a necessary part of Christmas. To me, it is a huge pain in the ass. I would rather spend Christmas morning in my own home, with my little family, where it takes maybe 30-45 minutes to open our gifts and play with everything in a leisurely fashion, rather than having it be a three-hour extravaganza, at the end of which the kids are exhausted and cranky and are still expected to sit quietly at the grown-up table for an elaborate Christmas brunch.

Oy, I am getting off track. I can't even begin to explain how they push my buttons.

At any rate, I am irate because my grandmother wants to buy a house for her, my mom, and my sister, brother-in-law and their kids to all live in together. By no means do I want the same thing for myself. There is no way that I could live peaceably with my mother and grandmother -- I would be alternately spitting nails and swallowing my tongue, and aside from being a dandy visual, it's not how I want to live my life.

I'm just pissed off that my sister continuously gets help (she gets free childcare from her in-laws and pays them about one-quarter of what we pay in rent, to live in a 2 bedroom house) and no one gives me shit (we have paid for childcare since Viva was 4 months old, and we pay market-value L.A. rent).* There, I said it.

*Also, when my sister had her kids, my mom helped her for the first 3 weeks or so of each kid's life. I was on my own. My mom happened to be in L.A. when Viva was born, so she saw her on the first day of her life. But after that? Despite the fact that she was staying at my sister's, 5 minutes away, for the next several days, she left L.A. and drove home without coming back to the hospital, without coming to my apartment, and damn, I don't even remember getting a phone call. Am I bitter? You better fucking believe it.

I deliberately missed my mom's birthday a couple of weeks ago, and my grandma's birthday is tomorrow. Am I being petty? You tell me. I need a break.

Added to that, Sweet Willie's dad, Not-So-Sweet-Bill, called yesterday to ask to borrow $6,000. It is so outrageous that all I can do is laugh. This is the man who did not attend his daughter's wedding because he did not want to have to contribute financially. He didn't tell her he wasn't coming, either. On the day of, he just did not show up. So Sweet William (who was in high school then) had to give the Diva away. Can you believe that shit?

And there is even more family stuff coming out of Texas (Sweet Willie's mom's side) that I can't get into here. Sweet Jesus, I need a damn vacation.

On a Lighter Note

Must end here, it's almost time to wake Viva up, struggle her into her tutu, and take her to ballet, where she will leap about with enthusiasm and turn my stormclouds into sunshine.

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