I didn't remember these as all that bad, until I read this entry in my journal. Half of the things I don't remember. Actually, I am pretty sure I just blocked them out to be able to withstand the next year. When I think back, I remember arrivals, small talk, eating, present opening, very little talk with the donor or monster (as possible), and being sure to help do the dishes at the end or set up at the beginning if I was early.
And here is the delightful experienced I got to enjoy with my "family"on one of three or four occasions that we would bother to get together or correspond yearly:
Last year [Sperm Donor-not his title in journal entry] and [Step Monster] did not have much of the family over. It was basically me, Robert, Andy [Step NB], Louise [Step SIL], my grandmother, and [Step Monster's Father]. We thought that year had been a little quiet and actually WERE looking forward to seeing the rest of my family.
Maybe I was too much looking forward to enjoying every one's company. The food was great as usual, but...
[An aside, I am ashamed at how meanly I talk about my family here. I picture myself though sitting politely through this, and here is why keeping things in is sometimes the biggest mistake you can make. If you can't let people know they are hurting you, and come to some sort of agreement about your relationship, perhaps they are not worth keeping a relationship with, especially when you have the most superficial of relationships in the first place] Things in bold are my additional additions or my attempt to "spare feelings" for any relatives that may be checking in on my blog, though God knows why.
The relatives [talking about "my side" here] were out of control. It really brought me way down how nasty, rude, and obnoxious everyone was. Well not everyone, but more than a few of these people.
Let's start with [Anonymous 1] the bitter [insert career path here]. You can just tell that [Anonymous 1] is a gem just like my [Anonymous 2]. So [Anonymous 3] starts questioning [Anonymous 1] about every aspect of his job & each [whatever it is this person does] . [Anonymous 1] hates when [Anonymous 3] does this, and kind of whispers that to me. Then [Anonymous 1] very rudely turns the tables on [Anonymous 3], and is a real asshole to [Anonymous 3], which [Anonymous 3] does not seem to pick up on. Robert thought it was funny, but I thought it was really horrible and embarrassing.
Meanwhile [Anonymous 4] is getting even more boozed up than normal. Mind you, [Anonymous 4] shouldn't feel on such a familiar basis with Rob or me to do the rude & obnoxious things [Anonymous 4] did over the next two days, which really ruined Christmas for me.
So first as [Anonymous 4] is getting really buzzed, [Anonymous 4] starts talking endlessly about how [Anonymous 4] is the "Italian Jew" [NOTE: SO GLAD THAT ROBERT'S PARENTS HAD NOT BEEN ASKED TO ANY FAMILY OCCASIONS LIKE THIS AS YET, EVEN AFTER 10 YEARS OF US BEING MARRIED] Very nice and classy. Then as the evening progresses, she attacks Robert in his new coat ripping off the hood, then grabs Robert's ass and finally at the end of the evening screams at Robert for having a cookie. [As I recently read more of this journal entry, I do not know why I did not rip Anonymous 4 a new one...actually I was trained well to be polite to my elders at all costs apparently]
[Anonymous 2] at the beginning of the evening gives Robert a used belt. Why? We don't know. I can only assume he thought it was some kind of grand peace offering [This relates to another journal entry before this of a bizarre incident with Anonymous 2 toward Robert].
Then when Robert asks how [two of my second cousins] like their gifts, these cousins proclaim that they were "crappy". [In a previous journal entry, I talk about being excited to give gifts to my family and spent sometime selecting. I think this may have been the year that I stopped that practice] Well they are [Anonymous 1's] kids aren't they? [Another Second Cousin] didn't bother to say thank you, but [Another Second Cousin] was being shy that night. I would prefer to think that is the reason why.
Anyway, Christmas Eve I could take. Against my better judgement, I agreed to go to my grandma's the next morning [who I will warn you in advance was also not showing at her best. Which is weird because I thought by this time, close to her death, she had stopped this type of behavior towards Robert. What we choose to block out!] for the annual torture & make the grandchildren feel like shit breakfast [sponsored by Anonymous 2 and Anonymous 4] (and apparently this is not the first Christmas breakfast where I felt like a second class citizen in "my family")
**Nick and Brett this year were by far the best behaved children [This is Step Monster's sister's kids, one of whom pulled a knife on his mother in later years] THIS IS A TRADITION THAT I WILL NOT REPEAT AS I WANT TO ENJOY CHRISTMAS DAY FROM NOW ON.
12/25/2001 (continued on a different day this journal entry) Christmas morning-the horror continues...
So against good judgement of any kind of sane/rational thought process, we go to Grandma's (something I've managed to avoid for the last two years). Robert & I are sitting at the dining room table. We had asked to help, and been told to stay out of the way. Breakfast was not near ready and no one was sitting down. Grandma basically comes over and says not to sit in those chairs ever.
Then Robert goes over to pick up a glass (set with all the other glasses to be used for beverages) and [Anonymous 2] says [that Robert] can't have any because there won't be any for anyone else. [WTF?]
Finally [Anonymous 5] sees the Dr Seuss tape for [Yet Another Second Cousin] & rags on the gift that we bought for [Anonymous 2's child] (Not only did I do my best to select child aged appropriate gifts, but I don't have kids myself and hardly know these. Plus this criticism comes from someone who gave baked goods, or sports puzzles as the one or two Christmas gifts ever, and got thank yous prior to this incident) & then I end up eating on the couch alone & across the room [from the rest of "my family"] to eat breakfast.
Hey Merry Christmas, family. Pick on each other next year, we won't be there.
Ever heard of being a good host,manners, that sort of thing?
Was so blue afterward that I ended up spending the rest of Christmas crying.
Lovely family day. Can't wait to see them next year!
So if you are blue and missing the family you are estranged from, go see if you kept any documentation on what "family" get together were like in reality. I know that I did not remember half of this. This is not even the Sperm Donor's or Monster's actions, but people who are supposed to be happy to see me after a long time. I realize I spend quite a bit of this journal entry logging in mistreatment of my husband, instead of me. That is most likely me just being polite, and the disrespect shown to my husband only shows how they really felt about me. Why would I ever EVER want to revisit that?