Sunday, July 06, 2008

In whIch I both overshare and whine.

There are about 1 million things I need to be doing right now. I haven't been to the grocery store in about two weeks. I haven't checked my work email in more than a week. I've not read anyone's blog in over a week. I desperately need to be doing research for the book. There is a stack of mail to open. I've got to pay bills.

All that can wait, I suppose. I've got to talk about what's happened recently.

You all know I love Jason, right? I mean, I don't just love him, I love him. You know? I respect him. He's my best friend. We're partners and parents and all that other crap. He sings songs to me like, "My Steph-oh-na" instead of "My Sharona". I mean, it's pretty good. Really good, even.

But his family? Would like it very much if I didn't exist at all. Except for his grandma. She thinks Jason poops ice cream. It's quite possible she loves me only by association, but I don't care. I'll take it.

I am as good to Jason's grandma as I possibly can be. We call her regularly and send her pictures and letters. We've never really visited her a lot. At first it was because she lived in New Hampshire. Now, it's because she lives in North Carolina.

My great-grandmother just died though, and I'm feeling really sad about it. Not necessarily because she died, because she was old and ill and tired and I didn't want her to suffer. But because I didn't see her enough or tell her when I had the opportunity how much she meant to me. I can't change that now, but I can change other things in my life and other relationships.

Because, as someone very wise pointed out to me this weekend, it's all about relationships. Sure you can leave people physical possessions, but what they care about is the memories you've made together. Okay, maybe some people in my family care about the physical possessions. But normal people care about the relationships.

I care, deeply, about relationships.

Jason came to North Carolina, driving all night Thursday and arriving on Friday morning at around 6:30am. On Friday night he said to me, "Let's go pick up my grandma and take her out to dinner."

This? Surprised me.

Jason hasn't spoken to his sister or mother in nearly four years, after the huge major blow-out right before we moved. It was painful. I have encouraged him to try to re-open the lines of communication.

He's not interested.

And that's fine, you know? It's really fine. He's probably a lot mentally healthier than I am and if he needs to cut people out of his life to make it okay, well then he can just go on with his bad self.

We see her house for the first time. It's pretty big. Lots of walk-in closets. She can't find her keys and forgets to put in her hearing aid.

She looks thin.

We take her to an Italian restaurant. She's easily confused. She keeps asking if the children are teenagers now. She tells us stories about people we don't know.

We take her to my parents house, which is full of people. It's a madhouse.

She hugs my daughter and my son. My daughter sits between us and tells me over and over how beautiful she is. She wants to know the names of each person here and who they they are a part of my life.

We take her home. It's late and dark. Jason asks me to ride along with him, and I think I know why, but I don't say a word.

Jason says he'll walk her in and I can wait in the car. I get out of the backseat and hug Grammie, who begins to cry. I tell her we love her and if she needs anything to let us know. We'll help her however we can.

The next morning, Jason's cell phone rang bright and early. He and I were already relaxing in the pool. Later he listened to the voice mail message and it was his sister saying she hadn't seen him in years and that she would like to see him.

He hit erase.

I asked if he would call her back and he said no, he wouldn't. I didn't ask why, but later, on our long, long ride home he said.

You are my wife. You and our children are my family. I don't understand why they can't accept that. I can't believe she would call and say she wants to see "me" and not "us". They just don't understand. They'll never understand. I've given them all these chances and they just don't understand or accept that I've made my choice and my choice is you.

And that's it, really. They see him as a separate entity, and while he is, in a way, he's also my husband. He's my children's father. He is part of my family.

I don't get it y'all. I just don't get it.


Birth Sister Doula Services said...

Some people think if they ignore what intimidates them, it will go away. They think they can ignore it into not existing. The people they're really hurting, though, are themselves. Because if they would get to know you - and see that you aren't keeping Jason from them (they're pushing him away) - they would realize they'd been missing out on a pretty awesome chick all this time.

DeAnn Aalbers said...

I don't get it either. I have a 3-year-old son & I don't understand how a woman can cut her own child and his family out of her life.

Kimberly Vanderhorst said...

I can't begin to understand it, and I'm glad. Means I'm not as messed up as I thought I was.

So glad you have the blessing of a guy like Jason in your life. Guys who have their priorities straight are a rare thing in this life.

So sorry you saw her butt.

Anonymous said...

His family can lump it. They sound like wretched people. Except for Grammie. I want to go hug Grammie right now.

You? Are awesome. Jason? Kicks ass. The children? They're both.

Hopefully you can remove the image of her butt from your brain soon. That can't be good.

Unknown said...

You picked a good one in Jason! More men should stand up for their women that way.

My brother's getting married next month to a girl none of us like. We all think she's completely wrong for him. Completely. But, he loves her and wants to be with her, so we're choosing to love her too. We're all involved in the wedding and have accepted his choice. Not because we want to, but because we love him and don't want to lose him.

Relationships can be tricky, but they're worth it in the end.

Suzy said...

I love Jason. I too cut out my mother and sister not because they didn't accept the man I married, because I'm single, but because they've never accepted ME. It's a constant manipulation and I finally pulled the plug on it.

If you aren't happy, then no one around you is happy and people not accepting who you are or what you've done is never going work.

BandK said...

It never fails to amaze me how families think they have the right to control other members of the family. Amanda daybyday up there has it exactly right -- even though you don't care for someone or think someone isn't right for a member of the family, you suck it up and do it "because we love him and don't want to lose him." Amanda, you hit the nail on the head.

My two stepdaughters have made terrible choices in men. One is living with a guy who is a high school drop out and can't get a job that pays more than minimum wage. He's moved her back to Kentucky, to Ohio, and back to Calif. We think he's a loser and a flake, but she loves him, and we don't want to lose him, so we suck it up.

Oldest stepdaughter married someone who is about as poor white trash as you can get. He works fast food and doesn't appear to have any ambition to get any other job. His family is very dysfunctional. They all came to the wedding (at the justice of the peace at the courthouse) in jeans -- JEANS for God's sake -- and I don't think that they have a full set of teeth between them! His dad lives with them, his dad's ex-girlfriend still lives with them after they broke up, my youngest stepdaughter and her b/f now lives with them -- plus my stepdaughter, her husband, her little boy and she's pregnant. All in a 2-bedroom, one bathroom house. Yeah. And if you kept count? That's 7 people that live there.

We grit our teeth and and just accept them the way they are and as long as they are happy? We don't say anything. Why? Because we love them and don't want to lose them.

Clearly Jason's family doesn't have that clarity of thinking. To their loss.

Anglophile Football Fanatic said...

I'm so very proud of you. And, you are so lucky Jason thinks that clearly and rationally. It's wonderful.

Tricia said...

You know they always tell you to picture people in their underwear to alleviate your fears....or some such. But mom-in-law's butt? Yeah? I wouldn't want to go there.

One would think, they would at least be civil for the sake of having their son in their life. But if they are the type of people that will easily cut off their son for no good reason, what can you really expect? It must hurt though.

Jenski said...

It is wonderful that Jason has you to be happy with and very sad that his sister and mom are not happy for him. Kudos to Grammas who see past that and love the people who the people they love love. (Did that sentence make sense?) Because, even if it's love by association, you are important to Jason's Grandma because you are important to him.

Is picturing your mother-in-laws butt like picturing a crowd to whom you are speaking naked? 'Cuz if so, next time you run into her, you can just be grateful she isn't half naked again. :)

Anonymous said...

He. Is amazing!

They have no idea what they're missing out on since they've cut all of you from their lives. Really, I only know you from what I've read here as I lurk about. I kind of feel sorry for them actually.

(and I'm sorry you had to see your mother in laws butt. lol)

Kelly said...

It sounds like Jason has his priorities right where they should be. As for his family it's too bad they can't except his choices and really get to know you. Because if they did they would realize You are awesome! They would realize what they are missing out on.

Ass for the mother-in-law's ass..I'm so sorry you had to see that! Hope you can burn that image from your brain!

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

Oh, Chick! That is just horrible. But? I can honestly say that never having met you or Jason I would absolutely love the two of you because you are so much like our dear friends Ian and Vonda. Ian's parents don't accept Vonda or her existence as Ian's wife and she is the most pure, wonderful, and beautiful woman I've ever known. His parents have never seen their two granddaughters. Hell, I don't think they even know about the second one. The first one? They had an opportunity to meet last year and didn't do it. They sound just like Jason's mom and sister and Ian has made the same decision as Jason. It's so sad and yet the only people they are hurting is themselves.

We'll have to send Ian's parents' names and contact info to Jason's mom. I think they'll get along just beautifully.

I'm sorry that had to happen but Jason sounds like an incredible man.

Stephanie said...

It's her loss, but it sucks for your family to have to deal with it.

Dawn~a~Bon said...

Oh my wow, that must have been SO STRESSFUL! But I'm really glad that she didn't see you, and there wasn't yelling. And I'm so proud of Jason. And glad you got to spend time with his grandmother, too.


EE said...

What a man!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry that you had to endure that. BUT, I'm even happier that Jason said what he did.
What a great husband/father he is.
Of course, you didn't need me to tell you that.

You are one lucky girl.

Sabrina said...

Woman, I so needed to read this today. We were in the same exact position except for instead of family not accepting me, it's one of my husband's friends who's turned the rest of the friends against me. It's been painful and they've cut us out of their lives, I think they're holding their breath till we get a divorce so they can try to have a relationship with him.

Sucks huh?

Kudos to Jason...

Girl from Pennsylvania said...

Jason is amazing. To have the strength to tell you those things. To be your steadfast ally. But it does break my heart, because I know how hard that has to be for him. And for you.

CPA Mom said...

You know I have exactly the same kind of inlaws. You also know HP is still struggling to maintain a relationship with them. Which I don't understand and am struggling myself to respect.

Jason - I think I love you.

Alpha Dude said...

You totally rock and you are in my prayers.

Also, your husband is amazing!
Jason is awesome!


Anonymous said...

Word! Especially about the butt.

Anonymous said...

How could they not love YOU??? Unreal. Well unhappy people are jealous of happy ones. I KNOW. My mom and I are at a breaking point for this very reason.

And Jason? F@cking RULES.

Anonymous said...

I'm totally getting why YOU are Desperately Seeking Sanity's favorite blog.

I'm fine with it, as long as I'm in second place.

You're GOOD, girl.

Emma in Canada said...

Do you know what I love about your writing? How you can make me tear up through the whole post and then with the last line make me burst out laughing.

That's a speical talent, my friend.

Anonymous said...

Good for Jason to stand up for his family! And how horrible for them to be missing out on his wonderful family. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Actually, my mother cut off all contact with her mother & two sisters about two years ago - under entirely different circumstances, but still - they all live within 30 minutes of each other, and have for, like, ever.

Initially we pushed for her to resolve differences, thinking she might regret it when her mother, my grandmother, is dead (she's 80 and, as far as I know, quite healthy), she always refused. And now, while she still throws out the odd barb here & there, I think she's actually fine. Sometimes cutting out the negative, family or not, is not necessarily a bad thing. (Hell, she hasn't spoken to her brother in 35 years!!)

Yeah... some people's families...!!

kristi said...

My mother in law is the same way. But she calls the house and FREAKS OUT on me. "I've been trying to call, where have ya'll Tony there? I need to talk to him!" I want to tell her, "BITCH we have been avoiding your crazy self. We screen our calls...when we see it's you, nobody wants to answer, including your 12 year old granddaughter. LUNATIC!!"

And ewwwwwww gross on seeing her butt. NASTY.

Anonymous said...

Ummmm did it occur to you that maybe they hate you for a reason? They might hate you because you are a bitch to them. Did ya ever think about that????????

There are 2 sides to every story and we don't get to hear theres!

Anonymous said...

If his sister did say to only meet with him, and not your family, then he made the right choice by deleting the message.

Jocelyn said...

What's important in this post and in that time was your evening with Jason's grandma. The rest is sad, desperate people trying to pretend they're in charge.

Everyone knows The Lady in Her Underwear is NOT in charge.

Rachel (Crazy-Is) said...

We also don't know how to spell THEIR'S.

This post made me cry. You and Jason are so lucky to have what you have and even more amazing is that you both realize it.