Post by PhantomWolf on Jun 30, 2005 2:43:50 GMT -4
Took you long enough to get back, gethan, didn't Jay send you the invitation to the house warming?
It must be fun to lead a life completely unburdened by reality. -- JayUtah
"On two occasions, I have been asked, 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able to rightly apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question." -- Charles Babbage (1791-1871)
Funny you should ask that, as I’m currently in the latter stages of my most recent bout of Sister-in-Law-induced rage. I really thought I was getting past this tendency to let the SIL drive me nuts, having decided on a strategy of trying to view her as someone else’s errant child whom I could view with horror while knowing that I could do nothing to effect a change. It was working for a while. I’d see her do something stupid, laugh to myself, and think “Thank the gods she’s not my responsibility.” The problem is that she seems to feel the need to tell me her troubles so that I can feel sorry for her. Hah! How do you feel sorry for someone who ignores advice, acts without thinking, and then cries about the results? For those unfamiliar with my past adventures with the SIL, I offer a little quiz to help you get the picture.
1. You finally talk your reluctant relative by marriage (that would be me) into taking you on a fairly strenuous 5 mile hike to a secluded Canadian lake that you’ve been wanting to see. ( The relative knows that if she doesn’t take you, you will eventually go anyway, get lost in the Canadian wilderness, run screaming through the woods at the first hint of wildlife, fall down and break your leg, and send the entire Ontario Provincial Police force into the woods to rescue you. Then you will giggle about it for weeks afterward.) So, off you go. That relative is carefully pointing out every available landmark and possible problem area, knowing full well that you will attempt to repeat the trip without her at the first possible opportunity. Your trip is somewhat slowed by your tendency to fall into every frickin’ pond, stream, or puddle that you must cross, in spite of the relative’s attempts to tell you how to cross safely. You always know better. Anyhow, eventually, you complete the trip, taking only an extra hour and a half more than the previous slowest trip. So you’ve made the trip. You are now officially (in your own mind) an expert on this particular hike. What happens on your next trip to the area? a. You ask a neighbor to take you on the hike one more time before you attempt it on your own. b. You go ahead and take the hike, bringing your adult daughter along just in case you run into a bear. c. You go ahead and take the 5 mile hike, bringing along your adult daughter AND her 8 year old step-daughter, whom you have previously described as “a little wimp.” If you chose C, then you must know the SIL. I hesitated to take an out of shape 50 year old woman on a 5 mile hike to nowhere. She takes an 8 year old without giving it a second thought and then complains that the kid “whines” that she’s tired. 2. Your daughter is about to marry the kind of man that no parent wants his/her daughter to marry. Two illegitimate kids. Never been married. No place to live. Much like yourself, she is the sort who cannot be told that she’s making a mistake, so you decide to go along with it. As the plans are being made, your daughter realizes that she’s one bridesmaid short of enough to match up with her fiance’s list of groomsmen, so she and you put your heads together and come up with: a. A cousin with whom the bride is on good terms, though not exactly close. b. A friend whom the bride has sort of fallen out of touch with, but still likes very much. c. The mother of the groom’s 8 year old illegitimate daughter, with whom the bride and groom are coolly polite, but consider to be very unstable. I don’t really have to tell you, do I? They chose C, reasoning that inviting the still unmarried ex-lover to be a part of the wedding of her daughter’s father to a much younger woman would result in their all being huggy kissy . Apparently it didn’t because this would-be bridesmaid and her Scary Boyfriend Dujour showed up at the bachelor’s party drunk, higher than a kite on who knows what drugs, and started a fight that resulted in, honest to God, the Scary Boyfriend’s being hit in the head with a rock and going into a coma from which he never emerged before his death a week later, and the ex-girlfriend’s being confined to a psychiatric facility for the next 6 weeks. Of course, the SIL cannot see that it was never gonna work. She still doesn’t see what the problem was. 3. In one of those strange little coincidences of life, your mother dies within a month of the death of your relative’s (mine) mother’s death. So, the two of you are having a decent conversation about all the trials of witnessing your mom’s last day. The relative notes that one thing she found difficult was trying to deal with a thoughtless sister (my little sister, damn) at a time when your nerves are already frayed. You agree and to make your point you relate the following story: You and a sister have been asked to keep an appointment with your mother’s oncologist as your father is reluctant to leave his wife’s bedside during this time. You go, and the oncologist now tells you that your Mom is rapidly nearing death and no more treatment is available. It’s time to move Mom to an extended care facility, choose a hospice group to deal with, and decide on how aggressively you want to medicate her. The two of you leave the oncologist’s office and head to the hospital where other family members are waiting. When you get there you run into your other sister. She’s the one you’ve described as being “very unstable” and “both verbally and physically abusive towards me” and “unfairly describing me as having lied to and about her to other people.” Aware that you’ve just come from the oncologist’s office, this sister asks, “Is there anything new from the oncologist?” On the spur of the moment, you decide that you should not tell her anything until you’ve talked to your father, so you say: a. “Yes, we just talked to him and we have some decisions to make, but I’d rather wait until Dad gets here to go over it.” You then tell the sister that went to the oncologist with you what you’ve said so she can do the same. b. “Yes, we just talked to him, but it was pretty complicated and I’d like to wait until everyone is here so we only have to go through it once”. You then tell the sister who visited the oncologist with you what you’ve said so she can do the same. c. “No, we don’t know anything new.” In other words, you lie. You then go to see your mom without a thought of telling the other sister what you’ve done. Of course, she chose C. She lied to the sister who has accused her of lying and in a situation where, curiously, the lie was going to be caught out pretty quickly—in fact, just as soon as the unstable sister talked to the other sister, who immediately conveyed to her and the other relatives what the oncologist had said. The unstable sister blew, screaming that That f___ing b____ lied to me again!” so loudly and violently that she had to be physically restrained and removed from the hospital. Unfortunately, the mother, in her hospital bed nearby, got to hear the whole thing. My SIL, even in retrospect, cannot see that she was in any way responsible for this fiasco, nor can she even acknowledge that she did lie to her sister. She sees it as having done the “right thing” by holding back information until she could talk to her father. Her sister blew because she’s crazy. And when I blow and choke the living s___ out of my SIL, it won't be because she’s an ignorant, foolish twit. It will be because I’m “unstable” too.