Saturday, March 24, 2007

Where I reveal the deep rooted crazy that is my family

We have sunshine today, despite the weatherman's prediction of 7 straight days of rain.

I have been inundated with family obligations that are killing me, really. I have a very demanding and overbearing set of parents that live exactly one mile away, and on a good day, they are totally up my ass. All. The. Time. Boundaries are ignored and bulldozed over as if they're driving a Sherman Tank. Compound this with the impending move by by 81 year old great Aunt Henri, and we have me teetering on the brink of a real, honest to goodness, head-shaving, padded cell nervous breakdown. I dread weekends, because instead of time with my husband and kids doing family stuff, I am invariably running errands for my Mom or in regards to my aunt moving. And my aunt? Gives new meaning to the term "crochety". Her mother lived to be 103, and we all said she was too mean to die. It was as if Satan was down there saying "no way man, that bitch scares the crap out of me". She is opinionated in a way that I am unable to get across in mere writing. She is rude, abrasive, bitterbitterBITTER about her life and shitty ungrateful kids. She is the cheapest person alive, I learned the hard way to never, ever, under any circumstances, eat produce in her house. ("have some grapes" ... "Jesus, those aren't grapes, they're raisins!") She once mailed a meatball sandwich to my father. He had left it in her fridge when he visited. She's in California. We're in Kansas. Mailed. It.

I totally dared him to eat it. He's cheap too.

But, she is family. What can you do? She has no one, she has had a shitty life, and has not gotten much in the way of love and support. And, as awful as she can be, I feel a deep connection with her. She became a single mother back in a time where it was utterly unheard of. She didn't hide it or give the kid away, or make up some lie about the father being dead. She told, and still tells, the baldest, realest truth about everything. She will not sugar coat it for you to salvage your feelings. When I talk to her on the phone, I always tell her I love her, and she usually chokes a sob and says "Lord knows I don't know why you do, but I love you too."

Because you're family, Henrietta.

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