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Archive for May 21st, 2008

I realize that as an only child I have a well-developed sense of what’s mine and I have some difficulty being charitable, excusing behavior out of someone just because they’re family.  My husband is a lot better at it than I am.  Either that or I have impossibly high standards.  It’s hard to tell. 

I never thought I’d be one of Those People, but I am.  I am working really hard at it but no matter how I try the fact remains that I am not especially fond of my inlaws. 

I suppose they’re all right.  We get along.  But we don’t have what one would call a close relationship. 

In a way I’m sad about that.  I grew up without a lot of close family ties, other than the aunts and uncles and cousins that live in the same town as I do.  My dad’s side of the family is expansive, and I have some cousins who I dearly love, though we all live hundreds of miles apart.  Of course I also have some cousins that I don’t give a whit about, so it balances. 

My inlaws live over two hours away from me, and I have long maintained that that’s a blessing for all of us.  My husband comes from a raucous family, and in a lot of ways I don’t fit in with them.  I do feel a love for them, a perfunctory sort of love because we are all in it together and I care for them because my husband does.  But I’ve never felt comfortable around them. 

My inlaws are coming to my house this weekend.  My husband always does a big barbecue for Memorial Day weekend, whether I want to or not, and his family troops in and wreaks havoc for 6-8 hours.  The kids run roughshod over everything, and one sister-in-law in particular curses like a sailor and flips her cigarette butts into my flowerbeds.  And when they are gone I will be cleaning up spilled drinks and broken stuff and trying to put my house back together.  I dread it. 

I want to enjoy it but at the end of the day I am defeated and tense and I cannot wait for them to leave.  I want to enjoy their company but I have a hard time overlooking the carelessness they exhibit when they bring their rambunctious kids to my house and let them loose. 

People who are more practical than I am ask me why I even put up with it if I hate it so much, and my answer is that it brings my husband so much pleasure to do this that I can’t deny him.  I deny him plenty else, let me tell you. 

 

— Mox

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