Chaos Attraction

My Jackhole Relatives

2013-12-18, 9:37 a.m.

I found out this morning that my grandma died.

The way we found this out was that Mom got a condolence e-mail from Grandma's old neighbor, who found out about it because she saw a death notice in the newspaper. Upon looking around online, I found a bare minimum death notice saying that she died on Sunday and that "private family services will be held at a later date."

I'd like to point out for the record that my shitty fucking relatives on Dad's side of the family obviously never bothered to contact us about this.

Mom, the one of us who is far more emotional, was all, "....I feel nothing" about this. Me too. I am glad she isn't suffering any more. The last time I saw her in ... about 2004 or 5 or so, it was freaking disastrous and she was clearly badly losing her mind. The story is horrible and hilarious in the level of crazy that was going on at the time, but... I am grateful that I did not see her again after that trip. I was informed that she basically lost her mind entirely and was pretty much akin to "Ten Second Tom" in Fifty First Dates. She and my grandpa were forcibly put into a home and he died there, and she had *just* enough memory left to be asking "Where's Norman?" every ten seconds, even after you explained to her that he had died. It tells you something that even my shitty relatives weren't encouraging anyone to go see her when it was that bad.

But to not fucking mention it to us at all? ASSHOLES. That's it, I declare them ex-relatives. Even my "nice" female cousins? Nobody said anything?

Mom of course was contacting her friends at the crack of dawn and one of them said she should call my aunt. "If I call her, she'll just start yelling at me where is her watch again," Mom said. Which is certainly true.

Mom and I were agreed in the past that we'd go to Montana for the funeral....but of course we find this out right before we are leaving for elsewhere. And guess what, I somehow don't think we'll even be INVITED to the funeral. And Mom pointed out it may be too cold there to even do one right now, and mentioned that one Montana relative of mine was buried months after she died for that reason.

A couple of days ago, I was reading a Reddit thread of drama and an Ask Metafilter thread of drama about people's SO's being invited or DISinvited to family gatherings.

To recap them: The Reddit thread was started by a young woman with no decent family who is dying to be adopted by her live-in boyfriend's family and have a happy loving family that wants her. Boyfriend's' family invited her for Christmas and then DISINVITED her because his sister objected to it. His relatives do not give a shit about how hurt she is. The Ask Metafilter thread is one ticked off hostess (who frankly seems to heavily dislike her brother and her slutty-dressing teenage niece already) who found out that her brother and teenage niece have already invited--and by invited I mean "plane tickets were bought"--her 18-year-old boyfriend to stay at her house, without asking first. The poster comes from a family culture where non-relative SO's were not welcome growing up and it seems to deeply bug her that this has happened and she's stuck with the kid coming.

The whole culture of "the more the merrier" and inviting total strangers, or people's friends or boyfriends, to a family Christmas or other holiday gathering, just....seems wrong to me and weirds me out. Like the Metafilter poster, I do not come from people who welcome you and adopt you as family. I got told that SO's were not welcome for the holidays until after marriage, period. Because at that point they HAVE to invite you. Way back in the day when I was engaged, my boyfriend foolishly thought that saying we were engaged would get him invited to my house or my relatives' home. Hahahahahahaah NOOOOOOOOOOOO. The entire fall season was full of whining and drama and him pouting and "Can't we spend Christmas in your place together?" And I would say no. The amount of fucking drama I would hear about for the rest of my life because I didn't spend Christmas with my parents (one of whom was dying, ahem) was not worth it. And he was not welcome or invited. So, yeah, by everyone else's standards that makes me an asshole, because in our culture now you are supposed to welcome SO's and random people into the family at Christmas.

But even beyond that, I sure as hell wouldn't bring anyone I was dating around my relatives except for when I was forced to. Hell, I do not count as family or someone to be welcomed in--no significant other of mine even had a chance of being welcomed, because nobody even wanted me there! They just had to put up with me on a technicality of existing in their blood line. And obviously Dad's relatives don't even bother with that any more. (I seriously bet he is ranting his head off in heaven about his sister and my grandma is chiming in.) Why the hell should I make some poor bloke put up with this shit when he doesn't absolutely have to because of legalities? Bad enough I have to, but save yourself!

Yes, this is one of the many reasons in life why I am not suited to life partnership--I have always felt obligated to put my parents first, and to manage the amount of shit and drama I was going to get from the extended relatives. Why pick some guy I've been dating X number of months over them, because he's not going to last and I will pay the price for life of rejecting my parents for someone I'm not even fucking married to. (Engaged, as was pointed out to me, didn't count.)

Okay, so these days things are different and I truly have no effing idea how it would play out if I was dating someone during the holidays now that we're down to one parent and no relatives to deal with at Christmas and Dad's side hates me anyway so fuck them. But that is the culture I grew up in, and it truly weirds me out to hear that you're supposed to pick an SO first. My shrink lectured me one time that you're supposed to pick the person who's your future....but eh, I don't really feel like I have one anyway, because who knows what shit will come down the pike to break you up? Parents are forever, boyfriends are until they get fed up with you. They aren't forced to stay, eh?

Well, I'm going to Kauai tomorrow. (Even making a brief stopover in Maui to get there, so I can finally say I've technically been to Maui....) There shall be drama about getting confirmations and tickets printed tonight, and figuring out what to wear for 40 degree temperatures at the airport and 85 degree temperatures on the island. (Dear god, how am I supposed to dress for that?) Temperatures are predicted to be in the 80's every day with no rain until the day we leave. Freaking paradise. As my shrink put it yesterday, time to forget about all of this crap and get away from it all.

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