My brain is so scattered right now. First, I freaking love the TV Show "All in the Family" and I've married someone who's basically a not racist Archie Bunker. Secondly, my SIL's baby shower was on Saturday, which was also her 27th birthday. I love the 3 months of the year when we are the same age. The shower was at our house and, as usual, my amazing mother in law swept in and waved her magic wand to make it perfect. The horrible stomach virus that took 3 days of my life 2 weeks ago struck John on Friday night, so instead of making dip and cleaning up and decorating, I took care of my poor sick baby boy from 11 pm to 4 am, then got up at 7 am to get prepped for the party. Thanks to Shauna (Izzy's Mom) and my inlaws, no guest suspected that I dropped the ball on about 1/2 of the stuff at the party. Instead of blue overload, Allie chose a theme of wintery white and blue. Buying all the decorations was a snap because a ton of Christmas stuff was like 90% off in mid January, so I got a ton of blue/ silver/ snowy decorations for a song. After the party I went to check on John, who was very needy and wanted me to cuddle with him. I have to say that I love how needy he is. It's not obnoxious (he doesn't call me 5 times a day to ask what I'm doing), but when we are together we are either holding hands or at least rarely apart. Despite having a big house we are rarely not in the same room. I lay down with him for about an hour and then came out to help clean up. It was a miracle: my wonderful mother in law had cleaned EVERYTHING. The decorations were down, the dishes were clean, the trash was taken out. I didn't get married; I won the family lottery.
We have a new roommate. (Told you my brain was all over the place). Her name is Gina and we've known her for several years. It's a small world. She not only went to Ireland with our friends who recently got engaged, she also went to Clemson and knows Allie through some good college friends. She and I were talking after the party about how awesome my inlaws are and she mentioned how her family isn't as happy and relaxed and willing to help as Allie and Johns. I relayed this story to Allie and her husband and her husband echoed that sentiment: he knew his family loved each other, but they weren't as close and didn't go as over the top as our inlaws, and were a little more judgemental. I said, "Oh, my family (meaning my Mom, Dad, aunts, uncles, etc) are just as tight as our inlaws." Then I paused. "Unless you're John or I, then they really don't care."
Which transitions into my "All in the Family" thoughts. The thing is, my extended family IS really close. They all love each other and are totally in each other's business, in a good way. One of my aunts is in HR and was invaluable when I was a recent college graduate looking for a job. One of my cousins is a riot and an awesome Mom with a hilarious son who I used to visit pretty regularly. Another one of my cousins knows the DC/ Baltimore/ NoVa area really well because he travels all over there for his job and gave me some great pointers when I was new to the area. Things changed a little when I moved to SC but not really. My aunts still emailed me and kept me in the loop, and we all still sent tons of cards to each other. (My family should buy stock in Hallmark. We send cards for EVERYTHING. I moved in with John in October 2007, so in the first few months that we lived together there was Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Valentine's Day. John was in disbelief as to how many cards I got/ sent out.) Then my wedding fiasco happened and it was like all of a sudden I didn't exist. I'm not joking. Remember how I said we all used to be super close? And how I JUST mentioned to my brother in law how my family is super tight, unless you're John or I? What inspired this blog post was me playing on facebook this evening. I unfriended all of my family except my brother and one of my cousins a week after my wedding. My family basically acted in the crappiest way possible to my wedding and to my husband. I think the only person who really understands how much it hurt me is my best friend since we were 5 years old, SquirrelGirl. They were not only horrific in real life, but would go on facebook and find inspiration for their jerkiness. I saw that my oldest cousin wrote something on my brother's wall and on a whim, went to see her profile. She has almost everything public, so I clicked through her pictures. She has three daughters and I basically haven't ever seen her youngest. There were pictures of her, my aunt, and her two oldest daughters at John's and mine wedding reception this May. Except she didn't call it a wedding reception when she captioned the pictures. She called it a garden party. For a picture of her oldest it was, "My flower at the garden party." Her middle girl playing in my parents yard? "Ella's favorite lawn ornament at the garden party." My aunt and my cousin's kids? "Mom Mom and the girls at the garden party." There were about a dozen pictures like that. None of the bride or groom or my parents, BTW. And the wedding reception, for which she got an invitation that said wedding reception and where she gave us a wedding card wasn't a wedding reception, it was a garden party.
So, basically, except for my father (who couldn't care less about the wedding) and my brother (who told me all the bs that was going on behind my back), and my Mom (who has been trying to make amends, though nothing will ever undo how much her cattiness hurt me AND my wonderful husband), all that family I had in MD is gone to me. It still hurts because we used to be so super close, but oh well. The best thing that ever happened to me was marrying John and a close second is having the amazing in laws that I do. I will never, ever, ever, ever stop being grateful for them.
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