But this morning I need to vent, and that's what I have this blog for, so if you don't want to read venting, stop now. It's like a choose your own adventure blog day.
SO - Sister in Law still has not called to apologize, but I did talk to my brother yesterday. And basically, my brother asked me to pick up the phone and call her to apologize. This is big coming from my brother - the guy who when you ask, what do you need for Christmas? and his wife says, oh, he needs jeans, he says, "but babe! I already have a pair of jeans." A pair. Singular. He's a minimalist kind of guy who never asks for anything. So asking me in this case most likely means he's spent the past week asking his wife to call me and she's being a stubborn bitch about it. Personally, I think if you hang up on someone, it's your responsibility to call them and start the apology conversation. Calling doesn't indicate that *everything* you said was wrong, but rather that you acknowledge that you ended the conversation poorly and are ready to talk about it. Especially since the last thing you said was, I'm not going to waste another minute of my daughters' lives talking to you.
The tricky part for me is that I love me nieces, although I think my brother is kind of an asshole sometimes and I now have a less than favorable opinion of his wife. And basically, the conversation with my brother boiled down to "if you don't apologize, you won't be able to be in the girls' life." So...I probably will suck it up and call, but in the spirit of not bottling my emotions (because that is what I will have to do in order to get through that conversation), I'm going to vent them here.
A) Both of you are assholes. In the past three years of your childrens' lives, I have sent birthday, Christmas, and all other means of holiday cards/presents. You're railing on about how you want family to be involved in your kids' lives. I've been more than involved - I've been like super aunt. And you? You didn't bother to send a card, or even call or text when it was my birthday (or partner's for that matter). You didn't bother to send Christmas presents this year because you were too busy to go to the post office. I spent two hours in line mailing packages to your kids. In my world, that's about $100 of my time. You could at least acknowledge this effort by not being assholes.
B) I have rearranged my work schedule to be more convenient for you to travel with two young kids because I acknowledge that my time is more flexible. I've spent tons of money traveling to visit you in Far Away State because you don't have money to make the trip to see me. Or at least that's your logic. Well - I'm fucking sick of it. This whole rhetoric of "it's easier for you" to travel, make plans, etc. is bullshit. I get that having kids is difficult, but it doesn't give you the right not to recognize that reorganizing my life is difficult. When you say February is the best month for us to get together, I have to reorganize a shit ton of stuff to get a weekend off -- that's the worst month of spring semester for me to travel besides April. March? Not too bad - spring break helps. February and April? Near impossible. But of course, your logic is that my work is portable, and I complete it at all hours of the day, so it's not like I have to take "vacation" time or anything. Can you at least acknowledge that my work is difficult? That in order to take that time, I need to work 14-16 hour days for a couple weeks in order to be enough ahead of the game to take that time? Or that I am sacrificing a week of solid, no distraction research/writing time in the summer to visit your kids?
C) Quit lecturing me on my "glass is half empty" mentality and how it's no way to live life. The nature of my work - my entire being is tied up in this. Does that mean I'm never positive? No. Does it mean that I'm never fun? No. What it means is that my work is difficult, isolating, and highly internal, not to mention full of the kind of politics that necessitate looking at things in a glass-half-empty kind of way. Quit bitching at me for being an internal person. If I weren't an internal person, I wouldn't be so good at my damned job. If you can't understand these simple things about me, you are never going to know me.
D) If you don't want to know something, don't ask. When you say, "we really want to be involved in your life and know what's going on" I take that at face value. Don't turn it around and then say, "oh, that sounds crappy and is making me feel bad, so why don't you quit telling me bad stuff?" If you don't want to hear the crap, then you're not really my friends. Everyone has crap. Friends are there to help you through it. If you want me to be a fake person for you, fine. But here's the thing - I don't like being a fake person. I'm fake most of my day because my job is a performance contingent on people liking me. I don't have the luxury of coworkers that I can talk with crap about because I'm their senior colleague now and taking about crap is tacky when you're someone's senior. I'm also in charge of the lives of hoards of students who don't want to hear my crap because they need me to listen to their own. AND I STILL FIND TIME TO LISTEN TO YOUR CRAP. Even though I'm tapped out and exhausted, I still make time. Don't bitch at me that you're exhausted from dealing with your kids and that's why you can't take time to listen to me.
E) On that note, quit being helicopter parents and quit using your kids as an excuse. You haven't been to visit partner and I ONCE in the past five years we've lived here. We've been to Far Away State three separate times (and once I even helped you remodel your frickin' house), not to mention trips to Parent's house (which is substantially closer) for all holidays and weekends because it's easier for you to get there (usually on weekends that it's NOT easy for us to travel - like Labor Day when we DO actually have classes). Every time we suggest doing something, you say, "oh we can't because of the girls." When my parents or your family offers to watch them, you won't let them out of your sight. You refuse to get a babysitter. You hover over them all day every day. You don't even own a play pen because you feel like it's inhumane. You two are crazy parents and you're going to give both of your girls issues when they realize that they don't automatically get everyone's attention 24/7 and that sometimes they aren't allowed to do certain things. And when I try to talk to you about this, don't say I just don't understand because I don't have kids. I have plenty of friends with kids who figure out ways to work around the stress of having kids, take time off to relax, and STILL have time to be my friends, so quit fucking whining about how hard your life with two beautiful kids is.
Okay, I should stop -- I could probably go on for another hour, but that's the jist of it. Now I need to figure out ways to frame all that in a nice way so that I can get through the conversation...or I may just say it's all my fault and then never really talk to them about my life ever again since they apparently want me to be someone that I'm not and they are never going to change...so, what's the use really?
So - good news, the beach was fantastic -- I REALLY needed some time away from life next to the ocean to put things into perspective. Probably overdid it on the alcohol, but that's what happens when my sister and I want to party. I've also had a successful couple days back to work -- actually getting large tasks off my plate and moving forward on a few things. Setbacks include my follow up OB appointment today which will take most of the morning and *accidentally* dropping my computer out of a window. Partner is trying to fix the computer, but it will probably take all weekend which is part of why I've been so MIA lately.