Thursday, July 8, 2010

Sometimes I Just Need to Vent

This is a letter to my in-laws.


I'm not going to call you dear anything, because at this point you aren't dear to me. I am daily trying to remind myself that you are being somewhat generous in letting Ace and I stay here while we are waiting on him to earn enough money to get us out of here. You are providing us food in addition to shelter, even if it's food we wouldn't normally choose ourselves.

I'm trying to remind myself that you do love Ace, somewhere in your hearts. That you see him (and by extension me) as something other than a servant to help you do whatever it is you want to do, but can't do on your own (and are going to do even if we have to do almost all the work). I'm trying to remember that you won't be able to decide to fill our weekends with stuff we really don't want do in just a short time, and that you aren't quite asking us to move the moon.

I'm trying to remember all of this, but I'm also trying to keep from yelling at you that you are driving your son away from you. You want to know why we don't visit? It's because you have a way of driving people away by making everything all about you. You've managed to do something in 3 months that my mother took over 20 years to do, I'm ready to cut you out of my life because you obviously don't really care that much about me.

It's obvious that you don't see me as someone you would have chosen for a son you keep telling, in words and actions, that you don't think is very bright. You probably think that I'm mooching off of your son and that since I haven't provided you with any grandchildren that I'm not really good for anything. I don't really care what you think of me, your opinions don't matter to me, it does sting a little that you have so little confidence in your son and his decision making abilities.

While Ace and I admit that we have some blame in our current financial situation, we also recognize that he has found not 1, but 2 well paying jobs in a fairly short time frame given the current job market. Both jobs have meant that I would have been able to not work, something that is fine with your son even if it's not fine with you. One of your other sons is still trying to find a job, while Ace has mostly spent the past few weeks waiting on background checks to be finished so he could schedule that test you thought he'd fail the first time around. He passed, of course, because he is good at remembering whatever it is he puts his mind to remembering.

I am getting tired of you planning my life for me while I'm staying here. I know you want to have your precious garage sale, and you have apparently decided that it will be this Saturday. Good for you. You didn't ask Ace or I if we had plans before you made these decisions, so why do you assume that we are free to help you (and that we're happy to help you for free)? It just so happens that we don't have plans, but that's beside the point. You are supposed to ask people before you assume they can do whatever it is that you want from them. Our schedules and plans aren't supposed to revolve around you, just like yours aren't supposed to revolve around us. But when you want our help, you should at least include us in the planning of such an event.

I'm ready to leave your house, and if I had my way I would never return. However, that is not purely up to me. Ace has acknowledge that I may get a month away from you before we potentially join you for lunches on Sundays. I'm still angling to only have lunch once a month, as that is way more often than I really want to see you, but we'll see. Ace is only pushing for twice a month, so you can see that even he is getting sick of your stuff and how your moods dictate everything in this house.

I'm going to go now. I'm feeling a little better, even though I know you'll never read this. Even if you did, I doubt you would recognize yourselves. But some of these things needed to be said.

M.A. Smith

P.S.: I wish I was making most of this up. It's really hard living here because it's true. Now to just make it through Saturday and maybe next week will be a much better week.
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