Okay, so Xmas is over. Finally. I have to admit that I absolutely hate this holiday. I think it is so commercialized and total bullshit. And, before anyone says it, it has nothing to do with being a Jew. I hate Channukah equally as much. Actually, I hate any holiday that demands you send cards, flowers, candy, presents and is lead by retail corporations and card companies. This includes Valentines Day as well. Garbage. You shouldn't have one day a year to tell the person that you love how you feel about them. Just the same way that I hate the entire "Jesus is the reason for the season" crapola. Jesus is not the reason for the season. If you knew anything about Jesus at all, you would probably know that he would be positively appalled by all the gift giving and all the excessive purchasing that we do for our families. The man was rooted in the theory of "good works" as opposed to things. You want to celebrate Christmas? DO something. Feed the homeless. Clothe a child who has nothing. Adopt a child from another country through a Unicef type program and spend the damn twenty bucks to take care of them all month long. $240 a year will keep a child who is in a poverty stricken situation in clothes, in school, well fed and vaccinated against simple diseases that no child should ever die from. Volunteer. Go to a nursing home and read to the elderly. My kids know I have a die hard policy about donating their things to kids who are less fortunate before I buy you one single thing. I don't exchange xmas presents with my husband for just that reason. We simply don't believe in it. I bought my grandkids 3 toys each and two outfits. That's it. Nothing crazy or excessive. Hubs and I spend our gift money on one another donating to St. Jude's children's hospital, the pediatric AIDS foundation, the American Cancer Society, etc. I'm not being holier than thou...I just believe that good works trumps good presents every time. I think that Xmas/Channukah should be about the kids, so I don't really do the whole gift giving thing for the adults in my family. None of my siblings, parents, in laws, etc got presents from me. They know better than to expect it. I will sooner make donations to charity organizations in their names then send them a gift. My two exceptions this year were sending a gift basket of chocolatey yum yum red velvet cupcakes to friends who have been very supportive of the hotband and I this year. The other was to buy my bestie a dress that was absolutely screaming her name. I knew she would look beautiful in it and I wanted her to have it. She is always there for me and while I know damn well I don't have to buy her anything to let her know how loved she is, I wanted her to have this particular item. It wasn't expensive...but I knew she would be beautiful in it and she deserves that.
Okay, end that rant. So not what I wanted to vent about.
What I wanted to get out of my system is how seething mad I am at my sister in law. Ever since coming home from Israel, she has treated me like utter shit or rather, worse than usual. You would think that after 11 years of being with her brother, I have more than proven myself to be a good and loving wife to him. She should be happy about that, but no. Always an attitude. Well, in the past 3 months, she has managed to A) Not show up to my granddaughter's birthday party because she went to a baby shower of a friend of a friend, B) Completely ignored my sons birthday and now, C) opted out of spending Christmas dinner with us because she went to her friends house instead.
Mind you, this is the same woman who used to torture my husband for all the time he was spending with me when he and I were first dating. She used to harass him about how I was consuming his whole life and how he was blowing off his "real family" to be with me and my kids. Well, good morning...but it's 11 years later. I think we have pretty well established that I wasn't some fling he was just blowing off his "real family" for. When her marriage collapsed, my hubs and I were there for her completely. Absolutely supportive of her and her endeavors. Whenever she needs someone to watch her son, we are there for her. We invite her and whoever she may be dating that particular month to anything we have. She is never excluded. Yet, she manages to keep herself at bay when it comes to me and my kids.
Admittedly, I used to blame my husband for this. I told him, why on earth would she think YOUR kids are important to you if you allow her to continue this behavior of not acknowledging them at all? But now, it's gotten to the point where HE is upset by it. I used to tell him how shitty I thought it was that his family doesn't acknowledge my kids. Hotband has raised Nick and Sam since they were 4 and 12 years old respectively. They are now 15 and 23, for God's sake. I think it is pretty well established that he loves those kids as if they were conceived from his own loins. We don't ever not acknowledge her son. That's my husbands nephew...and I love him just as much as if he were my very own son. When my granddaughter had her birthday party...she simply never showed up for it. No call, no text, nothing. Then, this past October, my son had a small birthday party at a Go Kart track. He invited his cousin, my sister in laws son. He showed up without so much as a card (not his fault, entirely my sister in laws fault). If my son had been a friend of my nephews from school, she wouldn't have dared to send her son without a gift or a card. So, my husband *finally* worked up the balls to say to her..."Hey, what you did was kind of rude". First words out of her mouth? "Did your wife put you up to this?" Yeah. My fault. *eye roll* Because my husband couldn't possibly feel a little slighted that his family STILL doesn't bother to acknowledge my children as OUR children. I had to laugh at that.
Another example of her shittiness? We flew all the way to Israel for her sons Bar Mitzvah. Nearly five grand in flights and food, etc. PLUS we gave him a gift of well over $200. In the Jewish tradition...the number 18 signifies long life. So, we gave him $18 for every year of his life. He was turning 13, a huge occasion in a Jewish boys life. We gave him $234 cash. Not so much as a thank you from her. Okay, whatever. But the kicker for me? My parents, who are not related to her or my nephew, sent my nephew a check for his bar mitzvah. I thought that was a really nice gesture on their part. They certainly didn't have to do that. Does she have him call and thank them? No. Can't be bothered. One month goes by. Two months go by. THREE months go by. Finally, one day, she asked if we could watch her son. As always, we did...and I told my husband to make sure that my nephew CALLS MY PARENTS and thanks them for the gift. It took my husband having to make that phone call for my parents to receive a thank you. I think that's absolutely disgusting, tacky and tasteless.
Anyway, back to Christmas. My daughter invited her to Christmas dinner. It's a big deal for Sammi. She and her husband made this big, beautiful dinner for us and the kids. She extended the invitation to her "aunt" to join us. She writes on Facebook that she didn't know what time dinner was. So, my son in law writes back that it is between 7 and 7:30. No show. No call. No text. No FB message. Nothing. I figure, maybe she decided just to stay home and be alone. Later on FB, I see a photo of her with her on again/off again boyfriend at the home of a friend, enjoying Xmas with them. Wow. Really? She never even called her own brother to wish him a Merry Christmas/Channukah. My husband is so hurt and upset by her actions...but he for some reason, refuses to confront her. Maybe because of something she said to him a LONG time ago. She once told him that if he chose me over her, she would disown him as her brother. I think that stuck in his head and is now afraid of losing his relationship with her. I couldn't fathom telling my brother that and my bro and I aren't even remotely as close as my hubs and his sister are/were.
I don't really know where this post is going. I suppose that I chose to blog this instead of writing her a very confrontational letter. I am so sick and tired of this shit. The only thing I can think of is that she is avoiding us because she owes us a pretty large sum of money. Of course, that would be utterly ridiculous. We borrowed a few grand from her a long time ago when things were lean for us so it's not like she should be ashamed of needing the help from us. For God's sake, we are family. Isn't that what family is supposed to be about? Being able to lean on one another when things get hard?
Look, I don't care if she hates me. I have tried to reach out to her in every single way possible. She's made it blatantly obvious she doesn't care for me as a person...but what on earth does that have to do with the kids? Moreover, what kind of human being shows such blatant disrespect for their brothers children? My kids are my husbands children. He loves them desperately. No different than if we bore them together, or if he had adopted them with me. But, I suppose since they weren't crafted from his semen that they just don't matter to her. My husband was in the delivery room when his grandbabies were born. He witnessed both their births. He loves those kids. I know he is hurting over this. I try to refrain from saying anything to him about it, but I know he was really hurt that she didn't show up tonight. I want so badly to call her up and say, "look bitch, hate me all you want...but you are killing your brother's heart."
The whole situation is just so fucking sad. 11 years later. You would think that she would realize that my husband and I are in this for the long haul. You would think she would care more. I don't know what else to do or say without causing some irreversible damage. I have held my tongue til it literally bled. I don't know how much longer I can do so...but for my husbands sake, I will make the effort.
In conclusion? Family sucks.