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12:08 p.m. - 2010-06-07
That's what she said.

The other day MIL and I were leaving the gym. We got to our cars and stopped to chat for a bit as we always to. The weather was awful, 4 and a half bazillion degrees and 6,000,000% humidity with big ugly storm clouds piling up to the west, I asked MIL what her plans for the rest of the day were and she said she'd probably mow the lawn and work in the garden, at least until the storm broke. Then she gets this weird smile on her face and asks archly, "I suppose you're going to go home and hide in the air conditioning?"

I just laughed and said, "Of course."

Oy, that 'hide' was just freighted with sub-text. The thing is I truly don't think MIL knew how nasty and critical she was being. I know you're not supposed to speak ill of the dead, but Gram was a piece of work. Not quite the bitch my own mother was, but she was no slouch when it came to making her daughter feel like crap. Spent MIL's whole life giving out to her for being unworthy, lazy, ungrateful, the whole magillah. And now sometimes Gram comes flying out of MIL's mouth at me without her even being aware of it. I've seen MIL do a similar number on SIL, again, without the slightest clue how hyper-critical she sounds and how poisonous those 'helpful' criticisms she slings SIL's way actually are. If called on it MIL would be shocked and protest that she just wants me and SIL to be happy. And happiness in MIL's view is working yourself to death so no one can call you lazy or worthless. Shades of Gram who never, ever said one nice thing to MIL and never lost an opportunity to be ungracious and mean. And so it goes on, passed down through the generations.

My laugh at MIL's snitty comment was genuine, btw. Wasn't too long ago I would have curled up and died inside to be sniped at like that. I would have taken it soooo to heart and spun out into my own miserable swamp of feeling unworthy and shamed. As it was, I saw the ghost Gram lurking around MIL and knew who was talking. I'm okay with myself these days and am NOT about to let myself be chivvied into slavish martyrdom in a futile attempt to please the unplease-able. Especially dead ones.

Mick thinks I should say something when MIL goes Gram nasty, but what would be the point? MIL wouldn't get it, she'd only feel hurt and picked on. I know how huge the ghost Gram is on MIL's back. MIL devoted her entire life to wringing some praise from her mother. A life wish that went unfulfilled, even at the very end when MIL was literally wiping Gram's ass. MIL spent every day of the last 12 years of Gram's life slaving for Gram and before that the previous 27 years doing it every weekend. E-V-E-R-Y weekend. And not once, not ever did Gram say thank you. In fact she did the opposite, when MIL made lunch Gram insisted it needed salt or cheese or she hated whatever was on her plate. When MIL cleaned Gram's house Gram made a mock of her and bitched about how MIL had messed everything up. It was horrible.

Like most successful tyrants, Gram could be very charming to those she favored. She was always sweet to me, and she adored Mick. To her we could do no wrong as her daughter could do no right. A cruel dynamic and one I challenged, glaring at Gram and praising MIL to the hilt. Chiding Gram when she was being cruddy and reminding her that few daughters ever did so much for so little. Gram always went conveniently deaf when I'd say stuff like that, but I knew she heard me, and more importantly MIL knew she'd heard me.

Mothers and daughters, ouch.

Some quick bullet point notes (without the bullets) about what's been doing since my last entry.

Rascal is doing great. Doesn't wander around screaming as he used to. At least not as much. I've been feeding him with a bottle and while he does eat solid food, the nursing seems to calm him. (I can dig that, she says taking a long drag off her cig.)

The party was terrific. We had a wonderful time. Ate, laughed, chatted with a zillion people, danced a couple times. I was surprised by how young so many of the school's staff are. No reason they shouldn't be, but I tend to think of folks as being of an age together. Most of the other security people are retired cops like Mick, and his best buddies amongst the aides, grounds and building guys are age peers too. So meeting all those youngins was a bit of a shock.

Yesterday in the woods across the street a tree fell over and was lying across the railroad tracks. I wondered if there'd be a train derailment right in front of my house. But some MTA guys showed up a few hours later and cleaned it up. A bit scary as it was drawing down dark and they were using chainsaws. Chain-sawing in the dark is a risky business at best and a damn foolish one at worst.

The tree just fell over out of nowhere, too. We did have a storm, a big scary windy one with hail and a tornado warning, but it arrived after the tree fell down. The tree just keeled over all on its own. It was healthy looking too. Not too old and had leaves on all its branches. Weird.

Got the new Sims expansion pack- Ambitions. I've been mucking around with it and like it a lot. If I had any beef with my Sims it was the game play had gotten rote and a bit boring. I'd mastered all the skills and topped all the careers. Now there's a whole bunch of new jobs for them and new commercial venues and a very funny murky bayou-laden new town with some seriously weird real estate. Some of the new careers are very involved, if somewhat dangerous. One of my characters was a sculptor and she caught fire and burnt up dead. You Simmers might want to watch out when your sculptors use their blowtorches.

Making a big batch of tuna-noodle salad today. My favorite warm weather dinner. My potato salad is an ode to minimalism, but the tuna-noodle is a delicious garbage heap of anything and everything I can chuck in there. Veggies, fruit, all sorts of stuff. Ooo, just talking about it is making me hungry. Time for me to put the water on for the pasta and boil up a few eggs.


The storm was scary, but I'm grateful for the cool breezy weather it left in its wake. ~LA

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