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4:55 a.m. - 2012-03-25

Man, am I going to pay for this tomorrow. Later today, actually. It's way late and I should be sleeping but I have the wide awakes.

Went to a home show today. A very profitable excursion. In time and information, I mean. Money, oy the money is going to flow out almost as quickly as it came in. We made appointments with a guy to look at the soffits, and another guy to come over and see what's going on with the central air (the outdoor compressor makes a horrible squealing noise) and give us an estimate about replacing the boiler with a higher efficiency model. Plus we found a local contractor to get with later about rebuilding the front stoop. Plus another one to call when we want to replace the garage door. We also picked up some magnets, a couple of reusable shopping bags, a pen, a paperweight, made a contact at the local credit union and got some advice about investment savings, ran into people who know Mick from school, and we clambered around in a fantastic RV which a company over the border in NJ rents to folk looking to give RV-ing a try.

The soffits are the most important. Those go neglected much longer and we're going to start getting water inside the walls and then we'll have mold and water damage and can pretty much count on being fucked. So. Soffits it is.

Mick and I are rolling up on the fifth anniversary of our first date already! This Wednesday actually. My darling man was all for us taking a cruise later this year, what with no wedding, no honeymoon and, shit, last year we never even got to the shore at all- not even for a daytrip, he figured we're owed at least one good wingding, but the house is going to start falling apart unless we start doing some really expensive repairs right quick. So She Who Will Be Practical insists on soffits.

The front stoop really needs rebuilding too, but on that we can do a short-term fix by replacing a few boards and re-painting the whole thing. Get another 2-3 years if needs be. Depends on how much of a bite the soffits are going to take. Such are the joys of home ownership.

Not that I mind. Better to have a secure place to live and eventually pass onto Wolf than jaunts to St Thomas and St Croix. Right? Besides, we have the RV rental company's web address and by 2019 we should be caught up enough with the home improvements to take a jolly roadtrip. I'd like to see the Maine seacoast. Hit some of those places Stephen King has written about so often and so well. I figure after soffits, stoop, upstairs bathroom, a foyer ceiling and sheet rocking and wallpapering the stairwell, replacing the boiler and the lousy single-pane windows and the garage door, and resurfacing the driveway we'll be all set. Anything above and beyond that would just be cosmetic and for the pleasure of it.

Earlier this week MIL has said something to Mick about us all going to the home show together, but he blew her off. She and FIL would be going just to have something to do. And for FIL to go around scoffing up all the freebie magnets and keychains he could glom. Whereas Mick and I really needed to do some serious talking with the various contractors and service guys about actual work we want/need to do to our house. So tonight after we got back and did all our evening stuff Mick spoke to his mother and said something about how we'd gone to the home show and MIL about busted a gut. Furious. Totally P.O.-ed that we hadn't gone with her and FIL. He tried to calm her down but she was far too torqued to see reason. Didn't want to hear it. We'd let her down. Nevermind all the good information we'd gotten and necessary estimates we'd arranged, traitor son Mick and his evil cow wife LA had put our 'selfish' desire to fix up and maintain our home in front of our duty to entertain the old folks. Responsible home ownership is more important than providing the bored friendless in-laws with some diversion and all the freebies FIL could pocket? How dare we? poor Mick. He's clear about his priorities and what he wants to be doing with his life, but I still feel bad for him. I never wanted him to be shoved into this awkward position. I tell him all the time to go visit his folks after work. Their house is just down the road from Mick's campus. And I have them over just as often as I can stand. Not a month goes by that I don't whomp up a nice dinner and treat them as honored and welcome guests. I hock Mick into stopping by their house at least once a week to say howdy and do some Good Son chores.

Truly I've done everything I can to put aside MIL's terrible lapse of judgment and friendship. She hurt me. Bad. But I've been screwed over worse by people who were closer and by dint of blood and kinship should have done better, so whatever, you know? MIL's lousy treatment of me over the George thing wasn't the first or the worst. Not for me. But Mick is still horrified. Stunned that his darling wife could and was treated so shabbily by his own mother. The woman he'd respected and loved all his life. But when the shit hit the grit his mother willingly gave me the chuck. She lied, yelled, slandered and did me so dirty my dear mannie is still reeling. And it's changed everything with him.

I hate it.

Look, I know none of this is my fault. I didn't ask George to be a groping perv. I didn't demand MIL set aside her awful ideas about family loyalty. I never insisted she treat me with as much care and respect as blood kin. Jesus, hadn't she ground my face into the way it was when we were at the gym and she insisted on glorifying her disgusting cousin over and over? Trying to bully and shame me into recanting and apologizing for George's sicko behavior? And I didn't say anything in my own defense? Nuh uh. Mick was the one who dragged this whole ugly business into the forefront and put the boots to his mother to do the stand-up thing. That she didn't, that she wouldn't, and made it clear she expected Mick to go along with her pitiful lies and delusions or be damned, none of this was my doing. Never wanted it. Didn't ask for it. Have done my best to smooth things over. Yet...MIL is willing to put a stinking home show into the mess and make it yet another stupid turf war for Mick to be caught in the middle of? It's is so, so sad I can hardly stand it. A home show? This is what it comes down to now? Sheesh.

Damn, don't families suck? Crikey, all I wanted today was some information about fixing up my rotting soffits. But instead we have another skirmish, another round of hard feelings and bullshit. All because we wanted to go to a home show and didn't want to entertain my husband's bored, friendless, hateful mother.

Hey, I just want to prevent water damage from ruining my house. ~LA

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