Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A great, big WTF?????

Ziad and Maya are sick. No park day for us today. Normally I view park day in the light of a reward for them, and have not hesitated to postpone or withdraw it altogether in the face of lagging schoolwork and music practice.

Today, though, I'm wishing we had gone. My sister is apparently angry at me again. Venting on the internet is not a practice I wholeheartedly condone. In this case, though, what choice do I have? I definitely feel the need for some venting, and maybe even some acknowledgment, the kind one's mom friends can always be counted on to provide. So feel free to chime in any time with remarks like "Yes, it's obvious your sister doesn't understand/appreciate you. And how sad for her, really!" You get the idea.

So here's the deal. My sister recently extended an invitation to Maya to accompany our mother to her house in Massachusetts. Since we live in California, anyone who knows me even a little knows that that was never going to happen, and I believe my mother told her that right up front. The basic reasons have nothing to do with my sister, really. Maya has never spent the night across town from one or the other of her parents, let alone across the country. And if we were to just let her trip merrily along with my mother, there would be hell to pay from Nabil's side of the family, who already feel a little slighted (or so I understand) that there have been no overnights with these particular grandchildren. Jennifer's reaction when I mentioned this to her was, "Oh, so I'm not allowed to take her to the park, but Grandma is allowed to take her cross-country." ("Don't be silly," I said, "Of course you can take her to the park.")

People like to stay on my sister's good side. Or to try to anyway. So I attempted various delaying tactics.

My sister persisted, however, and I finally had to tell her "Not just yet."

Whereupon she fired back an e-mail telling me not to be surprised if she leaves her house and worldly goods to other individuals.


I replied to her e-mail, but I have to say my reply was really lame, because she had, as she so often does, completely flummoxed me.

I mean, seriously, WTF?????

Honestly, I would have been more surprised to find that she had included them in her will than to learn that she had excluded them. And now I'm shaking my head wondering why I'm even thinking about things in such a sordid way.

Is she saying that she is such an unpleasant person that people would only visit her when motivated by the desire for monetary gain down the road? Or is she saying, as I am more inclined to believe, that I am the kind of person who is only motivated that way? I haven't forgotten the time she called me a pathetic mooch. I'm not 100% sure why she said that, but I think it had something to do with my brazen effrontery in indulging in the slacker lifestyle of stay at home motherhood. After all, I could just get my husband's mother to watch them for me and do something worthwhile like get a job!

She also apparently felt comfortable telling Jennifer (or so Jenny has told me) that the only reason I maintain friendly relations with my father is because he set up a trust fund for my children. I mean, really. Who says stuff like that to someone's kid?

Oh, I know. The kind of person who gives that kid a chocolate to make them sit still and then cuts their hair behind their mother's back when their mother had planned to never cut their hair so they could have really cool long hair when they were older. (Yes, that really happened, when Jennifer was three.) OK, so maybe the long hair thing was not the best idea, but whose call was it?

Now let's assume (and in fact it's the case) that I was trying to figure out a scenario where this visit could be accomplished, maybe not right just yet, but in a few years, perhaps, after Maya has actually met her aunt, and I have actually met her husband, and there is more of a relationship to build on. Is this the kind of behavior that would make me want to entrust her with my precious daughter? And how come she invited just Maya? Was it so beyond the pale to think that Maya and I together might be a nice combination of visitors? (Although, I have, in fact, sworn a vow never to spend another night under her roof, and no matter how well we get along in the future (not very well, most likely) this is not something I intend to compromise.)

On top of everything else, I think I'm expending more effort trying to decode her e-mail than she did in sending it out, although I can clearly picture her working herself up into an unpleasant rage before she sent it. That's the two of us -- one gets herself all worked up about stuff, the other obsesses endlessly about what it all means.

What does it all mean? And what's next? I've said it before, I love my sister. I don't want to fight with her. I only wish I could figure out how to make her stop fighting with me.




Blogger Lesley said...

She wanted to JUST take Maya? across the country? without you?
That's F'ing CRAZY!

5:55 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Thanks, I think so, too. Actually she wanted our mother to take her, but that's not a huge improvement.

7:08 PM  
Blogger Vivian said...

My sympathy with you, Sarah. Hope you can take it easy and just give your sister a big fat No!

I can't stop fighting with my family either. I never seem to live up to their standard, including not willing to send my son to China for a summer by himself.

8:42 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

OK, you've topped me with that one. Yikes!

9:07 PM  
Blogger zelda said...

There was nothing wrong in your decision regarding Maya. It seems like a reasonable decision to me.

7:44 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I totally see your position in this and I don't think you're being unreasonable at all. Unfortunately the family drama can get all kinds of crazy, and I'm sorry you have to deal with that. As for how to get her to stop fighting with you, I think there is really not a way to make someone else stop fighting except to not participate. Not that that is the best answer or that it always works, but it's all I've got right now.

10:53 AM  

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