Yesterday I arrived home to find our living room decorated in pink and blue streamers and balloons. My 2 local SILs had brought us a baby gift and told us how excited they were to become aunts. We got some fun stuff (a stuffed animal and blanket), some practical stuff (swaddlers diapers, butt paste, and baby wipes) and some fun/practical stuff (a Ba*by Ein*stein CD and a sports-themed bib that declares “I play sports with daddy”). It was very sweet.
Also in the bag was a long letter from the SIL closest to my age, J. J and I have little in common (she is a jock, and I really am not, for example), though I had felt that over the last year or so, things had begun to improve in our relationship – slowly, maybe, but certainly. This letter made me feel otherwise.
I am not going to repeat the letter, out of respect for her privacy, but many things she said were hurtful, offensive and plain rude. At the beginning, she began by apologizing over the fact that I was hurt by their reaction to our news and explaining the why. I appreciated that. I had begun to come to terms with it, but that helped me along in that she knew I had been hurt. However, she then preceded to tell me many of the reasons why she has never really liked me, that she was hurt that I told friends before we told them, that she feels I (and Mr. Moose) have lied to her on many occasions since the very beginning of our relationship, that our PDA’s make her and the rest of the family extremely uncomfortable and at one point stated “many people have told me that you are a funny, interesting and sweet person and I just don’t see that.”
I had no earthly idea how to respond to this “attack.” Part of me wanted to defend myself against each issue, part of me wanted to tell her to go away (or something much harsher) and part of me simply wanted to cry. (I did, a little, but I am pregnant).
We are not telling people in order of their importance to us. The first person Mr. Moose told was a perfect stranger. I told my grandmother before I told my mom, I told some of my co-workers before I told my best friend, before my father, before my sister (who is even closer to me than my best friend). I asked Mr. Moose why his family seemed to always feel that everything was a competition? LB had to get married first, wanted to have the first baby, J wanted to be told first (about everything, btw – not just the baby).
Our “PDA’s” as she referred to them, are simply the acts of two people very much in love. We hold hands, I occasionally sit on his lap, or lean against him when sitting in a seat without a back, we occasional give each other a quick kiss on the lips. We don’t make out in front of other people, grope each other constantly, or tear each other’s clothes off.
I told Mr. Moose that his sister has no tact. That there is a difference between lying and saying everything that comes to mind. I related it to the movie Liar, Liar starring Jim Carey. You know the scene where he gets on the elevator with Krista Allen (the new building tenant) and she says that “everyone’s been so nice”) and he answers, “that’s because your boobs are big”? That’s what I felt she did with that letter, she did the equivalent of telling me my boobs are big.
In her defense, I know that she was asking, ultimately, to begin to build a renewed relationship with me, that she wanted to get to know me as I truly am instead of the person who constantly has her guard up around them (you wonder why?). But I truly felt there was a better way to do that, or at least a “softer” way. Even a simple “we haven’t been close in the past, but I hope that will change soon” would have accomplished the same end, without making me feel horrid. I have always felt that the women in Mr. Moose’s family have always judged me. My abilities and talents, my housekeeping, my family, my values and morals, my etiquette, etc. This letter simply served to prove to me that I was correct in thinking that they (specifically J) have a negative opinion of me that is hard to get past. Am I being too sensitive? Are my pregnancy hormones clouding my judgment of this situation?
In a separate issue: Mr. Moose talked to LB on the phone last night. He has been playing phone tag with her for a couple of days in an effort to tell her the news of the impending baby. She cried, but was gracious and asked the appropriate questions and congratulated us. I want to write her an email, but I also want to tow the line of not shoving it in her face, either. How do I give her advice or suggestions without making her feel like I’m saying “I’m better at this than you”? I suppose I should leave the advice for when I am asked, but I just feel like I could give her some suggestions that would give her a sense of more control (like temping). I want to help her. I know it royally stinks each time you get a BFN or AF comes rolling along.
Apparently there has been talk throughout the family for months that we were trying thanks to little sister, LP who often house sits for us, but also has a key and helps herself to the use of the house when we aren’t around. She noticed that my BCPs were not as visible as they once were and then proceeded to tell the family this information, so they shouldn’t have been nearly as surprised as they were.
After all the dealings with J last night, I asked Mr. Moose if he really wanted more than one child – to me, the not having to deal with siblings thing is looking better and better.