Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Um, Lemonade, Anyone?

The Mother of All Sisters: My family is certifiably batshit-nuts, and my relationship with various members is either nonexistent or strained on a good day. So it goes with my sister. She is, among other things, an immature (at 31 years old), self-centered, Munchausen-quality hypochondriac drama queen who cannot stand for others to be happy because it somehow is always couched as being at her expense. She resents me for being a doctor, for being happily married, for having a nice house, and now (unsurprisingly) I think we can add to the list, expecting a baby. It always presents as passive-aggressive behavior in which the passiveness slowly recedes to be replaced by extreme aggression, followed by cutting me off, forcing me to try fruitlessly to reach out to her, and then finally me apologizing months later for what-I-do-not-know just to hit the reset button. The issue this time: my baby shower (more on that below). I called her to ask if she would like to be a host or co-host, thinking that would sufficiently place her in the center of attention to diffuse the attention I get for it. She claimed to be honored, pleased, etc. and gave me some possible dates when she could drive or fly in from Chicago. Settled. Right? Not so much. She emailed me late last night to inform me that she has about one open weekend at the end of August (when I will be nearing 9 months) because it turns out all her July/early August weekends are booked. With friends' and coworkers' baby showers. I see where I rank. Naturally, this triggered a good hour of crying over the fact that my family just can't ever be fucking happy for me, have to make it all about them, and can't handle anyone else being the recipient of unconditional love that they don't know how to give. So I am planning the shower without her and she will simply get an invite. For the record, she didn't come to my wedding because she was mad at me over the reception menu -- she has placed herself on a restricted diet because she (believes she) has (undiagnosed) IBS and fibromyalgia and about 20+ other diseases that she, in fact, does not have, and I explained to her that I could not alter the entire menu just for her (neglecting the other 100+ guests' needs). Awesome.

Opinions Are Like Assholes: The assvice comes from near and far. My husband gleefully (and innocently) came home to tell me that his coworker informed him we should send the baby to the nursery every night while we are in the hospital. I reminded him that A) our hospital strongly discourages this because B) you don't sleep that well with or without the baby, so why not keep the baby with you anyway, and C) it's better for family bonding and feeding to have the baby with you from day one. He got understandably defensive, because this conversation happened right after my sister sent her shitty email, so I probably took a chunk out of poor KB's hide over this particular assvice. But seriously, why do people think they can not only predict but also dictate the terms of my pregnancy, labor and delivery, and early parenting? A hearty "go to hell" to the lot of them. Seriously, it's like they want to just crawl right up inside my vagina and call it their own.

To Shower or Not to Shower: No, it's not about hygiene. I am thinking I will host my own shower, and let my mother-in-law and/or my husband's aunt (who lives nearby, and with whom we are close) be the co-hosts. And I think I'd like to have it in my house, where I can be comfortable. Let the non-pregnant people drive the distance, dammit. After the email "incident" last night, I had some fatalistic thoughts about not having a shower at all, but I do think I'd like to do something, even if it's low-key, since this may well be our only baby and thus my only experience having a baby shower. I'm not into the parlor games and raffles and circus of typical showers; I'd rather have a dignified lunch, open presents with friends and family, take some pictures and video for posterity, and call it a day. A few current and former co-workers I stay in touch with have said they want to have a small shower for me this summer, which is fine, and I figure one other big one at my house with remaining friends and my husband's big Italian family, while I am still comfortably in my eight month, should be a good deal. Any thoughts? Suggestions?

U2? Me, too: My U2 concert in June is canceled. Bono apparently broke his back. Asshole. (I mean, I'm sorry, Bono, I love you and please still be my secret boyfriend). It looks like the US dates are getting rescheduled to next year. Boo. I saw them at Soldier Field last September, so I'm just being greedy wanting to see them in Lansing this summer, but I thought it was really cool that this would be the baby's first concert (since developing hearing -- we don't count the John Mayer douchetour a few months ago). I still have the Dead Weather show in July, which just isn't quite the same (because I do not desire to make sweet sweet lurve to Jack White).

Lemonade, anyone? [gulp, gulp] Hey, it's better than Kool-Aid.


bunny said...

You obviously rock for even trying to get your psychotic sister involved in the shower. I'm sorry she let you down so predictably, but I must again high five you for moving on after only an hour of sobbing. I wish you could be surrounded by a loving, supportive family, but better to miss out on that than find yourself surrounded by a bunch of vicious crazies, while holding your shower in the local Hooters. And of COURSE you should throw a shower. Doing it yourself in your own home is probably the best way to ensure it's what you want. Though getting some backup in the form of a co-host is also wise, since you'll probably still be passing out and vomiting. Have as many showers as you can, that's my assvice!

AS you may recall, I am super anti the traditional games, but having something to do might distract guests from crawling up your vagina. The mobile making activity I selected went down really well, though requires a certain level of willingness to be arty. I also heard of a onesie decorating activity at a shower, and that sounded cool!

kdactyl said...

Sorry about your sucky sister. I'm thinking it might be a good thing she lives so far away. But hey...totally agree on the low key baby shower without all the games....I am an anti-game person also and for both my showers we just did a luncheon, visited and then had cake and opened presents...it was really very nice and because you are not wasting all that time on games, you actually get to visit and enjoy your guests.

Kelly said...

Sorry your sister blows.

I'm glad you're still throwing a shower for yourself, though! I think it'll be nice to look back on it, no matter how lame those things can be. Also... presents!

ASP said...

Oh, so that makes 2 of us that didn't have our sisters at our weddings because of stupid petty bullshit like food and party favors for the shower? So damn ridiculous. I'm so tired of people, like our sisters, always acting the world owes them something because of the P-O-O-R choices they've made in life. I really think me, you and Trinity are all from the same asshole family. Seriously. And good for you for hosting your own shower, in your own home, where you're comfortable and want to have it. F everyone else. Assholes.

jenicini said...

Wow, drama queen sister. I can't believe that your sister didn't come to the wedding because of the food!!! The best part of hosting your own baby shower is that you get to do whatever the hell you want! Whoo!

kmina said...

Isn't family a blessing? ;-)))
I think your sister might be the spiritual child of my MIL. Seriously. She sounds just as sweet and endearing. And thoughtful. And kind. And totally un-manipulative.

Boy, am I glad that in my culture (and in Europe in general) baby showers are simply non-sense! THANK YOU, GOD.

Coincidentally (I am just smug about it because it is obviously all my doing...) Bono got his surgery in Munich. Where I live, of course. But because he let your baby down, I shan't go visit him. Not now, when I know that he has been your secret boyfriend for so long. There.