Thursday, July 2, 2009

Thursday 13 Things to remember during this family weekend

1.  I am not the keeper of family happiness.  If someone gets cranky or pissed, it's not up to me to fix it.  

2. This IS my family.  No use mourning for those who are not here (daughter) because if I do, it will obliterate the joy of those who are.  This is a hard one for me.

3. I do not have to rearrange my entire tiny house for entertaining for two days.  Clean paper plates, a place for a few people to sit and a fresh toilet paper roll-that's my only obligation.

4.  Sometimes over thinking things is just that-over thinking.  Learn to leave it alone.

5. I don't owe anyone explanations for anything.  (Why do you keep snakes, etc.)

6. I have a lot of toys.  I didn't have a lot of toys when I raised my one child alone-that child is gone, I didn't start a second family-but I did start buying toys.  When you aren't raising generations of children, you get to have toys.  (refer to no. 5).

7. I don't have to let you play with all my toys if I don't want to, or I think you are going to either hurt one or be hurt by one.  My toys, my choice.  (refer to no.'s 5 and 6).

8. My animals are not toys.  When they are tired, they are put away to rest.  Not all of them like people other than me-and that's ok, because they are mine, not yours.

9. Yes, I want to draw on the sidewalk with the kids.  I don't care what the neighbors think (unless they want to join us).

10. No, sorry, you can't stay here.   My extra bedroom is full of snakes-it cuts down on overnight stays.

11.  Out of ice/beer/chips?  Wow, somebody better run to the store then.

12.   I'm not sure why the parrot farts and belches.  He was already doing that when I got him.  Ok, he didn't say "good LORD" afterward, but, uh, see no. 5.

13.  Everything that bites is in a cage.  If you stick your fingers in and get bit-don't come crying to me.

Honestly, I am looking forward to the cook out and visit, but these are things I need remind myself of.  My brother's kids and grandkids are coming up, and so my brother decided to come for a visit too.  Of course, all my household projects are "in process" and not done because I've been sick.  But I suppose if you waited till everything got done, you'd never do anything at all.


Lisa at Greenbow said...

If people get bored put them to work on your projects. It would be fun to see your sidewalk art. Sounds like fun to me.

studio lolo said...

The 4th of July is one of my least favorite holidays. I don't like firecrackers, cherry bombs or fireworks. I hate them!
I do like cookouts and good conversation, and this year I'll be at my sister's in CO. That should be way fun.

I like your rules. Lay em' out so everyone knows the scoop!

happy and safe 4th Deb. And remember, small bites of hot dog ;)

Debra Kay said...

I'm taking number one to heart and bowing out of the rib fest today (or the alternate fried chicken fest). I need to spend some time at the stable and prepare for the Hot Dog fest on Saturday.

And, selfishly, I am enjoying the time where Mom and Dad have something interesting to do and people who love them to do it with besides me. I don't have to be there every minute making sure no one gets tired or pissed off. And, if someone does get tired or pissed off, maybe family members need to see that too and get a better sense of what I deal with.

Like many kids, I took on the roll of making sure no one gets angry-and that's not a good roll to take on. I'm resigning now. My roll is now to make sure no one gets hurt-they can get pissed off all they want to. Hell, they can get pissed off at ME for all I care-they usually do. Scapegoat was my other familiar roll, black sheep, whatever.

Strangely, though it may sound like it, I'm NOT pissed off. I assigned those rolls to myself, though I didn't know it at the time.

The awful truth is-families are no different than other people-they put you through what you allow. It really was a shock to me when I realized this-coming back from California sick and tired and at the end of my rope. Now, I'm not shocked, and I'm not even sad (I was for a day or two) because, well, families ARE people!

Expecting my family member to act like Norman Rockwell ideals is a little bit like expecting Oliver not to fart or shit where he wants to-it isn't going to happen-AND further, it isn't even a fair expectation.

Hmmm, I'm growing up.

soulbrush said...

5 and 10 tickled me 'pink' you have fun you'all, kick back and just let them BE, and hopefully they will do the same for you.

Debra Kay said...

Exactly-I announced when I would be cooking/visiting-and if I'm here otherwise, I'll be glad to visit.

I think, and I'm just guessing, that the entire family has, for many years, revolved around their visits, but with all the extended families due to divorce, it's tough. So, my new mantra is "this is what I'm going to do".

But REALLY, and I'm not Emily Post, but when you have a family of small children (full force is a family of 4 for two daughters) and you are going to visit small houses with old people, it is polite to at least let them know when you are going to be there.

At Thanksgiving, they just showed up a day early, and I scrambled around trying to feed everyone, make nicey nice, smooth over old people. Piss on that.

Today's lunch has bounced from a menu for 12 to a menu for 3 (I pulled out too, but I was the one trying to make a plan) and Mom, Dad and Bill are going to Jakes to eat ribs and I'm going to the pasture to bathe my horse.

But, I don't know how much pressure the other side of their families put on them to be there, stay a certain amount of time, etc. I just know I'd like a rough head count for days I'm responsible for dinner, and for days when I responsible, they are going to be a regularly scheduled meal times. My parents are old and Daddy can't wait an extra hour or so.

I'm just a crabby old bitch but it's hard to go from doing my own thing for sooooooo many years to feeling expected to entertain but not have any parameters. I can relate to how Mom feels-and she's just done-she's announced she's not going to do it. As the next generation in line, I don't feel like I can do that yet, but I can put limits on what I'm willing to do.

This is why people move to the other side of the country-but I'm sure there is some value in figuring it all out too-I sure hope there is.

Debra Kay said...

By the way-re:10-my bedroom does not have snakes in it-and if I wanted someone to stay I'd sleep in the snake room or the living room-just saying....but you guys are the only ones that know I have a rollaway cot or that I sometimes sleep on the sunporch or pergola in the chaise.....

Julie said...

I personally like to meet people at a hotel!!! Perfect for a SHORT visit, and they can pay for their own room! LOLOL! I LOvE your list here!!!!!!!

kj said...

haha, this is a KMA post, for sure it is!!

breathe and reread this as needed. you're on to something...


Debra Kay said...

I AM on to something. Some folks claimed hurt feelings because I left and went to the stable, and I said "oh well".

1. Because I needed to go to the stable and work my horse and 2. Because I felt that the real reason feelings were hurt was because I wasn't there to roll out the dog and pony show and entertain the kids.

I mean come ON. I almost died last month and no one knew or cared, and now I'm supposed to suspend all activity because they are in town? How absurd is that? And again, no one wants to visit with me as much as they want to be attended by me.

Ok, the whole hurt my feelings routine always sets me off, especially when it's not genuine.