Chitchat and the occasional in-depth analysis about fiber, knitting, spinning, crochet, cooking, feminism, self-image, and a modicum of personal blathering.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Gee, our old LaSalle ran great

Family is good food.

Yesterday was, of course, Thanksgiving in the US. It's a day when we all get together, rehash old family drama, create new family drama, eat a lot of really good food, and fall asleep watching inconsequential football games in the living room. My family is no exception.

They're mostly a good sort but there are lingering issues.

One of my aunts never fails to stir up drama on holidays. She was only nine when I was born. She viewed my arrival as supplanting her place as favored baby of the family, even though that wasn't strictly true. She's not had an easy life and has full subscriptions where most other people only have issues, so I don't precisely blame her, but it gets hard to deal with sometimes. A couple of years ago, my elder daughter and I were laughingly arguing back and forth at the sink in my mother's house and the aforementioned aunt, my Mom's sister, grabbed me painfully by the upper arm and yanked me away from my daughter. I turned around, told her to remove her hands from me immediately, and to never, ever grab me like that again. It shocked her. But she was pretty nice to me for the rest of the day. She's a bit of a bully and it seems whenever anyone stands up to her, it makes her back down in a hurry. Pushes her boundaries as it were.

Anyway. Yesterday we were playing a game of Bananagrams after dinner. At some point, my aunt had stopped playing and was walking around the table looking at what other people were doing and I think I was bemoaning my poor letters, and she said "Sucks to be you, bitch!"

When she says and does things like this, (a frequent occurence, by the way) she plays it off like it was a joke. I think, though, deep down inside, she's not joking at all, and she really has that much hatred and anger inside her, but she's been conditioned to bury her emotions. She's witty, funny, very intelligent, and manages to pull off the "sarcastic mean but goodhearted" schtick pretty well most of the time. I think in truth, it hides what's really going on, which is that some people, she really does hate that much, and I'm one of them. It can't be easy being her, is all I can say about it.

I didn't precisely laugh the comment off, acted surprised and a bit offended in a joking way (gods, our family dynamics are complicated) and nothing more was said about it. I wanted to let her know that she really did hurt me without making a scene about it. Unfortunately it doesn't matter, because if what I believe is true, she wants to hurt me and my best tactic would be to probably ignore it.

What bothers me is my mother is put in the middle of it. She told me last night (after my aunt and uncle had left with a bit more drama stirred in for fun) that she feels her sister, my aunt, tries to get her to "choose" between her and me. My mother said there's obviously no choice, my daughter comes first, but it's wrong to do that, because you should not have to choose between family because they're all your family.

I'm very proud of my mother because she's come a long way. She had a hard time too, growing up in the same family, having a baby at a very young age, having to work hard and make a home for us and deal with me as a kid when she was only a kid herself. She did good and she continues to grow as a person which I think is awesome. I know this hurts her more than she lets on, but I don't think that my aunt is capable of changing her behavior without much therapy and she'd never, ever go into therapy.

It was mostly a good day though. Even though one of my daughters was missing (she's still in Tennessee) and the other one came late and didn't stay long. I managed to deal with the wooden floors, low furniture, and upstairs bathroom without getting stuck or hurt anywhere and my leg was feeling pretty okay until we left, which was when the foot cramps started again.

In crafty news, I'm really hoping to get some pictures up soon. I have had a massive crafting tragedy in that the DNA socks are not going to have enough yarn to finish. If you've been reading along, those are made from handspun cheviot. So, that means that in order to finish the socks I will need to spin more three ply fingering weight cheviot. In addition to starting my mother's socks, finishing my mother in law's socks, making facecloths for my aunts (one of which is the one I talk about above, BTW)and my mother, and scarves for my cousins. And I might have to spin more cotton to get three facecloths. OH JOY. Even when I set the bar low in terms of holiday crafting, it manages to raise itself to dizzying heights.

This too shall pass. In a month, it'll all be over. In the meantime, I'm off to do some spinning.


LisaBe said...

omg. that could be our family. different cast, same movie. but i just wanted to put you under advisement that i *will* be stealing "has a full subscription where most people have issues." that is priceless. (but seriously, sorry about the fambly drama. i feel your pain.)

Jenny McB said...

I came over from Ravelry, looking at your wine cozy and just read your blog about Thanksgiving dinner. It made me think about movies and just look at the drama that occurs at the dinner table, now multiply that by holiday expectations and extended family. We have an aunt that we my brother and I have already decided we won't be involved with at all after my mother dies. My mom has been way to understanding of her sister's faults, whereas my brother and I just don't want to deal. But your family sounds closer and at least your mom is honest with you. Enjoy your holiday knitting! Sure does sound like a lot.

Jamie Fritz said...

Lisa, you're welcome to use that whenever you like. I am not even sure after all these years if I made it up or stole it, myself.

Thanks for the sympathies and Jenny, yes, my mom is a blessing in many ways. A curse in others, but still... :)