Wednesday, September 9, 2009

What to do? What to do? (unabridged version)

I can't believe I'm mad at my cousin.

I'm hoping time will heal things between us, as I know it will, but every time I think about it, I just get frustrated. Even as I sit here, taking notes in Science class, I find my eyes welling up with tears. Frustrated tears. Imagine "the teacher" as the kids call me, sitting here crying as she stares blankly at her computer screen.

I'm an emotional train wreck; the littlest things make me cry. And I wish that I could say it is because I'm upset about my sister going to college, or blame it on the new medication, but the truth is I've always been this way. It sucks. I try hiding the heart I wear on my sleeve, but sometimes it's not that easy. So when I found myself angry with him this past weekend, it was hard for me to pretend otherwise.

So what happened? That's the big question.

Friday afternoon I received a text from my mother; I love her, but she sometimes strikes me as paranoid. She was sort of upset about something, which I later found out was with my aunt--whom she had called, and allegedly been ignored by, three times. I can't remember the specifics of the text, but I remember she was already upset about my cousins coming; not that they were coming, but that she thought she'd totally be abandoned by them.

I rolled my eyes and laughed her off, assuring her that they woutldn't do that. Don't be silly.

Well, Friday night comes, and I can't wait to see my cousins. I'm sad when I find out they won't be arriving until midnight, but that's ok. I'll see them in the morning. I think I talked to them around 8 or 9; they were already on the road. McPreggers had to pee, and I remember yelling (jokingly) at him to let the pregnant woman pee.

Saturday came; I think I want for a walk with him and Sargent Pollo (P.S. I suck at pseudonyms). I'm pretty sure it was Saturday, because Sunday I avoided him. Maybe it was Sunday night, and not Saturday; I really don't remember. All I know is that after the morning walk, and hearing McPreggers rave about my mother's mattress (they'd slept on the first floor, because mom has been sleeping up in Elsa's room) Mom and I ran to the store. I felt like I was ditching them, but at the same time, I had to go to the store to buy the stuff I needed for my infused french toast. If I didn't go, Mom would have paid for everything, and I didn't want her doing that. Especially where I had just gotten a pay check.

Well, we tried to be quick with the shopping, but that never happens. I went and I bought my crushed pineapple, cream cheese, some crescent rolls, and half-and-half for their coffee. I also bought cool ranch doritos for McPreggers. Mom had previously purchased Nacho cheese, which was awesome for me (and maybe the guy who stole Chubby-cheek's identity) but I clearly remember the fact that pregnant women love cool ranch doritos. I ended my search for strawberries; there were literally no strawberries, which depressed me. I found my mom, and found that she had already gotten a thing of creamer, so she told me to go put mine back and pick up a red onion. So I went back and did what I was told; miraculously finding strawberries on the 3rd walk by the aisle. Whatever. I know they weren't there to begin with. Perhaps the stocking-lady had something to do with this. I'm betting she did. I'm positive she was hiding the onions too, but she told me where to find them.

I remember I called them 50x from the store; they usually forget their phones, so I was hoping they'd hear it ringing at least once. They wanted me to pick up white bread, but I wasn't sure what kind, so I figured I'd call to tease them. "Whole grain white bread? Giant white bread? Hearty Canadian White bread?" Everywhere I looked, there was another type of white bread. No one ever answered so I went with Giant.

On the way back from the store, we got a little distracted by a yard sale. (I, personally, blame Chubby-cheeks, because when we drove by there was this little worm-cycle bike thing that caught my eye.) Upon closer inspection, the wheels didn't work; but I did find an awesome wooden ship that would have been a great toy, had it not been broken and out of my price range.

Well, we got home a little later than anticipated; I knew they were on a walk, so I tried not to bug them; calling only to let them know we went down to the Wildwood Barbeque, and that they were more than welcome to stop down and grab some lunch. I grabbed my camera and took pictures of my neighbors (hoping to be able to identify them at a later date; seriously I don't know their names...)

It seemed like forever before they got back; and I'm 99.9% sure they played wii and farmville. Halfway through the day, his back started to hurt; so we gave him heating pads, patches, and medicine to try and help him out. I'm not sure if that's before or after we all fell asleep on the couch, though. After that, I can't really remember the full details of Saturday night. I know we had steak tips, and McPreggers' mac and cheese. That took up most of the evening. Somehow we wound up by my dad's campfire, though.

I think we drove over. That fits in my head--we drove over, and I sat with my dad for a bit. They walked up to the..... ReLays? Sure. They disappeared for quite a bit, and my dad and I talked about what? I don't remember. It was sort of awkward, as was the rest of the night. I know Mr. and Mrs. Poodle stopped by, and I occasionally talked with them, but really nobody talked to me. They were all off in their own conversations.

Between that boringness, and the fact my cousin could barely sit still, I got the bright idea to sneak home and change the sheets on my bed (great excuse in my book, though it didn't fly with my dad, who wanted me to stay and apparently twiddle my thumbs the rest of the night. Again, boring.) So I snuck off to do my heroic deed of back-saving with three thoughts on my mind: 1) the memory of how much my back hurt after sleeping on my mom's mattress, 2) the fact she'd been sleeping on my sister's mattress, and how it always made her back feel better, and 3) hoping they would both be able to get a great night's sleep.

I got a text from McPreggers shortly after I left--asking me where I was going.

So I told her, and asked her if she wanted to come with me. She never seems entirely enthusiastic about the campfires, so I figured she might want to escape with me. Surprisingly, the reply was a no. Well, we texted back and forth for several minutes, until I wound up walking into a tree on Gecko's lawn. I managed to find my way back to the road, minimally disoriented.

I went home and had a minifight with my mom. She didn't want to change beds at midnight, and I told her she didn't have to and that she just had to give me them. I proceeded to tear off my sheets, and stuff all my junk in my closet (sheets, blankets, extra pillows, room crap, furniture, etc) I put on the new sheets, brought up their blankets and pillows, the electric heating pad, and did my best to ensure the bed was easily accessible (it's sort of stuffed in the cove of my room, so I moved junk so it was easier to get in and out of) After this, I got the "I love daddy" onesy I bought for Numero Uno, and put it out on the bed so that when they came up they could have a little surprise.

Still being texted by Mcpreggers, and still trying to convince her that it was no big deal, I got the text, "well all our stuff is downstairs" so I moved that too. It was only two little bags, so it was really no big deal. I sent off my reply, "Not anymore"

Shortly after that, I went to lay down and rest. My phone rang, and it was him; I know he was drunk, though McPreggers would argue against it. I know what a drunk phone call sounds like, though; when people talk in circles and fail to let you interject. Yeah. I could tell just by the tone of his voice he was pissed. "We're fine! Just leave our stuff alone! We're fine! You won't take no for an answer! We're fine! Just leave our stuff alone!"

"It's already done" I tried interrupting three times, until I just bit my tongue and shut up. "Fine. I'll move it back." I finally said, and one of us hung up. My initial reaction was to jump up and go throw his stuff down the stairs, but I resisted. I actually laid there for maybe 15 minutes to see if they'd come back and apologize. Maybe hangout. With me. But I wound up going upstairs and stripping my bed; carrying down their blankets and pillows, and belongings. I grabbed my blankets from the closet and tried to sleep; it was impossible. I was furious. I didn't fall asleep until long after they'd come back, and I was half-tempted to go yell at him, but as it was, things were already going to be awkward come morning. I just cried myself to sleep instead.

Mom, oblivious to everything in her state of slumber, texted me around 230 or so telling me there was no toilet paper in the upstairs bathroom. I snuck downstairs, hoping to avoid everyone, and brought back some toilet paper.y

Sunday Morning, I stayed upstairs. I didn't know what to do or say, so I hid upstairs. Stupid, I know, but I didn't know what else to do. I didn't want to be alone, especially where I was still so upset. And did they even know I was upset? How could I sit there and return a smiley "Good morning" when my insides were boiling.

Finally, mom woke up and went downstairs. I went and hung out with her and McPreggers. I think we talked about it a little, but it was really uncomfortable. I tried keeping conversation light and off-topic. McPreggers wanted to have the infused french toast, that morning, but I wasn't feeling so generous. Instead I stalled and said, "Well I wanted to wait for Elsa to come home" (obviously wanting to have a big, happy breakfast with my sister). I had also had a bagel, already, not wanting to have to wait to eat and take my meds until they were ready to wake up and eat. I texted Elsa, but she was unclear as to whether she was coming home Monday, or if she wanted to come today.

He came in, and immediately came over to give me a hug, kiss on the side of the head, and an apology. I said it was "ok" and called him a jerk with a half smile on my face. I asked him how his back was, and he said better. I said "good." I don't know if that was the truth, or just a lie to keep me from saying "I told you so," but I'm glad he was better. (Although, I really did want to be right about the mattress thing)

Then, in an effort to forget my hostility, I ran upstairs to get the gift I had intended on surprising him with. "Here you go, you big jerk." I told him, deciding then that I would just call him a big jerk for the rest of their visit.

I was hoping the gift would smooth things over for me; I'm always happy when I make other people happy, so that should have been the end of it. But things were still a little weird. Especially when I started thinking about the texts from the night before. We'd texted back and forth, and at one point I had said, "pick one: mine or elsa's" In regard to tempur-pedic mattresses. The reply to that had been, "But where would your mom sleep"

In the back of my head, I was thinking, "why such the fuss about sleeping in my room?"... "why would they be willing to sleep in Elsa's room?"... "What's wrong with my room?"

I'd been offering them my room since before they'd even been pregnant, or staying with us. It finally started clicking in my head that maybe they didn't want to sleep in my room for some reason. Why would they stay in my mother's room and my sister's room so easily? What was wrong with my room?

"Screw them," I decided, and told myself to take the offer is off the table. But when we talked about it later that morning, and I was trying so hard to avoid the tension, confrontation, and blowing my lid, I told them they could sleep wherever they wanted. They may have picked up on the insincerity of my tone, but I didn't quite care. I still had done a lot of work for them, and if they wanted to sleep in my room (with apparent cooties) I was going to make them do all the work themselves.

"So let's talk about sleeping arrangements, " Mcprggers stated; as mentioned, I was less than enthused. I remember saying it was whatever was best for his back, and I remember them saying "we're fine where we are."

So, whatever, my room had cooties. After that, I'm pretty sure McPreggers started playing Farmville again, and, I know for sure, he played wii. I know this because during one of his rounds of tennis, I said, "Well I know you didn't come up here to lay around and play video games; what do you want to do today?"

No response.

How awkward was that? No one said anything. Did they not hear me? Or what? I know my mother had tried to make plans with them the Saturday morning. She told me that she had told McPreggers she wanted to get me out of the house. Why was it that they really didn't want to even discuss making plans? Let's go for an ice cream? Let's go to North Conway? Let's play that freaking board game I've been talking about every night since you got here? Let's go for a walk? Let's do something??

Mom went for a walk after this; she went down to the CrazyLumber Docks. After about 10 minutes or so, I followed. It was sort of awkward watching them play video games with no intention of talking. I went down and talked with Mom, and saw that she was frustrated too. She just wanted to do something, and so did I.

I called Elsa to see what she was doing, and she said her plans had been canceled. She wanted to come back today, so I think, GREAT! Something to do!! It will totally be less awkward if she's here--we can all talk about college, and stuff like that.

Well, I talked with her at the docks and then went back to share the good news. He'd been standing there, playing wii, and he stopped to talk. I could tell, just by the tone and pace of his voice, I wasn't going to like it. He was tense, I could just tell. Like he had something to say that he knew I wasn't going to like, but he had to say it anyway, so he was just going to get it over with. "so," He paused, "I talked to [your father]. He's going to the sandbar."

AKA, "We're ditching you yet again, we're going to the sandbar."

I was disappointed, but what was I going to do? The tense stand, and the way he'd said it had been awkward enough for us both. I wasn't going to make matter worse and argue about it. I wasn't going to tell him that the only reason Els was coming home from college was to see THEM. Or that she was so excited to see them that she was willing to clean her dorm room to show it off to THEM. Maybe I should have mentioned this beforehand?? But it was too late now.

I can't remember what I said, but I remember trying to be upbeat. Then I decided I'd go with my mom to get Elsa, because I really didn't want to hang out on the beach. I really didn't want to ditch my mom. I just wanted to have some fun, and after thinking about both options (going to the beach and being ignored vs going for a ride to see my sister) the car ride seemed more fun.

As if that wasn't bad enough, adding to the awkwardity was the fact he told wouldn't be coming back from the sandbar until 7PM. "We don't want to rush, so we'll be there until 7PM" or something like that. "We'll eat dinner when we get back"

I'm sure what he said was less demanding, and I know he only said it to avoid what happened last time (where my mom freaked out when the three of us came back and asked if the 3 cooked chickens were ours or what not; come on, that's confusing. Why would a person cook 3 chickens for 2 people--and get mad when 3 people wonder if 3 chickens are for them or not)

Anyway, what he said had been one of those things that you say and sounds wrong no matter how you say it--even though it wasn't wrong to say.

Still, the damage had been done. We left to go get Lys and were back by 4PM We stopped for the ice cream I'd been craving (not custard--unfortunately--but I got a root beer float with chocolate chip icecream--hey don't diss it until you've tried it!) I got to see my sister. We caught up and laughed. Talked about boys, and school. Then we fell asleep on the sofa.

I think we woke up around 6-6:30 and they were back from the sandbar. We talked, and it was ok, but it stunk that Elsa came all the way back to eat dinner with them and leave. When my mom went to drive her home, I stayed to hang out with them. They decided to go to another campfire--third night in a row.

Goodbye board game. Goodbye face masks. Goodbye fun evening. Hello drunk half-conversations in which my sanity is lost. Sure I sometimes have fun, but that's only sometimes. It's not cool listening to your dad talk in circles. It's not cool sitting by yourself because everybody else talks to everybody else, and you only get into a conversation when you (a) know what is being talked about and (b) are acknowledged as a participant in said conversation. Like I said, sometimes it's fun, but more often than not, people are so enthused with hearing themselves talk, or so excited about the story they are telling, they rarely let you in.

So I decided to make an appearance. This time, I didn't get ditched for the ReLays, and instead I went in to see their new extension. It was nice seeing them, but depressing at the same time. Gwen could barely walk, and apparently she'd fallen off the extension several times. She was drugged, and confused. It was sad. It's also sad that I always get along better with people's pets than I do with the people themselves. They were all doing shots of Mead, and I guess one of the girl's husbands was attempting to drive home shitfaced.

Great, I think to myself. In a few days I'll be attending a funeral. What a great way to spend the night! Before I had even gotten to say "hello" I could tell the guy was hammered. He was slurring his words, and barely able to stand up. Now he was going to drive home?

I don't get why people drink, so seeing them drink always puts me in a bad mood to begin with. Alcohol ruined my life and destroyed my family, but that's a ranting for another time. Let's stay on topic, shall we? I've already written a minibook here as it is.

Cut to the fire: Amanda sits by herself again. Big shocker. Topic of conversation: drug addicts you once knew in high school. I went and talked to my dad--about what I can't remember. But I know I helped him in the kitchen, so that made me feel good.

I went back out and stood in front of the fire--waiting for someone to ask me to move. No one seemed to notice, though.

It was cold, so I got a chair and sat by the fire. Checking my phone every few minutes to see if it was 11Pm yet. Mom had left at 9; it had been an hour there and back. Occasionally I chatted with a ReLay girl, but it never got serious. I just tried butting in on a few conversations, but they never went anywhere. Finally it was 11 and I went home. My excuse was that I couldn't stay up too late, because I needed to stay on my schedule for work. Really I was just bored. Bored and feeling bad for having my mom sit home, alone, for the second night in a row. Especially after she had worked so hard on the dinner--chicken, peas, stuffing; it was like thanksgiving. Cranberry sauce. etc, etc.

So I went home to hang out with my mom, assuming my cousins would follow wanting to spend some time (on their last night here) with us. But you know what they say about when you assume. (When it's an ASS U make of ME---ASSUME) I didn't see them again until morning. Heard them come in, though. It's hard to sleep when you are upset.

So I evaluated my situation, I posted a somewhat-angry facebook status of being "disappointed with the weekend." I knew it was going to be hurtful to them, and I debated upon it, but I was really upset. I bragged all week about getting to see my cousins. It was the "finish line" I used to get through work, even when I was miserable. "It's ok. I get to see my family this weekend." I'd tell myself, and the hurdles seemed less large. I still don't get how I could be so excited to see someone, and then wind up crying myself to sleep 2/3 of the nights they were here. Mom had been right; they had basically ditched us; we should have just gone out ourselves.

The more I thought about it, the more angry I became, and it just builds and builds into tears of frustration. I'm a bottle up when it comes to emotions, that's no secret; so what am I supposed to do when I reach this point of explosion? I know I'm too upset to be thinking clearly, so I have to bite my tongue. I have to resist the urge to march down there and tell them how disappointed I was in the way things turned out.

I didn't want to increase the awkwardness, or have them be mad at ME for being so "crazy."
I didn't want to create some schism in our relationship, but at the same time, I feel it has already split, because it seems like they don't really care about me--which is stupid, because I know they love me--so I wonder if I'm being irrational--but I wonder how can I be irrational if I have a legitimate reason to be upset--which I have--or think I have--I didn't know anymore, I just wanted to cry.

I blasted my ipod, but that didn't help. I couldn't get my mind off of it. I tried listening to an audiobook, and loud music, but I couldn't stop my head from thinking. Maybe I was crazy; Maybe I wasn't; Maybe I shouldn't be angry; maybe I should be. I was just confused, and as much as I wanted to sort things out, I knew going downstairs to talk about it would probably end badly. Was I too upset to not lash out? Was he too drunk to not take offense and understand where I was coming from? How would it end? I didn't care to find out.

I just had to contain myself one more morning. McPreggers had already said they were "leaving early" because they didn't want to spend the day in traffic. I knew it was probably just because things had gotten really awkward, but I didn't care. It was just uncomfortable to be that upset with someone you love so much.

I just continued my internalization until I fell asleep. Morning came, and I hated myself for wishing they'd just go without saying goodbye. I thought I was being stupid, but I distanced myself just in case. I pretended to fall asleep on the sofa so I didn't have to talk to any of them. I eventually started talking to McPreggers. She wanted to use my computer to play farmville again. I took my time handing it over because I was pretty insulted that's how she wanted to spend the last of our time together. I try hard not to use the computer when people I like are around, and it's a little known etiquette of ours (Elsa's friends come over, then go on her computer, and ignore us most of the time; that's how we figure out which of our guests really are our guests or just people looking to take advantage of our luxuries.)

They went along with their plans, and packed the car. They didn't feed Sargent Pollo before they left, which surprised me. Somehow I was more surprised that when they said they were going over to my dads, yet again, to say goodbye. Secretly, I figured they were going to spend the day with him, and the leaving early was just a ploy. I don't know. I don't care. I just wanted them gone. How can I say that? I love them so much, but things just did not work. The chemistry was wrong. The timing was off. It was just a terrible visit.

I guess I'm not really "mad" at him. I'm extremely disappointed in him, but mad at the situation. Pissed with the situation. Raging insane about the situation. I'm mad that things turned out the way they did, and I'm mad at myself for being so upset that I made things awkward. And I don't know what to do next: do I call and talk about it? or just let it go? I don't know.

I know that I don't want to make things even more awkward--if that's possible. They probably haven't even thought twice about the situation; why bring it up? why risk inflicting more damage? why not just let it go?

What to do? What to do? I don't know.

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