Sunday, July 08, 2007

Oh, there were fireworks, all right.

Remind me to double-bag the ol' Snatchola more often.

Shall I lay the groundwork for you? The Aldikids had stayed out at Chez Inlaw the night before because Mr. and Mrs. Aldi were attending the wedding of one of Mrs. Aldi's cousins out of town.

Oh, to have been a fly on the wall at THAT fuckin freakfest soiree.

But I digress. On the drive out, I mentioned to R that I'd talk about the house hunt, but if they started to ask questions about the financing, I was going to very politely but bluntly say that I just didn't feel comfortable discussing our finances. I gave R a heads-up so he'd have time to decide whether he was going to back me up or not.

We were hoping that the Lexi would be there as well, so as to deflect some of the delightful one-sided conversations FIL has with whoever is in close proximity. We pulled in to the Chez Inlaw driveway and were instantly relieved to see one of the Lexi's Lexi. That meant that Mr. Lexus, who is married to R's sister, would be there. He and I have bonded over the years as we share a mutual disdain for FIL. We've both had to prove that we were indeed good enough to marry into FIL's family.

We had a great dinner of BBQ pulled pork. I'll confess right here and now that I always chuckle childishly to myself a little at the words "pulled pork". It kinda sounds like "choked chicken" or "spanked monkey". Like, remember that episode of Seinfeld where George's mother catches him with a Glamour magazine pulling his pork, treating his body like it was an amusement park? Classic.

Anyway, sometime after dinner, while Beeb was in the bathroom and Tito and Pie were still eating at the table, Aldigirl and the Lexiboys were goofing around in the finished basement/lower level of the house, and I didn't see it happen, but apparently the 12-year-old Lexiboy (aka 1 Gig) was sitting in a recliner when Aldigirl laid down on the floor flat on her back and kicked the recliner over - full force - with 1 Gig in it, flipping it backwards onto the floor.

Ooooh Dear God, the shit storm. I assume it happened in front of FIL, because he laid into her instantly. I could hear him yelling upstairs, telling her that she was disrespectful to him and to his home, she could have hurt 1 Gig (she didn't), could have broken the chair (didn't), could have gotten hurt herself, yadda yadda... telling her that she was out of control and her parents were going to hear about it... if they weren't out of town he would call and tell them to come pick her up right now... on and on and on and ON. She's 8, by the way.

I'm not in any way defending what she did, she deserved to be in trouble, but I felt really bad for her. She had no one to turn to. Her parents weren't there. I wanted to tell her it was okay, but it WASN'T okay. I was just going to stay out of it as much as possible.

And then, I saw Aldigirl walk into the main-floor laundry room (where I was trying to stay out of it) and FIL followed her, all the way up from the basement. He looked at me and said, "Do you know what your niece just did?? Do you know what she did??? She kicked over the recliner with 1 Gig in it. Can you believe that? She's out of control and disrespectful. And she's not even apologizing, she's not even sorry, she's just walking away..."

Seriously. I had nothing to do with the situation, he was just trying to humiliate her in front of me. He was repeating all the shit he'd just said (which, of course, everyone in the house had already heard), and it really pissed me off. What was I supposed to do? I can understand him doing that if she was my kid, but I was in no way involved. He'd never done that to me before - cornered me and brought me in to something that he had no reason or right to - and I decided that if he ever does that to me again, I'm going to tell him straight to his face to leave me out of it.

Aldigirl was trying to get away from him, and I didn't blame her. She's learned, as we all have, that the best way to deal with his wrath is to just shut your mouth and endure the lecture for as long as it takes, making minimal eye contact, and then when you sense a break in the tirade, just get out.

R and I had a long talk about this on the way home. I thought it was so shitty of FIL to make sure he had a chance to kick her while she was down, in front of me. It was just so unnecessary. I almost felt like he did it to see what I would do, if I would defend her or take his side.

I really did want to hug her, but honestly, I was afraid to. The poor kid had been out there for a day and a half with only MIL and FIL and her 2-year-old brother to play with. I equated it to a puppy who'd been locked in a bathroom all day, and then when five kids come over to play, that puppy's gonna piddle on the floor. It's inevitable, it's their nature, yeah, ya gotta clean it up, but c'mon - show a little compassion.

She's really not a bad kid, she's just obnoxious and she has extremely lenient parents who don't really appear to have a discipline plan other than just avoiding the word "NO" as much as possible. Redirecting works when they're really little, but Aldigirl needs to understand consequences, and she's old enough to take responsibility for her choices. I have no doubt whatsoever that when FIL talks to the Aldis about the incident, they'll say, in the monotonous Eeyore voice, "Well, we'll taaaaaaalk to her..." Great. Hope that works for ya.

I just kept thinking Thank God it wasn't my kid.

Oh, and there were fireworks in the sky a few hours later, too. We staked out our spot on the hillside by the lake. At one point, R took the girls back to the house to go to the bathroom, and while R was gone, surprisingly, FIL spoke to me.

"So, Sarah - how goes the house hunting?"

Oh, it's ON.

It's going fine. We're still looking.

(Condescending chuckle) Well, THAT sounds like a very non-committal answer...

Ok, what do ya wanna know?

Have you seen anything you liked?

Yes, we've seen several that we liked. We haven't signed anything yet.

ANOTHER non-committal answer!

Well, then I'm not gonna talk about it.

And that was that. Not another word. He dropped it.

Do NOT screw with a chick sportin' two pairs of panties and an eyeball ulcer. Especially when it's 100 degrees outside. DO NOT.

And let me tell you, kids - it was the most empowered I've felt in a really long time. Better than helping R fix the brakes empowering. It was AWESOME. Of course, we'll have to wait and see if FIL gives R a hard time about me being secretive or whatever, but fuck him. At least I've drawn my line in the sand and I hope I've made clear that I would appreciate a little respect for our privacy. My life is not an open book.

Except to the people who read my blog. You lucky bastards.


Bezzie said...

Ha ha! Ok that last sentence sealed it!

Yeah we all know how rubbing the puppy's nose in the diddle works, which seems to be what FIL was doing with Aldigirl.


sherrypg said...

I happened upon your blog via who knows where (Rockin' Girl Blogger who was nominated by RGB who was nominated by RGB, who begot...well, you get the idea.) and I think I just may be coming back for more.

Zonda said...

Ha!! Alright!! Yes, we feel very priviledged! :)

Carina said...

That jerk. No, she and no one else could defend what she did (I would've freaked out, too), but humiliating her? Following her and continuing? I mean, I've been known to rant and rave forever over something like that, but they're my kids, and I don't continue with their aunts, you know? I don't tell their teachers and best friends and cousins and the entire universe. He crossed the line. Knowing me, I would've got down given her a hug and gotten her to say she was sorry just to tick him off. ;-)

You are the powerful one, and he needs to get that through his head. :-)

buttercup said...

WAY TO GO PK!!!! Very happy the double pantie power worked for ya!

Poor Aldigirl. Did she have to stay there much longer? Yikes

Carol said...

What a bully. You go girl! Power panties activate!

Ed said...

Strong are you with the force.

I have a niece like Aldigirl and she has similar parents. It makes me want to just shake them all like an English nanny.

Poops said...

Oh, Penny, how I do love you so.

Cheesy Knit Wit said...

Sweet. I'm so glad to be a lucky basterette!

Hang tough!

LilKnitter said...

Ah, I just adore you , PK! What a nasty bastard to be so hard on her! An obnoxious 8 yo is still only 8.

And I just love that you did, indeed, wear both the Power Panties and the Wonder Woman panties. You rock.

Elizabeth said...

Maybe you should call him DIL: Dick-in-Law.

I hope your husband can find the spine to stand with you instead of cowering under his father.

Batty said...

There's nothing quite as satisfying as standing up for yourself. You showed him!

I feel sorry for the little girl, though. Her behavior probably needs improvement, but being a kid means being at the mercy of grownups anyway, and being screamed at and humiliated has yet to turn anyone into a better person.

ZantiMissKnit said...

Oy. FIL is toxic. I agree with Elizabeth -- Dick-in-Law!

Kevin said...

Just to comment on the little things, since we've talked about the big things before:

I am SO glad I'm not the only one that laughs a little every time they hear "pulled pork". Here I thought I was sick and twisted and alone. Now I know I'm not alone. Thank you!