So my father called work yesterday and asked me to help move a dresser drawer with Tommy into Nana's apartment today. I called Lisa, and even though she was supposed to work until one (it's her last day at her old job), she rearranged her schedule to accommodate me.
This morning I called my parent's house at ten to talk over getting it over there. Kerrie answered the phone.
"Where's Tommy?" I asked.
"Oh, he just left," she replied. (He had slept over there the night before.)
"Oh," I replied, "I was supposed to drop off Nana's dresser with him today."
"Oh, he did that last night, all alone," she replied. "And complained about his back all day today."
Okay, I admit, this was annoying to me. "See, this is what I hate about my family," I replied. "Everyone tries to one up the other person." Because that's it. Tommy wanted to go there, looking like the hero, the leader of the clan.
"No, that's not it," she replied defensively. "And by the way, thanks for inviting us over last week-end."
Ouch. Well, it really had been a last minute thing. "Well, look, Tommy hasn't been to a single one of our kid's birthday parties in three years," I replied.
"But I have."
"Well, yes you have, but..." I paused. In the back of my mind I was thinking about our conversation in December, where I had been really upset on the phone with her, discussing the fact that Lisa and I might be separating, and d her response had been, "Can we go out and discuss this after the New Year?" So I do feel a bit of ambivalence to her right now. I tried another tactic. "You know, you have an open invitation, any time you want to come over."
"You're never home during the weekdays."
"But I am during the weekends."
"Well, I do have a little thing called the MCATs to deal with," she replied. She's in the process of getting her degree. She's a very smart girl, and I'm proud of her. Despite it all.
At that point, I should have said, "Well, then I suppose you won't have a problem with the fact that you weren't invited." But I didn't. Instead I said, "Well, we all have a lot of things going on in our lives," and left it at that.
I will see Nana this week-end, but I must tell you, I have an incredible indifference about the rest of my family. I wish we could be closer, but we're not. Partially, I think, because they are not going to be supportive in the next few months. They are going to be adamantly opposed to this process. Better that we live in denial than confront any issues head on--that's their motto.
Grrr. Hey, I can't take this one on. Too much going on in my life.