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All in the Family

One of the things I’ve always loved about Hubs’ family is that when he and I began dating they welcomed me and my daughters with open hearts.  That’s like “open arms” but better!  We were treated like family before the wedding actually made us family.  My youngest daughter, K still lived at home then and Hubs’ mom and sisters never forgot her birthday.  My father-in-law loved her and was so proud of the adult she became and didn’t hesitate to tell her every time he saw her.  And tell us too.

So it came as something of a surprise when I learned that A (Hubs’ daughter with the Ex) doesn’t think of K as “family”.   But then A was raised by her mama.  Go figure.

Hubs and I met K and I, (her significant other) for dinner last night. 

Tangent:  Wow, sorry for the confusing first initial usage; blogging anonymously is hard!  I could give everyone a pseudonym but with six kids, almost nine grandchildren plus sisters, brothers, etc. I’d have trouble remembering who’s going by what name!  Maybe I need to set up a spreadsheet.  End tangent.

After dinner we gravitated to the bar for a nightcap and the four of us continued our conversation.  K wants to move closer to us – woo hoo!  Currently, she and her guy live in the downstairs apartment of the duplex owned by my brother-in-law.  Her Sister A lives upstairs with the new husband, D and 3 year old son from her first marriage.  Because of the proximity it’s natural that the “sisters” would spend a lot of time together and they did when K and I first moved there several months ago.  More recently A doesn’t like to be around I (he reminds her of her Ex) and she even gets mad at her husband when he spends time with them.  When I heard that my brain went, “Wow, what?”  D is a grown man and he should be able to visit whomever he wants, shouldn’t he? It’s not like he’s out partying or bar-hopping; he’s right downstairs!

But that’s not all.  A’s mama, the Ex from hell, visits a LOT.  She and her husband live in Oregon and show up here in Washington at the drop of a hat it seems.  Last October A & D got married and for the week or two before the wedding the Ex was in residence.  Daughter A made a special chocolate cake from the family’s secret recipe for her stepdad’s birthday.  K said how good it was and asked what was in it.  Now remember K thinks of A as her sister and that they’re family AND thought A felt the same way.  At K’s question about the recipe, the Ex said, “It’s a family recipe.”  K didn’t quite get it yet and said, “Yes but what’s in it?”  The Ex repeated with emphasis, “It’s a family recipe.”  K finally understood and looked at A for her reaction.  A agreed, “Yeah.”  K said that’s when she understood where the lines were drawn and that she and A were not really family in A’s eyes.  Nice huh?

The worst part?  I can’t say anything.  K can handle herself and after the initial shock she’s okay with not being part of that family (A, her mama, the Stepdad).  But I want to strangle someone.  How dare that bitch treat my daughter like she’s just some stranger off the street?  Especially after she abandoned her husband in the middle of the night while he was at work?  Who the hell does she think she is? 

Besides, I’m so fucking tired of having to play nice whenever the Ex joins OUR family gatherings.  Last weekend we met Mom and the SIL/BIL she lives with for dinner.  We heard A & D would be there and we thought someone had told K & I about it and they’d be there.  But when I talked with K about it she hadn’t heard until just then (when we’re getting ready to leave our house).  They already had dinner in the crockpot and wisely bowed out.  Then when we arrived, the Ex and Stepdad were there.  No one warned us they would be there and I have to admit I did not handle it at all well.  First I was pissed off that no one thought to tell my daughter about a family dinner.  (I’d only heard details about it myself that morning but I presumed since A lives above K that she’d keep her in the loop.  I won’t make that mistake again!)  Mostly I kept my mouth shut and refused to engage beyond single syllables.  I did have to excuse myself to the ladies’ room once to have a good angry cry.  Luckily I had the excuse that I was still recovering from the pneumonia and everyone thought I was “toughing it out” to be there.  If someone had insisted on knowing what was wrong I probably would have ruined dinner. 

So where does that leave me?  Between a rock and a hard place damn it.  I can’t live with the bitch and I can’t use her for target practice.

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