My mother is miserable. I will drone on about it.
My sister, her 13yo daughter, and a 13yo friend have been visiting a week. They drove down last Friday. It's not just the week's length part so much (although I was quite wise to book our trip down there only Wed to Sun in a few weeks), it's the attitude.
I truly dislike when hosts are treated as the help and as bottomless pits. (Ex encountered that earlier this summer and I am still fuming over his step sisters.) My mother is told when they are hungry and is not assisted, except my sister did take over doing the dishes. (Doesn't matter if my mother has a dishwasher, it will not be used.)
She feels taken advantage of in part because one thing went awry: she wanted to surprise them all with a trip to Di.sney w/a couple nights stay. My sister, who I've always called "Miss What Have You Done For Me Lately," said it'd been a goal for the trip, then she had a car repair and would not be able to afford it. My mother had been excited for weeks about the surprise. She feels like it has bitten her in the ass.
All three of the visitors have such a sense of entitlement and they are not gracious or thankful in the least. She'll get YIPPEEs out of them, but she deserves thanks. Martyr or no. It probably didn't help that very early the first evening they were there she said the girls are spoiled and my sister piped up that she feels guilty about their lifestyle, i.e. divorce, bankruptcy, alcoholic ex husband, bad decisions all around for which others must pay. Bad dynamic then and now. My sister does not mother.
Strangely, my sister, who is an RN (a seemingly giving breed who I have found to be pretty selfish, sorry to step on toes) would not even discuss my grandmother who just passed; my mother wanted some compassion and commiseration. In fact, all my sister wanted was to hunt for some souvenirs out of the china cabinet. (I can see how hard this will be once our parents die and she gets her grubby hands on everything.)
My mother was especially hurt about her house. She just bought it in May and it is a great feat for her. I admire how much she's accomplished on her own. My sister and the girls did not even compliment her on it or congratulate her on her purchase. They didn't say anything about her decorating or remodeling. Nothing. Jeez, even if you don't like it, you ought to oooh and ahhh over it. They need a few social graces thrust down their throat.
So their visit is a bust and we follow up in a few weeks. My mother said she's crankily kept her mouth shut for days, gone on mute. She's afraid if she says anything that it'll all tumble out and really get ugly. If I were my sister and had an ounce of self worth, I'd have left already.
The really funny part is that there is some sum left from my grandmother's estate (actually money that came to my mother, so she's being generous sharing) and my greedy sister would have gotten a check if she'd have had sense enough to behave. My mother asked me what she should do and I replied that it could be a 'go to' account next time sister asks for money.
Although I do have a better relationship with our mother, I know I better mind my p's and q's in a few weeks and make J do the same. He's already great about thank yous, quick hugs, and spontaneous 'i love yous', but he'll get periodic reminders, too.
As a housewarming, I've already purchased my mother a few wind chimes for her yard. I'd bought some for half price for my yard and she'd commented that she'd like a half price wind chime. Easy enough. I feel like maybe I should get her something else as a housewarming, but I'm not sure. Suggestions? She wants me to paint something big for a tall wall, but I will not be prepared to do that there. Goodness knows after the fiasco last Xmas when she didn't like how I depicted her as an angel, there's no telling how she'd like my interpretation of a still life or something.
With our trip coming up and because she's a FL resident and gets a discount at Sea.World (two for one right now), I put that stuff on her card. (If my grandmother were still living, we'd have just gone for one day and spent more time at the ranch like usual.) Also doing one tour each day, including one where we get to touch a penguin, something she was very excited about, that she'd always wanted to do that. I booked/paid for the rooms and plan to book/pay for a dinner/show for each night. One is a special Shamu and the other Polynesian - I knew she's like the latter and J would like the former, so I'm doing both - I'm all about making everybody happy. I will be very conscious of paying for as much as I can.
Yeah, I'm just hoping the egg shells aren't too deep when we get there.