Monday, August 13, 2007

When ya have three kids...

First off, our trip was very good. I've learned to ignore my mother's zingers, but I am only human. I'll post pictures of our trip later. SeaWorld is magical.

Leaving the airport, J, who had been very responsible which his luggage and mine, left his suitcase outside the car. It was discovered 45 minutes later and thank goodness I had my cell number on the tag. So the ride home was an hour and a half extra on stretches where you take your life in your hands. Gosh, I was pissed and frustrated and tired.

Ex called when we were almost home, saying he and his step father finished the fence. I had not expected the ex-ILs to extend their visit through Monday, so I figured J should spend the night over there in order to see them. We swung by to see my beautiful fortress of a fence and greet the cats who seemingly missed us, then on to ex's.

I'd planned on saying 'hi' to the ex-ILs and leave J. Nope. Not to be. In front of J, ex's wife said they're doing a combined birthday celebration and they'd like me to stay. I could not leave J's birthday celebration, even if it is a month early.

This is the first time I had to spend time with their daughter who is turning 2 and only the second time I've seen her face. The toddler decided she liked the new person and spent lots of time being flipped, danced, and man handled by me, just as toddlers like. My heart was simultaneously happy and broken. I cannot believe it's been two years. I cannot look back at my life then.

What I thought I was lured into, just a cake break, wound up being dinner prep, dinner, cake, and gifts. I do not like being in their house and have not been since the child was born. I do not understand how she could have my decorating covering her walls. There are the little Renoir/Cassatt repros from the National Gallery and my first visit to DC; everybody who saw them thought I'd gotten them for our first daughter's room, but I had no concept of wanting children then. There are the framed prints from my seashore indiscretions that ex doesn't know about. There are scads of large military prints that lined ex's and my walls. There's the watercolor that I painted. The list goes on to include gifts I gave ex for Xmas and birthdays, etc.

Odd. It's kind of like walking into a museum of my life. It's not like I have room for the stuff. I left it behind, but I am happier when I've forgotten about it.

Other things were ghosts of me. Their flatware was what I bought before I married ex, when I thought I was marrying my first Dutch boyfriend; I guess it was good stuff as it's been in use for over 20 years. I also ate off the glass plates that I bought in bulk for entertaining and she used the large matching bowl for salad. I sat next to the sideboard, my burl walnut piece that ex would not let me have when I moved out even though I was the one who bid and won it at an auction. I had to look at the Chippendale dining room cabinet I picked out at the antique store as well as the large gilt mirror I later bought at the same store.

The kickers penetrated deep.

Ex made a comment about their chairs, cheap Queen Annes, saying two are broken and glued together. Well, my mind rushed to the burl walnut set of mine, matching the above glorious side board, that he drug to the curb. Yes, drug my antique dining room set to the curb so he could sit on modern repro trash.

[As an aside, ex was recently picking up J and we had a conversation. The best man from both his weddings, who'd I'd mistakenly thought was my friend, too, now works for ex's new wife and travels considerably. Friend complained about being away from home for 11 months. Ex said he know how that was, how hard it was, how much you want to come home. I just had to stop him right there and remind him how he likes to travel, how he didn't want to come home. Because J was there, I didn't say how he deserted his wife and son in the process, but it's true. Anyway, me responding stopped him dead in his tracks. Good. And Friend was right. Ex has no idea of the misery, because ex likes buffets and happy hours and maid service too much.]

The other zinger I could not ignore came from his wife. Of course, I was trying to be complimentary and said that J always enjoys her cooking. She said she's a Food Network junkie, something I cannot fathom. Ex-MIL commented that she's always amazed at how quickly new wife can whip up a tasty dinner. New wife responded, "Well, when you have three kids, you learn to do it fast."

One of those kids is mine and he is not hers. She knows I'm infertile. She knew that would hurt. She's not the evil SIL, she's the evil new wife.

Besides, two of those kids are just there every other weekend. Mine is also there on Wednesday nights, yet all school year, he goes to scouts instead of thier home for dinner. Her comment holds no water.

I cringe that she gives herself so much credit on my kid while she is stupid enough to eat off of my plates and use my dowry flatware.

I will not say she isn't good to J, but I was sitting in their home that largely looked decorated by me (or, better said, my cast offs) and she dared to claim my son, too.

I gave no zingers back. I ate minimal dinner and cake. I just wanted out of there after a very long day and a week of me having to hold my tongue with my mother.

Forgive how boring this is, but I could hold my tongue no longer. I am tired of being polite. I hate being in a polite zone where I feel like I can't even defend myself.

I simultaneously crave being around people, yet hate it when I am.

I'll crawl back into my cave now.


Klynn said...

Girl, don't apologize. You're not boring. It can't be easy seeing your old life in the possession of someone else...even if you didn't want it anymore at the time. And the thoughtless things people say when our nerves are already raw...well it just never fails to hit at just the wrong time.

Who could blame her for wanting to claim a great kid like J. You've done all the work...she just wants to claim the glory. Bah.

Sorry I haven't been commenting much lately. I'm trying to get my head back on straight. Another bout of "I hate my life" depression around chez mediocre. Nothing changed at home...just me - out of balance again. I'm around.

DD said...

I just cannot fathom how painful that all must have been. It's so weird that as the New Wife, she would just pick up where you were left off. Is she so daft that she is unable to create her own style independant of yours? She even includes your son as hers!

I don't know how you remained calm especially since you were just on a return trip and would like nothing more than to curl up with the kitties instead of putting up with that kind of shit. I feel for you, Cricket. I really do.

Cricket said...

Yeah, shoe got my husband, my stuff, my baby I wanted, and even claims my son. It was all too much.

Thanks to you both for understanding. I know the divorce angle is hard to comprehend. On the one hand, he's built be a fence. On the other, I still feel used and rejected. It's hard to reconcile the both, except to say his guilt drives him.

Anonymous said...

Good effing crap, she did not say that in front of you??

Woman would not be alive today if she said it in front of me. Well, maybe she would, but severely maimed.

As for the kid, I can't believe it's been two gods, the night must have been hell for you.

Ron Southern said...

Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke. Fuck 'em all!

Well, it was a LITTLE boring... But what isn't?

Dee said...

No need to hold your tongue--this is your place to vent. And holy hell, after dealing with her, I'd say you more than needed a place to do that (short of bitch slapping her, that is).

Sorry she had to get her digs in. Jealousy, that's where that's coming from. That and she's a bitch.

I second Klynn and DD--you did all the great work raising him, she's just trying to take the glory. Well, feh to that. We know the truth.

Anonymous said...

How uncomfortable to be in your old place with your old things still there.
Except YOU do not live there anymore and someone else is there using your old stuff.
It broke my heart to hear the pain in your voice telling your story about the house and your things left behind.
I left all my things behind literally 6 yrs. ago and it still bothers me at times.
Yes, it was nice she invited you and J in.
But, it had to be so uncomfortable for you. I envy the good relationship you have with your ex.
Always have.
I try to tell myself those were just things, just things left behind. I have my two sons, most important.
But, it still hurts doesn't it?
Love to you~

Cricket said...

Thanks so much for your support everybody. I always fear over reacting and in this case perhaps I under reacted a little.

Melissa, the digs are different. Ex and I had an apt here for 4 years together and he had it an additional year. He moved into her apt for a few months and she bought this house. That's really odd, doubly odd. The house is hers and my stuff decorates everywhere.

She touches and sees my stuff daily, but I have no idea if she just thinks of it as ex's stuff. That said, there's no way a guy would have the little girl repros or a SIGNED watercolor by me and not know.

I've seen the rest of the house, but never seen their bedroom. I'm curious what ghosts are in there.

Thalia said...

It sounds utterly tortuous, I think I would have made excuses and left, politeness be hanged. It's hard enough to make polite conversation with ANYONE when you're that tired, let alone ex and ex-wife, particularly with all the zingers. Ugh.

Glad you survived.

Well-heeled mom said...

First off, welcome home!

What an awkward situation, and I give you so much credit for even staying. I wonder if I could have done the same.

I drive past my ex's house, which also was mine, almost everyday. When my ex was here fixing my sprinkler system, MFH asked if he came inside. "No," I said. "Why would he want to? It makes my hyperventilate to think of entering his house which would probably look just as it did when I left it."

Well-heeled mom said...

Of course I see the typo above. Sorry.