09 January 2009

Out-Law

I never learn. I constantly chant to myself, Keep your mouth shut. Don't open your mouth. Don't say a word. It's better if you internalize and I don't know where this comes from. What part of my past affected my psyche and requires me to be a quiet door mat.

My mom's family was, and is, a train wreck in motion. I won't go into details but let's just say that for several years I did not speak to or see my maternal grandfather. My mother didn't attend her sister's funeral. It was much like a divorce, just without the judges, child support, or visitation rights. But with all the hurt and pain.

And when I married Ty-man and met both sides of his family, I knew I had found Heaven. Or, at the very least, the reality version of many 1950s TV sitcoms. These people all love, support, and encourage one another. Disagreements flare up from time to time, but are quickly squelched after said parties get the issues off their chests and exchange hugs.

It's... weird. And so fracking cool and refreshing after dealing with the extreme dysfunction of Mom's family. One thing I know for certain is that I never want to be the cause of The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet becoming The Osbournes.

And then I had to go yesterday and offer my two cents on a family e-mail conversation regarding Christmas and summertime gatherings. And I knew, as I typed, that even though I've been in this family for 13 years, that I'm not truly in this family. I don't share blood or experiences or ancestors. They've just loaned the Ty-man to me. And when I offered my piddling advice on the topic at hand and sighed with relief that I had done so in a non-confrontational, adult, chummy manner, I received a response that was...

well, confrontational. In-my-face. Smack-down-ish.

Do you follow?

But, of course, if you don't already know, my secret identity is TakeEverythingPersonally Woman! and it could definitely be that I read my computer screen seeing one expression on this particular in-law's face when, in fact, the face could have been genuinely smiling. I don't know.

I do know that, in the future, this "out"-law will be keeping her mouth shut. And smiling moronically. And nodding a lot.

And smoldering on the inside.

11 comments:

Avitable said...

That's one thing that I personally can't complain about - my MIL and SIL have completely enveloped me in their family and I have no problem giving my opinion about things they're discussing.

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

And all of my in-laws, mom, dad, bro, cousins, sis, aunts, and uncles, are great. Don't get me wrong. But for some reason, I'm always mis-reading this one person, or they're mis-reading me. And I've been tweaked a couple of times and have just finally decided it's not worth it.

But I still love them, you know?

Miss Britt said...

I hate that I know this feeling exactly.

Especially because I also know that my family would never in a million years make someone feel like that.

We're like the mob. Once you're in, you're in.

Avitable said...

Ah. Well, my involvement with my in-laws stops at the immediate family. I don't even talk to anyone else. :)

I have a hard enough time loving most of my own family, much less the in-laws!

Gypsy said...

This is why I'm glad Lancelot's family hasn't discovered the internet yet. {hug}

Anonymous said...

Oh dear. Hope it gets better for you! I really like your blog.

Tempura

namaste said...

hi there! if you don't mind my 2 cents, you've got the right idea. smile and nod. and it doesn't at all mean you're a doormat. you're just being polite and preventing misunderstandings.

i have great in-laws, but they're only human. i have put my foot in my mouth by speaking frankly. i now know better than to do that with them.

Not Afraid To Use It said...

Damn, hon. I am so sorry! You know I know how it feels to be shunned or smacked around by ILs. I'm sorry you felt hurt.

Faiqa said...

Been there. No. Still there... smoldering builds character. And ulcers. Sigh.

Trukindog said...

eh just have another Beer darlin it'll be alright. :)

metalmom said...

I love my in-laws. They feel more like blood than my own sister. But sometimes I am definitely NOT welcome to speak my mind. when my FIL died, my hubs was devastated and he couldn't speak for himself and I sure as hell couldn't stand up for him.

Overall, thank God that they are good-for the most part. It could always be worse.