29 January 2008

Just Wondering...*

* Dear blog-verse. It's a bitchy kind of day. I apologize. If you're not in the mood for bitchiness, you want to continue on your happy Tuesday path, please go elsewhere. This is something I need to get off my chest. Thanks for tolerating!

OK, my mom moved to Georgia back in July, 2005 and my dad died 10 years ago this month. During the 2004 Christmas holiday Mom revealed she was ready to make the move south and when we found out one month later that I was pregnant, she had an even better reason. Now that she's here, she's become active in the Red Hat Society and gained many new, lasting friendships.

See, this is what I'm wondering.

We both have friends and family back in West Virginia. Friends and family with whom we keep in touch, religiously, but who don't return the favor. We call, they don't. We write, they don't. We've traveled north for visits, they haven't made the trek south. I have made sure to tell these family and friends that my door is always open and that the guest bed is always made. Seriously. I keep the guest room clean and ready at all hours of the day and night. I would LOVE to have West Virginia friends and family visit.

To date, one friend and one cousin visited over eight years ago (both on business), one uncle and aunt have stopped by twice on their way through Atlanta (once for a football game), and another friend and her mother stopped in for two hours on their way to the Peach Bowl. (Seems we're only worth it if there's work or football involved.)

Seriously, do I stink?

Sniffing armpits.

I mean, really. What is up? Friends of mom's have said repeatedly "We're coming! Turn down the sheets!" and....

... they never show.

Oh, but, we're expected to drive north eight hours.

A 500-mile drive I performed three times a year or more before kids and only once after kids because a 500-mile drive, with twins, one who gets violently car sick 15 minutes away from home and sobs and fights against her car seat the rest of the time, becomes a 700 to 800 mile, 12-hour drive.

I. Shit. You. Not.

Oh! But we want to see the kids! Bring them to the family reunion! Bring them up for the holidays!

Sure! You going to fly down here and help us on the drive up? You going to put us up in your house? And assist in the drive back? No? Because the one, one-week trip, I made in 2006 wore me out so much that I needed a vacation AFTER my vacation.

Well, guess what. I'm done asking.

It's much easier for you to come here, stay here for free at our house, take in all Atlanta has to offer, and visit with the kids in their own environment, where they're most happy, and not have to worry about my kids trashing your non-kid-proofed home.

But, I guess that's just too difficult for our high-fallootin' West Virginie kin to manage.


After 14 years, I've given up. I'm no longer going to throw out the invites any more. I'm finished.

For any of you West Virginia friends and family who may be reading this, you all know where the heck I live. Otherwise, I'll see you when the kids are older and better travelers. I'm tired of "begging" and asking for your presence. These are precious kids and you are all missing out. I guess the lack of contact from your end, the lack of interest, means that you don't care and never did. I'm taking this to mean that you have no interest in me or my family. I think it's pretty sad that our friends who live in GERMANY have been here to visit more times than any of you.

If that's the case, then I guess we're better off without you. This was the last invitation.


david mcmahon said...

I feel your pain and frustration. I honestly do, as a father and as a family man.

But don't - PLEASE don't - shut the door.

Keep it open, keep the guest bedroom ready and you never know. You just never know. The next step after shutting a door is shutting a consciousness and then shutting an awareness and then shutting a heart.

Please leave the door open for them. It's important. It's so important.

I ain't preaching. I'm just telling it straight from the heart.

I just want you to know that I understand.

God bless


The Ferryman said...

I don't understand their reluctance to come down. If Mrs. Fab would go for it I would see to it that we moved up there as close to you guys as possible so we could bask in you and Ty-Man's aura of sexy geek fabulousness.

RiverPoet said...

Aw, sweetie - I'm sorry you're having a bad day. I know how you feel, truly.

Recently we had lots of family in town (ironically, from Atlanta) and instead of staying at our place, they stayed with the other brother. The other brother has a big, nice house; we have a townhouse.

But guess what? They had a shitty time. They told us all about it afterward. All I said was, "Well, you knew our door was open." My place isn't fancy, but it suit us.

Best thing you can do is just keep the door open, but don't invite. Let them come to you. If they don't, it's their loss.

Hugs! Peace - D

Avitable said...

It's definitely their loss, not yours!

Unknown said...

Can I come and visit this weekend? ;-)

I agree with the folks above - leave the door open, and let them know they have an open invitation and that the ball's in their court. At least then you know you've done all you can and whatever happens from there is on them.

hugs and smoochies

Miss Britt said...

Oh my God do I feel you.

And we've only been here what? 6 months?

But every time one of my in-laws says "well are you coming back for this? or this? or this?" I want to scream. WHY is it that the family of four with two fucking small children should constantly be footing the bill to come see YOU??

I get the vibe that it's like "well, you left, so it's your responsibility to stay in touch."

B said...

l feel the same way as you, Heather. Why should you have to make all the effort if they're not going to reciprocate? I say, "Screw 'em!" And, on the off chance they do manage to make it to your town, IF you have the time to visit with them, then go for it, but make it on YOUR terms, not theirs! I get really bitchy about things like that, and my Hubs tells me I'm wrong, but when you've gone the extra mile and they can't give an inch, you get tired of trying. And you know what? I learned a long time ago, don't spend your time being upset over it, because they have no clue how they are hurting you and apparantly don't care either. So waste your time thinking about it. Am I bad? :)

Unknown said...

I feel your pain. I made it clear that I am not to blame for family and friends not seeing my daughter, because traveling with a little one for more than 2 hours (or sometimes 15 minutes) is like stabbing my eyeballs with a fork. Not.Fun.

And I don't feel guilty for that. I send pictures when I can, so at least they get to see the ages-and-stages... :)

I'm also really bad about being the friend who doesn't call or visit very often. I just can't help from feeling like I'm imposing on other people! Email is great because then they can get to it when they have a moment. But that's me...

HEATHER said...

Hey Heather, I am a new reader, I found you from Fab's website, and had to start reading your blog because my name is Heather, I am a coal miner's grand-daughter, and my family is all from southern West Viriginia.
I totally understand your being upset at your WVA relatives, but ours were always the same way-we went to see them they didn't come see us in KY. I can only guess that they don't leave WV because it is "Almost Heaven".
Take care.

Not Afraid to Use It said...

I guess part of what I would look at is the finances--do they have the means to come down? If so, your anger is totally justified. I kind of felt that way the last time I came to ATL, I had just flown 5 hours, traveling thousands of miles to get there--and STILL people wanted me to drive up to the North side to see them. WTF? Would it kill people to try and compromise a little? I know it is hard not to slam the door and throw a voodoo curse on it, I would feel the exact same as you. I do agree with the whole "leave it open but stop inviting camp". I have a hard time practicing what I preach, but I understand what they are saying.

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

David - I won't shut the door, I just refuse to ask anymore. It's gotten so that I sound like I'm begging.

Fab - You. Are. The. Sweetest. Man.

Momma - That's my new tactic. No more invites. They know where I live.

Avitable - You and Fab... thanks hon.

Teri - I love you and thanks for calling and checking up on me! And, yes, you can come over this weekend! ;-)

Britt - EXACTLY! That's how it sounds from our end. That since we left, it's our responsibility to go back, not the other way around. Whateva.

B - No, you're not bad, we're just of the same mind. After years of making the drive/flight, and doing it once with two of my kids, it nearly killed me with exhaustion. Not up for it again anytime soon.

Andrea - Hey, I even e-mail and the only responses I get in return are those ridiculous urban legend forwards or meme BS. It drives me NUTS!

Other CMG - Hey! Crazy! Same name! Same background! Same home state! Glad you stopped by!

NATUI - Oh, yeah, they've got the finances. It's crazy. I can't figure it out. I actually had one cousin tell me, "Well, I just HATE Georgia." Well, gee, I hate Chicago but that didn't stop me from flying up there to visit her! People...

Dave2 said...

How disturbingly typical. I am getting so very tired of those few people in my life who exist as a one-way reception for my time and friendship. They want you in their lives... so long as it's convenient for them (or they need something from you).

My lone resolution this year was to stop making 100% of the effort with these people and see if they really do want me in their lives badly enough to start making efforts of their own. One month down and my answer has been... not really.

Maybe one day they'll find they miss me and decide I'm worth the trouble? One can always hope...

Cricky said...

My parents and Al's parents all live in the same town, about 30 minutes total from us. THEY NEVER COME TO VISIT. I swear it's always - ya'll come over...never we're coming over. So please don't think it's a long distance thing.

I really just think they don't like you... :)

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

Dave2 - Wow, the Mac guru, reading my humble blog. I am... humbled. Hope you haven't candied yourself out in Germany! - I'm with you on the fair-weathered friends and family, though. I just don't get it and I'm tired of not getting it. So, they know where I live. Let them figure it out!

Just a Girl - Yeah, I don't like me either. :-) You're funny.

Vonda said...

Okay we're the folks she's talking about in Germany and why wouldn't anyone want to come to your house, Heather??? Y'all are so much fun, you are great hostesses, Ian would say Tyler has the "coolest" Star Wars toys around, you are babyproofed, have the coolest play room ever and y'all are COOL and AWESOME too. We will always love y'all and enjoy that wonderful guest room with the cool soap in the bathroom too. Those West Virginian's just don't know what they're missing out on. Love ya -V