This Too Shall Pass

. . . I hope.

The whole gang is moving down here. At last count this included one grandmother, two aunts, one uncle-in-law, and two cousins. Here’s a short summary:

Grandmother. In her early seventies and still energetic. . . unfortunately. She is mean, mean, mean. Loves to push buttons, make a scene, stab people in the back. She once refused to take Prozac because “it made me feel like everything was all right”.

No, I’m not making that up.

Aunt #1. In her early forties, Aunt #1 is fighting the long losing battle with multiple sclerosis. She is not married and has no children. Understandably, she is fighting depression-- a situation not helped by the presence of Grandmother.

Aunt #2. In her mid thirties. Aunt #2 was the “wild child” in the family-- and still is. Smokes, drinks, drifts from job to job. Very smart, great sense of humor, and a terrific artist. Unfortunately, she has never stayed with her artistic career, which is a real shame in my opinion. And she is married to. . .

Uncle-in-law. This man is an alcoholic and a wife beater. Two summers ago he took a baseball bat to Aunt #2. They are still married. My gut instinct is to grab the closest blunt object when his back is turned.

Cousin #1. Just started going through “the change”. Look at her wrong and she bursts into tears. No sign of telekinetic ability, thank God.

Cousin #2. A nine year old hellraiser. Seems destined to become the next Aunt #2. Smart, very artistic, and stubborn as a mule. Will NOT listen to you unless it’s done her way.


I hate these character-building situations. . .
– Sylence

If a bird doesn’t sing, I’ll wait until it sings.

  • Tokugawa Ieyasu

Sy –

I’ve made reservations for you and yours, to Chicago, three weeks from Sunday.

Mr. Springer will meet you at O’Hare…

“Though I hate 'em, I’ll defend to my death your right to use smilies.”
Forward deployed until 18AUG00

Poor Sylence! Makes you want to sue the Walton and Cleaver families for damned false advertising, doesn’t it?

Well, you can’t solve all their problems so the best you can do is get through it as lightly as possible. (Be the kelp in the current, Grasshoppa!) ::smack! ouch!:: Okay, but imitating drywall will give you some protection and frustrate the hell out of them.

When faced with roaring family, etc. dysfunction I’ve found that bland stupidity works wonders. Just amiably underreact to everything: totally miss blatant hostility, answer nasty arguments with non sequiters, and as far as possible imitate a dumb as a rock lump of incomprehesion. So what if they think you’re stupid? Their opinion matters?

Anyway, hang in and best of luck. You are not your family.



Two thoughts, I don’t know if either will be of help.

1.) Can you move? Transfer at the next semester change?

2.) With new situations, a die tends to get cast early. If, as they arrive, you make a point to minimize contact, you can avoid having the scenario set where you’re expected to be a daily part of their lives.

Hope it helps.

May I add my thoughts?

Be glad you have a family to remain close to…perhaps this is a bit to close…Most of mine lives less than 1/2 mile away yet we only visit on holidays.

In history they will not fill their heads with battles, nor in geography with fortresses, for it becomes them just as little to reek of
gunpowder as it does the males to reek of musk.

                     - Immanuel Kant

You need a holiday girl… Canada is nice this time of year :wink:

We are, each of us angels with only one wing,and we can only fly by embracing one another