sigh Another Christmas-brings-the-family-dysfuction-to-the-surface-and-to-the-SDMB thread. My sister sent me a pix message on my cell phone early this morning of an engagement ring. Huh, I say. I mean, Whoo. I mean, Whoo!. No…I think it’s just, whoo. Doesn’t even require a capital letter.
This will be her third marriage. Her first husband she met and married in six months. They were married nine years, I think, and had one child. Then she got a case of the I’m-not-happys. I’m not happy, let’s have another child (didn’t work out; fertility problems about in my family). I’m not happy, let’s move by your family. I’m not happy, let’s move out by my family (keep in mind, the families live 2000 miles apart). I’m not happy, I want a divorce.
They get divorced, and before the ink dries on the papers, she’s dating like a 16-year-old again. She plays the field, dates multiple men, sometimes going out with two men in one night. Now, she’s not a whore; she’s not sleeping around (though I’m sure there was sex with a few of them), but she is certainly having fun.
A year after her divorce, I get engaged. All the hoopla of my impending wedding gets her amped up about Romance. I recall one conversation about some forgettable guy she was dating; she claimed he was The One and it was Magic (I’ve heard that a lot over the years). She said she had always wanted the fairy tale, and that at first she hoped maybe she’d have it before 30…but now, maybe she can have it before 40 (she was about 34 at the time, I think). She also reiterated the whole fairy tale crap, saying “I want a fairy tale, like what you and DeathLlama have.” I stopped her cold there, saying what we had was an absolutely incredible and wondrous relationship, but it was no fairy tale. There is a LOT of work that goes into it. “I know, but…” she said.
Now, she was the blond girly-girl, cheerleader, designer clothes and make-up, popular, pink-wearing, date lots of boys kind of gal in high school. I was the wear black and bright red lipstick, experiment with creative clothes from Aardvark’s, write for the literary magazine, sing in the choir, and have lots of guy friends but little interest in dating kind of kid. Though our high school days are long behind us, it gives a feel of just how different we are. I loved getting married and preparing for the wedding, but the wedding was no big deal ultimately to me–the marriage was–and I grew increasingly irritated by the number of people telling me “It’s your day,” (um, aren’t TWO people getting married??) or worse, “This is your day to be a princess.” :::hurl::: But my sister ate it all up and got more caught up in it than I did.
At the fitting for bridesmaid’s dresses in February, she lamented she didn’t know who her date would be for the wedding in two months. Then, she ended up booking it off to Vegas to marry the man she took to my wedding in June…in other words, they met and married in an even faster time frame.
The first time she did that, she married a man who was a bad fit. This second time, it was hell. He had a severe drug problem, stole and sold my father’s pain medication, stole my parents’ credit cards, beat the shit out of my sister on a few occasions, bankrupted her (she sent him to two rehabs, which he walked out of days into the program), and then once–ONCE–laid his hand on my sister’s son. That’s when she said fuck off and moved out. Not long after, after a high speed police chase, he was arrested–apparently his third strike, she was surprised to discover–and jailed. Best thing that happened to them. Their divorce was final about 4 years ago. It shattered her. Shattered her. It took her a good year or two to be My Sister again–though not six months later she grabbed my hand and bounced to my computer like a teenager, saying she wanted to show me something. I froze, “Oh, you are NOT showing me a boy!” And she got pissed. Don’t you want me to be happy? --etc. I told her of course I did; but I feared her making the same mistake and reverting to the same old behavior. That got a little tense.
Anyway, she has dated several men in the last few years (some seriously that ultimately went nowhere), despite my encouragement to try being ALONE for a change and deal with HERSELF. I think in a way she has, and of course I don’t know what’s going on in her head. I will say she’s been dating this man for…8? 10? months, and that she has known him in years past when they worked for the same company. So this does break from her pattern in that it isn’t rushed, and my parents have met him and say he’s a good guy (I think–that, or they base their conclusions on observing my sister, who lived with them after leaving fuckwad and up until last week).
But sheeeeesh, I’m not going to be all girly–I wouldn’t ANYWAY–and jump up and down in glee over a diamond ring. And when it’s the third time around, well…color me underwhelmed. When she followed up the pix message with a call, I congratulated her and said the ring was beautiful–in other words, I was polite and honest, if a bit unemotional. Overhearing me, DeathLlama chuckled and said I should have at least faked being really happy for her–to lie, that’s what people are supposed to do! I just looked at him–he knows that’s just not me. I’m no “I tell it like it is” bitch, but I also value being real and true to yourself…and being all fake-y happy just turns my stomach. I am hopeful for her, and I was sincere in my congrats, but…umm…yeah.
We meet him tomorrow when my side of the fam comes over for Christmas 2.0. I’ll look at the ring, compliment her, welcome him, etc., but I know she wants more of a WHOO HOO! reaction from her sister (her baby sister–I’m several years younger than she is, though I often feel our roles are reversed). She won’t get it.
Where’s the spiced (and by that, I mean spiked) eggnog?