Since Xmas is out-of-control, and I am out-of-control (as usual), I have decided to make this a week all about
When I was about twenty, my sister-in-law decided she was going to get married to her long-time beau, Mountain Man. Mountain Man is a nice fellow, a big fan of skiing and large dogs and the outdoors in general. He met The Sister while they were in college, and though The Sister was raised in the big city like Mr. Husband, she was soon converted to Mountain Man’s unholy outdoorsy ways.
SO, after a five-year engagement, they were finally set to be married. She was going to have her storybook Barbie Princess wedding on some old docked ferry boat that could be rented out for parties. She was going to wear a white dress, though she and Mountain Man were in their late twenties and had been living together for at least four years. Fine. (Am I a better person because I eloped and we paid for our own damn wedding? Probably, but that’s another story.)
The Sister and I never got along well (we had a vicious argument during a small family vacation in New Mexico about how booty/non-booty public schools are the previous spring, and I am always suspicious of someone who can so whole-heartedly defend public schools) so the stage was set for future tension.
Then we get the wedding “itinerary” in the mail a couple of weeks before the glorious event. Mr. Husband is slated to play “The Wedding March” on his saxophone and to provide ambient music beforehand, while the guests are milling around. Oh good, he says. He is happy to do this for her. Then I see my name…I am set to read some crappy poem. Talk about sending a message: You are as irrelevant as a monk’s penis.
This immediately causes my inner pirate to emerge.
“YARR! I’LL NEVER BE READING FOR THAT SCURVY WENCH!”
How dare she write me into the itinerary without asking me first? I don’t like her well enough to be in her stupid wedding! I was fuming, like the giant idiot I am.
She called a week later to arrange some other stuff with Mr. Husband and she got me first. She is a very emotional person, but I could not allow this infraction to stand.
“Oh, hi,” I said, as nonchalantly as possible. “About your wedding, listen, I just don’t feel comfortable participating in it.” It was diplomatic (for me), but true. I was actually pretty proud of myself.
“WHAT?” she shrieked, after what I said had sunk in a bit. “WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO RUIN MY WEDDING? Let me talk to my brother.” I could hear her sobbing on the phone as Mr. Husband tried to calm her down.
We flew up to Seattle a week or so later, and needless to say there was a lot of tension in the pre-wedding get-togethers. I do not appear in any of the group wedding pictures, but after the ceremony the photographer followed me around taking pictures (because I was the only one there who did not look like a J. Crew ad) until I got too shitfaced and I think he figured it would be unseemly to continue.
Glamourously, and in typical younger-SJ fashion, I drank so many glasses of wine I ended up vomiting over the side of the gently-swaying ferry boat. I am told (I don’t remember) that the Wedding Princess and Mountain Man were swept off after the reception in a little speedboat, and Mr. Husband was allowed to use their SUV. Which I also vomited in.
I slept in the car until two in the morning, in our hotel’s garage. Mr. Husband sat with me, since I am a giant sack of potatoes and could not be carried up to our room.
The Sister, Mountain Man, and the Ugliest Baby are driving in from Idaho tonight for Xmas. During their last visit in August, she stirred the pot and convinced Mr. Husband he was unhappy and should change his life around. That he had to do things for himself.
Hello? Family=sacrifices. Which she should know about, since she has one, as well as a crappy job teaching public school that keeps her away on weekends, preparing material and grading papers, etc. Freud called, he wants his theory about projecting back.
So Mr. Husband quits his taxi job and loses his cherry schedule, which means I have to arrange for my friend to watch little Frannie twice a week while I’m in school. And he starts school himself which is a good thing, but then OH SURPRISE, discovers that he doesn’t have any more time than he did before, and that things are actually more stressful now.
I can’t wait to see his sister and tell her how beautifully her plans for her brother went. If she tries to meddle again, I’m going to talk to her in a way that her grade school-teaching ass can understand: KEEP YOUR EYES ON YOUR OWN GODDAMN PAPER. DO NOT DISTURB YOUR NEIGHBOR.
Can’t wait to see her.