Monday, January 28, 2008

293: uh oh!

hey y'all.

now, i know i was 'sposed to get back to the details of the Big Event from Jan. 19.

but Something Came Up.

mr. bliss said his momma might be coming for a visit this weekend.

(long pause)

need i say more?


some of y'all might not know of the history between me and the MIL. (not to be confused with the MIB.) most of it ain't polite or pretty. on this planet or any other.

i first met her on my first date with mr. bliss, back in october or november of 1995, on the occasion of her retirement party.

(yeah, i know. go 'head on and laugh. it wasn't a good idea for a first date but some men don't know any better. and he and i had only just met a few days/the week before the date.)

i was seated at a table with one of my future SILs. i have vague memories about anything from that part of the evening.

what i do remember is the Introduction. mr. bliss presented me to his momma as if i were a freshly cut bouquet of sweetly-fragranced summer damask roses.

well my dears, i must have smelled like skunkweed cuz she sure was rude. as she stood in the middle of the dance floor, mr. bliss walked me over to her. she was smiling as we approached, with mr. bliss grinning right back at her.

then he presented me: "momma this is--" and before he could say my name, she shut us down. frowned, turned on her heels and walked away.

now i ask y'all, how cute is that?

(maybe her mother's instinct told her i was the one who would (finally) make her little boy into a man and take him away from her loving clutches? i dunno. she never said.)

mr. bliss and i only had one other date that year which wasn't really a date. he invited me to his house, i fell asleep and woke up the next day. that's the short version. (and no, the full story does not include nudity or sex of any kind. ha!)

after that we had a lot of phone conversations. i liked him and he was mega-handsome, but we just never went out again. i was dating a few guys so it wasn't a big deal. almost a year later, i'd begun dating baby bliss's dad (hereafter known as BBD) exclusively, i was pregnant, and planning to move way 'cross the country.

BBD and i ran into mr. bliss in a local convenience store one evening. i was happy to see his handsome grinning face. (he's still handsome and still grinning...) i introduced the guys and i think i told mr. bliss i was pregnant. but i'm not sure cuz i do remember calling him once a few months after we moved. it's possible i told him in the subsequent conversation. when ever it was, i remember mr. bliss congratulated me and said he was happy for us.

three years go by and one thanksgiving, the MIL comes downstairs to see me sitting in her living room with baby bliss.

(a few months after i returned to our hometown with baby bliss, mr. bliss and i ran into each other at a mall in the burbs. we resumed a friendship that turned into a romantic relationship.)

i don't know if she remembered me or not. this time she was pleasant.

for a few years the MIL and i -- before she became my MIL -- had a good relationship.

so i thought.

she was a bit older than my mother so i treated her like a mother/grandmother. she didn't drive so i took her to run errands, to beauty appointments, grocery shopping, etc.

i think it was when it became apparent that mr. bliss and i were in it for the long haul that she got tired of playing nice and took off the mask. maybe it had more to do with feeling threatened with her place in mr. bliss's life and his house. (when we met, she was living with him.)

then she slowly descended into sabotage mode. i won't detail all she did because i'm talking about years of ugly behavior on her part. and some of the things were very ugly. (think of the mother from Everybody Loves Raymond with darker skin, a lot more teeth and nails, and the backing of all her children and any other relatives she could galvanize to champion her tirades.)

some things she did, she probably doesn't remember; most i'm sure she would deny if she did.

i did my best to maintain my decorum back then, not wanting to be disrespectful of my elders and my (possibly) future MIL.

but one day i did fire back a few volleys of my own. i didn't curse (tho i wanted to) and i didn't yell (cuz i had a headache that day). no one got pushed down the stairs, the fracas didn't make it to the front yard, and there was no need for a SWAT team.

but i did call mr. bliss for back up cuz she conveniently waited until he went to the store to show her behind. (baby bliss and i happened to be camping out at mr. bliss' house for a few weeks while our co-op unit was being readied.)

mr. bliss rushed home to break up the ruckus and smooth raised hackles. he glazed it over so well that stupid me thought that would be the end of any further tyranny. (little did i know there were more years of that crap to come.)

fast forward to post-post-nuptials...

when we moved south a few years back, my main thought was being freed of the dark cloud of negative energy the MIL brought into our home.

with a few minor exceptions, family relations have been good since our move. we exchange hellos by phone, holiday cards by mail, and never the two shall meet.

until now. possibly.

i'm not stressing over it but i am concerned.

mr. bliss said she'll be staying with us.

they have family on the other side of town who live in a small mansion. (i'm talking 4-5,000 sq. ft.) i know they have rooms to spare and i'm sure they would welcome aunt ______. but of course, my momma and step-dad stayed with us last year in may and probably will again this year in may.

so i want to be fair. i don't wanna say his momma should go stay with her people. cuz after all, her son is her people too. i just don't want no trouble.

she's coming for a family party (that i just learned about last night). i'm thinking about not going. but i do like to dance and it's been a while.

i am a decent law-abiding citizen. i pay my taxes, i've never gotten a speeding ticket, and i pay all my library fines. i am friendly, outgoing, usually smiling, kind to all i meet. i never meet a stranger and i know some people think i'm a bit nutty because i'll strike up a conversation with almost anyone.

the last family event i attended with mr. bliss' family (a family reunion the same year we got married) went well. everyone was warm and welcoming to baby bliss and i. we had a fabulous time and i thought i couldn't wait to get back to the next one.

a few weeks after the reunion i began contacting folk (via e-mail) to get postal addresses so i could mail them photos of the reunion.

dead silence.

finally i got one response. a cousin said please mail all to her and she would distribute to everyone.

alllllll-rightie then.

thank God i love myself enough. otherwise i would have thought there was something wrong with me.

any way, y'all say some prayers. cuz the MIL may be riding down on us very soon. (it's a weekend party but she's retired.)

please pray that she comes in like a lamb and leaves the same way, so that i may stay out of the county jail.



1 comment:

Susan said...

Oh... No... I feel for ya. My inlaws are all difficult. Most of them we don't even hear from anymore. I'm convinced DH is adopted.

Hang in there! Prayers going out to you!