None of this is earth shattering, I'm just venting...
So yesterday I went shopping with the MIL. In the past I have been painfully aware that when I and/or the girls go shopping with the MIL, sometimes we are nothing more than background noise, accomplices (to her love hate relationship with money and credit cards), and just there to keep her from feeling lonely.
There have also been times when she has asked us to go shopping with her, and she asks if there are places that we would like to go, but in the end our wants and wishes, sometimes even NEEDS are shoved aside... because it's not what she wants.
Each time I become angry and frustrated. Sometimes I bite my tongue, sometimes my tongue gets the better of me.... but still, how will she- *a person who is oblivious to what is acceptable and proper, mostly because these things do not fit with any scenario that would fill her needs first or at all- supposed to know when she has done something wrong, unless I tell her? But it doesn't matter because she never really listens... refer back to the *. All of which makes me more angry and frustrated.
Yesterday, this was the case. ALL of this was the case. Once again. You would think by now that I would have learned. I'm a sucker... I have this ability to either be very mistrusting or to be too trusting. Then sometimes, just sometimes, I am mistrusting, feel guilty... then trust too much. ;) This too, would be the case with the MIL. I have this hope buried deep inside of me that one day she will stop being so self centered and that one day her overwhelming sense of entitlement will be crushed beneath true compassion and love for her family. I keep trusting one day that she is going to change... and in the end I feel like a fool for putting my trust out there again.
Sometimes I can't decide whether or not to give up on a human. For the most part, I try to remember that this person is human just like me, and I try to hope that there is a chance for change. The Christian in me wants to forgive and try again. The other part of me wants to become a hermit and not interact with other people at all. I'm one conflicted individual! But you probably knew that already.
Anyway, she asked us to go, we went. She spends and hour in Bath and Body Works shopping for lotion. She finishes with over a hundred dollars in lotion, despite admitting that she has a few boxes of this stuff at home already. OK, I shop too, but after a good 1/2 hour I've about reached my maximum lotion shopping allotment. Afterwards, she announces that we will now be heading back to the bookstore to get the book light- light bulbs that she needs and exiting the store to go right to the car to leave.
Gritting my teeth, I say no- that Anna wants to go to the Disney Store, like we had talked about in the car on the 45 minute drive to the mall. And my kids are hungry, just like I had said in the car. I told her WE are going to go to the Disney store, while SHE takes her bags of lotion to her car. WE will meet HER at the food court next to the book store so my kids can eat, and THEN we could do whatever.
She wasn't too terribly happy with my version, but she relented. We decided to all have a late lunch then. I bought lunch for my girls and she surprised me by buying mine and hers. I thanked her.
After lunch we headed for JC Penney's, and she saw another lotion place I had mentioned The Body Shop, which I had said on the way that I would like make my own scented lotion. "I'd wouldn't mind looking in there too, you said you wanted to go in there."
I said- thinking to myself that yes I did mention that I wanted to go in there, but that was before spending an hour in another place devoted entirely to lotions and body wash, etc- " I really don't feel like spending another hour in a lotion place."
Pretty simple concept , I thought. In front of me I see her bristle, barely perceptible, but it was there.
"What, you don't know what scents you like?" She asked, with just a touch of sarcasm.
Ok, here we go, gloves are off. "SURE, I know what scents I like... I don't want to spend another hour looking at lotion!"
We move on to Starbucks, her irritation with me suddenly gone. We place our orders and she decides to pay again, without telling me. While waiting for our order, I asked, "Will you please take some money for this?"
"No," She says, "I just expect people to go shopping with me without complaining."
Uhhhhh. Hmph. I stood there for a moment with my mouth open, then snapped it shut. She basically said in so many words that as long as I keep my mouth shut, she'll buy me stuff. She's trying to bribe me!
Oh God, you don't know how angry this made me. At first, the human in me thought- well fine, you want to play it that way, go ahead. I just take advantage of you, @$%@&@& %#^%! I sat down and simmered a bit, meanwhile she once again buts in while I am disciplining my child. She's going for the gold obviously. Anna wants my Frappacino since she has already scarfed down hers without even tasting it. I say no, she's had enough. So what does the MIL do? She offers Anna some of hers. I look her square in the eye and choke out through my clenched jaw "NO. She's had ENOUGH."
The first half of my life I endured all sorts of guilt from my mother ( as in: I'm the one who made her crazy, I make her crazy, it's my fault she is depressed and the reason she wants to kill herself, and I was the reason her marriage to my step dad was failing while I was still living under her roof... etc. I could go on, but don't want to). I know that this is the reason that I am able to go from zero to witch in 2.4 seconds and still be able to start to feel guilty about hurting someone's feelings before I've even come down off of my anger high.
The Christian in me knows it would be wrong to take advantage of her like that, though it is she who believes that she is taking advantage- I say this because all of what I have suspected about her using me and my kids as entertainment and back ground noise while she is shopping is true. It is confirmed by her own statement that I shouldn't complain and I'll reap the benefits.
Shocking. But not really, nothing she does anymore is that shocking. It's all geared towards what is best for her.
The problem with all of this is that this will be something I need to discuss with her before we ever go shopping together again. We need to get a few things straight. No, I will not keep my mouth shut, and no I will not have my or my kids needs shoved aside to suit her, then be bought off. I will not allow her to continue to rationalize spending hundreds of dollars, just because she decided to throw something in for me. I cannot be an accomplice to her over spending anymore, though it is her decision and choice to spend money she doesn't have...
I think I just wont be able to go at all. On the other hand, I'm not responsible for what she spends... and I can refuse to let her pay for stuff for me and my girls when I clearly have the money to buy what I need. I can also refuse to go shopping with her unless she agrees with my terms. I'm not her puppet or puppy, and I will not be placated with doggie treats.
It's not that I am not grateful for what she does for us, I just don't like being told that I have shut my mouth and have no opinion. Sorry, the first 18 years of my life was like that. Not going to happen.
Anywho, after all the ranting, whining and complaining... This is what Emma got out of the trip, this was her doggie biscuit... her bribe. It's totally something she needs and it's not ridiculous at all.
But the MIL just had to buy it for Emma because- well, she wanted it, and it was 75% off. Fantastic! Another toy we don't need- to add to our over flowing toy boxes... a toy that wont even FIT in the toy boxes.
Notice the fake smile, folks.
And just so you get an idea... the little ducky on the right is actual rubber ducky size. This new ducky is the Godzilla of all rubber duckies. :D