Thursday, May 17, 2007

Opening Some Whup-Ass

I've been away for a few days---caught the boys' cold and got a double whammy with allergies. So between the two I've been duller-than-dishwater BigHead Attila and all I wanted to do was nap in my free time.

I don't know if I'm feeling especially sensitive, but has civility and good manners taken a vacation this week?

Or am I sending out Killer Rabbit Slipper vibes and are all the masochists in my sphere lining up for a good buttkicking?

My ex-father-in-law and I have a somewhat guarded relationship. He's basically driven his own children out of state by being an absolute control freak, bordering on abusive, and was the bane of my existence during my first marriage. Of course, it didn't help that my ex would completely disengage and/or disappear---leaving me to "deal" with his dad's crap instead of standing up to the old man himself.

For example, when we were married, ex-FIL would call and instruct ex to be at his house on Thursday evening after work to mow his lawn (didn't matter if we already had plans or not). Ex would agree (instead of telling him that we already had plans), leave the house on Thursday, but never show up at his dad's. So FIL would call and call, demand that I put him on the phone, insist that he must be there, and it would usually escalate into me telling him to get off his fat ass and mow his own freaking lawn.

Ex would come slinking back with his passive/aggressive tail between his legs hours later (after hanging out with friends) because he didn't "like" confrontations.

Since my sons are now the only family he has in the state, I resolved years ago to have a civil relationship with my ex-FIL, and include him in some of our family activities. He does love them, and they are his grandsons. Plus he's mellowed out a lot over the years. Even though he scares them a bit, he's done his best to be good to the guys.

So I had an early meeting on Monday morning. I came home to a message on my machine. It said that he had things to do in the Big City (about 40 minutes away), and decided to come and take the boys to lunch. He'd be there at noon.

WTF? I'd come home to a similar message last week and had been able to catch him before he left. Explained that Little Guy is still in school (duh!) and Big Guy was ill. And I'd appreciate an actual voice-to-voice conversation before he took it upon himself to "drop by" because I'd sure hate [koff koff] for him to come all this way to an empty house.

I was able to catch him before he left on Monday, and told him that we had appointments in the afternoon and nobody would be here. And I'd appreciate an actual voice-to-voice conversation before he took it upon himself to "drop by" because I'd sure hate [koff koff] for him to come all this way to an empty house.

On Tuesday morning, I was taking a bath, and got out to a message on my machine. Ex-FIL said that he decided not to head up this way on Monday, but was coming now and would be there at noon to take the Big Kid to lunch. I called him back immediately, but I guess he raced out of the house before I could tell him not to bother. Obviously he was trying to get around the "don't drop by without a phone call" agreement we made years earlier.

I talked to the Big Kid. We'd had plans late that morning past lunch time, and I asked him if he'd just like to have lunch with Grandad and we could do our stuff a little later. He agreed. So we rearranged our whole freaking day.

I forgot to add, that ex-FIL is never on time. Ever. So at 12, he wasn't here. At 1 he wasn't here. At 5 minutes to 2, Big Kid and I got in the car to get our stuff done (had just enough time before Little Guy got home from school if we hurried).

So as we're driving up our road, who do we pass? Grandad, who was flashing his lights at us. "I decided to do some shopping!" he announced. If the Big Kid hadn't been sitting next to me, I would have told the inconsiderate fart to go f*ck himself.

If he ever pulls this crap again, I probably will.

The other thing that has been ticking me off is the lack of phone etiquette in some people. I guess if I had been feeling better, I would have handled things differently, but I wasn't and I didn't.

Big Kid has some girl "friends" that call him. Two in particular lately, and both of them are about as bright as sack-fulls of hair. If he didn't know for a fact that they were both 20, I'd guesstimate their ages to be around 12.

I was taking a restorative nap the other day---which is about all I'm capable of when I'm full of allergy meds. I had the phone next to me, because the Big Kid was out and might possibly need a ride home.

About 15 minutes into it, the phone rang. I looked at caller ID and it was Girl #1. I decided to let the machine pick it up, and drifted back to sleep.

10 minutes later the phone rang again. I looked at the caller ID and it was Girl #1 again. Oh geez. I ignored it.

Until it rang again in another 10 minutes. I answered it.

"Is Big Kid there?" she asked.

He's just as gone as he was when you called 10 minutes ago, and the 10 minutes before that. Would you please just leave a message on the machine and he'll get back to you?

She whimpered.

No kidding! She made a WHIMPERING sound.

"But I don't LIKE to leave messages", she whined.

That was it. I'd had it.

I gave her Attila's Speech #38. The one that says that HER parents might not mind her friends calling every 10 minutes, and Big Kid might not care, but this isn't his house, and it isn't his phone. The phone is here for the convenience of my husband and myself, I am not Big Kid's social secretary, and maybe it would be best if she didn't call our number again until she learned a little courtesy.

I might have thrown in an eff-word or two. I don't actually remember. If so, I blame the allergy meds.

Later that night, Girl #2 called every 10 minutes during dinner. Sheesh. I gave her an abbreviated version of Speech #38, and I must say, at least she didn't whimper.

So what's burning YOU up this week?


Me said...

sorry but that was just funny
and I know your ex-FIL, atleast an Indian version of him called my great-uncle or grandmother's brother who comes all the way from Texas to pull the same sort of rubbish.
i used to be girl no 1 and 2 during teen years till my mother gave me her version of speech and yanked phone off.

carmachu said...

VERY awesome on the speeches. I miught have to tap you and get the full version in 10-15 years....for someone's boyfriends.

FIL, *sigh* Some people are just selfish and dont get it.

Burning me up? The school music lady that said yesterday, oh by the way we need 10 more pianos that i estimated months ago.

I laughed in the phone at her. Its not going to happen. Your estimate is way off, and its two weeks before go time.....not happening.

DutchBitch said...

Wow Big Kid is a popular cookie! :-)

golfwidow said...

Oh, my gourd, I think your ex-FIL might be separated-at-birth from my current FIL.

Brenda said...

Whoa, I see dem bunny slippers knashing their bunny teeth there.

Might be easier for me to tell you what's NOT burning me up this week,,,that would be the weather. :-)

Ashley's Mom said...

What's burning me up this week - brand, spanking new middle school guidance counselors who think they are capable of solving the problems of an abandoned, abused, very troubled 14 year old boy who joined my family a year ago. I had to remind this young lady for the THIRD TIME that troubled boy and I see a counselor weekly and that we don't need her ?help? or her pity.

Woman with kids said...

Those same girls call here for Boy 1. And leave hang ups on the answer machine. Several. Every freaking day. Or, and Boy 1 is guilty of this too, they call each other and hang up and call and talk for two minutes and hang up and call and then my head explodes and Boy 1 gets OFF THE PHONE RIGHT NOW.


Rootietoot said...

We used to have girls call here for #3, oh, 10 at night or so. It only happened 3 or 4 times, and never the same girl twice. Probably because I reached through the phone and poked out their eyeballs.

As for whats burning me up now? A MIL who thinks I'm too harsh on a boy so she's buying him a car, new tires, etc. Now he not only has a car but he's still got money for drugs! (He's 19, btw, and His Own Man)

ally said...

annoyance - my mom thinks that my cell phone is like the home phone answer machine. she'll say my name over and over and over and even remark as such: "Why aren't you picking up the phone?"

i've explained i can't hear voicemail unless i'm checking it and she would do better to leave a message so i can follow up.

she still doesn't get it tho'

imfunnytoo said...

Buring me up...hmmm

Idiot people who insist on leaving messages on *the wrong phone*

Idiot people who don't pay their bills, live in a ritzy zip code with 500,000 homes...and want me to buy the "the dog ate my bill" argument.

And elevators.

Jennifer said...

The burning annoyance this week is that Limey's boss laid everyone off last month because he decided to move to to a new city. Limey had to take a job making a hell of a lot less. Two weeks later the boss decided to move back! Fickle bastard.

Scully said...

It's a wonder isn't it...coutesy is not really so common anymore. I feel for you. We had our own verson of 'cranky admissions lady' this week. I swear I don't get why people with zero people skills get human relations jobs. I'd say you're completely in the right if you throw ex-FIL out on his ear next time he drops by.

Ruth Dynamite said...

People who don't call/show up/do something when they say they will. Without apology.

Hate that.

Mel said...

My husband.
Who is coming home to a very serious conversation this evening.
I may be single tomorrow.
The end.

Special K said...

Burning me up? Oh, frig. How much room is there in the comments box?

Meh, forget it. It's what I have a blog for, I guess.

Mamma said...

Give 'em hell Attie!

Can I have speeches #1-#37? I have three boys. I'm sure they'll come in handy. Oh and you have an extra pair of those fuzzy bunny slippers...

Dorky Dad said...

Nothing is burning me up. I don't get mad at anything. Not at all.

Inconsiderate inlaws drive me nuts. I think they enjoy doing that. Stupid inlaws.

Annie Drogynous said...

I hope you feel better! I can understand how intolerant one can become when they're not feeling themselves. And kudos for you for telling those girls how it is although they probably didn't get it! Girls calling the house are always an ego-boost for the boys but perhaps you could tell your son to find some girls who don't act like they're prebubescent!

abfh said...

Answering machines sometimes make me feel nervous if I have to leave a complicated business-related message (it often seems as if I'm not getting the details quite right), but when people get so phobic that they're afraid just to leave their name on the answering machine, they should send text messages or e-mails or something like that.

Pendullum said...

By your standards... I am living in paradise!!! No complaints... No ma'am...

Miss Litzi said...

Hi Attila,
Phew! You’ve had a lot of frustrating people to deal with the past few days. Have you been able to retreat to your sanctuary…the bathtub, and meditate in peace?

There’s a special election the first week of June in my area; 4 initiatives having to do with curbing further growth and development. It’s become a very heated topic, with billboards (supposedly illegal) all over promoting the pros and cons of the issue. I’ve got an unlisted telephone number, am on the “do not call” list and have Caller ID. Unfortunately, campaign solicitors are exempt and have been pestering me from “private number” calls. I ignore the phone, but it keeps on and on and on. The mailbox is crammed with voting leaflets every day and there are people on the sidewalk outside the market, post office, etc. who are trying to persuade you vote to their way of thinking. And there’s still over 2 weeks left….Grrr!

I hope things settle down and you’re able to get outside and enjoy the new leaves on the Aspen trees.

Flamenco Mom said...

What's burning me up? The lousy state-run insurance plan that I've been paying into for months now, which I still having been able to use. I fought for almost a year to get the insurance, and now that I've got it the nightmare continues. It was only after I threatened to sue them that they responded to me, and even that they couldn't do right! End of rant.

Heather said...

Well nothing was burning me up this week, but if it had, I think you have it covered over here. ha ha.
Sorry about the annoying FIL and the girlfriends @@.

phlegmfatale said...

OMG - no wonder he's an Ex-!!! He didn't like confrontations with his asshat father, but he was ok with letting you deal with the guy when he didn't show up??? Sheesh!
And that FiL? Yeah, I'd effing tell him a thing or three, also.
phone etiquette??? IS there such a thing anymore? Frigging rude-assed people.