I have a very hostile relationship with my aunt. At first, she didn’t like me and I grew to dislike her. On the other hand as a teenager, I babysat all my cousins, including her sons, with great pleasure, whenever I could. As time went on, we only met at Christmas so I didn’t get to know her sons as well as my other cousins.
Other things happened between us but the one that takes the cake is this. One day, she, my uncle and my cousins moved to my part of the world (about a 10 minutes drive). I was deliriously happy and invited them to dinner and lunch repeatedly but they never agreed.
Eight months later, it was the day before my fiancé’s birthday, I got a phone-call from her. She explained to me that my cousins never saw me (ok) and a bunch of other sentimental things, then explained that the next day my 17-year-old cousin was taking a train at the station the next evening and I should go there and keep him company until he got it. I had spent many hours in station waiting for trains alone when I was his age but I still understood her concern. I refused nonetheless – it was exactly the same time as the dinner reservation my FIL had made for my fiance’s birthday celebration with my MIL and SIL (well all soon-to-be, of course) so, for the first time since she knew me, and to my own astonishment, I told her no, I couldn’t, explained why and stood my point until she hung up. She tried guilt-tripping me for her lack of planning, but to me it didn’t feel like an emergency, rather a demand.
A few months after that, they moved away. Two years later, I met my uncle at a family function and he told me that she had finally “forgiven” me for that… 0622-14
And this is what a polite spine looks like.