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Time For a Coffee Break! / Re: S/O Wedding Attire
« Last post by demarco on Today at 04:28:34 PM »
I have kept my wedding dress. I'm not saving it for any particular reason except that it is, after all,  my wedding dress.  Even if I had a daughter she wouldn't want to wear it. No one would. It is an ecru cheesecloth two piece thing that I paid twenty three dollars for. I chose it because it was the only thing I could find that would fit my then fire hydrant-shaped form and that I could afford.  It is stored in a small, ordinary department store box, along with a ribbon I used as a belt. It is thirty-six years old. I don't even want to open the box now and look at it because I fear that it may have turned brown and crumbly, like the cloth the mummies in the museum are wrapped in.

I had the romantic idea of wearing it on our first anniversary but that didn't work very well because I'd gained weight and I had to wear an industrial strength foundation garment just to squeeze into the thing. I could hardly breath the whole night. (It might be a hoot to put it on now because I'm quite a bit thinner than I was when I got married.)
and not even Russell Stover.
Romper Room and Captain Kangaroo.  I was very disappointed that first grade wasn't anything like Romper Room.

I loved Lassie.  Or Yassie, as I called it until my brother patiently taught me how to pronounce the L.   :)  However, I have no interest in watching reruns/DVDs, as I'd probably wonder why Timmy had a death wish.

I think my first movie was Mary Poppins.
I love How the states Got Their Shapes show.  The host is now the Quicken Loans Guy

It is streaming on Netflix now.  My husband and I have watched the first three episodes.  It is very informative and entertaining.  I highly recommend it.

There is a book. You may be able ot find it at your library. I did. Very interesting. How the States Got Their Shapes
Entertaining and Hospitality / Re: Ha! I knew it! I *knew* you liked pork!
« Last post by LadyL on Today at 04:13:43 PM »
I would stay out of it honestly. If MIL is normally respectful of food restrictions I would chalk this up to her specific dynamic with her DIL.

I know with LordL, growing up his only exposure to certain foods were very poorly prepared versions. His mother was a "you'll eat what I make or you won't eat" type and he has memories of literally getting sick from the texture and briney taste of fish sticks. Every time I'd offer him seafood he would get this anticipatory anxiety that it would be briney mush - even just bringing up that memory would turn his stomach. So instead we figured out his dealbreakers (anything with a slimy texture, anything too briney/brackish, oily fish) and I only offer him things he's ok with (firm non-oily things like clams, calamari, or shrimp, preferably fried, are tolerated best). The way I pitch things is "You might like this, it's got a firm texture like shrimp but a bit chewier, and it's battered and has a spicy dipping sauce" rather than "here try this fried clam." Maybe MIL said something to DIL akin to "here try this, it's like turkey"?
Your aunt has your contact information, yes?  So each time your mother brings it up you can say "If aunt has something to tell me, she has my contact information"  or something like that, other e-hellions can do a better job of phrasing that. 

Basically, your mother is in the middle of a situation that doesn't really have anything to do with her.  It's between you and your aunt.  So copy and paste, every single time your mother talks to you about your aunt.  Trust me, it will get old fast for her when she's not getting the response she wants from you. 

I also second Rose Red's suggestion to reach out to her at times.  Not to apologize or to rehash, but to offer to spend time with her.  If she truly wants a relationship with you, then she'll be receptive to your overtures.  if she is more interested in being a victim or complaining, then she probably will end up flaking out on a lot of stuff with you. 

This is a good opportunity to start forging relationships with your family outside of your FOO.  As you are an adult*, having individual relationships with people is a good way for them to start treating you like one. 

*I'm assuming you're over 18
If you (or your kids) are interested in learning more geography and other things, I highly recommend this website:

I've learned more about geography than I ever learned in school from this site. I really like that it stays up to date. The map of Africa changed within days of Sudan splitting into two countries.
8 general / Re: Joint vacations
« Last post by PastryGoddess on Today at 04:01:34 PM »
What a nightmare! I think next year I'd figure out what vacation *I* wanted to take and email everyone else that they were welcome to join me if they wanted to make that The Official Family Vacation, but I would not be changing my plans.

I, kiddingly, suggested that to DH, but the reality is this would never work.  DH loves loves *loves* to see family and spend time with them, and he treasures these family vacations (looks forward to them every year).  It would kill him if he couldn't go (I sometimes don't go or, if I do, don't go more than 2 days as, prior to this upcoming year, it has always been camping, and I don't like camping).

Try to narrow it down to two or three options - four at most.  Include one camping only, one huge house option, and one camping & cabins at same site, if at all possible.

FemaleCousin can protest that only the camping only option will work but might be persuaded that it really would be easier on the families with very young children that the camping & cabins option is a reasonable compromise.  The huge house option might win over a lot of people - but I'm not all sure how well FemaleCousin will react if that ends up being chosen by everybody else as the 2016 option.

A few years ago, I suggested just one really big house, and FemaleCousin shot down my idea.  The *only* idea she likes (and she stated this a few days ago to DH) is camping because she can always go into her tent and escape from everyone (I call BS on this, too as you can do the same thing in a house -- actually better because there are walls and doors, as opposed to the thin fabric of a tent).  I even pointed out with that suggestion a few years ago that the house sits on 160 private acres and that if some family members were absolutely determined to sleep in a tent, they could pitch a tent on the property.

We already know 2016 will likely be a house as well (unless everyone really hates the house idea this year during/after the vacation).  There are two families with three very young children/babies between them.  The change in lodging is to *finally* accommodate the parents with young children (I say "finally" because no one had been successful in wrenching the camping plan away from FemaleCousin).  Previous vacations have resulted in one or both of the families of the young children staying offsite at a motel (one year) or the family condo of one of them (last year when the vacation was near the condo).  The idea is for everyone to be together in one place as that is why we're all vacationing together; FemaleCousin's nonsense has prevented that from being possible.

I forgot to mention in my original post that FemaleCousin even tried changing the dates at the last-minute (when we were waiting to get everyone's agreement).  DH didn't notice that she changed the dates when he forwarded her e-mail to everyone (she changed the date so the vacation would end one day sooner).  *I* noticed because it directly affected my vacation time so, reluctantly (because I really didn't want to have to do this), I quickly e-mailed everyone (before they agreed on the wrong dates) and told them those dates wouldn't work for me, reminding them I was giving up a day of vacation during the week and making a multi-hour round-trip to/from my summer class in order to give everyone else an additional day at the site.  I said I could do one-day later to start (so no round-trip) and ending on the true date (but being the same number of days she tried changing to) or starting on the "sacrifice" date (so DH and I would get there after my class, rather than traveling back and forth from the site) and ending on the true date.  I said I wasn't going to agree on the earlier end date because that meant I'd be making this round-trip and losing a vacation day only to have two days of vacation at the other end.  I knew the other families wouldn't have a problem because we'd been discussing this since day one (every family, except Aunt and Uncle, had day/date restrictions so we all had agreed to honoring all of our day/date restrictions).  I also knew from past experience that FemaleCousin wants the vacation to end on Sunday (because she's wanted this every year for the past 3-4 years).  DH thinks it was an accident, and she claims she didn't know those weren't the true dates.  I pointed out to DH the evidence of past experience and the fact that she has noticed the details on *everything* else so I had no doubt she changed it on purpose and on the sly (and hoped no one would notice when they agreed).

Again, FemaleCousin is really a very nice and generous person, normally (as we often read in this forum), but she really turns into a Mr. Hyde character when it comes to these vacations.  DH and I are absolutely baffled as to why.  How is it a family vacation if only one family member gets to dictate *all* of the details for everyone else?

Maybe you should point out the bolded to everyone in the family
I do agree that this sounds more like an issue with your mom vs your aunt.  Also think about this...her mother died.  And she was young.  Yes, 20 is technically an adult, but that is still a time when you really need your parents.  Losing them at any age is tough, but I think especially at a young, impressionable age.  So, in the wake of her mother's death, she sees a public and scathing blog about her mother...well, how did you expect her to react?  Sure, you were only 15 and due to your young age, I could give you a pass on maybe not fully realizing that something like that, while therapeutic, should not be made public...I can also give a pass to an emotionally wrought 20 year old who just lost her mother for not realizing that responding to you wasn't going to do any good.  Your mom also "tore into her".  Well, sorry, I think your mom should have known better.  I can give that she may have had an instinct in that moment to protect you, but that was an opportunity for her to maybe add some perspective to the situation and help you and your aunt find a way to make peace with each other. Instead, she added to the problem.

Now, all these years later, she's passing on information to you that she should keep to herself.  In your mother's position, if she hears her sister whine about you not being willing to be in her life, then maybe she should suggest that your aunt actually invite you to something or try talking to you.  (And I guess it's possible that she does).  What she should not do is tell you about all of this.

I agree with rose red, I think you should consider making a move yourself.  Your aunt hasn't been great to you but neither have you been great to her. You want the family and I think that instead of throwing your hands up in the air and assuming the one you have will never be the one you want, you should do something first, even if with caution.  If Aunt doesn't reach back for the olive branch, then you can move on knowing you at least tried.
I would do it's a kind thing do be able to give someone some peace of mind.  If it were me the only thing I would ask is that you get as specific as possible on  when you would need me "on call".   I would want to be able to plan for it and around it.   

The only reason I say this is because sometimes there are some real miscommunications / misunderstandings about the nature of what is being asked.

That's a good point. If you know what days DH won't be around, I would share that with the neighbors as well.
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