Due to scheduling conflicts over Christmas, our holiday gathering with the nieces and nephew will be this weekend. And I'm dreading it.
The reason: Chip's evil sister will be there. Oldest Niece decided to hold out the olive branch. She and Youngest Niece still refuse to have anything to do with Evil except for occasional phone calls, but ON decided to invite her mother and see what happens from there. (Middle Niece is the only one who has a relationship
with Evil, though Jerk Nephew has recently begun badmouthing MN to Evil in hopes of reclaiming his position as the Chosen Child.)
In the last couple of years, Chip and I have learned that Evil SIL's drunken ex (not the good
ex, ON's father) beat and abused the kids while Evil just stood there watching. He hit them, locked them in closets or their rooms, even poisoned their dog. Evil was also involved in some of the abuse.
When ON's father finally was able to get custody of her, Evil called Chip crying and saying ON had run off to live with her father and that Chip had to come get her and take her to their parents' house to explain. This involved Chip making a two-hour drive to pick up Evil, a 40-minute drive to go to his parents', God knows how long at his parents' house, 40 minutes to take Evil back home, two hours to drive home. All for a big lie. Chip is still having trouble dealing with Evil involving him in the deception.
Evil was fired from her last job at a daycare for handling one of the children roughly. She has also been involved in many illegal activities, not the least of which was forging a family member's name on a loan and then defaulting on it, which just about ruined said family member's credit. And she is still miffed at Chip for not giving her money left and right. She refuses to sign the final papers to close out my MIL's estate (MIL has been dead for over five years); Chip speculates it's because she knows she will not get any more money out of it and she wants to make sure he doesn't get any money, either. Chip advanced her share of the last money of the estate, $6,000, which she ran through in three weeks, after which she called asking for Chip to send her another $1,000. When Chip said, "I'm not going to be your bank," she pretty much stopped speaking to him. Chip is still trying to process the news of how abusive Evil and her drunken ex were to the kids. Though he has said he doesn't care to associate with her, he won't cut her off completely because she's his sister.Edited to add: I forgot to mention this one: When my blessed MIL was terminally ill, Evil told Oldest Niece, "I wish Mama would hurry up and die. I'm tired of taking care of her." ON slapped Evil in the face and told her she was going to hell for saying that. That anyone would say such a thing about my MIL is beyond the pale.
I don't want even to be in the same room as Evil. I don't hang around with child abusers and criminals in my everyday life, and just because she's faaaaaaaaaamily
doesn't make my feelings any different.
ON just e-mailed me talking about seating arrangements for dinner. I asked her please not to seat me next to her mother, and ON's reply was, "What, you mean my mother isn't eating outside with the next-door neighbor's dog? Oh, darn …" (Do you get the feeling that, even though ON invited her mother, there are still some major issues there?) ON says she will seat her mother at a separate table, so I don't have to worry about it.
I have made little gifts for the kids, including soap for the girls, and I guess to be minimally polite I will give a packet of it to Evil. (Does that sound passive-agressive? God knows she needs to clean up her life.)
I don't want to eschew the gathering because I want to be there for my nieces. (I don't care about Jerk Nephew and his squeeze-of-the-week, but I'm all right with it because I like Squeeze. I've a feeling that Jerk Nephew will announce his FOURTH engagement while we are all together. He announced his third at last year's Christmas gathering.)
Still, I can't help but hope that something will come up to give me a good reason not to attend. My relationship
with Evil has never been anything more than "cordial dislike." Now there is NO relationship
, and I'm not crying over it.
Now, my question: I am to be at a gathering with someone I truly despise and act like I don't know what a cruel itch with a B she is. How in the name of love am I going to keep my mouth shut? I don't even want to look at her. I'm a pretty good actor, but I never thought I'd have to give an Oscar-worthy performance.
I'll make sure I'm properly medicated, but even so, I don't know if I can hold it all in if she says something smart to me.
Thanks for listening.