BabyMama, no wonder you said in the other thread that you didn't want to see your parents fro Christmas.
Sigh. My personal affront is now making me remember every bad event over my lifetime. There was also the time when she wanted this specific cake made for Christmas, and when it appeared she wasn't going to make it, I did it...and she yelled at me because she had an idea of wanting to frost the cake RIGHT before serving it (whipped cream based) and because I'd frosted the cake early I "ruined Christmas." Yeah...
They usually are okay people. But they really have been getting worse. I dread to think of what my mom will be like when she's elderly.
Have you ever read the Great Santini? Or, well, any book Conroy wrote with parents in it. Something about the way you describe your parents reminds me of Conroy and his parents. He would describe some really messed up story from his childhood. Not CPS messed up, but shake-your-head messed up. Then he'd say, "But, really, they were really OK."
I read Jenny Lawson aka the Bloggess' memoir, "Let's Pretend This Never Happened," (a telling title if there ever was one.) She describes her dad as this total nutball who was so determined NOT to be normal or conventional that he did outlandishly insane things but never considered the social or emotional toll it took on his family. Like setting a baby bobcat loose in the house to see how the kids would react.
One of her more upsetting stories was when Jenny and her sister were little and money was tight, her dad would announce that they were going to see a movie on Saturday afternoon. This was a huge treat because the family rarely had money to spend on things like movies. The girls would spend all day pouring over the newspaper movie listings, painstakingly deciding what they wanted to see and what time would be best. Then they would discuss what snacks they wanted from the concession stand and where they should sit. They would present Dad with their decision and he would say, "Great! Do you have any money?"
And of course, the girls didn't. So there was no way they could go to the movies. And the girls would be crushed. But Dad would jostle their shoulders as they cried and said, "But wasn't it fun when we THOUGHT we were going to the movies?"
Jenny was quick to add that her dad wasn't a mean person, but I disagree.