DINNER...AND AFTER DINNER ACTIVITIES
SIL took great care to ensure that there was plenty of BEEF at the table, so no trouble.
After it was cleaned up, BRO decided it was a good idea to play a nice, friendly family board game. (In our family,
board games were very popular. We had a board game from the Old Country that we've played for longer than I've been alive, that is similar to the American board game Sorry!
, in which little colored pawns go around the board trying to "knock out" the competition's pieces. Those of you in the UK might be familiar with Ludo
, which is said to be similar there.) The game is called Mensch ärgere Dich nicht!
, which in English translates into "Don't get angry, Buddy!"
<mrkitty must pause for a moment to choke on the irony>
Ahem. Sorry about that. Moving on.
So they start playing. Everyone in my family is intimately familiar with the strategy and rules of the game, as we have played since we before we could speak. SIL did not grow up with it, and thus does not fully appreciate its diabolical charm, but being the kindhearted, patient spirit and good sport that she is, has learned the rules and gamely plays along. The two nieces are pretty much into it. Again, raised on it. SIS knows the game well, and plays.
BIL isn't that much into it. He doesn't pay any attention while BRO explains the rules and strategy. BIL starts acting impatient, tapping his fingers and writhing around in his chair. Clearly, BIL is not interested in this activity. (I am going to interject again here and say that imo it was a bad idea to attempt to make BIL play this game when he obviously did not want to. I'm going to have to come down on the side of BIL/SIS on this one and say that part was rude.) In fact, I believe BIL even said something to the effect that he thought the game was stupid and didn't want to play it, and while I think he could have expressed his preference more politely, I agree that he was well within his right to decline to play. BUT...my brother CAN be rather controlling (SIS was right about that, I must say) and when he decides he wants to do something, well....it's difficult to say no. Trust me on that. It's just easier to go along.
So they play for a while. BRO applies himself with laser-like concentration, intent on winning at all costs (which, honestly, is the point of the game), SIL plays along and doesn't take it seriously, SIS gets into it (again, mrkitty maiden surename genes happening here), and the nieces are pretty enthusiastic - because, hey, the point is to win by keeping the other guy from winning. All good fun, no?
But BIL is not so interested. He keeps busy by drinking his beer and finding ways to distract himself from this terribly, terribly boring activity. (I kind of like the game myself, but I can appreciate how those who don't can find it boring if one is not into it). One of the ways he finds to distract himself involves little Arlene, the nine-year-old.
Being that she's still pretty short and not yet tall enough to reach the far end of the board to move her pawns, she stands up so she can reach for them herself. (You CAN have a family member move your pieces for you, but considering that this is NOT a trust-building activity, AND it involves interacting with
family, it is our tradition that it is not wise to avail oneself of the service of relatives.)
So, Arlene wisely chose to move the pieces for herself.
Each time she stood up to move one of her pawns when her turn came up, BIL, who was seated next to her, moved her chair away from her. The first couple of times, BRO told me, it was pretty funny. (I disagree.) And Arlene laughed it off. (Unfortunately. I, myself, do not possess that level of patience.)
Eventually, though, she got tired of it and asked him to please stop. But, BIL being BIL, chose not to. He did it a few more times, and this time Arlene was more firm about expressing her annoyance and her desire that he STOP.MOVING.HER.CHAIR. BRO interjected, saying that if he doesn't want to play anymore, he is welcome to exit the game and do as he pleases anywhere else in the house.
BIL said, no, no, I'll continue playing.
So, for Arlene's next couple of turns, he stopped moving her chair. So, she let her guard down and trusted that the chair would still be there when she was done with her turn.
Ah, but the next time, BIL (ever the charmingly clever fellow that he is) decided that it would be EXTRA FUN to relocate the chair now that Arlene isn't expecting it. So her turn came around and she stood up and she moved her pieces. When she completed her turn she moved to sit back down and PLOP fell right on the floor. Hard. Straight onto her spine, whose fall was broken by her heels, which were folded under her legs in a sitting position, and bonked her head on the edge of the dining table.
And then she started to cry, because it HURT.
Okay. This is where the scene gets UGLY.
SIL gets up to check on Arlene to see how badly she's hurt, or if she's just stunned. BRO leaps out of his chair and pulls BIL out of his by his collar. SIS gets out of her chair and pushes herself in between BRO and BIL to protect BIL. Betsy sits there in stunned silence, watching this bizarre scene play out before her.
BRO: KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF MY DAUGHTER.
SIS: DON'T TOUCH MY HUSBAND!
BRO: I told you to control your husband!
SIS: It's not my job to control him; he's an adult!
BRO: That would be true if he acted like one! But since he's your guest he's your responsibility to monitor what he does in my house!
SIS: <Shoves BRO>
BIL: <Steps in front of SIS. Pulls back his arm to strike BRO>
BRO: <Blocks BIL's right hook. BRO's left fist SMACKS BIL square on nose>
BIL: <Stumbles backward and falls into chair, which, in turn, the frame of chair crashes into window in the glass china cabinet. Shards of glass and broken crockery sparkle brilliantly in the light from the chandelier as they tumble gracefully onto the floor and in BIL's hair.>
SIS: <While screaming, lunges forward and knees BRO in that certain tender area that really, really seems to HURT>
BRO: <Reeling backwards, grabs SIS and puts her in a headlock>
SIS: <BITES BRO on forearm>
BRO: <Yanks on SIS's hair until she lets go>
BIL: <Gets out of chair to attempt to charge BRO>
BRO: <Using evasive maneuver, avoids being head-butted by BIL>
BIL: <Momentum propels BIL towards couch in living room>
BRO: <Grabs BIL and spins him around and pushes him into couch. Leaps on top of BIL. Using BIL's hair, continues to pull up and smash head into couch cushion>
SIL: <Rushes over to BIL/BRO. Takes landline phone handset. Smacks BRO in back of head to try to get him off BIL>
BRO: <Adrenaline and (I guess) pure rage prevents BRO from noticing phone attack. Attempts to gouge BILS eyes out with fingers>
BIL: <Thinking quickly, uses hand chop to midline of own nose/forehead to deflect eye-gouging fingers. Injures self in process>
BRO: <Backhand slaps BIL across his face. Stands up. Turns towards SIL. Requests that SIL call police.>
BIL: <Kicks BRO in his legs.>
BRO: <Knees buckle>
SIL: <Stands frozen in shock>
BRO: <Gets up. Pulls BIL up by collar. Again.>
BRO: GET OUT OF MY HOUSE.
BIL: <Grabs SIS and leaves.>
BRO: <Kicks the door shut behind them.>
BIL & SIS: <Tires screeching as they peel out of neighborhood.>
BRO: <Vows never to speak to SIS (or her DH) ever, ever, ever again.
SIS: <Vows never to speak to BRO ever, ever, ever again.
BIL: <Rants forever and plots revenge>
MrKitty: <Wonders WHEN BRO will ever believe her when she gives advice>
Mr. MrKitty: I could have predicted that would happen.
Well, sorry this was so long. And that it took so long to post. Did you enjoy? I feel the only thing that would have topped it was if BIL were to pull a couple of pistols out of his waistband and go all Det. Alonzo Harris in Training Day
, but then, that wouldn't be exactly truthful. The truth is that he kindly left the firearm in the car this time. (Beyond the bacon-fed knave-ity of this gentleman, the mixture of alcohol with
ammo is why this particular individual is not welcome at the mrkitty house. I, personally, enjoy a nice glass of wine, a cocktail every now and then, and even the occasional beer...and I also have nothing against firearms in and of themselves. I, myself, took firearms training in college (as I was seriously considering a career at the Federal law enforcement level at one time, but decided, ultimately, to choose a different major). However, the mrkitty family personally feels no particular desire for firepower at this time, while respecting the wishes, desires and freedoms of others to enjoy their rights. As long as they don't bring them to the mrkitty residence without letting us know first. Cats and guns don't mix, because they don't have thumbs and it wouldn't be fair. They'd probably get jealous.
I hope you enjoyed this journey into our family dynamics (I always say my family puts the "diss" into dysfunction), and that this gives you some insight into why I have the trust issues I do...and why therapy is such
a good thing. And, if there was any question why DH and I moved AS FAR AWAY AS POSSIBLE (WHILE REMAINING IN THE CONTINENTAL U.S.) FROM ALL FAMILY WHO ARE RELATED BY BLOOD OR MARRIAGE, hopefully this clears that up.