There are MANY members of my close and extended family who have all reserved their places in Etiquette Hell. This one is for my aunt T, who is my mother’s younger sister, and the middle one at that.
Just for a little background, T has always been the sister who has to be better than anyone in the family. Material possessions and her image have always been more important than anything else. She even extends this to her husband and her somehow still wonderful awesome kids, who are my favorite cousins, even though they are much younger than I am.
T lives WELL above her means, and anytime one of her two sisters buys a new house or car, T has to buy one bigger, better and more expensive. No matter that the other two buy because it’s needed, T still has to look better. She is also not the most thoughtful or tactful person. Here are just two examples, although there are SO many more!
Christmas two years ago- I had given birth to my first child (a premature daughter) less than a year before. During this pregnancy, I had so many health problems pop up, almost all potentially fatal and dangerous to either me or my daughter. Due to thyroid issues, I had gained 80+ lbs during the pregnancy, even though I was always horribly sick and my food would not digest properly, if at all. I was on all kinds of medicine that they put cancer patients on for food digestion, nausea, pain, etc.
Well, that Christmas, I had lost some of the weight, but was still trying to lose more. The only time I really see T any more is at family gatherings, even though we live close to one another. So that year, we had all traveled to my grandmother’s house and the next year they would travel south to stay with us. Her teenage daughter, K, and I are sitting at the dining room table talking, when she tells me about a friend of T’s who wanted to lose weight. She was telling me that the friend was using the metal ear piece to lose the weight and that it was helping her. T walks into the kitchen with my mother. The whole family, including my husband who is holding our baby, is right there. K asks T about the ear piece for me and what does T say? “Well maybe if she’d get off of her fat, lazy a** and do some house work, she’d lose some of that fat.” Everyone just sat there, stunned. I simply got up, walked out into the cold and sat in my dad’s truck crying. My husband came outside and sat with me. He tells me that as soon as I walked out, K, my mom and my grandma, God bless her, all start jumping down T’s throat. My grandmother told her that for “someone who has so much ‘big city class’ you seem more like ‘big city trash’. Asharah's comment: I hear cheering! I know that it was hard for grandma to tell her daughter that, but I appreciated her sticking up for me. What hurt the most was that I’m a clean person and I take care of my home. The ONLY time that she set foot in our apartment was right after my emergency c section when I was only allowed to do light cleaning on doctor’s orders until I was recovered. When I found out that she was coming over, I had jumped up and started to try to make everything perfect and ripped my stitches open! I ended up having to go and get them sewn back up! But did she care? Of course not! Asharah's comment: Not the smartest move LW could have made.
Skip to last year’s Christmas, one year later. Grandma and Grandpa, Aunt A and her family have made the trip down to spend Christmas with us. Due to home size and space, Grandma and Grandpa are staying with us and A is stuck at T’s house full of no touchables with 4 rowdy kids (including two toddlers). We all go over to T’s house Christmas day b/c there was simply “no other place good enough” to hold the gift opening. Asharah's comment: And everyone agreed to this? T’s SIL is there, making the whole family’s Christmas miserable. We all leave early, except for my poor grandparents, who are due to leave with A a few hours later.
Well, my grandfather is a diabetic with other health problems. When we were leaving in seperate cars for T’s house, I realize that his insulin is in the fridge, so I carefully transport it with us so that grandpa can have it as soon as he needs it. I put it her fridge, trying to make sure that it won’t be jostled, as it is VERY fragile. After eating, Granpa takes his standard dosage and puts it back in the fridge. We leave after giving everybody hugs and kisses and head for home. Soon after getting to my mother’s house, grandma calls us weeping. T went into the fridge and ended up knocking her father’s insulin to the floor, shattering the bottle and ruining the insulin that was left until they made it back home. T made grandma clean up the mess, never apologized and didn’t offer to pay for it, even though that with his medicare he still had to pay $70 a pop for it! So grandma had to call it in as an emergency and pay over $30 dollars extra to have it filled on CHRISTMAS DAY! So now, they are out of money for gas and food on a 6 1/2 hour trip! Mom rushes over and gives grandma the money so that they can make it home. Grandma sends her a check when they arrive home, but T has yet to apologize or even offer to compensate for the vital medicine and still complains about how rude Grandma was to try to extort money out of her on a day such as Christmas! Asharah's comment: Interesting how somebody like that has the nerve to call somebody else rude! I expect that will be the last time T gets to host a holiday gathering.1028-08