Tuesday, April 6, 2010
The Grand Delusion
A few weeks ago I wrote about my sister and her preference for lies over truth as well as her skewed view of reality. These are some of the reasons she isn't in my life right now, I can deal with a lot but not when reality is stretched to it's limit. A little more background on my sister J: She barely finished high school, I think she even went to summer school and ended up with a GED, I'm not really sure and who really knows the truth anyway. She never went to college, wait, let me clarify that. She registered at different community colleges a few times and always had some excuse why she didn't go back, or at all. She lucked out once, my mother decided to move to Florida and J had to move with her, I guess she had an excuse that semester. Once in Florida it was the same old story, she would find a school, convince my dad she needed him to pay for it, he would and then she'd find some reason not to go. She never had a job and had no skills, she did have a car. My poor dad was talked into that as well, she couldn't get a job if she didn't have a car, right? I guess that one made sense. Anyway she managed to elude employment for a long time. It was always nice to hear from my unemployed, unschooled sister, riding around Florida carefree and in a free car while I was rushing from class to class to work hoping to find a place to live for the summer.
Not that I wanted her life but it did sound less stressful than mine. I would visit periodically and J would always claim to be rushing out the door, to where? Who the hell knew. It was about a year later that she got a job, she said she was teaching parenting classes at My Gym, I had no idea at the time what My Gym was but I knew that she was not teaching a parenting class there or anywhere. My mother's whole family (all living in Florida by then) was so proud of her, I tried to visit as little as possible blaming my hectic college schedule. Hectic college turned into first job and apartment in New York, visits were now really tough and I only had phone calls to endure. Hearing J talk about her teaching was ridiculous if not amusing, I asked my dad about it one day and it was starting to get to him as well. He started to question her about it and she kept up with her story.
More time went by and things in my life were moving along, I was about to marry Starter Husband, my dad was busy with his company, wife and son. Things with my family in Florida were the same, one lied and the other swore by it. About a year later I found myself in Los Angeles, far from any family. Sometimes this isn't a bad thing, it was on rare occasion that I had to sit through a J story. My dad on the other hand was getting sick of the stories, at one point my sister was claiming some terrible illness and turned it into something huge (it wasn't). He tried to call her job and found out that she didn't work there anymore, I believe he also found out that she had never taught any classes there either (duh!). She found her way out of that too. I think that's when she stopped talking to him.
A few years later my grandmother died, I wrote about that about a week and a half ago in "Sibling Rivalry." The outcome of that awful trip was a complete disassociation with my mother's whole family, a decision I do not regret for a minute. After I married D I wrote to my mother telling her that I was happily remarried. A few months after that I called her to let her know I was pregnant, she decided to visit me and meet my new husband. I had no idea what the trip would bring. Since we lived in a small one bedroom apartment she stayed in a nearby hotel. This was a good thing. About ten minutes into the trip I noticed that my mother had somehow adopted her youngest daughter's take on reality. I didn't say a word, it was a short visit. After I had K she came out again, and more of the same. She would talk about places she had never been, books she had never read and movies she had never seen. It got worse, I would say something about K like "the doctor said to give her some juice to help her poop" as soon as the words were out of my mouth she would repeat them back to me "give her some juice, that will help." HUH? Didn't I just say that?
I just blew it off, I felt bad for her, she had never really lived her life, never traveled, never followed her dreams, whatever they were. Recently I've noticed that she's now taking credit for things that K is doing. A few weeks ago I bought K a pair of black boots, just like the ones I wear everyday, when I told my mother about K's obsession with shoes, especially boots, she said "We all know where she got that." Of course we do, I've been wearing boots, mainly black, for years, even in the summer I'll find a way to incorporate them into my outfit. I think I said something like "she want's to be like her mama" and my mother answered with "No, she gets it from me." Alright lady, whatever you say, I was too tired to yell at the wind.
Last week I asked her about her other granddaughter's birthday party and she went on about how great it was, when I told her I heard from my dad that the kid can barely function and should be in a house with functioning parents who will help her thrive the call ended rather abruptly. I've never found a way to do that before, these calls usually last f o r e v e r. I have to remember that. Today I told her all about our Spring break and all the meals K and I had. I said that she's a great eater as long as we are out, the kid loves her restaurants. My mother said "Well we know who she takes after and it's not her mother" WTF? She knows that I lived in New York for years and never once turned on my oven which was actually used as storage, she knows that I had lived in Los Angeles for less than a year and had already been to most of it's famous eateries. In fact Starter Husband liked to say that if he ever lost me somewhere my ad would say "Lost, small blond girl, dressed in black, likes to go out to dinner." Not kidding, he said this alot. Besides, you can just ask poor D, his boot loving restaurant eating child is exactly like her mother.
I have no idea what's going on with the women in my family, my mother's mother was a chain smoking fool, who even after numerous heart attacks blamed them on genetics. My sister lives in a complete fantasy world and now my mother is either borrowing my sister's mirror or thinks she's me. Whatever the answer is I have to hope it's only prevalent in Florida.
On Sunday I posted some pictures I took of K, most of the comments said that she is a small version of me, being that she spends most of her time with me, I have to agree, although she is much cuter :)
I have no delusions about my life, I know what works and what needs work. I don't make things up in order to deal with the hard things, I fix them. I don't take credit for other people's accomplishments I praise them. Saying anything to my mother is another lesson in futility but it might be easier to take coming from me, coming from K could be brutal. She is nothing but painfully honest.
See, she is like me.