Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Reactions and proportions

OK, so I didn't react as gracefully as I could, but I also didn't throw anything or use profanity, which is what I actually wanted to do.

Here's what happened.

On Monday night Nick's good sister, the one I like, came to town for work, and she stayed the night. She had a cold. In fact, she said she didn't want to pick Jordan up because she had a cold.

This matters later.

I didn't get to see much of her, as her visit coincided with what I think must've been a 24-hour stomach bug, and so while they went out to dinner, I stayed home and threw up. And then crawled in bed and slept fitfully. Sipping Gatorade, but not too much at once, because the bathroom is down a long hall.

By the time I got up the next morning, Nick, his sister, and Jordan were sitting at the kitchen table. Nick had made breakfast for them. He and J were sharing a bowl of oatmeal.

We've been doing a lot of baking, and so there was a bag of coconut in the cupboard next to the brown sugar. So Nick had added that to the oatmeal. He was proudly pronouncing it the Best Bowl of Oatmeal Ever.

He wanted me to try it, and I said I still didn't feel well. Plus I didn't want to get them sick, in case whatever I had was communicable.

He held out the spoon to his sister, "Here, take a bite."

I said, "No - she has a cold."

She waved me off. "Oh, I'm at the end of it. It's fine."

To which I replied, "Here, I'll bring clean spoons."

In the span of time it took me to walk from the silverware drawer to the table, which is all of, oh, seven to ten steps, she'd taken the bite, put the spoon back in the bowl, and was giving Nick a smug look.

I was furious. "Did you just put the spoon back?"


I snapped, "You're just like your mother."

"What does that mean?"

"You're always right." I flung the clean spoons down on the table, and turned to leave. It's granite, and they clanged and bounced.

As I walked out, Nick said, "Lisa, it'll be fine."

"Fine. So when he gets her fucking cold, you take care of him."

Nick called me later to see if I was OK. I'd left rather abruptly.

What he doesn't know what that I had a momentary desire to do something violent. To pick up the bowl of oatmeal and smash the whole thing on the table, to smack her face, to tell her what assholes I think they all are.

I'm trying not to dance with anger, as part of my general life-management plan. Some days I do a better job than others.

But the smugness and the lack of respect just kill me. I'm not interested in having her in my home until I get an apology.

Am I blowing this out of proportion?


  1. i don't know about blowing it out of porportion - i definitely think you're right in not wanting your baby or husband to get anyone's sick germs... even when they swear they're "over it". it's just not cool. and it would not have been any work for her to use the spoon you were reaching for instead. i'm with you on this one.
    she should apologize - it's not her home, it's not her child, she should have been more respectful.

  2. perhaps a little bit? Mostly because, requiring an apology is the last way to get one. But, you definitely have a right to be upset. Particularly when not 24 hours earlier she was behaving differently.

  3. Let me comment. No, there is too much. Let me email you.

  4. I don't think you blew this one out of proportion at all! That was a very asshole thing to do. She obviously does not have children otherwise she would know better. Colds for the babies suck and are hard to rid of in the winter. I hope the apology comes soon!

    In any case, Merry Christmas!

  5. jen - And she wasn't over it - she was still sniffling. She just said she was at the tail end of it. The respect thing is huge for me. I'd never do that to anyone.

    swaaaaaan - You are right about that, and I haven't demanded one...I'm not sure what I'm going to do, and I don't see her very often, so it won't come up anytime soon. But I do mean it about the house.

    Jessica - Thanks for that.

    Jennifer - She has a two-year old who she got the cold from. He's in day care and he gets them all the time. She knows how much they suck. Maybe she just felt like passing it along?

    And Merry Christmas to you!

  6. I would probably have done the same thing. She knows she has a cold, so much so that she avoided picking him up, but somehow it's okay to magically share oatmeal with him!? Methinks there is a much higher germy-contamination rating for sharing a bowl of oatmeal than picking someone up.

    So I'm with you for sure.

  7. Ok. So, she has a child of her own. She knows how crappy it is to take care of a sick kid. You specifically asked her NOT to use the same spoon AND went to get another. She was being a bitch.

    AND you should be pissed at Nick too. When you said no, he should have moved the spoon!

    The only place I think you may be over reacting a tad is to not want her in your house until you get an apology. I would certainly ask her the next time if she is sick, and if she is, tell her NOT TO COME (because she can't be trusted), but I don't know that I'd ban her completely (just for the sake of family harmony). [Which is a shitty reason, but a valid one]

  8. I agree with Jennifer - it was definitely not a nice thing that she did and was in fact, "asshole," and very disrespectful. Colds with babies are really nothing to joke around with. I think she does owe you an apology but don't hold your breath. And definitely don't keep her out of the house until she does. That's the stuff of families feuding for 20 years over something that is not worth it in the long run. Just keep your eye on her.

  9. You are completely within your right to be pissed. Your house, your child. It's hard because she's "family," though. I don't know what to tell you. I'm the sort of person who would ban her from the premises, but know that doing so would lead to an uncomfortable situation later on. I guess it depends on you, and what you are willing to put up with. But, yes, you are right. Not cool at all.

  10. I would've felt the same way and done the same thing. That was a total dick move for her to pull, especially since earlier she didn't want to pick him up because of her cold. Ugh.

  11. Babymomma - I know. I don't know what she was doing or what kind of point she was trying to make. And she's a nurse - she knows germs.

    cla517 - I hadn't thought about that, but you are right. Nick was totally not on my side in this one. Maybe it was a power thing on his sister's part?

    As for family harmony, I think you are right. The thing too is that I'm still really angry, and I tend to get extreme. And then I vent here and then I feel better and then things pass. So by the time we talk or I see her again, it might be fine. Not forgotten, but fine.

    Kate - Yah, you're right. And a family feud is definitely not what I want. And the likelihood of apology is probably low.

    freckledk - Yes, I think you're right in that it would lead to an uncomfortable situation and then do I really want to live with that? I will have to talk about this with Nick and see how things go.

    Stevie - Thanks for agreeing. It was a dick move!

  12. vvk - Hugs back to you, my friend. :)

  13. My blood boils just reading that. You were already getting the spoons. It would take no effort on her part to wait a second. Her entire attitude was a slap in the face, what did she really expect as a result of that, for you to think it was funny? I would've snapped too, and probably used profanity, especially that early in the a.m.!

  14. Yeah totally disrespectful...and I would be fuming too... BUT...why not throw away the bowl of oatmeal (or give it to her) and let Nick and J take a new bowl and spoon?

  15. I would have probably licked her coffee cup myself [you said you weren't feeling well either, right?] and then walked away.

    I have been told on occasion that I have a bit of a temper, though.

  16. Nope. Not at all. Not at her putting the dirty spoons back and not at her smugness. Sharing utensils is fucking gross, especially if you're sick. And the whole smug look thing? Immature, unnecessary, and just plain fucking rude.

  17. Can I be the fly in the ointment? In this case you overreacted.

    Your body and mind were tired after a wonderful night of nursing the stomach flu from hell. You had a fitful sleep which was interrupted by bouts of puke (and other things). You come to the kitchen only to find by three (relatively) healthy people enjoying themselves, eating, a luxury you didn't have, and joking around. Your inner self lost momentary control. You say you felt like doing violence -- a clear indication that something is amiss. That isn't a normal reaction, even in a parent not looking forward to taking care of a child who "might" (I stress might) get sick.

    You should explore the comment you made about Nick's mother. What triggered that response? More importantly, what did that smug look mean to you? What was it about the smug look that you hated so much?

    I hope you're feeling better.

  18. I tend to agree with most of the others -- you were definitely well within your right to be pissed, and your reaction at the time was totally understandable. It makes me mad just hearing about it, as someone who has gone through one ER visit and four pediatrician visits as a result of a baby's cold (which occurred a whopping one week after he got over the last one).

    But, to ban her from the house, given that she's family ... probably not worth it. Perhaps justified, but not worth it.

  19. She was wrong and made it worse by being smug. I would have blown up as well. She owes you an apology. You should have given her a big smooch on the lips and told her not to worry-you were pretty much over with the stomach bug. :)

  20. I'm glad you threw the spoons down. The MIL comment, it does sound a bit harsh, but O.M.G. the smug thing - what a fucking bitch!

    She's still newish around you and your house, so she might as well learn, since there's a long future ahead of y'all, she might as well learn now, not to fuck with you in your own home, or when it comes to your kid.

    Demanding an apology, I'm not sure if I would or not. If she seemed appropriately shocked and chastized, I'd probably leave it, and call it "Steee-rike onnnnne!" {But she should, if she has any class, apologize without being asked.}

    You're so cool.

  21. Yikes Lisa - you were perfectly within your rights to react that way. I'm a chicken shit that doesn't stand up for myself in those situations, and I'm definitely entrenched in the "let it go on the surface but keep simmering underneath" camp. Which isn't healthy.

    I think a later, calmer conversation about how you felt disrespected in your own home would be a good thing to clear the air. Like a lot of your other commenters have said, she's family, and sometimes family really sucks.

    Hugs to you.

  22. Eww. How unsanitary AND rude. And Nick should have backed you up. You'll just have to watch her from now on. (You can limit her presence in your home, but don't expect an apology).


  23. I would have reacted the exact same way. Not even because she shared her germs with your kid, which is shitty on her own. But you said you were getting clean spoons and she did it anyway- that was her purposely being an outright bitch to you. You have every right to be as mad as you are.

  24. I'm not a good judge on perspective and out-of-proportion-ness (I have a sour taste for some of my in-laws as well). I would have been frucking PISSED at her. Really? REALLY? It's okay 24 hours later to spread germs? Like germs have an expiration date like milk? WTF.

  25. I don't think you overreacted to what she did and the smugness, because that was an obnoxious move. I think, though, the likelihood of actually getting sick from someone putting a spoon in hot oatmeal is pretty slim. It'd be one thing if she'd then fed Jordan or Nick with the same spoon, but just sticking it in the oatmeal is unlikely to pass anything on. I'm not a doctor though, so what do I know?

    But! Bottom line, she was obnoxious in your house when your kid was involved. You were well within the bounds of normalcy on how you reacted.

  26. I think you're right on, and I'm not sure I would have been as easy on her, quite honestly...we have to do all we can to keep our family healthy and some people just don't appreciate or respect that.

  27. It's not over reacting - the health of your family and respect, especially in your own home, are valid to get angry or upset about. I'm sorry this happened Lisa and it has upset you.

  28. I'm going to go with a hell no you're not over reacting on this one. You're J's mom. You get final say in ANYTHING that has to do with him. NOT her. She is a guest in YOUR home, and yes she might be related to Nick that DOESN'T count for SQUAT in YOUR home.

    She was SO wrong on this one that it makes ME mad, and I'm not related or anything! I wouldn't let her near my kid, to breathe, offer a cookie or change a nasty poo ridden diaper until I got myself an apology.

    That was ... hideous and totally gross. Just, yuck gross.

  29. Your house, your rules. She totally disrespected that. I don't think you overreacted.


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