Thursday, May 04, 2006

But it Has a Happy Ending, Really...

So seeing as how I alluded to my relationship, such as it is, with Hubba-hubba's family, I thought I would give you the lowdown on some of the particulars. This is being done with Hubba-hubba's full knowledge and consent. He actually wonders why I haven't written about them sooner. They are a blogger's dream come true, full of foibles and grand airs and lots of weird things that happen to them. But I don't.

It is because I dislike them.


And I have not many good things to say about them, mostly bad. I feel petty when I talk about them, like I just need to move on. For the most part I am a normal, fairly forgiving person. But on this particular topic, I am completely unable to be the bigger person. Does it eat away at me? Perhaps a bit. More on behalf of my husband and my son than for myself. Sound like a cop out? Maybe, but that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

I think eveyone should have an allowance for one topic on which they are perhaps slightly irrational and immature. Hubba-hubba's family fulfills that for me.

I could regale you with the stories of fistfights at Christmas and children's birthday parties (not mine!), jail time, DUI's with children in the car (not mine!), drug use and addiction, mental instablility, alcoholism, and all kinds of things that Hubba-hubba's family has been wont to do.

But I think I will just choose some stories that have over time, defined my relationship with them. I just want to preface my remarks with the fact that I have no defense for the things these people have done. But perhaps you will get some insight into my dislike.

At the age of 23, Hubba-hubba was offered a full scholarship to play football at a private college. He was still living at home and considered a dependent. In order to complete the scholarship application and paperwork, it was required that Hubba-hubba's parents provide copies of two or three years tax returns.

They refused, and Hubba-hubba was unable to attend, since tuition cost upwards of twenty thousand a year at that school.

It was Mr. Personality's second Christmas, and Hubba-hubba's oldest brother was in town from out of state. I hadn't had too many dealings with him due to the residence issue, but we had talked a few times.

I was sitting on the couch and he came over.

The conversation, such as it was, went down like this.

Him: Hey Gina.
Me: Hey M.
Him: So, I hear you are still as big a bitch as you ever were.
Me: Damn right, M.

Does it help at all that he was drunk? I didn't think so either.

We left very shortly after that.

My family is solidly middle class, Hubba-hubba's family is not. They got into teasing me about our family's "money", and Hubba-hubba's sister began calling (for no apparent reason other than that she thought it was funny) my father a "Jew Dad."*

Shortly after, my birthday rolled around. I came over to his parents house, and was informed that there was a birthday cake for me. I was suprised, but pleased they went to the trouble. I noticed that Hubba-hubba's sister had a white piece of paper stuck to her head. I thought it odd, but then again, she is an odd person. They wanted to show me the cake, so I walked over to the kitchen table and with a flourish, one of Hubba-hubba's brothers opened up the box.

Written professionally in icing was the inscription "Happy Birthday Jew Girl."

The white piece of paper on her head? A yarmulke. Of course. Except she hadn't even known what is was called or even the proper occasions to wear them, which most certainly was not this psuedo-celebration. She just knew Jewish people sometimes wore these things on their heads and to make the event all that more authentic in her mind, she cut out a circle and pinned it to her hair.

Suffice it to say we have little to no contact with Hubba-hubba's family. Most of our biggest fights were about these people, until on his own, Hubba-hubba realized that he could not change them no matter how much he tried. It was a long and difficult road for him, and I truly think he has made the right choice.

Am I unhappy that there are scores of people with whom Mr. Personality is related to by blood, yet doesn't know? The answer is yes. I am unhappy that these people have seen fit to live their lives in a manner completely inconsistent with everything I stand for as a person. But I am of the opinion that until (if ever) things change, I am protecting Mr. Personality, not punishing him. When he gets older, he may feel differently, but I am willing to deal with the repercussions.

It is a constant miracle to me that Hubba-hubba turned out to be the only one of four brothers not to be addicted to substances, or to have done jail time. In fact, he is on the "other" side of the law. That he perservered despite his family's indifference, nay, neglect, and went on to graduate from college and pursue an advanced degree. He is one of the most noble, kind, responsible, and amazing people I have ever known. I wouldn't have married anything less. I love him more truly and deeply than I ever thought myself capable of. He is my best friend in the entire universe, and we face it together.

And as hard as it is, I will thank Hubba-hubba's family for giving him to this world.

Because on a daily basis, he makes it a better place.

*Seriously, I have no defense for these people at all.


Granny said...

Just think, Gina. You have the privilege of becoming a matriarch. You'll establish a tradition of love and kindness and true "family values".

Let the celebration begin.

Awesome Mom said...

Wow! You are truly lucky that your husband is as good as he is because those people sounds insane. I am lucky and actually have decent inlaws. They have funny quirks but nothing too bad.

Hope said...

You have acomplished one thing here Gina. You've made me appreciate MY in laws. For all their oddities they look like saint next too yours.

Liz said...

Oh, man! I could tell you stories about my in-laws. We cut them out of our lives almost 14 years ago. It was an easy decision to make and we haven't regretted it for a second.

My husband is the only normal one of the bunch as well.

Piece of Work said...

You are so much better than I, Gina. I bitch about my brother in law on the blog all the time, and he actually looks almost SANE compared to these people. Good for your husband for "breaking the cycle" as they say.

Suzanne said...

Wow. You should have seen my eyes pop out of my head after I read about the cake.

It takes a lot of strength to distance yourself from your family, no matter how toxic they may be. Sounds like your husband has that in spades.

wordgirl said...

Wow! That's some powerful posting. However, I'm with you 100% on this. These people sound awful and Hubba Hubba sounds like a walking miracle. Family or not, it's poison to be around people like this.

Paige said...

I understand. I have a problem trying to be the bigger person with those people too. I confess, I'm a child & have acted that way where they are concerned. Most are now banned from our home, where there is NO drinking, dope, abuse etc. Again I understand.