My brother-in-law's birthday was yesterday (the big 3-0) and there's been big-time drama surrounding this impending, uh, "celebration".
My brother-in law (we'll call him 'Lil Man-you'll soon see why) has a serious case of arrested development. He's totally babied by his mommy and has a girlfriend that is exactly like his mom. Now, 'Lil Man "tried" to be an actor for awhile......I put that in quotes because he really wasn't willing, in my opinion, to do what it takes to succeed-he wouldn't go on tour (it would take him away from his girlfriend, who I dubbed "the soul-sucker", but I think that I'll call her "The Dementor" from here on out), wouldn't pound the pavements-he wanted the "big-shot producer/director to come up to him off the street and offer him a role" scenario-yeah, right-like that happens every day. He had some opportunities, like auditioning for the National Tour of "Oklahoma" and also for The Blue Man Group, but the Dementor talked him out of it. So, he has been working at Starbucks, and lives with the soul-sucker in her mother's house......are you getting a mental picture.....and watching his friends develop their careers, marry, and buy real estate, and letting life pass him by.
So, his 30th birthday was approaching, and Sean thought that it would be nice to have a surprise party for his brother. We talk to his parents about it, and decide on a party of mostly family (we added two friends of his, but they are friends that he grew up with and are still close to) at a Japanese restaurant. We decide to split the bill three ways (us, mother-in-law and father-in-law) and we thought that we could have the party on his actual birthday.
Here's when the "fun" begins.
The Dementor goes and auditions for a show and gets a part. The show runs through his birthday weekend---she says that she didn't "realize" that there was a performance on his birthday, but I personally think that she's full of shit--so having the party on his birthday now out. We scramble for a different date, and come up with the 28th of May. Memorial Day weekend, which sucks but hey, it's better than nothing.
Now, the Dementor, who is not putting any $$$ in on this party (nor did she offer), decided that she wanted to "help" by making invitations. On the computer. Or, more specifically, on the $1200 new Mac laptop that she had just bought two weeks prior.
Yep, you read that correctly. Am I bitter? Hell yes, especially since I also saved up for a laptop, was about to buy one, then found out that my health insurance didn't cover embryo freezing and I had to cough up all that cash to make sure my totsicles would stay frozen. Priorities, you know.
So, we finally get together to do these invites (she canceled twice, btw), and she has no clue what she's doing. And, she keeps making these "we" suggestions: "We should make it look like this" and "Maybe we should call and confirm at the restaurant about the date and time". As I was literally doing all the work. But, I was good, I didn't make any comments, like "We should shut our mouths, especially since we aren't contributing". Even Sean marveled at my self-control. Needless to say, I ended up taking them home (she had to leave early) and doing them myself. I also bought the paper, since she never got any. But, to be fair, she did buy all eight stamps and addressed the envelopes herself.
Okay, so the invites are out, everything's going well. Then the Dementor tells my mother-in-law that all of "Lil Man's friends would be "so disappointed" if they weren't invited. So, my mother-in law, feeling guilty, starts talking about having another party at her house for just his 25 friends. Are you fucking kidding me??? Sean put the kabosh on that right away. Then, mother-in-law decided to just have something small (BBQ and cake) at the house for immediate family on his actual birthday to throw him off. Okay, sounds good, right?
Now, right now our financial situation really sucks. Big time. We're in the process of refinancing, and we don't have two nickels to rub together until payday, which is on the 31st. Yeah it sucks, but that means tightening the belt a bit. So, feeling bad, we didn't get 'Lil Man a gift, just a card. We rationalized it by saying that the surprise party is our gift to him. 'Lil Man mentioned to mommy that he was "bummed" that we didn't get him anything. Mommy called us on Saturday night (while we had company) and said that she had to "get something off her chest". I was the dumbass who picked up the phone.
So, she goes into her whole thing that 'Lil Man was upset, and that it "weirded her out" that we didn't get him anything. I tried to explain (without going into financial detail, since it's none of her business) that the party is his gift, and she said "yeah, but today's his birthday", and was going on and on about it. I tell her that money's really tight for us right now, but she doesn't want to hear it. So, I just put Sean on the phone, because I truly didn't want to deal with it. And he let her know the same thing. You know what she says? "Oh, well, you should have just let me know, I would have given you some $$ to put in a card for him" WTF!?!?! ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING? Thank God that Sean told her that he didn't need to be bailed out by her, and that his brother needed to realize that it's not about getting a gift, and that we never get anything from him on our birthdays (because he's crying poor, but mommy still pays a lot of his bills) except a card, which is fine with us. So she says "well, maybe I shouldn't have called. It was a bad idea", and Sean agreed with her.
I still can't believe that she had the balls to call us and question us as to why 'Lil Man didn't get a birthday present. That's just rude and tacky. It's frankly none of her business, and is typical of her. She gets upset about things and totally blows them out of proportion and makes a big deal with things. She did this with our wedding, when she was too busy being "in love" and talking about wanting to get remarried to help with things like a guest list and table placements, and she did shit like this with me and my infertility, when she told all of Sean's family that I was doing IVF without asking my permission first, and let me find out that they knew on my own in the middle of Easter dinner. It shouldn't shock me, really, this passive-agressive personality of hers, but I'm getting weary of her butting her nose in where is doesn't belong. And, if we have kids, it will only get worse. Right now, I just let Sean deal with her, because he's used to handling her when she gets like that. But, I let it be known to him that, if we can have kids, I will not put up with that bullshit, not when it comes to my children. And I would no longer be silent.
It's so totally opposite from my own family. My parents respect our privacy, and, we tell each other exactly how we feel, maybe to the other extreme, since we're always arguing and annoying the piss out of each other. But, we don't play bullshit mind games, and we don't question each other's motives. This wouldn't have even been an issue had the party was held yesterday, but it just brings home the fact that you not only marry the man, but his family as well.