Thursday, June 16, 2011

Kicking and screaming, until I HAVE to smile

My vacation plans this year were scuttled by a family reunion.  Not mine, my husband's.  It has made me very unhappy, and I'm being a brat about it, but I can't seem to find any silver lining to the event.  So, I've already started kicking and screaming and throwing tantrums.  It doesn't change anything, but it makes me feel better.  Hopefully, I work all of it out of my system before I have to go.  Then I can paste on my smile and suffer (completely sober, unfortunately, since alcohol removes all of the filters between my mouth and brain) through the event.  I hope.

Some obligations in life I don't mind, but this one has rubbed me the wrong way.  Perhaps it's the memories of the last one (over my birthday, like this one will be) when I was relegated to the backseat of a car, ignored and frustrated.  That time, my husband (and his family) forgot my birthday, in spite of humilating me the night before at dinner.  It was a miserable experience.  The only upside to that trip, was the rather cranky horse I rode that week (I would be cranky to if somebody decided to call me Taffy) who tried to buck me off, rub me into trees and wander away from the group (all which I could sympathize with).  The rocky relationship with my husband's family has not improved over the 15 years I've known them; I have learned to just bite my tongue until whatever it is is over, and they think I've subscribed to their habit of hiding skeletons in the closet.

So I am handling these events in the most juvenile fashion I can.  I'm whining and pouting and complaining.  I've even cried.  Then, when the time comes to deal with the actual event, I will put on my make up (and my metaphoric mask), smile and say all the right things and force my children to behave. I'll ignore the tight feeling in my chest and indigestion I'm certain to have.  When it's over, I'll make my husband pull the car over somewhere desolate and I'm going to scream.  I'll even let the kids join in.  Then we'll head home, take off our masks and settle back into our real lives.

How do you handle events and people you don't want to but have to deal with?  Do you choose to make the best of it or do you kick and scream like I do?  Is there any graceful way to handle the obligations thrust upon us?

Okay, I'm done bellyaching.  Next post, I promise will be on topic and not so negative.  I'll be good.  Promise.

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