I have actually known about this for a few weeks, but didn’t know the SPECIFICS until a few days ago when we spoke to another family member of his.
R is the 2nd child (and youngest) in his family. His only sister had her son (his family’s first grandchild) 2 months before Maisie was born. His family pretty much treats him like a non-entity. They live 3 blocks away from us and never come to see him/Maisie. They bought two houses next door to each other so that they could move his sister and her hubs in next to them while she was pregnant. They’d previously lived DIRECTLY ACROSS THE ALLEY from the 2 houses. His sister is 13 yrs older than he. They (R’s mom/sister/nephew) take walks daily, but never walk by our house nor stop by. We ALWAYS have to come to THEM. I’ve never once asked (nor have I needed) them to babysit my daughter. They help raise little baby Milton because R’s sister is a veterinarian and works- as does her hubby.
They once told me that we could not look baby Milton in the eyes for the first 30 minutes we were there, lest it upset him. R’s father is always told (when he picks up Maisie) by his mother/sister “Put her down, you’re making Milton jealous”. He generally drops her after they say this… except for a month ago during R’s birthday dinner and the father got glares from his wife/daughter as a result of his ‘not obeying’.
Fucking give me a break- this boy is only a year old! This is even unhealthier in other ways than MY dysfunctional family.
Also, there is the racist thing. They’re not happy that I am half-Asian and that Maisie looks Asian. R tried to shrug it off as “Dad was in Vietnam” (give me a fucking break- he never left Stateside)- or “My grandpop was in the Pacific Theater” (OMFG, SO WAS MINE).
On Monday when we had to go to Kalamazoo for the D&C, R’s dad offered to drive (which was fortunate because R was hit with another stomach ailment and had a bucket in his lap the entire way).
I was nervous about the procedure and cramping slightly because of the dose of misoprostal/cytotec they had me take the night before.
I sat in the back seat while R sat in the front passenger’s seat, hugging his puke bucket.
Suddenly, R’s dad starts talking, prefacing his speech with “I don’t want to offend you, but… ” then goes on to inform me that I am high risk at my age being pregnant.
I acknowledge this fact and try to keep the tone pleasant… I mean, that’s the whole reason I was going all the way to Kalamazoo to see an obstetrician.
Somehow, his discourse changed to “Asians age overnight- you can go to bed with someone who looks 16 and wake up with something that looks 60”. He also implied something that made me reassure HIM that I wasn’t trying to make ‘retarded babies’.
He went on and on about the Asians and their aging overnight for about 10 minutes, as if to drive the point home for me somehow.
I didn’t let him have it then because I was a) in shock that he’d SAY something like this to me, ESPECIALLY at this time as he was driving us to surgery for the miscarriage and b) I was terrified about the procedure itself and c) it was 4 am and I was so tired.
Anyway, I’ve had a lot of time to think about this over and over since then and am floored at the ill-timed racial slurs (to be honest, he’s mentioned this 4 or 5 times before, but usually when he’s drunk) and insensitivity. I also am really angry about it.
We were supposed to go to R’s parent’s for Xmas Eve and I am not comfortable going at all. Because I know that Ray would never say a peep to his parents about this, I texted his mom tonight and told her I wouldn’t be going and why I wasn’t going. I am depressed enough right now and the thought of that drive there/what that man had the balls to say to me really pisses me off.
I put up with stupid, insensitive things from my parents. I do NOT have to put up with them from HIS parents. I am sick of being treated like some foreigner. His father’s asked me before how long I’d been in this country– hello, I was born in St. Joseph, MI. He’s mentioned the overnight aging thing before. Hell, I think he doesn’t mention the black genetics because I happened to find black ancestors in HIS genealogy (which seemed to shut down his genealogical endeavors immediately, lemme tell ya).
I may be a little sensitive right now, but I don’t think it’s wrong of me to feel uncomfortable considering the circumstances– or angry. I had to type this out because I have been so upset over this (and y’all know, if I am so upset that I keep my mouth shut for 2 or 3 days mulling things over before spewing them here, it must REALLY bother me).
Needless to say, I did not speak to these people for a few years after that. I calmed down a lot after Maisie was born because in my mind it was only the right and fair thing that she know her grandparents on his side. He has NO OTHER relatives here in Michigan except for his folks and sister’s family. The rest live in Philly and he barely knows them.
Anyway, on his nephew’s birthday on the 4th of July, his parents INSISTED and MADE SURE we’d be there for his 1st birthday party. Of course, I had no problems with this- I come from a large family (however effed it it may be at times) and want Maisie to know her only cousin on his side. His mother helped cook for the party, it was all very nice. I took the photos of the children together and thought nothing of it until a few weeks ago when I casually mentioned to R’s mom that we’d be having a small ‘family only’ cake party for Maisie’s 1st birthday on the 10th of September. We planned on having a bigger party on the 19th when R has a day off.
R’s Mother: “We can’t come on the 10th, we fly out to Vegas that morning- we’ll have to do something on the 9th”
I told her (nicely, because I was still kinda gobsmacked- they’ve been to Vegas 3x in the last couple of months for FUN- it’s not like they’re poor and have to save all year for these vacays- this is a COMMON THING) that we were busy on the 9th.
I was so shocked- but kept a cool facade- that I couldn’t even respond to that.
I learned later on (a couple of days ago) that they planned the trip so they could take BABY MILTON back to Vegas (not his first trip) and that it was the only day they could because his daddy had that weekend off… Gimme a BREAK. They KNEW when her birthday was. They were AT THE HOSPITAL WHEN SHE ARRIVED. She is their only other grandkid.
The mother is passive-aggressive as hell. She even likes to talk about how much ‘Milton loves Vegas’, as if it hurts us.
She says things with a pleasant look on her face, like: “I would have had an abortion with R, but his dad likes babies, so I had to keep him” OR (when I was pregnant with the one I miscarried): “Just so you know, I don’t touch or pick up other people’s babies before they’re a year old”.
What HURTS is how they treat R and my baby. No amount of money can replace kind words or even a loving interest that R craves from them.
Early on in our relationship, we were having problems. Being the mother of three sons, I suggested he call him mom and talk it out with her- that’s what I would expect MY kids to do.
He called her and chatted for an hour. He felt so good after… until a few days later, when we saw her face-to-face and she said:
“Oh, you know the day you called and talked and cried on the phone? I put the phone down and did laundry”
R’s father is also a doozy- as long as I’ve known them, he’s told R (as if by ROTE):
“You know son, the reason why we can’t have a close relationship is because ‘a daughter’s a daughter all her life, but a son’s a son til he takes a wife’- and that’s why I am closer to your sister”
This man LITERALLY says this nearly every time he sees R. It’s ridiculous. They do it with these bizarre-ass smiles on their faces, too- never raising voices, nada. Like they’re saying “Oh, the sky is blue” or “Isn’t that a pretty flower?”
So, after SIX LONG YEARS of never seeing R even address this, he finally broke down and cried a bit over it today.
Yeah, they throw money and cars at him… and I always ask WHY he accepts them.
His answer, through his sadness: “Don’t you think I KNOW that’s all I will ever get? I take it because that’s all they ever do for me”.
He accepts these crumbs because he knows he can never possibly win their love. Not with this baby. Not by himself.
I can’t really relate, these are wealthy, spoiled people problems in my book. I just get more pissed off the longer I witness it.
If he tells his dad that he’s done something, the father will say:
“OH, I’VE DONE THAT *FIRST*- YOU ONLY DID IT BECAUSE *YOU ARE MY SON*”
Watching him try to bend over to please them for years has broken my heart and this finally did us all in.
I told him, under NO circumstances, will he be carting her off to them during the holidays or to show her off.
R said, much to my surprise: “You’re right- if they want to see her, they can come over like EVERYONE ELSE DOES”
I have never seen him stand up for himself or Maisie before today- even though he didn’t say it to their faces (they never do that in his family), it was startling and HUGE for him to do this.
MY PARENTS are much older than his, in poor health, and yet they still come 14 miles nearly every day to visit with Maisie.
His are 3 BLOCKS away and won’t even come to her birthday.
In my opinion, because this was so spur of the moment and she didn’t even bother to tell us until asked to Maisie’s birthday- this was a calculated move on their parts, just like everything else.
R, for the first time in his life, tears streaming down his face, agreed.
This was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
My folks and so many other say “Oh, they’re missing out- don’t get worked up over it”, but I needed to write this out- to vent this- to shout this- because IT’S BEEN EATING AT ME ALL FREAKING MONTH.
Tomorrow is her birthday. I wish them a bon voyage to Vegas.