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Source: (consider it) Thread: Difficult relatives
L'organist
Shipmate
# 17338

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I have a friend with a MOTHER. He was the first of our set to marry - but that was because he met her when they were both living in France (she was French) and they got married after a whirlwind 9 week courtship.

The trouble started when they moved to the UK with his job: his mother was constantly sniping and every time he had to go abroad for work she'd travel the 150 miles from her home to stay as a nice 'surprise' and to stop the wife from getting lonely. French wife put up with this for 2 years before throwing in the towel and going back to Lyon.

Next serious relationship took him a few years but eventually he found a lovely girl - through me! Very bright, very gifted, he was absolutely crazy about her and all looked rosy until he mentioned he might be thinking of matrimony again. Mother (who had a shedload of money) told him she'd pull the financial rug for all time and he, coward and louse that he proved to be, gave in - but only after the mother told him about her diagnosis of incurable heart condition.

Surprise surprise - her heart got better! Just in time to see off another would-be daughter-in-law.

He's now 56, still single, still a frustrated father, still incapable of seeing that his desire to placate his mother has cost him the happy family life he says he's always wanted. And his mother is still only 79 and as strong as an ox - in fact I suspect she'll outlive him.

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Rara temporum felicitate ubi sentire quae velis et quae sentias dicere licet

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Penny S
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# 14768

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quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
So if I understand correctly, this is a potential mother-in-law?

He must be something really special.

No, she isn't. Yes, he is. But also, I am of Sussex, and Wunt Be Druv.

And mark, things are more complicated than something that growing some would solve.

And, l'organist, it is very strange how tremendously healthy and longlived such people can be.

It's odd that only a few folk stories address the mother of the man. There's Venus and her behaviour to Psyche (and I think that story is at least as much about Cupid growing up and becoming independent of his mother as it is about the deification of Psyche), and there's the second part of the Sleeping Beauty, in which the prince's mother turns out to be an ogre, and he has to keep his bride, and his children secret. It really needs more exposure, so the mothers grow up knowing that that behaviour is just not on.

[ 01. December 2014, 20:25: Message edited by: Penny S ]

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orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
And his mother is still only 79 and as strong as an ox - in fact I suspect she'll outlive him.

Well, assuming it's only natural causes that gets her.

Meanwhile, I can't help feeling that this thread is cheating Penny out of a bestselling memoir.

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The musical diary has been updated in praise of Paul Dempsey.

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Penny S
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# 14768

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Ah, but, it's really someone else's story, isn't it? And I've said enough.
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itsarumdo
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# 18174

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Oedipus. The "Father" that is killed is the adult he could have become. This kind of emotional/economic/security blackmail requires a very clear sense of self to overcome.

In Greek myth, Medea avenges her husbands betrayal by slaying her children. As a man, I would not say he is a louse - I'd say that his mother for some reason made him her spouse when he was young, and he hasn't learned to identify that and to free himself from it. And that's not to blame the mother - because again, no mother would consciously emasculate her son, if she were fully aware of the consequences - so it's just generational family history playing out. And by your description, so toxic that the bloodline has ended as a result.

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"Iti sapis potanda tinone" Lycophron

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Penny S
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# 14768

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Interesting. Resonances on her side. Not on his. That's more to do with honouring a responsibility his father fled. Understandably. No more.

Anyway, Oedipus was innocent. So was Jocasta.

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la vie en rouge
Parisienne
# 10688

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I wanna elope, is all I'm saying.

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Rent my holiday home in the South of France

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Zoey

Broken idealist
# 11152

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quote:
Originally posted by mark_in_manchester:
It took me until past 40 to read my folks the riot act.

This year I told my parents that I'm not doing X because I don't want their response of doing Y. They told me they had no intention of doing Y. Part of me wants to go all social-worker-y on them: if you can control your propensity to do Y, why have you been doing Y with damaging effects for over 30 years; if you haven't previously been able to control your actions in doing Y, what makes you think you'll be able to stop doing Y now? Of course I don't say this, because I know that the answer is that they can't control their propensity to doing Y and they will keep doing Y until they die. The only question really is whether I can set the boundaries to maintain some contact or whether eventually me refusing to do X and other similar scenarios will lead to out-and-out estrangement.

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Pay no mind, I'm doing fine, I'm breathing on my own.

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saysay

Ship's Praying Mantis
# 6645

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Estrangement's not so bad.

I communicate with my father and step-mother a couple of times a year and generally see them once a year. That's all I can take (it's been that way since I made the mistake of attempting to live with them full-time for a year as a teen).

Most of the people I've known who have cut off all contact with their parents who can't stop doing Y don't know what took them so long.

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"It's been a long day without you, my friend
I'll tell you all about it when I see you again"
"'Oh sweet baby purple Jesus' - that's a direct quote from a 9 year old - shoutout to purple Jesus."

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la vie en rouge
Parisienne
# 10688

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Dear difficult relative meddling on the behalf of even difficulter relative,

As previously discussed several times, we are not going to change our minds about X. Being a Christian witness does not mean enabling bad behaviour or giving into emotional blackmail, and we do not intend to build our family relationships on this basis.

Lots of love x


This email is actually being sent and that makes me, well I’m not sure happy is the right word, but at least we’re taking back control of the situation. Someone’s going to be unhappy about it, but I think the need for elopement is going to be avoided.

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Rent my holiday home in the South of France

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Tubbs

Miss Congeniality
# 440

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quote:
Originally posted by la vie en rouge:
Dear difficult relative meddling on the behalf of even difficulter relative,

As previously discussed several times, we are not going to change our minds about X. Being a Christian witness does not mean enabling bad behaviour or giving into emotional blackmail, and we do not intend to build our family relationships on this basis.

Lots of love x


This email is actually being sent and that makes me, well I’m not sure happy is the right word, but at least we’re taking back control of the situation. Someone’s going to be unhappy about it, but I think the need for elopement is going to be avoided.

Good luck! Of course, you could just remind them that when they're telling you WWJD in the circumstances they're trying to manipulate you into giving them their own way, one of your options is overturning tables and chasing people with whips ... [Two face]

Tubbs

[ 04. December 2014, 12:58: Message edited by: Tubbs ]

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"It's better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than open it up and remove all doubt" - Dennis Thatcher. My blog. Decide for yourself which I am

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Kelly Alves

Bunny with an axe
# 2522

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Atta girl. Whatever the fallout, you called it out.

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"Take your broken heart, make it into art"-- Carrie Fisher (1956-2016)

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la vie en rouge
Parisienne
# 10688

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[Two face]

I think what ticks me off about the Jesus-juke is the way it’s used to shut down protest. We also reject the premises on which the argument is being made, viz. “you’re Christians and X isn’t, so it’s normal for you to be more mature and forgiving and make all the concessions.” Or not. Because (a) X may not be a Christian but she bloody well is an adult and it would be becoming for her to behave like one, and (b) plenty of people in the world aren’t Christians and still know how to treat their relatives perfectly well.

We did kind of Jesus-juke them back by opening the email with “after prayerful consideration we’ve decided…”. Anyway, I think we’ve set our boundaries for now.

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Rent my holiday home in the South of France

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Kelly Alves

Bunny with an axe
# 2522

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Jesus-juke. Love it.

Not the same thing, but overly religious relatives judging behaviour reminded me of an old one, from my 20's. (Long post to follow, but it's kind if funny.)

I had a great- uncle who was very, very Irish-- teared up at pub songs, carried around a shilleleigh when he was older, etc. When he died, the funeral was followed by a wake in the Irish pub next door to the church.

First off, I drove, and my sister in the sidecar was burbling all the way about wanting a Guinness, had to have a Guinness, the only way to serve dear old A.s memory was to have a Guiness. Not that I didn't agree, but she was the one doing all the talking about it.

Comes the wake, we sit down at a table with our pints, and suddenly are joined by my aunt and uncle, both religious teetotalers. Aunt immediately starts carping about booze being served in a bar. Sis immediately agrees and pushes her Guinness aside. I don't respond, but keep sipping my beer. Aunt does a bunch of chatty catching up with Sis, but every time I take a sip-- and I assure you I was only sipping-- she snaps, " you need to slow down, that stuff is really strong."

i assure her that I had had stout before and was taking it slow. Sis ( who was really throwing me under the bus that day) mentions that I am the one driving. Aunt really insists I stop drinking. I tell her we were planning to walk around the town square anyway, and I wasn't planning to get into the car until I was ready. Aunt goes back to friendly chat with Sis, who suddenly makes a display of lightheadedness and asks me to finish her beer. ( bear in mind that she was the one clamoring for beer in the car, and also bear in mind that at this juncture she was newly single and went clubbing two nights a week, and those nights usually involved her knocking back three or four rum and Cokes, plus whatever the gus bought her. But a pint was too much for her. Right.)

By now I am so pissed off, I silently accept the drink she slides over and take two or three big swallows. Aunt again scolds me.

After the wake, Sis and I walk around the town square as planned, and we stop in the thrift shop where Great uncle and hus wife volunteered- it was a large part if their lives, and Sis and I spent long hours playing in the costume department while Great Aunt worked. I immediately go to the used book area, where there is a cozy chair, and am so swamped with memories I just flump into the chair, tears in my eyes.
Sis streaks over and begins addressing me in this wierd stage voice, loud enough to fill the room: "What's wrong? Are you tipsy?"
i speak in a low voice, hoping she will follow my lead." Or maybe it's just really weird to be here after all these years, and my great uncle just died, and I'm sad abour it."

Still using the stage voice, and glancing around: " I'm sad, too! "
"Yeah , but your a real person with real feelings, so you get to be sad. i had a beer at a wake, so I don't get to be sad, I'm just drunk. "

I then pointed out the drastic difference between the way Aunt was talking to her versus me, from the start, and remind her of how she was clamoring for booze on the way over. Basically she was rewarded for being a hypocritical suck- up and I was punished for being authentic, in my mind.

After a while we got up to leave, and as we left, I discovered the reason for the stage talk and glancing around. Aunt and Uncle had come in with us, and had been at the other side of the shop the whole time.

Aunt, to her credit, did not let me leave the store before she gushily asked me about my job and school activities.

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"Take your broken heart, make it into art"-- Carrie Fisher (1956-2016)

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Robert Armin

All licens'd fool
# 182

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As I've posted on the Prayer thread, I've had a big falling out with my sister. The actual details are triviality embodied, but (from my POV) I finally stood up about something that has been hurting me for several years, she responded with stuff I've done recently that has hurt her, and we had a big conversation where she stated that there was no point in our ever speaking again as we have nothing in common. While this was meant as a rhetorical flourish, she may well be right, and that hurts. Some friends have said I would be better off cutting the cord, and letting the relationship end, but for years I've been hoping that one day we could become the sort of siblings that other people manage to be. Letting go of that hope is sad.

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Keeping fit was an obsession with Fr Moity .... He did chin ups in the vestry, calisthenics in the pulpit, and had developed a series of Tai-Chi exercises to correspond with ritual movements of the Mass. The Antipope Robert Rankin

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Kelly Alves

Bunny with an axe
# 2522

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[Disappointed] So sorry.

That is such a chickenshit tactic. ( Responding to an expressed problem with threatening the entire relationship.)

And I get the people who say, no big loss, but I think some of those people are missing something fundamental in the dynamic- that particular relationship might be no big loss, but if there is a pattern, and a person is consistantly punished for trying to be authentic, that's gonna trickle into other relationships.

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"Take your broken heart, make it into art"-- Carrie Fisher (1956-2016)

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Kelly Alves

Bunny with an axe
# 2522

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I don't know if this is what you were describing, but this is chickenshit also:

A. This is a problem that I am having with you at the moment. Please note my careful wording and calm tone.

B. This is every flaw you have and every mistake you have made the past year, which I chose to reserve as a weapon when you dare speak up instead of finding a respectful way to address it at the time. Note my loud voice, my free use of name-- calling and accusatory terms, and back the fuck off before I hurt you more.

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"Take your broken heart, make it into art"-- Carrie Fisher (1956-2016)

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Robert Armin

All licens'd fool
# 182

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Cheers Kelley. To be honest, the same thought has crossed my mind more than once, so I'm no paragon of sibling virtue. But, at the end of the day, she is the only person who goes right back all through my life, and losing her feels like losing all those memories as well. Still, it's not been a healthy relationship for years, and it might be good to have a bit of a break.

The other problem here is that I don't want to worry my mother, who is 87, and wants her kids to get on. We both say we don't want her drawn into this mess - but guess which one keeps ringing her in floods of tears with stories about how unfair the other one has been?

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Keeping fit was an obsession with Fr Moity .... He did chin ups in the vestry, calisthenics in the pulpit, and had developed a series of Tai-Chi exercises to correspond with ritual movements of the Mass. The Antipope Robert Rankin

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Kelly Alves

Bunny with an axe
# 2522

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(Sigh) That, too.

And for some reason it's always the volatile, emotionally incontinent folk who get away with murder, while anyone who calls it out is the troublemaker.

And I understand about the sister thing. In my mind, she is the closest person in the world to me. My problem is, I get the feeling she considers me an accesory. Maybe that's the burden of being the youngest-- you are consigned to be the uninvited guest.

[ 04. December 2014, 18:04: Message edited by: Kelly Alves ]

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"Take your broken heart, make it into art"-- Carrie Fisher (1956-2016)

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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quote:
Originally posted by saysay:
Estrangement's not so bad.

I communicate with my father and step-mother a couple of times a year and generally see them once a year. That's all I can take (it's been that way since I made the mistake of attempting to live with them full-time for a year as a teen).

Most of the people I've known who have cut off all contact with their parents who can't stop doing Y don't know what took them so long.

Sometimes it goes the other way. My parents essentially cut off contact with all their children by moving 10,000 miles away and building a house with no guest rooms in an isolated little village in Mexico. This isn't the Mx of resorts, it's the Mx of dust, garbage, bad water, desert and poor rural people. This left a month after the birth of our first child; they didn't want to be involved with grandchildren I guess. We travelled the 25 hours, multiple planes etc, against their wishes, and did the best visiting possible (wife, the children) after they'd been there about 15 years. Difficult, regretted going. Another 10 years later mother fell and we were prevented from from visiting by both parents' stridency, and finally asserted to go; she died with a stroke thrown after her broken hip 2 days before my sister and I arrived .

We did the best we could of the funeral, cremation, ash scattering. I than travelled down for a total of about 4 months to organize that my father could live out his days down there. Lawyers, real estate, bankers, people to translate documents. Lots of work. Then he messaged me one February morning 5 years ago that he had sold their house and was coming back to Canada. To shorten a lengthy mega-hassle story, his reasons were colon cancer and developing blindness - all him - for which we pulled in favours and got him the surgeries Now he sees out of one eye, and has no colon cancer. 87 years old. He phoned me on Sunday afternoon this week:
He: "where were you?",
me: "church"
he: "you don't believe that do you?"
me: "I go because the organ is first rate" (we've been through this a few times, I should be saying "to deal with the likes of you", which is the same way I might address the drinking issue discussed above.)

Then he springs on me that I must take him to hospital on Tues for surgery, which he's known about for weeks (thanks for mentioning it before I think). More cancer, this time skin. So I took him at 5:30 a.m. and got to talk to the doctor. So he has skin cancer. I got to watch the teaspoon sized divot get cut out. I enjoyed it. With anyone else, I'd have fainted. [Devil]

[ 04. December 2014, 19:05: Message edited by: no prophet's flag is set so... ]

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ubi desinit philosophus · ibi incipit musicus

formerly known more succinctly as "no prophet", either way not be taken seriously. \_(ツ)_/

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Robert Armin

All licens'd fool
# 182

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Kelly:
quote:
Maybe that's the burden of being the youngest-- you are consigned to be the uninvited guest.
Not in my case; I'm older than my sister, and I'm not sure she's ever forgiven me for getting there (anywhere) first.

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Keeping fit was an obsession with Fr Moity .... He did chin ups in the vestry, calisthenics in the pulpit, and had developed a series of Tai-Chi exercises to correspond with ritual movements of the Mass. The Antipope Robert Rankin

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Kelly Alves

Bunny with an axe
# 2522

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I guess it depends on attitude rather than birth order, then.

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"Take your broken heart, make it into art"-- Carrie Fisher (1956-2016)

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L'organist
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# 17338

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Why do parents (or most I've encountered, including my own when they were alive) have this bee in their bonnet about the children getting on with each other? IME its frequently parental actions, parental favouritism or partiality in particular, that sets up or creates the friction and dislike in the first place. Parental denial of this only exacerbates the situation.

IME parental manipulation is often at the root of ongoing rows and feuds between siblings and, consciously or not, many parents seem to do nothing except pour petrol on the fire.

Why do people find it hard to accept that siblings may have nothing in common other than genetic inheritance?

And why is it considered a good thing for people to be forced to remain in contact with someone whose every action and belief is anathema to them, simply because they are related.

Its just emotional game-playing - take yourself off the board and take back your life.

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Rara temporum felicitate ubi sentire quae velis et quae sentias dicere licet

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Kelly Alves

Bunny with an axe
# 2522

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quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
Why do parents (or most I've encountered, including my own when they were alive) have this bee in their bonnet about the children getting on with each other? IME its frequently parental actions, parental favouritism or partiality in particular, that sets up or creates the friction and dislike in the first place. Parental denial of this only exacerbates the situation.

IME parental manipulation is often at the root of ongoing rows and feuds between siblings and, consciously or not, many parents seem to do nothing except pour petrol on the fire.

Can only speak for my situation but my perception is, the Petrol serves to keep me and sis at a distance from each other and to make us both focus our attention on her.

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"Take your broken heart, make it into art"-- Carrie Fisher (1956-2016)

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RuthW

liberal "peace first" hankie squeezer
# 13

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quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
Why do people find it hard to accept that siblings may have nothing in common other than genetic inheritance?

Because some siblings share a lot more. Because siblings can have a life-long relationship, the only one most people will have. Because it's so sad.
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Amanda B. Reckondwythe

Dressed for Church
# 5521

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quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
Why do parents (or most I've encountered, including my own when they were alive) have this bee in their bonnet about the children getting on with each other? IME its frequently parental actions, parental favouritism or partiality in particular, that sets up or creates the friction and dislike in the first place.

My sister and I weren't speaking for the longest time -- triggered by her insensitive treatment of our father during a recent illness of his. All the while, my father kept asking me why Sis didn't call him or visit him anymore, and why I just didn't get over whatever had come between us.

My sister and I have since made up, but it's the sort of thing that makes you want to hop a slow boat* to Timbuktu and take up residence.

* Booking a first class passage, of course.

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"We're not in Wonderland anymore, Alice." – Charles Manson

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la vie en rouge
Parisienne
# 10688

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I’m not sure ‘calm discussion of a point’ vs ‘hurtful accusations of everything you ever did that I didn’t like’ is just a sibling thing. I think it’s more an ‘insecure and/or controlling person led by their emotions’ thing. I’ve been tempted to start a ‘housemates from hell’ thread about this very behaviour more than once. (I should be moving out in a couple of months and boy am I glad. She’s a nightmare.)

On parents/siblings not getting on, TBH, this is indeed my current difficult relative situation. Fiancé en rouge has two difficult sisters. We’re inviting them to the wedding because we kind of have to, but we aren’t inviting their adult children. First up, they never bother to get in touch, we have no relationship with them whatsoever and we don’t want a wedding full of people we hardly know. My fiancé doesn’t even have a relationship with his sisters, never mind her kids. We have visited foie gras land four times in the past year and Sister #2 couldn’t even be bothered to drive half an hour up the road to come and make my acquaintance. She knew we were coming every time. Second, very honestly we really don’t trust them all not to get smashed and behave in an unseemly and upsetting manner which will wreck the day. Sisters are threatening not to come if the kids aren’t invited, which actually we wouldn’t be that upset about.

However, the parents have felt the need to meddle in the situation on behalf of the sisters and encourage us to be Christianly nice to them and give them what they want. We sent the reply above. ‘We already said no umpteen times, we’re not going to encourage Sisters’ bad behaviour, and emotional blackmail will get no one anywhere.’

I think the reason parents do it is that they don’t want anyone to be wrong. Trouble is, one or both kids is wrong. Wanting to believe the best about everyone is no bad thing, but sometimes it’s not possible. I think they’re also afraid that ‘my child behaves badly towards my other child’ means they’ve been a bad parent.

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Rent my holiday home in the South of France

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L'organist
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posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe
quote:
My sister and I weren't speaking for the longest time -- triggered by her insensitive treatment of our father during a recent illness of his. All the while, my father kept asking me why Sis didn't call him or visit him anymore, and why I just didn't get over whatever had come between us.
And I'm on speaking terms with one of my siblings because we both sussed that our aged parent was telling the other 3 that the 4th (whoever was 'out of favour' at the time) hadn't been in touch for days/weeks/months when, on one occasion, they were in the house at the time.

The other siblings couldn't accept this evidence of parental mendacity so one of us in completely out in the cold, one in the chiller and the remainder bask in their own self-righteousness.

I'm not saying that people become devious and manipulative when they age (althogh a few do) but manipulative and devious people get old and (a) have more time for game-playing, and (b) are less concerned or skillful at concealing their machinations.

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Rara temporum felicitate ubi sentire quae velis et quae sentias dicere licet

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Tubbs

Miss Congeniality
# 440

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quote:
Originally posted by la vie en rouge:
...

I think the reason parents do it is that they don’t want anyone to be wrong. Trouble is, one or both kids is wrong. Wanting to believe the best about everyone is no bad thing, but sometimes it’s not possible. I think they’re also afraid that ‘my child behaves badly towards my other child’ means they’ve been a bad parent.

It may be more complicated.

Sometimes it'll be out of a desire not to have field ackward questions about why so and so isn't at this family occassion.

Other times it'll be because they fully aware of the situation, but able to deny everything due to lack of evidence. If they're there, everything is fine. Fingers in ears, la, la, la!

They don't want to have to Do Anything about the issue and want to avoid A Row. (Particularly with people who are acknowledged to be a nightmare!)

Tubbs

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"It's better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than open it up and remove all doubt" - Dennis Thatcher. My blog. Decide for yourself which I am

Posts: 12424 | From: Someplace strange | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Kelly Alves

Bunny with an axe
# 2522

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quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:

I'm not saying that people become devious and manipulative when they age (althogh a few do) but manipulative and devious people get old and (a) have more time for game-playing, and (b) are less concerned or skillful at concealing their machinations.

Bingo.

I had a conversation with my mom a while back in which I described some situation as reminding me of being in the school cafateria and having to endure the whispers and giggles of the popular girls who would sit at their table and assess everyone. She pretty much pointed her niose in the air and claimed that never happened to her. Being skeptical, I asked her if there wasn't a group of kids in her school who just decided who the outcasts were and hassled them without provokation. She sniffed, shrugged, started to say something, and cut herself off -- and then the penny dropped.

She has told me enough stories about her high school/ college experiences, plus things she has said about women she worked with, plus stuff I heard her say about random women on the street, for it to suddenly dawn on me that she was that girl who sat with her friends commenting on the losers who went by. It futher dawned on me that I was excusing a lot of her behavior as age- based, when in reality she had always been judgemental and intolerant of other women.

La vie, I agree that the calm/ tirade dynamic is not just a family thing. I do think that growing up with family members treating every conflict that way sets a person up for being more vulnerable to encountering it outside the home, though. First off, you develop an unhealthy tolerance to it-- since defending yourself never works, you begin to lose the skill and motivation to defend yourself-- and second-- well, I have found that it seems to take people who meet me-- well, some people, anyway-- a very short time to figure out the quickest way to handle any confrontation or contrary opinion I might attempt is to bury me in accusations, character assesments, and aggressive or mocking language. Even people who claim to like and respect me do this. It's like my family sent me out in the world with this stamp on my head that says DISREGARD ALL OUTPUT ASAP.

People tell me that that will all melt away like magic once I become better at believing in myself, but I am a work in progress, and I confess the fact that I still have to wrestle past people's projected power issues still gets me down sometimes.

[ 05. December 2014, 14:10: Message edited by: Kelly Alves ]

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"Take your broken heart, make it into art"-- Carrie Fisher (1956-2016)

Posts: 34911 | From: Pura Californiana | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
L'organist
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Kelly

The more manipulative of my parents (yes, both!) was a nightmare: had a memory like an elephant, could teach the mafia about vendetta and decided early on that game-playing was the way to go in life.

I rarely, if ever, gave them any - ANY - information on anything to go with me that actually mattered and as far as possible confined all communication to social chit-chat/pleasantries. It was difficult at first but it was well worth it: no more garbled, twisted tales from the siblings and no more gossip where we lived. It was also worth it for the sheer frustration it caused them - schadenfreude for me for a change!

The other thing to note is you can't tell your siblings anything meaningful if they are going to spill it straight into your mama's waiting ear, so you'll have to self-edit with them too.

But it will be worth it in the long run.

And repeat to yourself that you are an adult and she is still a manipulative child.

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Rara temporum felicitate ubi sentire quae velis et quae sentias dicere licet

Posts: 4257 | From: somewhere in England... | Registered: Sep 2012  |  IP: Logged
Kelly Alves

Bunny with an axe
# 2522

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Eureka!!! [Yipee] :

(It's not that I don't know all that, it's that theory is a lot easier than practice. And seriously, like I said, other people in the world get to express negative thoughts without being told how to correct them. Why the hell can't I feel down about my codependant strggles once in a while?)

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"Take your broken heart, make it into art"-- Carrie Fisher (1956-2016)

Posts: 34911 | From: Pura Californiana | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
fullgospel
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# 18233

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quote:
Originally posted by Francophile:
quote:
Originally posted by anoesis:
quote:
Originally posted by Francophile:
Not bad form, just dull and boring and depressing.

Alright, alright! You know, this is helping enormously, actually. I'm now a lot more angry with you than I am with my mother.

quote:
Originally posted by Francophile:
I also think it strange how you bright young things dote on your little darlings (also boring to the sad childless) and yet speak of the older generation so nastily.

I resent that. I am not a bright young thing. I am depressed and anxious and frazzled and worn out from trying to entertain and mediate between my 'little darlings' (and what have you seen in my posting so far to indicate that I dote on them, particularly, may I ask?) Or are you just making assumptions, along with the assumptions about how other childless people feel, and the assumptions of how I feel about other people of the older generation? I have known my parents-in-law for nearly twenty years now and I have tremendous respect for them a great relationship with them which is not fraught with all this emotional baggage. Similarly, I had an excellent relationship with my father, once I was out of adolescence.

quote:
Originally posted by Francophile:
I suppose you'll understand when you're old(er) and your kids have their own lives to lead and you're left out.

I suppose I will. When it eventually happens, you can look down from your heavenly abode and sneer at me some more, eh? And by the way, that is the sort of sniping comment that my mother specialises in. You cannot possibly understand what it is like to be me, because you haven't reached my age yet, but inevitably you WILL understand, when you do reach my age, because it's inconceivable that anyone my age doesn't feel as I do. And then you'll see. And then you'll be sorry. And then you'll wish you'd been nicer to me. Rah rah.

No wonder your mother despises you. What has she done to deserve a self pitying, whining excuse of a daughter like you. You really need to experience real hardship. Oh, and did anyone force you to have children to frazzle and depress you? Grow up and take responsibility for your own pathetic choices un life.

Oh, you cannot possibly undrstand what ut is to be me.

Why post your self absorbed drivel on the Hell board if you're looking for sympathy? You ain't going to get it except from the pathetic, right on Christian idiots on here.

Hope I get banned.

Whats this all about !

I hope you get / got banned ffs ..

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on the one hand - self doubt
on the other, the universe that looks through your eyes - your eyes

Posts: 364 | From: Rubovia | Registered: Sep 2014  |  IP: Logged
Palimpsest
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# 16772

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I'm remembering one of the things that used to annoy me about my Mother. If two of her children were visiting, we'd typically relax by reading in various corners of the living room. No hostility, but not a lot of interest in interacting with each other.

This wasn't good enough for my mother. She would demand we rearrange ourselves to sit next to each other so she could have her picture of the happy family.

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Doc Tor
Deepest Red
# 9748

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quote:
Originally posted by fullgospel:
<snip>

fullgospel,

We generally dislike thread necromancy (the ill-advised practice of bring a long-dead thread back to life), but this is a new one on me: responding to a post in an ongoing thread made a full eleven calendar months previously. I even had to use the "search function" to check which post you were responding to. FYI, the search function was coded when the Earth was still without form, and void, and I'm buggered if I'm going to use it any more than I absolutely have to.

I also discover with my archaeological excavations that Francophile was a sockpuppet of multiply banned user, so thanks for that. We have enough trouble staking the bastard so he stays down at the best of times.

There is an expectation, even in Hell, that you respond to posts in a timely manner. Quoting a post from almost a whole year ago is going to not just make the Baby Jesus cry, but piss the Hosts off mightily.

Do. Not. Do. It.

Doc Tor
Hell host


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Lost in Space

Posts: 7845 | From: Ultima Thule | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
saysay

Ship's Praying Mantis
# 6645

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quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
I rarely, if ever, gave them any - ANY - information on anything to go with me that actually mattered and as far as possible confined all communication to social chit-chat/pleasantries. It was difficult at first but it was well worth it: no more garbled, twisted tales from the siblings and no more gossip where we lived. It was also worth it for the sheer frustration it caused them - schadenfreude for me for a change!

This.

quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
People tell me that that will all melt away like magic once I become better at believing in myself, but I am a work in progress, and I confess the fact that I still have to wrestle past people's projected power issues still gets me down sometimes.

People are full of shit.

As far as I can tell, unless you're a hermit (oh how I wish), you're going to run into a certain number of bullies in life. If you tell most nice normal people the things that really upset you, they will generally make at least a half-hearted effort to avoid doing those things. Bullies, on the other hand, will deliberately do those things and squeal with satisfaction at the demonstration of the pathetic power that they have. Sometimes the appearance of confidence is what sets them to attack, and the more you try to make it look as if they aren't getting to you, the more attacks they try. Because they can't stand that you won't allow them to have that power over them.

quote:
(It's not that I don't know all that, it's that theory is a lot easier than practice. And seriously, like I said, other people in the world get to express negative thoughts without being told how to correct them. Why the hell can't I feel down about my codependant strggles once in a while?)
You can. It just makes people uncomfortable.

The year I spent living with my father and stepmother was a year I found it very difficult to survive. I sometimes had to go out the window because someone was trying to get into my locked bedroom door at night and I couldn't think of any valid reason why that would be true (my stepmother was gone most of the week). My stepmother is the type who would "clean" my room in order to search it and have hissy fits if she read anything in my letters to my best friend that she didn't like because I'm not allowed to feel anything she doesn't want me to feel. Which sucked because writing is one of the ways I deal with unpleasant feelings so that I don't actually act on them and treat people poorly.

But most people I know think of the family as the base unit. They are the people who protect you and put up with even when maybe you don't deserve it because maybe you were acting like a spoiled brat etc. Even if they know, theoretically, that not all families are like that, if they consistently think about turning to family for help and protection, it's sometimes too difficult for them to readjust that fundamental orientation enough to understand how some people regard their families as among the most dangerous people they know, because they know exactly how to get to you and push your scarred buttons.

I don't talk about family with people like that.

--------------------
"It's been a long day without you, my friend
I'll tell you all about it when I see you again"
"'Oh sweet baby purple Jesus' - that's a direct quote from a 9 year old - shoutout to purple Jesus."

Posts: 2893 | From: The Wire | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged
L'organist
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# 17338

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posted by saysay
quote:
But most people I know think of the family as the base unit. They are the people who protect you and put up with even when maybe you don't deserve it because maybe you were acting like a spoiled brat etc. Even if they know, theoretically, that not all families are like that, if they consistently think about turning to family for help and protection, it's sometimes too difficult for them to readjust that fundamental orientation enough to understand how some people regard their families as among the most dangerous people they know, because they know exactly how to get to you and push your scarred buttons.
My dearest and closest friend summed up my lot to a T: Most families, if they see you down, will offer you a hand; some dysfunctional families will just stand by and watch to see what happens. But yours (i.e. mine) will not only lead the baying mob to keep you down but are likely to have put you there in the first place.

There is no half-way with people like that because they see all life as a battle for supremacy and one-upmanship:either you play their games or you keep away.

I've my own family and we have created our own wider one of friends, Godparents, etc: it works.

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Rara temporum felicitate ubi sentire quae velis et quae sentias dicere licet

Posts: 4257 | From: somewhere in England... | Registered: Sep 2012  |  IP: Logged
Lucia

Looking for light
# 15201

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quote:
Originally posted by saysay:

But most people I know think of the family as the base unit. They are the people who protect you and put up with even when maybe you don't deserve it because maybe you were acting like a spoiled brat etc. Even if they know, theoretically, that not all families are like that, if they consistently think about turning to family for help and protection, it's sometimes too difficult for them to readjust that fundamental orientation enough to understand how some people regard their families as among the most dangerous people they know, because they know exactly how to get to you and push your scarred buttons.

I don't talk about family with people like that.

I am fortunate enough to come from a family which as you describe operates as that base unit. But I think that it is useful and instructive to me to read this thread. At times I am open mouthed and aghast at the way some of your families have treated you but I hope that understanding how incredibly screwed up some family relationships can be will help me to be a better friend to people whose families are a struggle.
Posts: 1047 | From: Nigh golden stone and spires | Registered: Oct 2009  |  IP: Logged
saysay

Ship's Praying Mantis
# 6645

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And I appreciate that Lucia. I don't know where I'd be without help from people with non-dysfunctional families. Having someone trying to understand (even if they don't get it on a gut level) is important.

It's the people who are insistent that I grew up in circumstances so similar to theirs that if I'm acting this way it's because I think or feel X, Y, or Z who drive me crazy. (Not to mention the ones who listen to what certain relatives have to say as if they have any knowledge of my life - particularly if they are talking to those relatives instead of me).

--------------------
"It's been a long day without you, my friend
I'll tell you all about it when I see you again"
"'Oh sweet baby purple Jesus' - that's a direct quote from a 9 year old - shoutout to purple Jesus."

Posts: 2893 | From: The Wire | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged
Kelly Alves

Bunny with an axe
# 2522

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Well, it's like trying to have conversations with decent guys about getting picked up in bars, and trying to explain to them that yes, there are really guys out there that seem to get off on watching a woman get increasingly uncomfortable or frightened. Since they can't themselves imagine the point of doing that, they figure there is a reasonable way to address the person. Maybe you just needed to be more direct, maybe you were too rude, etc.

Most people can't fathom a family member-- particularly a parent-- who genuinely enjoys seeing a relative in distress. Who will actually put time and effort into making distess happen, so that they can enjoy it.Therefore, they can't understand the corresponding impact that a person rejoicing over your pain has-- on your self-- esteem, your ability to form other relationships, your physical health, and your relationship with God, even.

I am trying to strengthen myself-- through Program, which literally saved my life, through actively trying to improve my living situation, through trying myself to be a caring, decent person who treats people around me with respect and affection, but the main way -- the worst way--my struggle with my family's addiction to warfare impacts me is with physical exhaustion. It just takes so much energy to fight it off. And sometimes I am so exhausted that I can't bring the attitude I need to do it.

And exactly what I don't need is someone to wander up to me at that moment and chirp," see? With that kind of attitude, no wonder you're so depressed. Think Happy Thoughts and you'll be A-OK!" ( pat pat pat)*

Thinking fucking happy thoughts past a metric asston of studied negativity is Fucking Exhausting. I reserve the right to have an occasional Fed-Up pitstop.

* for some reason I heard Karen from Will and Grace saying this.

[ 06. December 2014, 19:31: Message edited by: Kelly Alves ]

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"Take your broken heart, make it into art"-- Carrie Fisher (1956-2016)

Posts: 34911 | From: Pura Californiana | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
ThunderBunk

Stone cold idiot
# 15579

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Uncertainty is the absolute bedrock of my relationship with my parents. Am I the prodigal or the homebound son? Yes. Am I the apple of their eye or the bane of their lives? Yes. Am I an adult or an overgrown child? Yes. Am I allowed close or held at arm's length? Yes.

I never really feel like I know where I am so I never know really whether we are a close family or not. Even when things are apparently great, I'm fearfully waiting for it all to fall to pieces like a piñata, and the emptiness at the core to be revealed. The core of the family or the core of me? Yes.

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Currently mostly furious, and occasionally foolish. Normal service may resume eventually. Or it may not. And remember children, "feiern ist wichtig".

Foolish, potentially deranged witterings

Posts: 1806 | From: Norwich | Registered: Apr 2010  |  IP: Logged
Curiosity killed ...

Ship's Mug
# 11770

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The biggest problem with living with / having contact with / accepting (delete as applicable) this sort of judgemental attitude / punitive punishment methods / psychological mistreatment is that it rubs off and you find it very difficult to over-ride any and all of that childhood conditioning to behave in unhelpful ways. Or spend all your life working incredibly hard to fight the continuing influence, which is exhausting and is even harder to do when you're tired and/or ill.

My need to protect my own sanity and keep my child safe meant I cut links a long time ago.

And also means I really cannot get why anyone who can actually see what is happening would want to put themselves back into a dysfunctional situation they have already seen in their own family with a relationship. Because that way madness lies, unless your psyche is so disturbed it wants to remain in a recognisable state of disturbance.

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Mugs - Keep the Ship afloat

Posts: 13009 | From: outiside the outer ring road | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged
Kelly Alves

Bunny with an axe
# 2522

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Are you talking about "dating your dad"?

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"Take your broken heart, make it into art"-- Carrie Fisher (1956-2016)

Posts: 34911 | From: Pura Californiana | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Curiosity killed ...

Ship's Mug
# 11770

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Well, there's "dating your dad" too, and it adds to whole new dimension to the whole dating game. Because that's damn difficult to override too.

But no, I was thinking more of PennyS talking of her friend's mother reminding her of her grandmother.

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Mugs - Keep the Ship afloat

Posts: 13009 | From: outiside the outer ring road | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged
Penny S
Shipmate
# 14768

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I have to add that my grandmother relented. She used to put on huge meals for the family. I remember bowls full of peas, when they all had to be shucked by hand. She knitted beautiful stuff for us, with matching gear for our dolls. She once went off in a huff, when a family to whose party I had escorted my sister while my parents were at work insisted I stay, and she hadn't answered the phone when they called, but the huff evaporated.
It was just the initial nasty letters that were the reminder.
Another wangled lift today.

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The Intrepid Mrs S
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# 17002

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Penny - here's a hint. Buy a two-seater, preferably low-slung with a very hard suspension. You'll be amazed how many people don't want a lift with you - even if there's room for them [Two face]

Mrs. S, infatuated owner of said two-seater

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Don't get your knickers in a twist over your advancing age. It achieves nothing and makes you walk funny.
Prayer should be our first recourse, not our last resort
'Lord, please give us patience. NOW!'

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Lamb Chopped
Ship's kebab
# 5528

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That's true. Particularly when said seat is higher than normal from the ground. [Devil] LC/ owner of a tiny Jeep

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

Posts: 19198 | From: off in left field somewhere | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Brenda Clough
Shipmate
# 18061

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You could also cultivate a more ... uncomfortable driving style. Lots of swooping at speed around corners, sharp stops with some screeching of brakes, that kind of thing. Work it right and you probably will never have to wind down the windows and shriek abuse at other cars!

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Science fiction and fantasy writer

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mark_in_manchester

not waving, but...
# 15978

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quote:
Penny - here's a hint. Buy a two-seater, preferably low-slung with a very hard suspension. You'll be amazed how many people don't want a lift with you - even if there's room for them
And it needn't cost an arm and a leg.

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"We are punished by our sins, not for them" - Elbert Hubbard
(so good, I wanted to see it after my posts and not only after those of shipmate JBohn from whom I stole it)

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Lamb Chopped
Ship's kebab
# 5528

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Not uncomfortable, Brenda--"exciting." [Devil]

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

Posts: 19198 | From: off in left field somewhere | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged



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