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Thursday, October 15, 2009

My Dysfunctional Relationship with People, Food and Dolphins

Today, as I drove home from running with my friend, Mist, I pondered my dysfunctional relationship with people, with food and yes, with dolphins. One always must reflect upon ones own existence when one visits one's in laws (well at least one time any way). At least that one sentence had one common theme. As I was saying, I was pondering. I'm never sure how to go about relating with my husband's family. You see, I came from quite a boisterous background. In my family get togethers, people yell loudly as they relate stories, laugh out loud and make a variety of unusual noises as they converse. They are quite expressive, and always attack you with lots of hugs as you try to exit or enter any gathering. If you've ever seen the movie "My Big Fat Greek Wedding", it reminds me just a little bit of how my family functions. As a child, I was surrounded by loads of food, lots of family and a whole lot of noise. When I married into my husband's family, I immediately noticed something was drastically wrong. When I entered the room, I seemed to be the only person talking loudly. Over time, I eventually gathered that my unusually loud presentations were somewhat disturbing to others. I began to adjust. Ok, so I never adjusted. I guess that's part of my dysfunctional relationship with people. Here's an example : I go out to a store with my Mom or Girlfriends. We laugh loudly. We discuss some personal subject and don't care that the person next to us may be listening. "Yes, John has been suffering from constipation. I think I will try "Happy Man Brand Laxative". Somebody starts snorting with laughter as we retell some silly story. My mother loudly demands that the store clerk bring her a box of "Happy Man Brand Laxative" that does not have the corner of the box crinkled. Then she purchases it with a bad check that she will cover later using some secret fund which she had to borrow from. Before she leaves town, she finds out on a Christian Radio Talk Show that "Happy Man Brand Laxative" caused flatus in one out of four obtunded men. For this reason, she returned the "Happy Man Brand Laxative" and purchased "Groovy Man Brand Laxative". She later discusses this with her Naturopath and with several others whom she considers to be foremost experts on the subject. I go to the store with my husband. We go our separate ways. I happen to see him. I don't yell across the store "Hey Babe!" I quietly walk over to him. I barely speak in a monotone sort of way as to not attract any attention "Well what kind of er, thing should we buy....er....John". He cocks his head to hear me. Then nods. We quietly walk toward the laxative aisle. We hear somebody discussing laxatives loudly and we think they're annoying. My husband examines "Happy Man Brand Laxative". He looks for the generic but decides its too much money so he buys some prunes instead. He happens to walk by a GI Doctor on his way to the check out, but stubbornly refuses to consult him about it. This same example may be applied to dealing in a variety of topics. I just get a little bit confused as to whether I am the boisterous carefree person or the one getting annoyed by them. Because I was concerned about my being "the annoying one". I developed a sure thing technique in dealing with my less boisterous counterparts. I decided to try talking about a subject and then watching the minute hand on the clock. I purposely decided to see if I could let five minutes elapse before I said anything else. This was quite painful and I eventually found myself butting in before my imaginary time limit was up. I also feared that the person would think I was bored or troubled if I kept looking at the clock with pursed lips. I also attempted adapting a variety of personalities, though they caused me far more trouble than being loud and boisterous did. I also pondered my dysfunctional relationship with food as I dropped off some Cinnamon rolls at an elderly ladies on the way home from running. Take this week for example. I found myself making all kinds of things that I know I shouldn't be eating. I love having company though, and its fun to make good food. After days of eating that way, I decided that today I would behave. I started off at 5am with a cup of coffee and a cinnamon roll. By 9am I was digging into the brownie pan. At noon, I decided to get radical. I went to the basement and came back with 3 carrots and a big red thing....... I think it's called a "beet". After washing, peeling and cutting up the vegetables I was planning to eat for lunch, I became quite bored waiting for them to boil enough to soften. I added some salt, then butter, then honey, then more butter. I began feeling more impatient and hungry so I decided to eat another brownie while I was waiting. After eating the brownie, I didn't want to eat beets and carrots for lunch. I forced myself, though, and did enjoy it for a time. As I neared the kitchen, I was planning to get more vegetables, but at the last minute decided I didn't feel like it and the evil coconut pecan brownies cast their spell upon me summoning me to the pan for just one more. By the time I was ready to go running with Mist, I was so disgusted with myself that I wrapped up the last two brownies and decided to give them to her. I told my daughter that she'd better eat what was left in the pan or throw it away before I came home. On the way there, I contemplated eating the brownies I had brought along for Mist, but overcame the urge. Later on that night after I ate the rest of the beets and carrots, I found myself eating another cinnamon roll. I could go on, but you probably couldn't bear it. I had intended on writing about my dysfunctional relationship with dolphins, but I fear I have lost the attention of even my most devoted followers by now, so I will save it for another day. I promise, I won't forget.

Below : Moonbeam Reads with Granny


Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure you were discribing the difference between my family and my Hubby's family!! The night we got engaged, we go to my parents house, they were watching my oldest; we announce what had happened, now there was only us, my parents and a tired 6 yr old - but it was a party! Hugs, Handshaking, loud...Hubby says even though the 6 yr old is tired, let's go tell my parents, OK, we walk in to the morgue, sat on the sofa and waited....for the parents to wander down to the living area, he tells them...no party here, instead, we get the what are thinking, son? She has a child...on and on the future MIL went on...right up to the wedding night, she tried to convince Hubby to back out...and still tries! I like my "Big Fat (loud) American Family" and so does Hubby!

outdoor.mom said...

Kimberly, oh dear, i am so sorry! What a terrible experience to have :-( Really, I love my in laws and they do love me :-) We're just different people and i am always learning how better to relate. I like to write silly and make fun of myself in the process.
Show them love, try to honor them as best you can and God will bless you for it :-)

Heather said...

I laughed so hard I cried! I'm wondering if out of respect for Mom you might want to take the part out about the bad check, though. . .

I loved the video of Moonbeam reading. It made me sad that I'm missing so much--but instead I'm trying to be grateful and thankful. :)

Anonymous said...

There are lots of broken pieces in the relationship with Hubby's parents, I'm not sure that those will ever be healed, we just do our best to be civil with them. We pray about it all the time. You are a very descriptive writer, you paint pictures with your words, it's fun.

Becky said...

Don't worry, you are a great daughter in-law just the way you are.