Thursday, September 24, 2009

Stuck in the Middle

Scene 1: Dinner with my parents last week.

Partway through the meal, my dad starts complaining about my brother, Tim, how he never sees them and doesn't feel close to them, etc. etc...

My mom chimes in about how busy they always are and how they never return her phone calls. (I'm thinking, 'They return MY phone calls,' but wisely decided not to say that out loud.)

Blah, blah, blah, more complaining ensues.

Scene 2: Dinner at my brother's house Monday.

I tell Tim the good news, that mom and dad aren't going to be around for Thanksgiving this year! (Well, i thought it was good news!)

Tim starts complaining about how busy mom and dad are, and how he never sees them unless he invites them to do something and how they never see their grandchildren.

Uh oh!

My 2 cents:

I tend to think, from past history, that Tim possesses the opinion closest to reality.


Now i'm wondering what to do. Truthfully, i would do nothing if not for the fact that Tim seems truly hurt. If i were to talk to anyone, it would be Tim, as i think he has the more adult view, but i am hesitant to stick my big fat nose into this, because i can see how it could VERY EASILY come back to bite me in the ass.

20 comments:

The Topiary Cow said...

Agree...see a major ass biting in your future should you stick into this morass.

Can you just agree and sympathize with both, then quietly go to a therapist and tell them all about it?

Ha!

Moo!

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I don't see any harm in telling Tim that your parents would like to see more of him and his children. Even if his view is closer to the truth, it might be comforting for him to realize that they DO care, and let him do with it as he will.

Stinkypaw said...

If you can see it coming back to haunt you, do the wise thing, refrain from sticking your nose in it. Or, simply tell him "Funny Mom & Dad said the said thing"

flutter said...

stay. out. of. it.

floribunda... aka Julie said...

god, it sounds so much like my family! I have abdicated my traditional role of trying to mediate inter-sibling relationships and I'm much happier for it!

meno said...

top cow, i ALWAYS try to keep my nose out of morasses.

hearts, that's what i think....most of the time.

stinkypaw, yeah, that's what i should have done, but the opportunity passed. Damn!

flutter, yeah, i should, and i probably will.

julie, if it were my siblings, and sometimes it is, i would totally stay the hell out of it.

nick said...

Sounds like a severe case of crossed lines if each thinks the other is neglecting them. Perhaps they're not really trying hard enough to meet? Shouldn't someone just say, I'm coming to see you next weekend, is that okay? But you're right about keeping out of it. It's their problem, not yours, let them do the untangling.

Marshamlow said...

My husband's family (mine is perfect) is the same way. I thought fixing the problem by mediating the misunderstandings was the way to go, boy was I wrong. For them the problem is that they all want everyone else to do all the work: make all the calls, plans, put in all the effort in the relationship. My new mantra is, oh really.

Mamalujo said...

How much do you like having your ass chewed on?

Candy said...

Since I am virtually incapable of NOT getting into the middle of such things, how about a dinner at your house and invite both parents and brother?

TTQ said...

Weird my mom invited us over for dinner. Chomp. chew. mmmmmmm. Damn woman you can cook. mmmmm can you make these cheese biscuit things sometime again....etc.. small talk
etc.

I invited myself to my sisters, mom wanted to go but didn't have any time left because she went on our anniversary cruise with us. Where the two of us ordered her a long island I-Ice Tea for fun. I'm giggling now. You gotta have fun with the old folks, let them hang around and boss them around like kids..they listen and my mom enjoys being led..and led astray... I can hear my middle sister in her southern twang laughing us and telling us we are awful. Older sister is in her own world and that's cool too.You only get one time on this earth. I think...ok good the tinfoil is tight on my window. The room is secure from martians but not mother's....

Dianne said...

as someone living thru a boat load of family psycho drama at the moment I say just let it be

if the moment presents itself again I really like stinkypaw's advice

TaraDharma said...

i had to heed my advice just this very weekend with my sisters: stay out of it. The sisters worked it out eventually (sorta) and I stayed neutral. It was awful - they were both unreasonable and mean, and every problem solving cell in my body wanted to try and help them communicate and get over it. but I called a wise friend and he said, "stay out of it." I did. Whew. Sometimes people suck so bad.

Nancy Dancehall said...

Yeah. How much ass-chewing can you handle? Because whatever you say will be twisted to fit someone else's agenda, especially if one party really doesn't actually want to see the other, but wants to come off as the 'good guy.' Or maybe that's just my experience.

Ass, it's what's for dinner! said...

It's a trap. I used to think people complained to me because they expected me to make it better...turns out what they really want is to complain. Not all people, but many.

Scott from Oregon said...

I'm stayin' outta this!!

sari said...

I'd stay out of it.

I hear a lot of the lack of visiting but whenever I try to make plans, it's not "convenient". So.

Melanie said...

If it was my family, I wouldn't want to say anything either,BUT something would eventually come out of my mouth regarding the situation. You are a wicked smaht lady. It will come to you.

Good Luck.

Dick said...

I think both Heart in SF & Candy are on the right track. Just remember that you two will not have them around all that much longer and there will be times you'll miss them, regardless of what you may think at times now. Maybe a family Thanksgiving dinner (or just a dinner) out somewhere? That way no one has to cook or clean up after.

Mrs4444 said...

For sure. "never sees them unless he invites them to do something." Um, isn't there an easy fix for that?

It's always been hard for me to understand grandparents who don't really seem to care about seeing their grandkids. I can't imagine that.