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I'm happy, married, and looking forward to sharing my world with you! If you're interested, that is!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Update on the sister thing...

Whilst the backside of that big elephant in the relationship is still in view, I'm hoping things are on the mend with my baby sister and me.

Got a text message from her yesterday inviting us to a combination b'day party for my nephew and her boyfriend's son; R's b'day is the same day as J's! I called her immediately to tell her I'd be there, but that I just couldn't speak for my husband. We're having his family to the lake house the next day for a party and he thought he might not be ready enough to take some time off on Saturday. (We've since discussed it and I think he's coming to my sister's party; we got a LOT done this weekend in preparation for the party and we have Thursday, Friday and 1/2 of Saturday to do the rest.)

This does mean, however, that I have to get a gift for T's son; wasn't planning to do that since I didn't think I'd see him... Perhaps Mom and DH and I can get him a gift card together...

While my sister's voice wasn't dripping with warmth and love, she wasn't all cold and distant, just a bit reserved. So I tried to just interact with her as though we're okay, and I think we'll be able to put this behind us. (Although I do wonder how much she told her boyfriend...)

My nephew called me AGAIN about coming to the car show next week, and then AGAIN to ask if my DH would take a look at his car today, something about an oil leak. Unfortunately it was bad news; pretty expensive repairs and my husband can't do them (although he would if he could - it would need the engine to be removed from the car; something about a main gasket...). I guess I should warn my sister that we had this talk, but somehow when I try to share with her, she jumps down my throat and leaps to conclusions, so maybe I'll just leave it and see if J mentions anything to her. If not, everyone's happy!

Anyway, I'm at work so I've got to run! See ya!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

[Warning: This is a LONG post.]

I've been missing for days now. I really don't know why.

Oh, I could recite all the reasons my time is not my own: we've been away on vacation at the lake (without a computer), I've been SOOO busy at work (thankfully that resulted in me being close to caught-up!), I haven't really had anything much to say...

But the real reason is that I had a HUGE fight with my sister last week.

Several weeks ago I decided I wanted to take my nephew out to dinner, just the two of us, to talk about him going to college. He's a strapping almost-18-year-old, chronologically, but emotionally he's a bit younger.

I told his mom I wanted to do this and it was okay with her. Then she called me to "tell" me not to lecture him, that he has a mom, that he needs a friend (WTF? I'm not his friend, I'm his aunt!), that he doesn't need lectures from me, that I should just keep the conversation light. So I agreed; in the past she's been very disturbed by the fact that I love him like my own, to the point that she's told me (and my mom, too) that she's the mother, we're not.

Anyway, I picked him up and the first thing he says while fastening his seatbelt is, proudly, "I cut off a bus yesterday."

Well, let's preface the explosion of my head with this little factoid: he hasn't had his license for a year yet and he has 6 tickets and 2 points on his license!

So from his house to the diner, which is about 3 miles, I ranted at him about being careful, that he was lucky he wasn't hurt, that he needs to be more cautious when driving, that he has to worry about the other drivers probably more than I have to worry about his driving... His very dismissive response was, "I wasn't hurt, Cioci."

No, you weren't. THIS TIME. What about the next time you do this, and there's a car in front of that bus cutting him off the other direction? You'll be in the hospital!

Finally we got to the diner and he asked me why I always yell at him about his driving... which led into another discussion, but eventually we changed it to college. I told him how I really screwed up my freshman year's grades and that it's impossible to get out from under a D/C average, and about all the parties I went to, and how proud I personally am that I've never been drunk or done drugs, that I can say it to my children honestly, without lying or bending the truth, and we talked about choosing classes, and my crazy roommates and his roommate N from some town in NJ I've never heard of and how he hadn't called him yet and how his mom has been shopping for stuff for him and how he can't wait to get out of the house and away to college (a whopping 15 miles or so from home! which could be another blog posting...)...

Did any of that sound like a lecture? I asked him for his campus address so his aunt (me!) could surprise him with a $50 bill once in a while... His reponse? Paraphrased, he basically said sometimes he doesn't feel like he deserves people to do anything for him.

He's not even 18 yet! How can he feel so down on himself? So I told him how much I loved him and that he deserves all the good in life, and while I don't expect him to feel a sense of entitlement, that actually deserving the good things is rewarding in itself, that he should most definitely earn those good things I hope go his way... He's not even 18 yet! He should not be feeling so beaten down!

And then out of the blue, "Y'know, I don't want to offend anybody, Cioci, but I liked it better when Mom wasn't dating T." Now I like my sister's boyfriend. I really do. I was a bit perplexed as to how to handle this so I went for the tried and true: the honest approach.

I asked J if he liked T and he said he did, that he was "cool." So it's not a personality conflict with the boyfriend. Then my nephew looked up at me and said he just wished his mom would spend more time with him.

So the tried and true thing came around again: I told him that even I missed his mom, that we used to commute together, work together and talk all the time, that if I hear from her by email once a week now, that's a lot, and that I miss her to, but that I was happy she had someone decent in her life... J's dad came up in conversation, too, when J told me he had no male influence in his life. Yea, you do, J, you have your dad, your grandpa, your Uncle J, and T, too. And I'm sure if you opened yourself up to it, there were probably many teachers over the past few years who have had an influence on you...

The only thing I said about his dad, and I must say I bit my lip HARD, is that a) my sister and her ex were happy at first (a slight exaggeration, but...) but it just wasn't enough to last, and b) that if he was in front of my car right now I'd want to run him over for what he's done/not done for my nephew and my niece but that I wouldn't 'cause I knew J wouldn't want his dad... broke.

What part of any of that could be construed as a lecture?

To top it all off, when we got him home, we sat in the car in front of his house for about a 1/2 hour, laughing and talking.

J went inside and I went home.

An hour later my phone rang and my sister said she just wanted to thank me for ignoring her wishes and lecturing J.


I tried to respond and she started screaming at me that my nephew came home, went into his room, and is sitting in the dark in his underwear.

So? It's 10:30 at night, where should he be???? (Oh, wait, I forgot he came in at 1:15am the night before!!!)

She flat out refused to let me speak, said she "knew" I'd been lecturing J 'cause we sat in the car in front of the house for a 1/2 hour.

Again, WTF???

I started trying to talk and she just got louder and louder and angrier and angrier, and so did I, until finally I screamed at her that maybe J was just upset about her dating T and that he brought it up out of the blue...

WELL. That did it. It was like she morphed into a fishwife (no offense to the fishwives reading this blog!). She went apesh-t! Screaming at the top of her lungs at me, cursing. I'm surprised the neighbors didn't call the police on her.

So I screamed back. I hung up. Called her back. She hung up. I called her back. She screamed more. I hung up again.

Finally I waited a few moments. Then I called her back and calmly said I let her yell at me for 45 seconds and she owed me 45 seconds to tell her about our dinner. And I did. Verbatim. And you all know I can recite things back, word for word. (I may not have ever learned my organic chemistry but I can recite conversations back to you from 25 years ago!!!)

And just in case some of you are wondering if I'm re-writing history here... Since my dinner with my nephew, HE HAS CALLED ME FIVE TIMES. That's 5 times more than he's called me in the last five years. So how angry or hurt or disturbed could he have been by our dinner conversation???

And to make things worse, my sister is still pissed at me for not yet having bought my niece her b'day present. It was her Sweet 16 last February and I wanted to get her something special. My sister doesn't bother doing a b'day for her kids anymore (and I hate her for that!) so I didn't see my niece until 2 weeks later. We went to a few jewelry stores; she wanted a cross and chain but all we found that she liked was in the $300-$400 range and that was well outside my budget! So I told her to call me when she was free and we'd go and shop some more for her gift.

She didn't call. And I called every month to ask when she could go: "Just let me know, A, when you can go out for dinner and to shop for your necklace." "Ok."

My sister said she made sure to drop my b'day present on my front porch and that's the least I could have done for my niece. Yea, sure, the next time you spend $200 on me, leave it on my front porch!

I took my niece out yesterday, and she got a $260 electric guitar. She's changed her mind about the necklace. Which is part of her Christmas present 'cause that's way more than my budget, too. So on the way home I suggested she ask her mom to stay home and help her carry the big box upstairs... So I saw my sister and we were civil to each other. Hopefully we can ignore the big angry elephant in our relationship and move on...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I don't have the highest opinion of myself. Oh, I know I'm not stupid; in fact, when I was younger, I was pretty darn bright. Good grades (we're talkin' As here!), without crackin' a book!

As I've gotten older, though, I've come to consciously realize exactly how much I don't know!

Over the past few days, though, I've been sitting in on some sales meetings, and I've been amazed at how much knowledge I've accumulated over the past four short years in this position! I retain loads of useless information: telephone numbers I can easily look up, verbatim conversations that I had literally 20 years ago! But remembering organic chemistry or physics, when I was actually enrolled in the course?!? Not so much.

But I do remember my accounts. Even the little ones. They just pop into my head when we're learning about a book that's appropriate for literally one of my several hundred customers, a customer who buys (maybe) $868 worth of books - a year! I have accounts that buy into the hundreds of thousands of dollars - but this little guy holds equal space in this freaky brain of mine! He just jumps to the forefront when they mention a book that might work for him...

The human brain is amazing! My dad (Happy Birthday, Daddy, one day late! I miss you LOTS!) used to say, "Use it or lose it!" And thankfully all my grandparents used their brains every day and that "Use it or lose it" philosophy really works: not one of them was senile when they died, even into their 90s!

I hope I can say the same for me when/if I hit my 90s!!! (Although I distinctly remember making a pact with a college friend of mine - Hi, C! - that we would live to at least 103 'cause there was just so darn much to see and do!) (From this blog to God's ears!!!)

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Apparently I've been away too long... My cyberpal, Miss Hope, felt the need to check up on me and see if all was well in Krys' World...

Yes, I'm fine. Just horrid busy at work! And since my ride home is now a train (at least until school starts in September!), I am not staying late so my hours in the office have been fewer, but filled to the brim with things I want to get done before I go on vacation the week of the 18th...

That week will be a silent one in Krys' World. I will not be blogging until the following week. I'm sure there is no one out there who will be devastated by this, BUT...


And THAT, my friends, is going to be a REAL problem! You are all so important to me; I don't know what I'm going to do, not being able to keep up with you all...

When I get back to work (or back home), I'm going to have to spend a DAY catching up! Of course, those of you who have my phone number can call me when something phenomenal happens - no need to wait until I get back to my computer...

Today was my mom's b'day. I had my sister, niece and nephew, and sister's BF over for dinner. And when I get to work tomorrow, I will try to post a couple photos from the dinner so you can all wish you were there!!!

Happy Birthday, Mom! We love you!!!