Well, you all haven't heard a "SIL Named Patty" episode in a while, but she is still pretty much a constant thorn in my side. On the rare weekend I don't have to see her, my whole outlook is different - like someone sent me flowers. Recently I suggested to Sam that we make at least one weekend a month "Patty-Free." He was amenable to that, but last Sunday was her birthday.
The week before, I had managed a half day off work on a Friday. I knew her birthday was coming and invited her to lunch at a nice restaurant. This is very hard, because I just do not enjoy her company at all. I try. I really do. In fact, I am not exaggerating
I think it may help you understand my dislike of her company, if I explain that besides being the biggest "Know It All" I have ever met, she does not say please or thank you. She never says, "I'm sorry," because she believes she never makes a mistake. And if you can imagine a woman in her 70's who still uses baby talk, you may relate to some of my frustration.
So the dinner we had last Sunday for her was on top of the lunch and shopping. We chose a menu she would enjoy. Patty adores lamb, and Sam did it to perfection on the grill. She and I chatted as I got the rest of dinner ready.
So here is where things got dicey. I am telling you all this because it bothers me so much. Hope you will not think badly of me for not being more patient. She does this thing to me at least every 3rd or
Spills don't bother me. They can always be mopped up quickly with a paper towel or sponge. If she would only say something like, "Oh, how clumsy of me. Ella, could you please bring me
something to clean this up." Or if she jumped up to grab a rag or towel. I mean most kids past 5 years old would at least try to help. Goodness, do you know how many spills I mopped up when my kids were small or over my teaching years!
So Sam brought the lamb in from the grill and put it on the table and headed back outside to get something else off the grill. I think Older Son must have been out there, too. I had put the Worcestershire sauce on the table for the lamb and was busy putting food into serving bowls and bread in a basket. I saw Patty
serve herself before anyone else was to the table and then saw her hitting the bottom of the Worcestershire sauce bottle over her lamb. Didn't think anything of it at the time. Within 5 minutes we were all ready to sit down, and she was already eating. (Rude, you say?) As I put the last bowl on the table, I saw this mess of brown liquid all over the floor and dripping down my wood cabinets. Immediately I knew what had happened, and just couldn't believe she would do this again! "Well, what happened here?" I said, but she would not even look up from her plate. I was so angry. It only took a minute to clean it up, but after that I had a pissy attitude the rest of the afternoon.
When incidents like this occur, it is all I can do not to blow up. In fact, I can easily slam a few things around in the kitchen or develop a "Well, pin a rose on me!" attitude. Like I should win a prize because I didn't tell her to, "Kiss my ass!" Or I can just be angry and silent. Sam will give me some leeway here. Many times he will just give me hugs and kisses and say thank you. He knows she is horrible and so do the boys. But he will not allow me to give into temper or telling him what to do. Lately it seems that Sam has adopted a "zero tolerance" policy. And Sunday I apparently got bossy and short-tempered.
No sooner had the front door closed on the last family member, when he confronted me. And boy, was he upset. Red in the face and LOUD in the voice. He rattled off at least 3 times when I had bossed him around. "You, come with me," he said. I made several attempts to put out the fire - mostly to insist that it wasn't my fault. He did not see my point at all. He wasn't addressing Patty's bizarre behaviors. He was addressing my bossiness and attitude. Just because she was as crazy as a loon, did not give me license to be a bitch.
He made his points all over again after he grabbed the godawful rice paddle from hell. That implement was supposed to be only for fun. This spanking was SO not fun. No warm up whatsoever. Sam does not believe in those when he is spanking for an unwanted behavior. Those are for when Ella has her halo on straight.
This hurt so badly that I even screamed once or twice. Then I began to inch forward toward the other side of the bed. He just yanked me back by the waistband of my jeans and continued paddling. Through the sobbing, I do think I said something like, "This is so not fair" at least once. But spankings like this one suck the anger out of me very quickly. I apologized and tearfully admitted that I had just redirected my resentful feelings toward the Dreaded SIL at him instead. There was no reason to be barking orders at Sam.
When it was finally over, Sam held me close for a good long time. The anger was gone and the connection was back. I was worn out and decided that pajama bottoms sounded a lot more comfortable than jeans. As I changed, I caught sight of my bottom in the
bedroom mirror. Sam may have served lamb for dinner, but it felt and looked like I had been served a Sunday roast. Later I sat on his lap, and we talked a while. I asked him if he would think of a secret password that I could whisper to him if I absolutely needed to get away from a "Patty" situation. He nodded and said he would give it some thought.
He patted my bottom and asked,
"How's your bum?"
"Damn sore," I said softly.
"Good," he smiled.