Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Patty and the Pecan Pies







Yes, Virginia, there really is a Patty.  And she is alive and well and plotting ways to throw a wrench into Ella's holidays.  For those readers who are new to my blog, Patty is Sam's older sister.  I also refer to her as "The Dreaded One."


Many years ago after her husband (the man was a saint) passed away, Patty moved to the east coast and settled in a small seaside town near some cousins she knew from her childhood.  After a few years there, she would moan to us how the cousins seemed to shun her and that she didn't have any close friends.  She was also estranged from her only child.  We usually invited her for Christmas, and I really started to feel sorry for Patty and how lonely she seemed.





After several years she expressed interest in the retirement communities in our city.  Talked about how she thought she didn't want a house any longer and hated cooking for only one person.  I even encouraged her to move (Rue the day), and she came to live near us about 5-6 years ago.





 
At first she was very happy here.  She seemed to have made some friends and was invited to play bridge and participate in other activities with several ladies.  She went out to lunch and shopping.   But within 6 months, this was starting to fall apart.  She was asked to leave one card group and other women were not including her in outings.  By this time, too, I was beginning to realize how bossy she was toward me.  Even rude at times.  She was often a major know-it-all with Sam, our boys, and me in particular.  She complained constantly about people in her retirement community or the staff or the food.





She ordered about wait staff at restaurants with never a please or thank you.  Hell, that's what she did to me as well!  Most 4 year olds are more polite.  Last year she started yelling at me in public, and I had reached my limit.  Even though we do not go out with her any longer, she attends family dinners and celebrations and manages to piss me off on a regular basis.  I really do still feel sorry for her, but I now know why the cousins out east and the nice ladies at her facility have washed their hands of her.  If she wasn't Sam's sister, I would have told her right off a long time ago.







I honestly do try to be kind, but it is very hard.  Sam and I both try to call her every few days so she knows someone cares about her, but many times she does not look at her voicemail.  Then she gets an attitude that no one pays her any mind and becomes hateful.  She hadn't answered any of our calls over a 5 day period.  The message I left on Monday, was to ask her to go for coffee after I finished a pecan pie for the big Thanksgiving dinner.  By Wednesday afternoon, when I finally reached her about a time to come on Thursday, she was cool but polite.  As we started to end the conversation, she told me not to get anything for dessert, since she had bought (you guessed it) a pecan pie.






I tried to turn it into a funny coincidence, but when she heard I had made a pecan pie, she hung up on me.  I was livid and stewed about it all afternoon as I worked on some prep for the following day.  By the time Sam walked in the door from work, I was in a "MOOD." 
After he changed to his comfortable jeans, he came to get me for an
attitude adjustment.  While he spanked, he talked about how Thanksgiving should not be spoiled by my temper.  He would be with me and would take care of anything his sister could do or say.  I was to leave it to him.  He decided that for diplomatic purposes, we would have Patty's store bought pie the next day and then he would have my homemade pie all to himself.  This did appease me because I know my Sam would much prefer something I baked.  The spanking continued until I was simply relaxed and feeling loved. 




    The stress and anger just melted away, and I felt so much better.






What can I say?  It works for me.  I had a relaxing and excellent Thanksgiving Day.  The SIL only said one nasty thing to me, and although I wanted to say something mean, I did not.  Thankfully, she never stays late, so we all enjoyed the rest of the evening.  Our kitchen is only separated from the dining room by a big peninsula counter, so we talked and laughed while I boned the turkey. 

                                         



 
The other night Sam pulled me onto his lap for a little "talk."  It really was just talk, but I could tell from his eyes and voice that it would be more than talk if I didn't listen up.  As he has done many times before, Sam told me he is well aware that Patty is an extremely difficult person and that even though she is his sister, he doesn't enjoy her company any more than I do.  He does not expect me to love her, but he does expect me to treat her with patience and kindness.  That means keeping my temper in check.











Sam intervenes quite often now if Patty starts with her antagonistic remarks and digs.  Even in front other family and friends, he will interrupt her to say, "You need to stop, Patty," or "That's enough."  Sam does not usually quote scripture, but he set the tone for our Christmas season when he hugged me and said, 


                               "You know how it goes, Ella....

                      And on earth peace, good will toward Patty." 



 

23 comments:

  1. I don't know Ella, it might be better if Patty had a family intervention. She might benefit if she realized she was the reason she had no friends and her family cringed in her presence. How much worse could it be?

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    1. Thanks, Sunny. Sam and I tried this after last New Year's Eve when she yelled at me in the dining room of her retirement facility. I was mortified, and my temper was just short of blowing a fuse in front of dozens of people. It helped for a few weeks, and then it was back to snide remarks.

      Sam is such a good and patient man, and I know he would never throw her out of the family. The biggest help is when he pulls out his HOH tone of voice with her. We are 11 years younger than Patty, so it is quite entertaining for me to watch her shut up when her little brother cuts her off.

      Ella

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  2. Hi, Ella,
    I too have sister in laws that can be difficult, but your SIL takes the prize for being impossible to cope with, but the plus side to this is Sam has you. I think that's what I took out of this post, that he is taking good care at helping you to manage a very difficult situation. I think you handled it all beautifully. Good job, Ella!

    --Baker

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    1. Thanks, Baker. She could win a prize. Some days I would be happy if she would just say please and thank you.

      Ella

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  3. that sounds like an awful lot of patience to ask someone for. I am glad Same knows how to help you through it. On a another note, I love pecan pie- would love your recipe if you do not mind sharing :-) Hugs

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    1. You always make me smile, Terps. You have such a gentle way about you. Of course, I will share a recipe with you. The one I use is from a very old Southern ladies church cook book.

      Hugs From Ella

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  4. Ella,
    Every family has a person that just doesn't fit well. You are doing a great job of watching your attitude and keeping things in check. However, I do like The suggestion of an intervention. Her history speaks for itself.It would be a tough, but loving thing to do.
    Meredith

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    1. You are right, Mere. You can't choose your family. I am not sure my boys would relish the thought of an intervention for Aunt Patty. They usually just laugh when she gets rolling. They really do help me with their humor many times. They think it is hilarious to come up with a Patty-ism just to make me laugh. Often they will whisper something in my ear that lightens the situation for me.

      Ella Toughs It Out

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  5. Hi Ella, what a shame she is so awful. She must be so unhappy to be so horrid. How hard to be nice to her. I suppose you have to plod on and keep trying :(.
    much sympathy, love Jan, xx

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    1. She is such an unhappy person, Jan. And when I am not around her, I feel sorry for her. She is my true test of being able to carry a Christian attitude with me through anything.

      Hugs Across the Pond,
      Ella

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  6. You certainly have the patience of a Saint Ella. I would have said something to her a long time ago.

    Love,
    Ronnie
    xx

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    1. Ha! Oh, Ronnie, Sam would die laughing if he knew anyone called me a "Saint." He is happy if I don't use the "F" word when she finally leaves.

      Ella With a Very Crooked Halo

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  7. I'm sorry you have a difficult sister in law ๐Ÿ™ Why does that usually seem to be the case? I have 3 sister in laws... Depending on the day they each can be super difficult. I think you responded really well. I am still learning to have patience with mine๐Ÿ™ˆ But they make my hubby more nuts than me... So currently, my bottom is safe... Unless I take the stress out on him that is๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ˜

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    1. Thanks for your vote of confidence, Leigh. I will keep you all posted on how angelic I am over Christmas.

      Ella

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  8. I can't complain too much against any of my 3 sisters-in-law. They weren't nice to LJ when he announced his marriage - but they aren't actively ugly about anything. I'm just glad you have Sam to keep you calm when she gets you riled.

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    1. PK, my Sam is the patient one. He really thinks that there is some mental problems that make Patty so difficult. He helps me to do the right thing.

      Love,
      Ella

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  9. Hi Ella, gosh, you and Sam both really have the patience of a saint. There is nothing worse than having to deal with difficult family members. I admire how you continue to contact and include Patty in family occasions.

    I'm so glad that Sam knows how to help you in dealing with her and that Thanksgiving turned out wonderful. Hope you and Sam enjoyed the homemade pecan pie too :)

    Hugs
    Roz

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    1. Sometimes I think God gave me Patty as a test. If I can be kind to her, then I know I am a good person. In the moment, though, it is never easy.

      Hugs From Ella

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  10. Good gravy, Ella...that is a painful relationship. I really don't think a family Internationale would do any good. Have a feeling that everything you pointed out regarding her behavior would someone be turned around and blamed on you and/or others. Have know several people like this...think your Sam is handling it in the best way possible. Would it be nice to let her know what you think of her rude and childish behavior...oh yes! But would it change anything with her...not really. Unless you count making things worse plus being on the receiving end of an extremely painful barn burner. Sending positive energy for you during the Christmas holiday gatherings.

    Hugs and blessings...Cat

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    1. I love when you say, "Good gravy" Cat! I always smile. I have to agree with you. Confronting her has never helped. She always blames me. Yep, sometimes I dream of what I would like to say to Patty, but it would not make the situation any better. My temper is never pretty. When it gets really bad, I just get up and leave. Sam will come find me for hugs, not spankings. He always tells me I am the stronger person.

      So glad you made this comment, Cat. It means a lot.
      Ella

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  11. Ella, sorry, I'm late again! Patty is a ghastly woman and I really admire you for continuing to put up with her. I'm glad your united front meant you had a calm Thanksgiving. I bet your pecan pie tasted all the better the next day, knowing you'd kept your cool with her.
    Sympathy from across the Pond,
    Rosie xx

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  12. Some people never change, intervention or not, and with this one I really wonder if it's even possible. Good for you for being the considerate, caring sister in law, the way of grace is always best.

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  13. Ella it must be so hard to keep calm and be nice to Patti, she sounds horrid. Sending positive vibes your way to keep your strength up with her.

    Hugs Lindy xx

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