Patra's Other Place

I started out with Patra's Place, primarily dedicated to my linen collection and stitching projects. But I kept getting side-tracked, so I decided to create Patra's Other Place for anything not related to embroidery topics. So you now have a choice. If you are interested in me, read this. If you only want to see my linen and stitching, visit Patra's (original) Place! (Please note that by clicking on any of the photos, they will be enlarged to fill your computer screen.)

My Photo
Location: Melbourne, Vic., Australia

I am married to Ken. We have no children except a cat and a collection of Australian parrots, finches, canaries and a dozen hens.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Warning: I'm in a BAD mood and am going to VENT here!

So don't read any further if you don't want to hear my whinging.
It was Ken's Mum's 95th birthday today, and his sister and some of her family came over to our place. Originally Ken wanted to give MIL a big party with all the rellies and friends, but she said no, she couldn't cope with that, and just wanted the five of us with her for a quiet day, i.e. Ken, me, SIL and hubby, and her daughter. So that was accepted, and our house was chosen for the day.

SIL has been married before, and has two stepsons, who are well and truly grown up, and we (Ken and I) rarely see them in years. Two days ago, SIL demands to know why the stepsons can't visit their step-grandma on her day, and I said, well, that was her mother's wish - just us. Then her daughter stepped in and said she wouldn't come if her step brothers couldn't come. I told her it was nothing to do with me - discuss it with your grandma! So SIL and daughter manipulated things between them, and we ended up with ten people here instead of six. Not that it bothered me - I've catered for twice that number before, but I felt like I had egg on my face. I was made to feel as if I was the one who didn't want the stepson there (only one of them came - with girlfriend and daughter in tow).

Not only that, but to add insult to injury, SIL and daughter came laden with enough food for an army. They didn't even ask me whether I'd like to cater for an afternoon tea in my own home. I kept my mouth shut until I discovered niece in the kitchen washing my dishes with the cloth I use to mop up spills. I said "Don't bother doing any more - I'm going to have to wash all those again now, with the clean dishmop I keep in the cupboard." She flounced off saying she would never offer help again and I said that was fine, as I didn't ASK for her help in the first place.

Ken's Mum just adores André Rieu, and was dying to see some of the latest Fairyland DVD, so we put it on for about 10 minutes. Half of our guests promptly disappeared outside to go and listen to cricket on their car radios, and when they came back, we had another DVD on (not Andre). One 30 year old snapped "Is this STILL Andre?" I was sorely tempted to say "No, but this is OUR house", but again, kept my mouth shut.

Fortunately, all this escaped the attention of MIL who said she thoroughly enjoyed her day, and that was the main thing after all. But you tell me - am I entitled to be disgruntled? Hmmphh...


Blogger Home Away from Home. said...

Hi Gina,
You're a far better person than I. I think I would have tossed them out. Although right now I have no room to talk as I've been putting up with some heavy stuff. I'm glad she enjoyed her day and you are a wonderful person putting up with that.

Monday, 18 February, 2008  
Blogger Isabelle said...

Poor Gina. At least the birthday girl enjoyed her day...

Love The Butcher Shop!

Monday, 18 February, 2008  
Blogger Jeanette said...

Hi Gina I think there got a cheek inviting themselves against your Mothers wishes Then just taking over you have every right to be hopping mad.But then they might have thought they were helping by doing dishes,,big Hugs Jen

Monday, 18 February, 2008  
Blogger Alice said...

Your MIL was pleased with her day and the extra people must not have upset her too much. That's all good. I don't understand why you simply couldn't have been phoned and asked whether you'd like others to bring some dishes. It seems such a simple matter and it was very passive-aggressive of your SIL not to do this. Perhaps she was a bit jealous that her mother wanted to spend her birthday at your home and not hers.

The girl washing the dishes was probably trying to be helpful but in not asking first she ruined her efforts. I don't know anyone who likes other people to take over her kitchen and your reaction was exactly as mine would have been.

You couldn't have done anything differently as you couldn't have anticipated such behavior. You stayed calm and gracious for your MIL's sake.

Tuesday, 19 February, 2008  
Blogger wideblueyarn said...

Ahhh families...can't live with ‘em! I'm practiced at holding my tongue after living with my MIL for 4 years however I think your experience would have driven even me over the edge. Well done for not losing your cool!

Tuesday, 19 February, 2008  
Blogger Miss Eagle said...

Hi Gina, we are at an aged when we are pretty clear about ourselves, feel entitled to our views etc. Sounds to me like you were OK - and who was the day all about. Ken's mum or them?

Blessings and blis

Tuesday, 19 February, 2008  
Blogger Gina E. said...

Thank you all dear friends for your supportive comments - I don't feel quite so bad now. It is always comforting to find out that other people agree with one's feelings on touchy issues. I have been worrying over this matter, thinking was I too sensitive this time? What could I have done to defuse things? But as you've all agreed - I kept my cool on the day and avoided confrontation that would have spoiled it for everyone. Now all I need is for SIL or niece to read this blog! :-<

Wednesday, 20 February, 2008  
Blogger Lady Laurie said...

Oh boy, this sounds like my hubby's side of the family!! Glad your MIL enjoyed her day.
I don't blame you a bit for being sore, I don't think I could have keep my mouth shut!

Saturday, 23 February, 2008  
Blogger miss*R said...

Joe has a ticket to see Andre in November!

as to families - what can I say??

Wednesday, 27 February, 2008  

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