I think it’s safe to say that we’ve all been there. By the Law of Sod, your least-liked relatives are always the most persistent when it comes to family gatherings. As are mine. But today, they really took the biscuit, metaphorically… and almost literally. Hence the rant.
If I were to explain all the reasonswhy these humans in particular are my Least-Liked Relatives, I’d be dead before finishing the post. So let’s take that one as read, shall we? OK. Today’s assault on the sanity went like this…
They had phoned a few days ago to kindly inform us that they were coming down this weekend, and as usual, wanted to see us at some point. God knows why. She (The Overbearing One, and the main source of my Problem With A Capital P) was speaking to my mum on the phone at the time. My dad – and I blame him for all of this, as She’s his sister – was ill in bed, and had been that way for the past week. However, when She was informed of this, her response was: “OK, we’ll come to you then.”
The Explainy Bit (Feel Free To Skip)
Bit of background needed here. They haven’t been to our house in years. For a good reason. She arrives in the same fashion every time, blustering and full of silent judgement, having parked her broomstick safely round the corner. Barely a minute in, She’s ordered (and I do mean ordered) various drinks and snacks for everyone, before they’re offered. In the past, She has driven my mother (of infinite patience under normal circumstances) to borderline-violent rages, to later claim not to know “what was wrong with her [my long-suffering mum] at that point”. They then long overstay their welcome, especially since they are seldom actually invited, and proceed to insult and demean us, our lives, our choices, our everything, though the course of their stay, until they have no more words to throw at us. And then they leave.
So the above arrangement is avoided at all costs. They usually meet my parents at the house where they’re staying, or they all go out to a more neutral space. And I haven’t seen them, at all, in years. Again, for a good reason. She is the only competitive one amongst the lot of us, and loves comparing the kids. There’s one of me and two of them, although they’re both slightly younger. I have 8 A*s and 2 As at GCSE, along with 4 A*s at A Level under my belt to boast. Should I want to. But I don’t.
And I certainly don’t appreciate having the full-scale seething response when it gets brought up (often, oddly enough, by Her). Nor am I thankful for the resulting put-downs She unfailingly throws my way from the point where She has to admit her sons are less academically motivated. And the stupid thing is that She’s the only one who cares. No one else is the slightest bit interested in who’s doing better at what and All That Crap.
So they don’t come to our house. Ever. And I don’t see them. Ever. That’s really all you needed to know about that. But I can’t resist a rant when I get the chance… So sue me.
Back to the Point
So they phoned. And thought that us telling them that my dad was ill was in fact an invitation to come round. She was told, I believe, that She has misunderstood, and that my dad was ILL, so no, actually, they couldn’t come round.
Today was the day when my dad left the house for the first time in a week, accompanying my mum to retrieve a mobile phone. And today was the day when they decided they were coming. Ha ha ha. Ha.
They phoned, no answer (even though I was at home, I don’t answer the phone, just so you know), and left a message. She said “We’re in Somewhere Nearby this morning, and we thought we’d pop round this afternoon.” It was already this afternoon. I laughed. Pop. Right out of the nearest cannon, if I have my way. The effing audacity of some people. Hmph. I had some trouble getting hold of my parents, but eventually got through and warned them of the Impending Doom. From where they were, they phoned and left a message on the number that called in the first place, explaining that there was no one there to pester.
During the next few hours, we got several phone calls, all from the house where they were staying – as opposed to the original number, which was a mobile – but no new messages left. I phoned my parents again, and they told me they’d keep trying to get through. Apparently it didn’t work.
Approximately 3 hours after their first phone call, the doorbell rang. They had come round anyway.
The Main Complaint
First of all, in what universe does “he’s ill in bed at the moment” mean “please come over and abuse our hospitality; we’d so love to have you”? Seriously? What is this, Crazy Person Interpreters intercepting our calls or something?
Second of all, I’d have thought it was fairly obvious that if someone calls to tell you that they’re not home, and then when you phone them several more times with no answer, that… well, that they’re not effing home.
Third of all, after all the… subtle hints floating around that No One’s Hoooome, who in their right minds would come round anyway?
The mind boggles. Phew. I’m all out.