Thursday, May 21, 2009

I Shouldn't Have Answered The Phone

I woke up early this morning and had time to check the news.
I was going to write about the attempt by four Black Muslims to blow up a synagogue and a Jewish community center in Riverdale that was (thank God) thwarted by the FBI.
I was going to write about the SKA girl in the Five Towns who has recovered from swine flu.
I was going to write about the surprise we felt last night when the wrong guy was voted the winner in American Idol.
And I was going to tell you about the woman from Louisiana who discovered her long-lost brother living across the street from her.
But then the phone rang. And I made the stupid mistake of picking it up.
It was my ex-mother in law, of course. I should have known. She always calls in the morning. With the seven hour time difference between NY and Tel Aviv, my morning is her afternoon, and she calls from work so that she doesn't have to pay for the call.
I know that she means well. She wants to check in, hear that everything's OK, and talk to the kids. After all, she's still their grandmother, blah blah blah. But it's been 9 years since she's seen my kids. Despite numerous invitations she has never gotten on a plane and come to visit her grandchildren (and let me just say that I think it was very generous of me to invite her, considering the circumstances). She used to send them some crap that she picked up from the shuk in Ramle twice a year, but that's stopped. She knows (because I've told her) that her precious son has not seen, spoken to, or supported his children in any way for over 5 years. She has done nothing (as far as I know) to change that, nor has she ever once asked me if we have what we need or offered any help (and yes, there is money in that family). She and her family did not attend Flash's Bar Mitzvah nor did they send him a present. When I or one of the kids have asked which country my ex-husband is currently living in, she wouldn't give a straight answer. All she does is call us, complain that we don't call her, complain that I'm not sending the kids to Israel to go visit her, complain that my kids don't speak fluent Hebrew and therefore find it difficult to talk to her...
I suppose she's a nice enough woman, but she drives me crazy.
And for hours after she calls, I can't think about anything else.

13 comments:

Dude with hat (aka BTS) said...

Sounds depressive, but i know one way to help these thoughts go away faster (can't help to stop calls though). It's a tough one, but it helps me in "kinda similar" situations. You need to find something good about that person. I know, nothing much to find, but even a small thing would help. Right after the call think of it.

Hope this helps!

Baila said...

1. It's scary living in the US, no? :-)
2. That's a really good friend of mine's daughter. Thank G-d she is doing fine.
3. Personally, I didn't like Adam. To much eyeliner.
4. Dunno nothin' about this one.
5. Sigh. I'm not sure I agree with the above commenter. I think you have to let yourself stew for a LITTLE while, then remember who you're dealing with, be glad she doesn't live closer and THEN move on. Since it's at least nine years, this process should take you 15 minutes, half hour tops.

Try to enjoy the day.

Mrs. S. said...

All I can say is: Oy!
Would it help you to write her a letter - which, of course, you would never actually send? You could include all the things you would LIKE to say to her, if things like tact, diplomacy, etc. weren't issues...

Happy Yom Yerushalayim!

Safranit said...

On a humorous (I think) note..the Shuk in Ramle is really called Shuk Ramle and they are all over Israel...they are the equivalent of an odd lot sale...(the stuff that fell off the back of a truck) it is the cheap of the cheap. You definitely weren't missing much in not getting that stuff...

I know it may be hard to believe, but if my sister's ex would disappear for 5 years, she would be dancing in the streets. Even the money isn't worth the hassle he makes life...

Leora said...

Sorry to hear you had that phone call. But who wants to think about terrorism and swine flu, anyway.

Hope you can think something more calming tomorrow. Sounds like a permanent irritant, your ex-mother-in-law.

SubWife said...

Wow. I know what you mean. There are some people in life that are irritating, and no amount of positive thinking can change that. I am sorry you picked up the phone. Feel better.

ilanadavita said...

I'm sorry to hear about this phone call. It seems some people can only think of themselves and for some obscure reasons a number of them are( ex)-mothers-in-law.

Shimshonit said...

My mother-in-law inspires similar emotions in me. Not to sound too Shirley MacLaine, but when I feel my hair beginning to stand on end, I try to think about why it is that Hashem sent this person to be my mother-in-law. I've heard that if you can fake sincerity, you've got it made. The Cap'n is a master at dealing with her: smile, nod, say "You know, you're right," ignore, and forget. Repeat.

Truthfully, if I had a conversation like you just had, I'd get off as soon as possible, pour myself a small but very stiff drink, put my feet up, and think about what an amazing job I'm doing as a single mom, how I don't need people like her in my life, and the greatest gift Hashem has given me today is locating her across the planet from me.

SuperRaizy said...

Thank you guys for your amazing support. It really makes me feel better.

Lion of Zion said...

a) just be happy she lives in israel
b) i hope you don't invite her anymore. she may actually take you up on your offer
c) it's 2009. time to get caller ID.

shavuah tov

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

There was a story a few months ago in the Israeli Hebrew Weekly, Makor Rishon about a family in Beit El -- and how the woman met her long lost first cousin living across the street from her.

It was very cool.

Frumteacher said...

Wow... What is worse than a MiL? An ex-MiL :-D Kol hakavod to you for keeping in touch with her, even though she is such a difficult person!

Anonymous said...

I know it is hard to deal with a "toxic" person. Remember that you are a good person and a great mom and be glad she is far away.
As far as her letting you know where her son is so you can get child support, forget it, she is HIS mother whether he is a good person or bad. At least you have a divorce.