Thursday, April 9, 2009

Easter long weekend -- ho hum...

Looks like it will be pretty quiet. (Am I surprised?) Same old story.

StepMIL called last night with an invitation for Easter dinner -- with her & FIL, & the rest of her extended family, at her sister's (well over an hour's drive away). They are extremely nice people & we appreciated the invitation -- but we did it once a few years ago, & that was enough. They're not OUR family -- and to be honest, I'm not especially sure I'm up to a large social gathering right now -- having to put on a bright, happy face -- especially one with no control over the menu, given what the last week or two of food-related reactions & anxiety have been like for me.

Dh didn't want to go -- & actually used me as an excuse -- said I haven't been feeling well because of food allergies & have to be careful what I eat until we figure out what I can have & what I can't. StepMIL always mixes things up & I'm not sure FIL (who is hard of hearing & whose English is limited) totally understood. Who knows what I'll wind up being diagnosed with by the time the news gets around the family, lol.

Dh proposed we come to see them on Saturday night instead (which happens to be his birthday) -- but they will be at youngest stepBIL's, celebrating HIS birthday, which is also this weekend.

Of course, you may recall that stepBIL is also the father of stepMIL's 7-month-old only grandchild. His first birthday as a daddy!! Case closed.

So unless BIL & family want to come over, it will just be me & dh for his entire birthday/Easter weekend. His family generally doesn't make much of a fuss over birthdays anyway, & I guess I should be used to it by now -- but it just bugs me sometimes.

The whole blended family thing (especially when combined with our childlessness) sure makes for some strange situations sometimes. (Not only do I have inlaws to contend with, I have the inlaws' inlaws...!)

I think that (once I get my food allergies sorted out & can eat away from home again with some degree of confidence) dh & I need to start going away somewhere on holiday weekends, like Easter, & Thanksgiving. (We've always spent Christmas with my family, so those two seem to be the worst/hardest of the major holidays for us -- well, me! -- to deal with.) I feel like we're left at loose ends way too often. I just don't have the space (or, I'll admit, the nerves! -- especially right now!) to invite all of his family over -- & I'm not going to cook an entire turkey dinner for just the two of us. He's not keen on eating out at the best of times and he HATES waiting for anything, especially food!! so no point in trying to go for Easter brunch anywhere (we've tried). So maybe a weekend at a nice country inn or resort or something...

I don't know quite why I'm feeling so pissed off about the whole thing -- when I'll freely admit that I don't want to host myself, I'm not wild about the idea of spending an entire day with stepMIL's family (nice as they are), and I don't particularly want to be around alot of people & strange food right now anyway.

I think it all goes back to that feeling of "otherness," of being excluded, that I've felt just about all my life. Growing up & moving every 3-5 years, I was always the "new kid." I was smart, not pretty or athletic. When I got married, I was the only "mangiacake" in a family of Italians. Now I'm the only (or one of the few) childless (especially not by choice) women, navigating my way through a sea of pregnant bellies & toddlers in mega-strollers.

I'm tired of waiting around for his family to decide what they (= we) are doing -- &, more often than not, having so many holiday weekends wind up being just like any other. I want to feel like I have something to celebrate, to look forward to.

I want holidays to feel special again, like they were when I was little. (Or just special, period.) Aside from Christmas, which (despite infertility & loss) still manages to hold some of its meaning & charm for me, most holidays haven't been special that way in a long time -- and they won't ever be, unless we (I) do something to make it that way.

A weekend at a country inn sounds nice. I think it will help. But it won't ever completely fill the hole in my heart.

Here's what I really wish I was doing this weekend.

I want to be colouring Easter eggs, & making Easter baskets, & hiding chocolate rabbits, & buying little pastel dresses, & fuzzy white bunny ears, & sitting around the table with my family having roast pork or ham & scalloped potatoes, & maybe a few games of cards afterwards.

A few people that I've whined to about this have told me they would LOVE to be able to blow off their family obligations this weekend & spend it by themselves. I guess the grass is always greener, etc. etc.

But it's hard sometimes.

I feel cheated, damnit. :(


  1. Darn it, I sure wish you lived closer. We could scrapbook and then have dinner. . . .

  2. big big hugs Loribeth.

    Really, your family (step IL's family!) sounds pretty unaccommodating.

    After living away from my family (and dh's) for so long, we have come to celebrate holidays with friends. It is actually more enjoyable. Other than that, Mexico works great :) I think a b&b would be just the same, maybe one run by a jewish family...

    I was at the farmer's market last week, and saw rabbits in the meat freezers. I guess it is rabbit season or something. I have never eaten rabbit and don't know how to cook it, but when Triple S came home that night I told him we were having rabbit on Easter.

    Is that special? It suits my mood. And it keeps me from thinking about pastel colors and eggs.

  3. I didn't realize how kid-centric Easter is until I was struggling with infertility. Usually we spend the day with D's family, who live about half an hour away (vs 4 hours like my parents - a long drive for a Sunday evening).

    D.'s family's Easter is agonizingly ALL ABOUT THE KIDS. A big egg hunt is the center of the celebration. I'm from "up north" and Easter was always too cold for egg hunts outdoors, so we had indoor egg hunts with just our siblings and then went to church and to dinner at a relative's house. But here the kids go from egg hunt to egg hunt, like it's Halloween trick-or-treating. And there are a lot of little gifts for the kids, and the grandmothers seem to compete for who gives the nicest baskets. Then there's some tsk-tsking about how this is getting out of hand, but it never changes. It makes me miss my own family terribly.

    In the past I have helped hide the eggs (ha, how appropriate), taken cute pictures, and tried to fit in somehow. But always at the end of the egg hunt, there I was, the infertile in-law, standing off to the side with my camera while the mommies took dozens of pictures of an ever-increasing group of cousins that did not include my own children.

    I will be thinking of you, and of Katie too, on Sunday.

  4. I guess I am grateful to be the eldest in a somewhat large family. Holidays are not as much fun as I would like, but my siblings keep them pretty standard. I do dread the day they are grown up with half grown children and we stop getting invited.
    Spending the holidays alone at home bums me out.

    A weekend away filled with mimosas sounds like a nice idea.;)

  5. Holidays are never easy, are they? There's always some expectation that is never met. I don't really celebrate Easter in any meaningful way, so it's more about chocolate and an excuse to eat turkey again. I would gladly go away if we could. But I'm grateful for what I have and that's enough to celebrate I guess.

  6. I can totally sympathize with the meaningless holiday syndrome. No children anywhere in my family at all so every holiday definitely feels like it's lacking something (and that's not even touching on the fact that I would love to be celebrating holidays with my own). We're not doing anything this weekend either. I contemplated decorating some eggs but I don't think I'd have fun doing it by myself ;)

    (found your blog a few days ago - just wanted to say "hi" :))

  7. Your dream Easter sounds fantastic. I'd be right there with you colouring those eggs.

    A nice country inn sounds lovely. A new tradition maybe? Something to look forward to.

  8. Hi Loribeth,

    Families make everything so... well, crazy. I've come to really dislike holidays because it involves me having to drive hundreds of miles, wearing the phony smile, and facing the loss of the life I had planned for myself. People ask me, "what's new?" and I sit silent with a pathetic look on my face. We infertiles are forced to adopt a new meaning of life, success, and the fertile world usually does not value our new lives.

    I love your dream Easter. I hope someday we all find something to celebrate.

    Great post.

    P.S. I'd like to thank you for all the times you've commented on my blog. I pretty much suck at updating. Your words always make me feel better. Thank you, friend.

  9. I'm sorry things are so blah. You should be painting easter eggs with your daughter. It's so hard, so unfair.

  10. I'm hiding away from the emptiness via my job (hospitals never close, so I plan to work almost every holiday just so I can ignore them!) Not healthy, I guess, but it's a method of coping none-the-less. I'm sorry, Loribeth. We have been cheated. :-(

  11. Hi Loribeth -

    Yes, it was another ho-hum holiday around here too. People who don't know me well asked me what I was doing for Easter. People who do said, "you're not doing anything for Easter, right?" The only Easterish thing I did was make an Easter card for my husband. He nearly fell out of his chair.

    In my house, we never celebrated it for its religious significance, so it was more about the Easter basket. Of course, I don't much like candy...and then the whole holiday was ruined for me a couple of years ago when we spent the day with my sister. The excess just got to me - so much candy, just piles and piles of it, and money and more candy in over 100 hidden eggs...all for two kids. It was sickening.

    Still, I never realized how child-centered Easter is either until this year...duh.

  12. I would love to do all those things (esp the scalloped potatoes)! I, too, wish we all lived closer.

    My Easter was spent reading old copies of Mother Earth News my MIL dug up in her many hoards of hippy stuff, while my husband madly worked on tiling her floors.

    At least there was ice cream.

  13. Since my dh was in Dublin, and my brother took his family on a driving vacation down south, I spent Easter solo. Bought a big ol ham (no small hams seems to exist), cooked up some potatoes, poured a glass of Chardonnay and ate my Easter brunch on the patio with my favorite reading material. It beat the hell out of going somewhere just to go. And it was quite pleasant.What I dislike most about holidays is the expectation that it MUST be something big.

    Now you stepMIL sounds like a pill. Sorry your DH didn't get more of a fuss for his birthday. Hard to compete with in-laws in-laws...

  14. I'd come to your Easter in a heartbeat. Sounds delightful.

  15. I recognize that feeling of "otherness" that you describe. And it's because you so frequently write about events that resonate with me, I've included you in the Sisterhood Awards. I don't know who started it, but I thought of you because you always seem to find time to leave a comforting comment. You can get the image off my blog at

    Here are the rules:
    Put the logo on your blog or post.
    Nominate at least 10 blogs with great attitude and/or gratitude.
    Be sure to link to your nominees in your post.
    Let your nominees know they have received the award by leaving them a comment on their blog.
    Be sure to link this post to the person who nominated you for the award.

  16. I hope you managed to have a nice quiet weekend. I think your idea to go away for the holidays is a great one. Sometimes we have to do what's best for ourselves and forget about the family.

    And I wish you were dying eggs too. Maybe you can do it anyway in Katie's honor.