Saturday, May 29, 2021

In-laws and outlaws

Tuesday of last week, marked two weeks since my second vaccine dose and meant I was fully vaccinated.

Over a month ago, I made an appointment for my first haircut since August 2019...I am not normally a hair person, but my hair was making me feel older and it was chaotic, something I normally embrace, but a haircut made me feel a little pretty and I was ready to honor that need. I tipped my hairstylist 100% because he is awesome and I wanted to celebrate him and his new downsized business. I have gotten my hair cut by him for 20+ years!

I then went to the dentist, and it ended up being far less stressful than I thought it was going to be...apparently all dentists are booked solid, so I was glad I made that appointment too.

And because I was now fully covered, we made a spur of the moment choice and visited The Barren's father, as he is immune compromised we both needed to be covered. This meant a road-trip and a day long drive. It was great to see him and hug him and spend even a little bit of time with him.

He is married to a woman who has very very high levels of need. She controls most situations by delays, she has a hard time transitioning from one task to another and is chronically late. Now my father in law is all engulfed by it as well and so they get lost from time lines for weeks. The Barren texted his father asking if they would be home this past weekend and he said yes, and then we booked a hotel and told him we were coming to visit, after hearing it, FIL changed days that he would be available (they are getting their floors done) and we added another day to the hotel and said great see you then. The Barren told his father he wanted to visit a music shop with him and that they would only be open a few hours after we arrived so we would pick him up to make the timeline...When we arrived it was a fairly swift transition, as his wife was staying behind to walk the dog.

We ordered food before returning home with pizza for us four and on arriving, his wife spent another hour+ doing who knows what and delaying dinner (she did put the pizza into the oven while she did something else while we all waited) the oven turned our pizzas into crackers. DH and I sat waiting at folding tray tables waiting for her to begin dinner....

The following day we went over after breakfast so The Barren and his father could play music for a bit which is all The Barren wanted to do to connect with his father. 💓(his dad doesn't call often and is even harder to get a call back from these days) While the guys played music I sat listening to his wife talk about things, and try to not take any bait:

What do you think about what is happening in Israel? What about this other political situation, I mean how can they eat cows...why would you not want to get the vaccine, I don't think your reactions were what you think, I hear people are waiting longer to have kids...

At that the Barren chimed in and said, "yeah we are still waiting"

Then she suggested we go to a music festival at a local winery, we jumped at the opportunity to go and we all gathered our things to go, then we waited...she took another hour to get ready to head out the door. I had squirreled some snacks in our car, thankfully. They get so wrapped up in tasks she doesn't really eat regularly and I am a woman who likes to snack all day long! So I was hungry...they brought their dog too, who is a rescue that has serious anxiety issues and can not be left alone. So she was panic panting the whole time and it was really hard to witness, I also was having a hard time being around sooooooooo many people kind of wearing masks. 

This is when I began to get " sparkles" my optical migraine trigger and whispered to The Barren about it, but my MIL heard and stopped taking photos of children dancing to ask if I wanted an aspirin (which was nice) I tried really hard to down play it, but it was the perfect out of a stressful, situation and so we scapegoated me and left early. As we said goodbye to my FIL,I got a photo of DH and FIL and it was lovely and bittersweet. 

The Barren drove us into town while I fought a freight train of a migraine and a panic attack. We got dinner, as we were famished and I did some conscience breathing exercises while I waited for the migraine drugs to kick in. MIL texted and we pretended that we were already back at the hotel and I was sleeping, when were were actually secretly eating and then going to the hotel to sleep. MIL offered to bring us leftover cracker pizza and we thanked her for the beautiful gesture but we were fine.

The next morning we left for another full day of driving back homeward.


On the way home we made an effort to stop and see things we never had, after all, this was the closest to a vaca we'd taken in multiple years! It was another exhausting day and when we rolled into a town only a couple hours from home, we booked a pricey room at the hotel my art is in...TOTAL splurge!

It was super cool to see it in person after all this time.

The hotel was delayed in opening, and when it had a soft opening in Dec 2019 I wasn't able to make it, then 2020 closed the hotel and then opened it and then closed it and now it is open again. So we went to see the work finally installed.

When we checked in, I gleefully told the reception person that I was the artist that made the lobby's artwork...they looked up and said "oh" and then looked back at the computer.

Trying to not let them dull my sparkle, I asked if people ask about the art on the walls, the reception person said " not really" their apathy was enough and I walked back over to the art and quietly had my own party in my head.

We drove home the next morning, after I had taken as many photos as I could think of taking.

It was a 2021 kind of vaca-we walked into our door, dropped our dirty laundry into the basket, I walked into the kitchen and began making dinner. It was gone...all of it was done and we were back to Homeostasis.

Since returning, I have gone to see our "girl" and her babies, attended my online art lecture and today after consulting a physician friend, I went to the final class of a favorite teacher, and returned to my first in studio hot yoga class since March 2020. (strangely emotional)

I wore my mask the whole time, the only one doing that. I got a spot closest to the door, right next to one of the three air scrubbers that run during the class and got a sweat on and left afterwards. Passing a studio full of unmasked people. Vaccination proof is honor system, so I took extra actions.

Things are trying to get back to what they were, but it will never be the same again. And it seems that as hard as people try, it seems more and more offset.


Infertile Phoenix said...

Oh wow, what a trip. I'm really glad the Barren got to go to the music store and play some music with his dad.

Your description of his dad's wife was something else. I think you really gave me some insight on someone that I'm close to. You helped me realize that all of the delays in leaving for an event/transitioning to a new task are an effort to control. In retrospect, it seems so obvious! Thank you. I will continue to practice patience and not taking "any bait!"

Your artwork!!! So cool!! I would have asked a lot of questions and taken a million photos too. Congratulations!! How awesome to see your art installed at a nice hotel.

And now home. Ahhh, home sweet home. Congrats on your trip and welcome back home. I look forward to the cats coming home too! <3

Mali said...

You told a great story. How frustrating it must be to be around your dad's wife. I can procrastinate pretty well, but not like that!

Yes, your art work is very cool. The receptionists just sound plain rude!

I hope it felt good, if weird and a bit disconcerting, to be out of the house, and to get to see your FIL. And I can understand the emotion around an in-studio class for the first time in over a year. It is so nice (for me at least!) to know you can do this with relative confidence, given your vaccination status.

Your description of the honor system about masking has made me realise that maybe it will always be like this, and that travel (for me) has probably changed forever.

Welcome home.

loribeth said...

Like Infertile Phoenix, I felt a shock of recognition when I read about your MIL. Let's just say that it sounds very much like someone I'm close to as well, and the idea that the lateness/procrastination is a way of exerting control makes total sense. Thank you for the insight!

I'm sorry it was a stressful visit, but glad you managed to get away and that your dh got to spend time with his dad. And that you finally got to visit your artwork!!