http://www.one.org Dixie Peach: When advice isn't even considered

Cooler than the other side of the pillow.

Monday, May 15, 2006

When advice isn't even considered

Saturday's visit from B's aunt and uncle was a success. By success I mean that I didn't ask that someone leave my home or consider injuring anyone. Not long consider, anyway.

It wasn't until dinner was finished (And by the way, by the time I could get B's food cut up and set out for him to eat and could start to get my own food served B's aunt, Gabi, was digging for second helpings. I understand she's the guest but don't even basic manners dictate that one waits for everyone to be served before going for seconds?) that I became very annoyed.

The conversation went something like this:

Gabi: Are you friends with the people who live above you?

Me: The ones that own the boutique on the corner? I know them a little. They're at work a lot. Their little girls are nice.

Gabi: You should be friends with them. If you're friends with them then you can get them to help you put B in his wheelchair.

Me: I can't do that. I can't ask people to help me with B - not people I don't know.

Gabi: So get to know them!

Me: Gabi, it doesn't work like that. I don't make friends with people so they'll do me favors. And I am extremely uncomfortable asking people to help me with B.

Gabi: You ask your MIL to do it.

Me: That's a completely different thing! First, she's his mother. Second, she learned how to handle him.

Gabi: Well the neighbors can learn too.

B and MIL: No Gabi, it's different.

Gabi: I don't see why it's different.

Me: Because if someone wants to help me they can offer. If I ask first they get put on the spot. Not everyone is comfortable dealing with handicapped people. Handicapped people sometimes freak out other people. They're just uncomfortable around them. People don't like to be put on the spot about stuff like that because if they feel uncomfortable and say no then they feel guilty for saying no to a crippled guy. That's exactly what they'll think. "I said no to a crippled person! I'm going to hell now!". I can't do that to people.

Gabi: But you expect your MIL to do it.

MIL: I want to do it!

Me: She doesn't have to. The day she doesn't want to do it anymore, she can say no. I know it's physically difficult for her and when she doesn't want to do it anymore, she'll tell us.

Gabi: I don't know why you don't ask the people living above you.

Me: Gabi, they're at their store all day!

Gabi: Exactly! You know where they are all day! You can just pop into the store and ask one of them to help you put B in his wheelchair!

Me: I'm supposed to say "Hey, leave your store empty for a while and help me with my husband!"? Are you serious?

Gabi: Yes!

Me, B, MIL: NO!!


Thank goodness they left soon afterwards else I'd have gone berserk. I can't believe a woman who has known B since he was a teenager - well before his accident - and who since his accident has never once lifted a finger in any way, shape or form to help care for him is telling him, me and his mom how to handle it.

The rest of the weekend was spent knitting and watching movies. It helped me get over my mad.

15Comments:

Blogger sari said...

I have three words for you that I think will be a huge success:

Knit Voodoo Dolls!!

Think of the therapy! And, then when you're done with them, you could sell them (along with a tiny pair of knitting needles for stabbing later) to other people who need them too!!

WHOA I am on a roll today! :-)

11:02 PM  
Blogger Dixie said...

Why didn't I think of that before?

11:14 PM  
Blogger Mr. Fabulous said...

Wow...she's ticked me off and I wasn't even there.

God bless your self control! You are a better person than I am!

11:38 PM  
Blogger still life said...

Sari sure beat me to it because I was going to ask...

Where are your knitting needles when you need them?

And people don't take into account that the disabled don't really LIKE to be handled by those that don't know them personally. It makes me feel extremely self-conscious.

1:43 AM  
Blogger marshamlow said...

Glad it is over, hopefully you wont have to see them again for at least another year. Maybe they are feeling guilty for not helping more and that is where all the crazy advice comes from. Trying to justify in their own minds why they aren't there helping you, not that you would want them to stop by and help.

2:55 AM  
Anonymous Titankt said...

I agree that you were very restrained.

I admit I'm pretty flabbergasted at her thinking she can walk into your house (that she apparently does only once a year) and start directing your life.

Seriously, I probably would have just smiled indulgently at her and nodded or whatever to shut her up and then done exactly as I see fit, which is what I would've done whether I'd argued about it or not... which is why I would've just agreed with her then deflected her.

"Sure, Helga, great idea. Thanks for the suggestion." (SO not doing that.) "Where'd you get those great shoes?"

I have learned to placate people that way when I know two things - one, the arguement will solve nothing but getting all parties riled up and angry and two, I'm going to do what I want to do whether the arguement occurs or not.

5:52 AM  
Anonymous Robin said...

Now, there's a woman who needs to be smacked upside the head. Geez.

Practice this saying, "Thanks for the advice. Anyway, as I was saying..." Lord knows that has gotten me out of many fruitless, infuriating conversations with my in-laws.

6:20 AM  
Anonymous Jenijen said...

Oh wow. You deserve sainthood. I'd a dumped her drink over her head and said, "Oops! You're soaked. Guess you'll have to leave now. Thanks for coming! Goodnight!"

heh

7:04 AM  
Blogger Jemima said...

Well, you were expecting the visit to be difficult, and it didn't disappoint, so there's something good in things going as planned.

Maybe?

8:18 AM  
Blogger BarefootCajun said...

What a wretched woman! She apparently has no couth. Argh! She's lucky you held back. You're a better woman than I.

7:36 PM  
Blogger LeaderOfMyPack said...

Yikes! Talk about being uncomfortable! You handled it very well!

9:47 PM  
Anonymous Mollie said...

Time to start calling her to help. Every day. 'The people upstairs are busy- please come over".

She'll never bring it up again.

She puts the gab in Gabi!

Selfishly, I needed this story today!

Smooches! I miss you!

M

10:02 PM  
Blogger Dixie said...

See...Mollie knows. Mollie has met this woman in person.

I wish it were only once a year that I saw these people. They live in a nearby village and they come into town often even though they don't often come over to our apartment. I mostly see them when they're at my MIL's place and I have to be there too for some reason.

She's even starting to irk my MIL and my MIL has the patience of Job.

10:35 PM  
Blogger Grits said...

does she know english?
You could call her Tante Beeotch and see if she understands.

12:40 PM  
Blogger Ginnie said...

I declare, Dixie. You really need to have your life on a soap opera somewhere!

7:44 PM  

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