Mother’s Day Mayhem

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A much needed and fabulous week in Quebec has me playing catch up on blog posts. I’m going to jump back into blogosphere with the rest of our survey responses.

The Buffer Zone Dysfunctional Family Survey results are in and the goal is to post one every day or so or three. The main question of our survey was: Without naming names, who is the relative in your family that causes all the drama? And what incident best illustrates their craziness, “personality” or friction they bring to your family?

“Recently engaged, my fiancé and I attended a church service on Mother’s Day with my soon-to-be mother-in-law and sister-in-law. After a sweet sermon on the importance of mothers in our lives, as well as women who mother us, and the hymns were sung, the pastor invited all mothers to take one of the small potted petunias displayed in the foyer. My husband’s sister was beaming as she proudly carried her petunia in front of her 2nd trimester belly.

As the mothers began to leave the sanctuary and collected their petunias, it was evident that the church had purchased too many plants. The pastor then invited ALL the ladies in attendance to take home a petunia, so I picked one up off the table and casually walked out the front door. My (now) sister-in-law stormed out the door after me, and slung her petunia down the front steps, shattering the pot on the sidewalk below. She actually stamped her foot like a toddler, and proceeded to rant about the unfairness of it all. How would anyone identify her and other mothers if just anyone got a petunia? What was the meaning of Mother’s Day if non-mother’s got a gift? She continued her hissy fit until my (now) mother-in-law shushed her. The other members of the congregation just glanced at her as they filed out. At the time, I thought they pretended not to see her tantrum in order to save my mother-in-law any embarrassment, but I know now that they were just used to her behavior. And, I’m sorry to say, I now am also.”

My goodness me, what a sterling example of Christian behavior! I hope someone pointed out to this anonymous respondent’s sister that she technically wasn’t a mother, and therefore not entitled to a seventy-nine cent petunia either. She was a mother-TO-BE, as well as self-centered, and a bunch of other words I won’t mention because this display of temperament happened at a church.

 

No Outlaws Allowed

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The Buffer Zone Dysfunctional Family Survey results are in and the goal is to post one every day or so or three. The main question of our survey was: Without naming names, who is the relative in your family that causes all the drama? And what incident best illustrates their craziness, “personality” or friction they bring to your family?

“I was raised in a Southern Coastal town where manners were taught and expected from the moment of birth. We are a genteel clan that addresses everyone with “Ma’am”, “Sir”, or “Honey”. My sweet husband’s father imagines himself an outlaw. He roars up to joint family functions on his big motorcycle, dressed in the typical offensive saying t-shirt, black leather vest and red bandana. He loves nothing more than to shock whoever is in earshot with his racist and homophobic comments. He was finally banned from future gathering when he grabbed my aunt’s bottom and proclaimed he liked his women with meat on them.”

Thank you for submitting this anonymous follower. It is truly a shame when in-laws become outlaws. Sweet tea for all to celebrate his banishment.

Spoiled, Ungrateful Bratty-Brat

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The Buffer Zone Dysfunctional Family Survey results are in and the goal is to post one every day or so or three. The main question of our survey was: Without naming names, who is the relative in your family that causes all the drama? And what incident best illustrates their craziness, “personality” or friction they bring to your family?

“My little sister and her daughter had just spent the week with us in our little cabin in the woods. The same little mountain cabin that we had scrimped and saved for since our marriage began. In the seven days they were staying with us we visited a town festival, went river rafting, fished and hiked, and played board games, never once asking for their help with the cooking, laundry or expenses.

We invited several friends over on their last evening, and had just finished a sumptuous meal prepared by my husband, aka The Grill Master. My sister stands up, pushes her chair back dramatically, and proceeds to proclaim that she will never visit us again because we make everything all about us. We fail to take in to account her needs. Then she stomped off to the guest room, with her 26 year old daughter following her. Although I was tempted to tell her to walk to the airport the next morning, my husband and I drove her there, stopping to get her daily Starbucks fix on the way.”

Don’t let the screen door hit you on the way out Respondent’s Little Sister. Hopefully, the city you sent her brattiness off to is a decent Buffer Zone distance away. Thank you for sharing I-sure-charming-cabin-owner-with-a-guest-room. I’ll just throw in that I’m free this summer and  fold a mean towel.

Evil Easter Dictator

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The Buffer Zone Dysfunctional Family Survey results are in and the goal is to post one every day or so or three. The main question of our survey was: Without naming names, who is the relative in your family that causes all the drama? And what incident best illustrates their craziness, “personality” or friction they bring to your family?

“It’s really hard to pick just one, since I have a lifetime of choices. The family incident that best describes my domineering sister is the Easter Egg hunt we attended at a church in our neighborhood when my children were small. This friendly congregation would invite the surrounding neighbors annually to celebrate Easter and get to know more about their religion. From the moment we arrived my sister complained about the heat, the crowd, the church volunteers’ knowledge of how to run a successful egg hunt, that they only had one free drink station, the fact that the Easter bunny had shoes instead of furry feet, etc.

They had areas roped off for toddlers, children aged 4-6, and children aged 7-9 on the lawn behind the church, with brightly colored plastic eggs just lying on the ground in plain sight. The children lined the roped off areas waiting for the the signal to go before they rushed in with their baskets. My sister maneuvered her 1 1/2 and 3 years old toddlers into the best strategic position and literally shoved them forward at the signal. She then proceeded to block and run interference between them and other tiny tots gathering eggs. The Miami Dolphins’ quarterback Ryan Tannehill should have such a line. She was yelling instructions to get the yellow one, then the blue one, and warning them to watch out for the little girl approaching to their right. The same little girl that was barely walking and had a pacifier hanging out of her mouth. Yeah, watch out for her.

When all of the eggs were collected, each child had several eggs in their baskets or buckets, some free cookies, and a  picture with the Easter Bunny. So what else was there to complain about? The fact that the church had used a Polaroid camera instead of hiring a professional photographer, and the eggs contained lowly Sweet Tarts.”

The person that submitted this gem wishes to remain anonymous, as do most of the people that responded to our survey, which we completely get. We have a very clear picture of this incident in our minds since we have seen more and more adults (I use that term loosely) behave like this. We can only imagine the injuries that would have transpired if there was a prize involved.

Don’t worry dominated respondent, your Buffer Zone will be vast since your sister is probably going some place even hotter.

 

Because It Is Hard

The Buffer Zone Dysfunctional Family Survey results are in and the goal is to post one every day or so or three. The main question of our survey was: Without naming names, who is the relative in your family that causes all the drama? And what incident best illustrates their craziness, “personality” or friction they bring to your family?

ec2011.01.16photo courtesy of http://www.gabeclogston.com

“My brother definitely causes friction between my parents and me. I am older by 6 years, have always had a part-time job, got a scholarship to university, and landed an entry-level job in my field after I graduated. I was rewarded with a few promotions after logging countless hours, including nights and weekends. My brother didn’t work during high school because it would have interfered with his garage band practice. He dropped out of university because “It’s hard.” He has quit, or was fired, from a string of dead end jobs that interfered with his goal to become a lead singer in a hard rock band because they “were hard.” He singing ability is marginal, so the chance that he will be discovered is pretty slim. Not to mention, it is pretty hard to be noticed by a talent agent when you are sitting in the basement of my parents’ house (where he now lives) playing video games all day. Applying for jobs, making resumes and knocking on doors “are hard.” If that is what makes him happy, I’d be all for it IF he wasn’t draining my parents retirement fund in the process. And here’s the real kicker-no one can mention my latest promotion, the small house I am in the process of purchasing or any other good thing that has happened in my entire life because “it will make him feel bad.” He turns 39 years old in a few weeks. The amusing incident will occur when I take a box cutter to his controller cords.”

Thank you for your response anonymous achiever. His upcoming birthday would be the perfect time to cut the game console umbilical cords. The Buffer Zone congratulates you on your much deserved success, and we don’t care if that made your brother feel bad.

Is She, Or Isn’t She?

The following Buffer Zone Dysfunctional Family Survey responder wishes to remain anonymous, bless her heart.

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Our main question was: Without naming names, who is the relative in your family that causes all the drama? And what incident best illustrates their craziness, “personality” or friction they bring to your family?

“That would be my niece. I have a rather large family, with only one grandparent still living. All holidays, birthdays, and family celebrations are held at my grandmother’s small, but charming frame house. Everyone is invited to every occasion, and the attendees vary as each family has it’s own activities and schedules. All family members make an effort to be there, except for my niece. She also doesn’t RSVP, leaving the family wondering if Jane is going to show up, therefore making each occasion about her is some respect. She doesn’t miss a Christmas gathering though, or the present my grandmother will have waiting under the tree. We all had quite a laugh last Christmas, when the family matriarch passed out cards containing cash, and honestly couldn’t remember my niece’s name.”

How sweet of you Jane, to make all the celebrations about your own self. I’m guessing you also make a late entrance when you do come so all heads will turn when you walk in the door. Honey, I guarantee you that your family spends exactly 15 seconds each gathering thinking about whether you are there or not. Get over yourself.