Tag Archives: Skylandia


We journeyed to Skylandia this past weekend to belatedly celebrate the holiday and my daughter’s birthday with my parents. Thankfully my in-laws were able to come as well. I think my mother had a good time. She stayed up late everynight enjoying the company. I did all the cooking and planning. I have been talking and thinking about this pot roast I wanted to make for weeks now. We finally get there on Thursday and I pull my 4lb roast out of the cooler and my dad turns to me and says, “oh, she’s not allowed to eat meat.” We later clarified that she is supposed to eat only lean meats and fish but it is not like she can’t have a little bit on a special occasion. I wish that he had told me earlier. I would have obviously made other plans but it was way too late to change it and she ate it (and enjoyed it) anyway.

Grandpa was in fine form for our visit. He is constantly underfoot in the kitchen. It’s like how I used to describe my dog Dylan. She was like a VISA card, she’s everywhere you want to be. He thinks that he is helping you but when someone tries to clean everything as soon as you set it down it is just annoying. I don’t know how my mother has done it all these years. He was pissing me off and I was obviously pissing him off. I could hear him complaining to my mother in the middle of the night on Saturday. I couldn’t hear exactly what he was saying on the other side of the wall but I could recognize the tone and the anger in his voice. It’s exactly what he used to sound like when he would talk about my brother.

The highpoint of the weekend is when he told my mother-in-law that Piper is beautiful except when she smiles because her front teeth are too big. I remember him telling me not too smile in pictures because of my teeth when I was a child. I didn’t say anything to him because I didn’t want her to overhear any of it. I’m not sure what to do because he’s bound to tell her sometime. He just can’t keep those little bon mots to himself. You can’t unring that bell.

In the immortal words of Mr Awesome, what a douchebag.

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Crisis at Skylandia

A texting excerpt from my recent trip to my parent’s house which Mr Awesome and I affectionately refer to as Skylandia. I noticed that the toilet in “our” bathroom was flushing slowly. I thought it was running after I flushed it so I tried jiggling and pushing down on the handle. I heard a funny noise and when I looked down I realized that water was just pouring out of the bowl. I quickly opened the tank and pulled up on the bulb and stopped the water. Later on I texted Mr Awesome to let him know about all the fun he was missing . . .

NOV 14 2010 10:11 PM

Crisis time!!! The toilet in the grey bathroom just overflowed  . . .

There is no caulk around the toilet or tub and the grout is shot so it went straight through the floor . . .

And poured down all over the kitchen counter.


My dad is convinced that the kids flushed something down the toilet. He also asked me if my cousin or I flushed a sanitary napkin down the toilet.

What, you’re NOT supposed to do that?

Oh what fun!!


He sees the water in the kitchen and starts screaming like he’s on fire and running up the stairs. Meanwhile both kids and my mom are up there trying to sleep.

Don’t you just wish you were here too??

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Channel Guide

My parents have an enormous TV and they seem to subscribe to every single channel known to man. This includes the naughty ones for some reason. Their cable provider Cablevision has a couple of Adult programming channels placed right before the block of children’s channels. This means when you are sitting there on Saturday morning with your 7 year old daughter and 79 year old mother looking at the channel guide to see what cartoons are on you see titles like:

Blindfolds N BJs
Tiger’s Got Wood!
Explode in Mama
Bros Luv Big Racks
Black Beaver Bang
Your Mom’s Ass is Tight
Um, I think we watched The Suite Life instead.
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What’s the one thing you dread the most?

Right now, it’s my Dad being mad at me. I know, I’m 44 years old and I’m still worrying about what this crazy old man thinks of me. We had a phone conversation earlier that didn’t end entirely well. I’m pretty sure that he is mad at me. We are getting ready to go there this weekend and I dread the thought of getting Mad Tony at the start of the visit. You usually end up with Mad Tony in the end but at least you get to have a little of the Happy Tony at the beginning. I’ve pretty much shot all chance of that to hell. We’re going to be getting off the ferry at around noon time and we were thinking of getting something to eat on the way to their house rather than rushing there hungry. We’re not going to have time for a lot of eating in the morning before we leave and I try to avoid buying the crummy pricey snacks on the boat. My mother wants to make a big deal and have lunch ready and waiting for us and I tried to tell her that we’d be doing something else. Then my father gets on the phone to ask me about something else and at the end says that we’ll all have lunch when we get there and sounds all hurt and insulted when I tell him our plan. You’d think he was freaking Emily Post from the way he acts. What a phony. Growing up our family was a train wreck. Where were all these niceties then? By the time we got off the boat, drove there and get inside with our stuff and eat it will be waaay after lunch time. Then we have to sit down and eat a gigantic dinner a couple of hours later as well. How many more ways can I diss him? Let me count them! I’m so so tired of this crap. When we were growing up we all tried to avoid upsetting my father because when he threw a tantrum he put babies to shame.

Even though I have such little respect left and even though I’m a grownup with my own family and even though I still have so much anger towards him over Mike . . . I still can’t stand it when I think he’s mad at me. I hate myself for this. Ugh, I am filled with DREAD.

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My Dad

What’s the first thing that pops into your mind when you think of your father?

Literally, the first thing that popped into mind is my father’s feet. One of the most infamous lines from childhood is my dad saying, “I can’t go out, I’d have to change my socks.” It is strange because there is so much to say when you’re talking about my father. Frankly, he’s really a big pain in the ass and is one of the most difficult and infuriating people that I know.

Not too long after my parents moved out of Great Neck, Glenn and I went to the supermarket in their new town with my dad. We walked in the front door and I saw him make a bee line to a woman just inside the front door. I thought, oh nice he’s made a new friend and he’s going to introduce us or something. Then we hear the woman loudly yell, “Who hell do you think you are?” and I know that he’s probably not friends with her. Glenn and I ran and hid in the produce section so no one else would think that we were with the crazy man accosting the other IGA shoppers.

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We went to visit my parents this past weekend. It was the first time we had seen them since this happened. My mom looks so tired and sad. She is very quiet and says even less than she usually does. My dad on the other hand is talking a mile a minute. He’s trying to work it all out in his brain I guess. He’s looking for answers and even went as far as to ask me if my brother ever “told” me anything. He also wants me to talk to his wife and find out what was going on with them from her. He’s crazy if he thinks I’m interrogating my friend for him. He was saying that he knew his son when he was a little boy but that when he got older they knew less and less about him. I would say that was because they didn’t care to know anything about him. They didn’t approve of the choices he was making so they weren’t interested in his life. I think that once he got older and started going his own way they couldn’t deal with it. Now my dad goes on and on about what a wonderful thinker, writer, friend, person, etc., my brother was. It makes me crazy because he never really bothered to tell Mike any of this when he was alive and maybe if he did a little more often, we wouldn’t be in this mess we’re in. I know my dad wants me to look to them for comfort now. I just can’t. I know it would help him, to feel that he was helping me a little but I’m not ready for that yet. I haven’t looked to my parents for comfort for a long time now and I’m not about to start now. It’s just that it doesn’t come without judgement – at least from my dad. He’s got to have an opinion on everything and he’s got to let you know his opinion whether you’re asking him to give it or not. It’s like I’m seeing them so clearly right now and I’m just taking a step back and taking it in for now.

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Mother Guilt

With the start of the holiday season we’ve also started the annual rite of Mother Guilt. Perhaps you’re familiar with the kind, my mother and her guilt – or rather my guilt. No matter how much we try to avoid it – it happens every year. This year we are going to my parent’s house for Thanksgiving and we were planning on having Christmas Eve at our house. We invited my parents, my in-laws and my sister-in-law and her family. I just found out that my sister-in-law can’t make it because her step-daughter can’t come (she’s got to stay closer to home to be near her mother). Now my husband wants to go to his mom’s house for Christmas Eve instead. He doesn’t want it to be just my parents and our little family. I can see his point. Christmas is really fun when you have kids around. Ever since we had P we’ve wanted to her to be around other children on Christmas Eve.

Right before P turned 3 we decided to spend Christmas Eve with my parents at their house. It was just the 5 of us. I know that it made them incredibly happy to have their granddaughter all to themselves. My daughter’s birthday is in the first week in January so it was not three weeks after that happy Christmas when my dad completely freaked out after her birthday party. My parents were staying at a bed and breakfast nearby because my brother and his wife at the time were staying with us. They were leaving to go back to their room and he was asking what time I was serving breakfast the next morning, 8:30 am, 9:00 am?? Mind you, this is only three weeks after Christmas, one week after I spent my New Year’s Eve puking up some bad non-dairy creamer I put in my coffee and only hours after having 12 2-3 year olds plus their parents in my house for fun and a clever craft and when he asked me when Sunday breakfast was being served I replied (even half jokingly), aren’t you staying at a bed and breakfast? Don’t they serve breakfast there? You would have thought I had flipped him the bird the way he reacted to that. He didn’t talk to either of us or see us for MONTHS after that. Before he stormed out of the house that night he told my brother that I was a “piece of s**t”. I can’t even write it out, that particular comment is so hurtful to me. Needless to say, there are a lot of bad feelings on both sides as there has been for years.

I told my mom about the change in plans for this year on Sunday and I could hear the disappointment in her voice over the phone. Then she called me the next day and told me again how disappointed she was. I know that she is jealous of my in-laws because we see them so much more often. They also live much closer to us than my parents do. My parents might as well live in another state it takes so long to get to their house from mine. Just take a look at the map for crapssake! I do feel for them and I feel like I should be more forgiving. They are my parents and I love them but I just can’t stand this same routine for every single holiday and/or birthday. Now that they feel officially dissed does it mean that they are going to be giving us crap on Thanksgiving? Is my Dad going to lose his mind and freak out again? If they do end up coming to my in-laws on Christmas Eve are they going to be speaking to us? All these questions need answering but I fear that we won’t know them until the very moments are upon us. It is so easy to offend them, I shouldn’t even be surprised anymore when I do.

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