Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Defamation of Character

Alternate title for this post: Why I Really Need to Get Better at Figuring Out Who People Are Before I Speak

Since late Friday night, life around here has been drama filled.  Actually, that's an understatement.  Life has been bubbling over with drama and it's oozing all over the place.  I don't go looking for drama, it just comes and finds me.

Friday night is when we found out that Madeline's soccer coach didn't get the travel soccer team.  Instead, the board decided to take a vote on a night when two of the supporters for our coach of choice were unable to make the meeting.  The result: our coach lost the board's vote by one when he would have won it by one vote had our supporters been there.  The weekend ended up being filled to the brim with soccer drama.  On Saturday night, things were starting to clam down a bit.  It was then that we found out that Madeline made the travel team and our coaching staff (Bryan, Coach R and Coach D) began to discuss the possibility of our girls playing for this coach in order to give them the opportunity to play more challenging teams.  That in turn spilled over into Sunday and still the drama is bubbling over even today.  Feelings and emotions on the part of the one coach are very raw at the moment.  Every time we think we've reached a point where we can just have peace, texts, emails or phone calls start.

As if the soccer drama wasn't enough, in-law drama has peaked.  FUN!  On Monday I very innocently visited the religious education office at our parish to drop off some VBS registration checks that I had recently received, to pick up a few more registrations that had come to the parish office and to chat with the deacon and his assistant.  I had Ellie with me and she had a good time visiting with me until she decided that it was time to go NOW!.  On our way out of the office, while I was still talking with the deacon about VBS things, I ran into yet another person congratulating me on my pregnancy.

Ordinarily, someone congratulating me on this joyous event doesn't cause any problems.   This time was different.  I recognized the person right away, but I couldn't place her.  Name: blank, How I know her: blank.  I naturally assumed that since I was in the parish office that I knew her from something church related.  In this instance, I assumed wrong and didn't realize it until after I had happily announced that we were expecting another girl.

What I wasn't prepared for was the person's response.  "Oh, and we were so hoping this one would be a boy!"  I'm sure my expression turned to one of complete confusion but not before my expression of delight over the thought of another little girl had faded from my face.  You see, this is a remark that I'm used to only getting from my in-laws.  It was at the very moment that the woman looked up and said, "You don't look disappointed at all.  You look delighted that it's a girl!" that I realized that I had just revealed the baby's gender to my mother-in-law's co-worker. Arrgh!

I asked her to please not reveal that she knew the baby's gender to my in-laws as my husband did not want to tell them at this time given that they have almost no involvement/interest in our girls.  This woman gave me her word that she would say nothing.  I don't want to jump to judgement on anyone, but I think it's pretty safe to say that she didn't keep her word.

On Monday evening my mother-in-law left a ranting voicemail on Bryan's cell phone.  Bryan, not one to  return calls when the person on the other end of the line is certain to be irrational, chose to ignore her.  Yesterday, I got a private Facebook message from his mother that had a tone that was less than friendly, particularly the part where she questioned why she is unable to see my Facebook wall.  Bryan told me he didn't want me to respond to her and I complied. (Note to self: Next time Bryan says I don't listen to him, cite this.)

Today my mother-in-law left Bryan another voicemail.  This time she was ranting about the defamation of her character that "someone" did in front of his child and her coworker.  She also went on to insinuate that he probably was unaware of it as he wasn't the one to do it and that the person who did it probably didn't tell him or think he'd find out.  Sorry, but I called my husband as soon as I got to the car to let him know that I accidentally let his mom's co-worker know the baby's gender.  I also told him that she gave me her word that she would not say a word about it.

I think it's funny that she insinuates that I'm a liar and the bad guy in all of this.  In her last voicemail she accuses me of driving a wedge in the family (a family in which I am not considered a member) and a whole host of other things.  Perhaps someone doesn't understand the definition of defamation of character.

If you never visit your grandchildren, yet you live 20 minutes away and work 5 minutes from where they live, you can't call yourself involved.  Same goes, if you never call to see how your grandchildren are doing or even just to say hello to them.  If you stop by the house for 30 seconds on Christmas Eve to drop off your gifts for your grandchildren and run before they can even give you a hug, you're not involved.  If you decide that you'd rather drop presents off on our porch and run (meaning she didn't even the ring the bell or knock) you aren't very interested in seeing us.  (I had a lovely dessert that I would have loved to share that day.)  If all of the above statements describe you and you have only seen my children for 15 minutes since Thanksgiving, I think it's fair to say that you are not an involved grandparent in any way shape or form.


  1. You don't listen to me! (want to get that out of the way so you can't hold it against me)

  2. Sorry for all the drama.
    Congrats to Madeline for making the travel team!!


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