Family matters, it does. And, I practice what I preach. In case you have never read one of my blog entries, let me explain. My mother in law moved in when her husband Alberto died almost nine months ago. Then, four months ago (actually three months, seventeen days and seven hours ago, but who's counting?), my mom moved in.
Our life has changed although some of the changes are subtle. My husband and I used to come home and eat Del Taco in front of the television. Then about nine, we would walk upstairs to bed with Frodo and Chewie at our heels. Sometimes, Adrian waited until I fell asleep and tiptoed into his game room to play his Black Ops.
Now, we come home and eat dinner together with the moms. We rotate the cooking and my mom's specialty has not changed since my childhood (tacos). We watch TV together. Wheel of Fortune comes on at 7:30 and we all shout out the answers. At eight, we watch "Dancing with the Stars" or "American Idol" depending on the day. Once our shows are over. Orieta walks to the downstairs bedroom, my mom walks upstairs to her room and Adrian and I go to bed with the dogs. Adrian still sometimes sneaks to his game room.
Other changes are more obvious. Adrian and I no longer have the time alone together that we used to, but we have been together nineteen years and alone time may be overrated at this point. There is also tension in the house that wasn't here before. Orieta doesn't want to live here, she feels she has to. I thought she was resigned to the fact. Yesterday, if you had asked me what the state of our relationship was, I would have said we were at peace. I had accepted that she is stubborn and at times inconsiderate with her comments and she had accepted that I am outspoken and curse like a sailor.
It started with me commenting this morning that the Paris Las Vegas Hotel was offering us a room upgrade and comps due to the plumbing problems with our room last weekend. Orieta couldn't restrain herself and piped up in her strong Argentine accent, "You are using my points!" I looked at her and before I could bite my tongue I said, "Son retarded."
Now, I know I should not be calling a seventy seven year old woman retarded, but what she said was just wrong. We took her and my mom with us to Vegas last weekend and I gave them my casino rate so that they could pay less. We basically invited them along on our getaway weekend and stayed where Orieta wanted to stay (see part one of this blog). So, while she may not be retarded, what she said was retarded and ungrateful.
It didn't end there.
My husband went outside to harness Neuron because he was taking Orieta and her dog to her house in Hesperia. As soon as he walked outside, Orieta looked at me and said, "If I have somewhere else to go, I go. I am not happy here."
I was confused at first. I thought she was saying that she did not want to go to Hesperia with Adrian.
She continued, "I cannot open my mouth here, You should have more respect. I am seventy seven years old and you called me retarded."
"Orieta," I said. "I was calling what you said retarded. I don't know why you said I used your points, I used my own points for both rooms last weekend. I am sorry, I didn't mean to hurt your feelings."
It wasn't enough. What I have learned through my dealings with Orieta is that nothing is ever enough.
And while family matters, I mean it really matters, I matter more.