Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Shandeh

I was greeted with an email Monday morning. Three pages long. From my fucking sister-in-law. It seems this email was prompted by the fact that she doesn’t much like being called “a controlling harridan.” Who would? I understand her fury. And I may be wrong (about "the controlling harridan" part). She feels she’s been entirely misunderstood by me and the rest of the ever-shrinking Lipman family. (I feel, post-ARDS, I've become half a person...) I’ve been wrong before but I feel pretty good about this one. I’m right on the money.

She demanded that I never mention her or Eric again in this blog.

Now, of course, this shandeh, for which I am now paying for dearly, calling a person such a name must stab my brother in the heart. For goodness sakes, my brother and sister-in-law are each almost sixty years old! Do you think that they may be old enough to deal with a wee bit of unpleasantness from an annoying relative (me)?

And what about me? I’m a loving (and my Eric knows that to be true and Eric, if you don’t, DO, because it’s true) sister who wonders in her blog how her friendship with her wonderful brother could become all farcockteh? I said nothing that came as a surprise to anyone.

Before I became ill, I always was polite (at best) when I encountered my sister-in-law. Post-ARDS, who or what am I holding back for? Oh, I’m not going to go berserk or anything. ARDS doesn’t give me a license to kill. But I don’t have to play a silly game anymore which only makes us upset. Now, we’ll get upset out in the open. I don’t need to get colitis again. (Yeah, long before my current despicable disease took my life away from me, I had colitis. Fun.) I had to learn not to swallow my anger, because all it did was make me sick. Instead, I learned to deal with it. Hot damn! No more colitis! And no more tough guy.

Oh, dear people who are still with me after my long absences, I’m a different person from the pre-ARDS Fran. I want transparency. I want to say what I mean. (Not what I think I should.) As I want all of you to do with me.

My mother’s first reaction to the Mother of all Emails, was to placate Eric, and asked me not write about them (him and her) anymore. I felt like I had been punched in the gut. I said that if I place parameters on the blog, I am tucking my new-found voice into a pocket, never to be heard again. Then, it really wouldn’t make any difference being alive or dead, would it? If I live a life where I have to think, tread on eggshells, each time before I tell you how I feel, what is the goddamned point?

I think I told her that using other words. She is not a blog reader. She has no point of reference for this. She had no idea what the blog means to me.

I’ve said, probably too many times, for me, this blog needs to honest. First and foremost. I don’t care how stupid I might sound. How ridiculous I may seem. If I salient point to make, I must make it regardless how of how it makes me “look.” What’s that? (Especially the youngish looking middle-aged lady with the Hannibal Lector mask. (Hey! I always have a Halloween costume!) And in honor of my belief in transparency, the mask is transparent. Coincidence? Oh, I don’t think so.

I don’t look for ways to be mean. I’m sure I have been, but I really don’t want to be hurtful. (Karen, I know I pissed you off time and time again for never writing you back. I deserve totally your opprobrium. Just so you know, I never wrote back to anyone else either. Love you, sweetie, by the way…) Will you let me know how I’ve screwed any of you, please? (I apologize in advance.) But my sister-in-law has issues. How can I ignore my estrangement (getting fuzzier, a good thing) with my oldest brother?

So I won’t. I’ve had it. This is all I have, and I won’t ever be mean (certainly never intentionally) and I will not use this as a vehicle for passive aggressiveness. Any problems (and I hope there are none because I’m beginning to love you) will be dealt with for real and in private.

Just the thought that this blog could be something made ordinary and impersonal makes me feel that that would be the end of me. My connection with all of you in my connection to the world and to life. To hell with my sister-in-law.


  1. Am I the Karen you're apologizing to? Because if I am... totally unnecessary. Don't remember ever being pissed off... love you. (If I'm not that Karen... good!)

  2. Oh I hear ya, Fran. We've gone thru our share, especially my wife's blog. Lots of unpleasant blow back. But her dilemma is the same as yours: be honest or noncommittal. Like you, she's chosen honesty. We've since mended rifts with family. Tho our kid got kicked outa daycare this week because of the blog. So there's that. lol.