Saturday, October 25, 2008

I'm the Black Sheep. Baaa.

It's true.  I am the black sheep of the family.  Every family has one.  The person who doesn't fit in with the rest of the clan, who is a screw-up or gasp! Democrat.

I have two nieces who live in Austin, a mere 20 or so miles down the road from the 'burbs where I live.  They don't call me, don't facebook me, nothing.  One doesn't even include me in her Family Tree app on Facebook.  

Now I learn that one of them is moving back to Savannah.  How did I find this out?  I saw her status on Facebook mention something about moving and looked at her profile.  There I found pictures of a going away party at a local Austin landmark and pictures of her, my other niece and my sister from Houston.  Today I checked and saw a comment she made to a friend that said she was moving back to Savannah today.

I have received no phone calls, no invitations, no wall postings, nothing. Neither have my girls. I am such a persona non grata that my own family chooses to leave me out of the loop.  If I were to say anything to them, they would be surprised that I was offended, tell me something along the lines of "it never occurred to us that you'd want to come". 

My eldest would tell me I am as much to blame for the situation since I don't contact them either.  I have on occasion facebooked both of them.  We even had lunch together once, though it was over a year ago.  I called my sister to see if she was leaving before Ike hit.  The last time my sister called me was when our older sister was dying in 2001.  

I don't try very hard to contact my niece in Austin because we almost always end up arguing.  She's staunchly conservative and thinks me an idiot for not agreeing with her.  In fairness, I think the same thing of her, at times.  The niece that is leaving however, I have had no such tumultuous relationship with.  She moved to Austin after graduating college thinking to attend UT for her Masters.  That never came about but she seemed to enjoy it here.  

I'd say that it's just because they're busy with their lives but I think it goes deeper.  I have done something, said something, over the years that have made me invisible.  My sister and her family are big UT fans, season tickets and the whole nine yards.  They're up here every fall for virtually every home game and have done so for years.  I've lived in the Austin area for 27 years.  In that time, they have visited me twice.  Both times where when my daughters had open heart surgery in 1990.  I've lived in the same house in Round Rock for nearly 15 years.  They've never seen it.  But they have visited my brother-in-law's sister when she lived in Round Rock.  

My daughters think all I need to do is pick up the phone and call my sister and all will be well.  They don't understand that I have tried before to no avail to repair this relationship.  Through letters and emails I've reached out at various times and tried to connect.  Nothing.  It's hard to sustain a one-sided relationship.  I've given up.

Despite the fact that I know all this to be true, it still hurts when I discover it all over again.

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