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Already dreading the holidays

Stepdrama11's picture

I am already dreading the holidays. This is traditionally the time of year when SD34 and SS33 really put some pressure on DH to leave. Permanently. Anyone else already a bit foamy at the mouth just thinking about the upcoming festivities?

Miss T's picture


Due to circumstances beyond my control, I was unable to put my foot down hard last year and so had to endure SS during the holidays. It wasn't as bad as it might have been--some of y'all have truly horrid steps--but mine is relentlessly obnoxious and his stay got on my last nerve, as usual. This year he either finds somewhere else to sleep or I will be spending the holidays sunning myself on a beach in Costa Rica.

I mean that very seriously. I'm not going to make a fuss about it, and there will be no big announcement. The topic may not even come up; the little sh!t has been here for 2 or 3 weeks every December for the last 6 or 7 years, but he's a grown-ass man now with a good job and money of his own. I would think that he'd prefer quite a few alternatives, however much they eat into his wallet, to sleeping on a mattress on the floor of what is essentially a corridor. (People tripping through with armloads of dirty laundry disturb his rest and privacy, as I have been informed, rather rudely and loudly, by Himself.) But if DH decides to go the Disney Dad route, I will state very calmly, exactly twice, that I will not be spending another holiday in the house with SS. If DH insists, I won't discuss it beyond my two protests but will simply leave town from the day SS arrives until the day he leaves. I live here and I should not have to do this, but if that's what it takes to avoid being forced to spend the holidays in the house with SS, I have the means to do it.

Or maybe I should rent DH a little apartment for a couple of weeks and insist that he entertain SS there. Give them both a taste for what life could be like. Hmmm.

In any case, I won't be sharing my home with SS during the holidays. I don't give a rip if SS politics DH about divorce, advocates burning at the stake, or stamps his feet and holds his breath until he turns blue. How bad can Costa Rica be in December?

sammigirl's picture

This works! I am totally disengaged and it took way more work on my part, but whatever works is good.

It will be DH's decision this year concerning the holidays; but I do not do holidays with SD56 or SGD31 (mother/daughter). DH does all the gift (usually $$) for his kids; I do small token baskets, etc. for my Dad and cards to my brother and sister (no gifts). I have no bio kids, so it has become very easy for me.

I used to do dinners and the whole scene, to keep DH happy, NO MORE. I haven't had holiday entertainment for 5 years now.

I will travel to SS58's house, but I will not go to SD56's house for anything, unless it is a die or emergency. SD56 is not allowed in our home, when I'm home; so my holidays are usually a bit stressful, but I go to the neighboring State to spend it with my Father, before I go to SD's house.

bbbbb's picture

Surprisngly for me its all about the money or should i say its about how much is spent on them, as last year i had a great idea of buying everyone what i felt they would like instead of buying a to a certian amount - bad idea the little SD's did the guilt trip on DH big time on how bad they are neglected by him [ the michael kors handbags each must have been such s*it presents].

After last years drama of being thrown out of the resturant due to step-grandchildrens discusting behaviour I will no longer take them out. so the annual present exchange will be done without me, and guess what they complained that they will have to drive as i will not be there to pick them up.

And i was also reminded last year that i ruined there christmas' by daring to give birth to my daughter on christmas eve

i am going to sit at home with a lovely glass of wine read a good book

ctnmom's picture

Wait wait wait- you got KICKED OUT of a restaurant due to sgkids horrific behavior??? :jawdrop: Storytime!!

Monchichi's picture


Gimlet's picture

((hugs)) Echo.

That has to be really hard for you, and the holidays are hard enough as it is. Sending you good thoughts.

sandye21's picture

Sorry about your loss. It's harder when our loved ones pass on or near a holiday. During the Christmas Holiday I will have a private moment to cry for my Sister who was my surrogate Mother. She passed last year just after Christmas.

CANYOUHELP's picture

I understand, lost my father a long time ago...seems like yesterday, every holiday, every birthday. Thinking of you too, during these times.

Wifeypoo's picture

I dread the holidays something awful. My anxiety reaches a all time high every time it rolls around.
Echo, I'm sorry about your brother. That it was unexpected chills you right to the bone and changes you, especially around the holidays....forever.

My mother died unexpectedly on Christmas Day as well,
It was a few months after my 15th birthday. I never had any counseling back then and I wasn't allowed to talk about my mother. If I tried my SM found a way to make me "pay." My father was no help really. He'd cry about my mother when we were in private, and I'd end up comforting him. He was a real piece of work.

When my kids were little I felt obligated to give them a "normal" Christmas, regardless of how I felt that particular year. Now it gets harder each year to put on a act. My kids understand and don't pressure me, but until recently my husband didn't believe me when I told him it wasn't a good time for having family come stay with us. A few years back my SD's family came out to stay with us during Christmas and her DH insulted me because the way we did Christmas didn't meet his expectations. He was a real ass. Unfortunately that scenario was repeated a couple more times and we paid for the privilege as well, Never again, though.

Since this is your first year without your brother you may want to cancel Christmas (if only in your mind) this year and take it easy. When you go to the stores and see all the decorations and other related crap you can kind of detach from it mentally. If that's not possible you can simplify the way you celebrate. All of the commercialism associated with Christmas is depressing anyway.

Heck if you can grab your hubby, and take off to Hawaii and come back when it's over that's even better!!

enuf's picture

It will be my first xmas without my dh, now my ex. My birthday is also on xmas day. Funny, one time he was angry at me because of his ds, and when that has happened in the past he always considered divorcing me. When he thought that I was being a "good girl" regarding his ds he would get me diamonds. This one xmas/birthday he gave me dried pineapple, a box of the foulest tasting cookies, and cheap gloves from a dollar store. Imagine my surprise when I opened my presents, I tasted the cookies and could not eat them, so I gave him one and he could not eat it. I am so glad the drama is finally over and my holidays will be spent just like I want to spend them.

The purpose for this story is to suggest presents like my ex got me for those ungrateful individuals who only smile at you because they are anticipating $$$$gifts from you.

notasm3's picture

My mother hosted Christmas for her 7 siblings and ALL of their families for many decades. Funny how people who could bring 15 people to our home to eat for years could not find a place at the table for my sister and I (we were both single and alone) in later years.

My sister for a few years hosted a small group of "leftover" relatives and friends as she had a house and I didn't. Last year I hosted on Christmas Day as we have a house now. I had a dinner for my DH's family (he has 4 siblings with families) a week earlier as they all had other plans on Christmas Day.

This year I want to do NOTHING on Christmas Day. I certainly don't want to play Santa for the baby. My DH is great about going where ever I want to go when I want to go there. So I'm going to make plans to be gone at least the last two weeks of December.

I wouldn't mind doing a casual dinner (pizza or spaghetti) earlier or later - but I'm not going that turkey with 10 side dishes again. Even when my sister hosted I still did the turkey, dressing, stuffing as she's a vegetarian. Plus I did the desserts and some of the sides.

The problem with traveling for Christmas is that so many people are going that route that it can be horribly crowded - like at Disney. I'm leaning towards New Orleans as most people don't think of that as a family Christmas vacation. Plus I have tons of friends there. We can stay at a Residence Inn, have a little bit of room and kitchen and take the dog.

ItsGrowingOld's picture

I grew up in a large in tact family. I have 8 siblings. There is a 22 year gap between the oldest and youngest in my family.

This is how my family conducted holiday gatherings. They shared. My parents understood that when their children marry and start their own family that another family comes into play. This is one thing my parents did right. They didn't guilt anyone about holidays.

That's the problem with narcissists. They don't know how to share. It's all about them. And if it's not all about them they pull out their victim card.

My DH has two adult daughters (18 and 21). They haven't spent Christmas or any other major holiday with DH in 4 years. He's not family. DH's parents and siblings are not family to them as well. Not in the true sense of the word. Only BM and her side are family because that's what BM brainwashed them to believe. BM is a narcissist. Her daughters are just like her on many levels. And none of them know how to share. It's all about them.

Don't give the narcissist in your life the ability to ruin your holidays. You have the power to change this. You really do!

sandye21's picture

I will be celebrating another Christmas of no blow fish, no eye rolling, no mumbled sideline conversations, no cheap 're-gifts' or junk, no storming off and pouting. No more being invisible and disposable. No more cooking, serving and cleaning up after SD and her husband who sat at the table sending dagger eyes my way the entire time. No more enduring DH's 'jokes' when he put me down to SD and they snickered at my expense. No more walking 6 paces behind DH and SD. My greatest present this year will be knowing that SD is somewhere other than in my home.

As far as DH going to visit SD for the holidays, he can see her anytime he wishes - except the day of the holiday. There are plenty of opportunities to around the holidays to celebrate them on another day. I am part of his life every day of the year. I do not ask much from DH otherwise but this is one hill I WILL climb.

Rags's picture

I don't care what time of year it is... if the blended family opposition, or anyone else for that matter, gets toxic, I bare their asses and smack them around publically, financially, legally, what ever it takes... to get them reconnected with reasonable behavior.

Rather than get "foamy at the mouth" about the drama... confront those that perpetrate it, destroy them, and have fun doing it. }:)

Happy holidays!!!!!

CANYOUHELP's picture

You could sell this stuff....because as you see Rags--there is quite the need...

I feel liberated as I look ahead. The postings here and people who have commented to me and others, have helped me gain confidence and direction. I think this may be the most peaceful Christmas coming all too soon, that I have had in seven years, given your support and guidance!

Thank you everybody for helping me understand myself better and teaching me how to make me a priority, even when others do not... I am in control of my life, and now for the first time possibly, I really believe it!

CANYOUHELP's picture

I have to respectfully disagree with you Echo (and, I usually agree with much you say), regarding Rags' posts.

He is frank and fully open in his responses and expressions. You have to credit him for taking control of his situation and doing something to support his "bride." I may not like his frank advise to me, because it hits very close to home---but, I needed to hear it, regardless. For me, it was a wake up call. If I do not to agree with everything, I can still take away something positive in between. His goal, I believe, is not to do anything but make us reflect and problem solve--for ourselves. He is sharing his perspective, and, I, for one, appreciate it. He has peace in his home-- so he is not beating anybody. It appears he paid the price to make that happen.

I think I/we can learn something from his honesty and myriad of experiences, if he has overcome so many obstacles.

Just saying....

robin333's picture

So, the childless SM'S on here should be minimized as well because they didn't reproduce? What about parents that adopted? Are they less parents than biological parents?

I believe his adult SS asked him to adopt so SS is now DS. But that doesn't matter, correct?

CANYOUHELP's picture

I do not know the people here, for certain. I only read what they post. There is usually a shade a grey, in every relationship/interaction, I understand. He provided a couple of meaningful take aways for me, that was my point. I am far from perfect-- that is why I am here...just to improve what "I" can do or be in my own life. And, the affirmation is priceless.

You are right, he does sound like a man that will do what my HB will never do (if he does, I admire it--not certain I did anything in my pants I live with the opposite, and, my HB could have made this situation better for all us from the very beginning--but is way too cowardly to ever do it.

Thanks for your candid advise...

CANYOUHELP's picture

I am into peace, not violence....he had different advise for me that did not include beating, though he gave me a serious type lashing, lol... I am trying to learn and grow here, not self-destruct...

And, no other man is needed here...ever! I love the one I have, but no more in the future for me.

All advise is appreciated, thank you everybody.

MollyBrown's picture

Don't forget he shakes it up a bit ever now and then an recommends smearing their faces in poop.

Rags's picture

If they are reasonable then I work with them reasonably. If they are not reasonable.... }:)

It is their choice. I just accommodate the positive results or negative consequences of the choices they make.

Why spend one Pico-second giving consideration to what motivates a toxic individual to be toxic. With kids.... i give them that Pico-second of consideration then I address the issues. I do not tolerate issues, I do not ignore issues.

I merely communicate behavioral requirements to those in my life in a way that will not be miss understood, miss quoted, or ignored.

The messageā€¦ be reasonable or suffer your choices.

Stepdrama11's picture

And...that is exactly what I did. Problem was, when I told SD to stay out of our marriage, she doubled down and DH threw me under the bus. Not everyone has the same attitude as you, Rags. Although I believe that DH now is supporting me in the face of some pretty hot anger from people who apparently never learned some basic kindergarten rules of behavior.

Rags's picture

Any tactic will work out somewhat differently for each sitaution and each personal dynamic. If at first it does not work, adjust and try again.

I am sorry that it did now work for you initially but an glad to hear that DH is stepping up now.

Take care of you.

notasm3's picture

I asked DH tonight what he wanted to do for Christmas. He looked at me like "WTF do you mean?" - and said "well I don't expect to celebrate the 4th of July".

I told him that I didn't want to have the big Christmas celebration, and that we should go away. He said I didn't have to have a celebration even if we stayed home. I said I thought I'd like to go to New Orleans for a week or two (rates are dirt cheap at Christmas). He thought that was fine.

Now I just have to tell my sister.

MineAndYours's picture

Our Christmas plans are on hold until we see the lawyer and mediator next week about CS. IF we end up paying for SD20..that will be her birthday present, Christmas present..

Why should I get to say this? Because IF DH has to pay more, his cash flow will be non existent..and I will have to pick up that portion of his contribution to our house hold. Should be interesting....

not2sureimsaneanymore's picture

Consider this:

All x-mases are spent at MIL's house for that particular day.

First Christmas: MIL gets pissed at DH for something, goes up to his coat that he just pulled out of his closet and grabs a long golden hair off of it, and asks him "What's this?" in front of me (I have jet-black hair.) "My ex-GF had long blonde hair or did you forget?"

Second Christmas: BM calls and MIL names everyone who is in her house... except me.

Third Christmas: After we married, my parents get invited for the first time to her house. She has the entire house plastered with SS's picture in preparation for my parents. My mom looks at an ornament with SS's picture and thinking it's either DH or BIL, asks MIL who it is. My MIL YELLS at my mom (who is a tiny Chinese lady who doesn't speak english that well) that IT'S MY GRANDSON in a "Duh, how dare you not know." My parents refuse to ever go back and now will not go to any events if MIL is going to be there.

Fourth Christmas: Pulls out a red nightie in front of everyone which is supposed to be my present and says that "this is what you will wear when you conceive a son."

Fifth Christmas: Loudly says to everyone who calls her that day, as I am helping her decorate her tree, that her tree was "decorated by a Buddhist." Listen lady, not all Chinese people are Buddhist. I'm agnostic/atheist, went to catholic school, raised by Buddhist/daoist parents, had a Christian grandmother, and an old Jewish couple who were my "grandparents" by closeness and how often they watched me and my sister.

Am I looking forward to Christmas this year?

Only if I go through with my plan and get her a giant, vibrating dildo.

notasm3's picture

When I hear about your hideous MIL I think how nice it would be to have one of those shock wave machines that vaporize kidney stores to use on people like her. }:)

not2sureimsaneanymore's picture

To... vaporize her kidney stones? Or her?

Both are fine, I hear it's like pissing glass.

CANYOUHELP's picture

StepAside, the human crockpot line... is just too funny....Is this an original or did you steal it from Rags? HAHA... Smile

Miss T's picture

This probably is not funny to you, but ... OMG ... I'm rolling on the floor here. Gasping with laughter.

What an idiot your MIL is, and how hilariously you describe her! Yours really is the best revenge.

"My parents refuse to ever go back and now will not go to any events if MIL is going to be there." That's such a pity (gasp, snort, guffaw) but look at it as affirmation that you're not imagining things. It really is that bad. I'm so sorry.

And I love the Christmas gift idea. Puts me in mind of evil gifts for SS. Hmmm.

not2sureimsaneanymore's picture

I'm glad you find it funny! I find it funny NOW that I can talk about it without flying into a rage. I used to think this only occurred in Everybody Loves Raymond, but I'm living it.

I missed an awesome chance with the red nightie one (also something I wouldn't wear because, although short, had no shape--seemed like something she either kept for a long time or something that she would buy for herself)--should have responded, "I don't think that'd fit DH, but I guess we could give it a shot."

I only thought about it because she's been divorced from DH's dad since he was 4, and has never dated or remarried since. She might need one just to loosen up and stop being such a crazy bitch.

CANYOUHELP's picture

I am sorry, rude of her.

Does your HB say or do anything when she acts like a total ass? It sounds like he does not because she would likely have stopped her inappropriate behavior, if he had spoken up--at least by the nightie Christmas.

I did not know my husband could be in two places at once, but apparently so...

I would not go back if this did not stop, and that may be what you are already doing, I have not read through all your posts... This mess is abusive and offensive and you need to end it yourself. I have learned I cannot depend on HB to protect me the hard way too, But NOW...I know ;-).

not2sureimsaneanymore's picture

LOL you know what my biggest problem was? Up until this year when I finally grew a backbone, I used to beg DH not to say anything because I wanted to avoid conflict. He has a mouth on him and would say really cutting things to his mom if he thought she was rude. I didn't grow up talking back to my parents the way he does to his mother so, even though she's out of line, I would tell him to drop it or pinch him under the table if it looked like he was going to open his mouth to tell her off.

I stopped. Now I just shake my head and think, not my problem. So his relationship with his mother has badly deteriorated this year because I didn't realize I was the glue forcibly trying to hold everyone together until I had enough.

enuf's picture

Talking about MIL, bless her she has now passed. However, when she would invite dh and me for dinner she would go all out, cook a ham or turkey with all the trimmings. One time, my dh was out of town and and she said that she might invite me to dinner but all she could offer me was hot dogs and beans. I really did rate with her.

My FIL on the other hand was the most racist, bigoted, jerk that has walked this planet. I dare say that he beat my ss in having a personality of a worm. I breast fed my son, and FIL was there ready with his polaroid instant camera ready to take a picture of my breast should is peek out from underneath the baby blanket I covered my self with. All while my MIL and dh were saying to me to leave him alone and not to say anything to him, to let him develop his artistic talent of being a sexual predator. He was also an alcoholic who had his shot glass in front of him all day long. All he had to do was tap his glass and my MIL would get up and fill it.

Miss T's picture


I've spent several days studiously avoiding commentary and conversation about DH's plans for a father/son bonding experience/camping trip over Labor Day weekend. SS has turned it into 30+ hours of motorcycling on crowded roads in 100-degree heat with several of SS23's bros. Last night DH shoved a picture of the house they've rented under my nose. Seriously, I was minding my own business and this is literally what he did. "Looks like you're going to have a great time with the bros," I commented, and left it at that.

This morning someone--I can't remember who, but I have my suspicions--started a conversation that ended with, "Well, he did mention that he might like to stay here for a few days over the holidays."

I say that's when the conversation ended, because that's when the argument began. Of course we had to go back over the entire history of hostilities on both sides. On and on. Loudly. With all the bells and whistles and flourishes that are so familiar to us here.

HIM: But your kids are OK ... blah blah something ...

ME: My kids are a whole different kettle of fish. I don't want them staying here either, but at least they act civil toward you. They actually like you.

HIM: But SS likes you too and ...

ME: Don't even go there. Seriously, don't even start. We both know that's not true.

HIM: (With a sigh) OK. You're right.

(At another point) HIM: Well, at least he might be able to say here with the dogs while we're gone, like your kids do.

ME: No. Not gonna happen. You don't remember the time he kicked Dog1?

HIM: (Another sigh) All right. He's not much of a dog person.

I think it ended with him agreeing that SS will have to find his own accommodations from now on, but I'm not sure.

I am so tired of this, but it looks like it's never going to end.

Miss T's picture

I don't know if he makes a regular thing of it. This was, after all, my dog, and she had walked in front of him or looked at him funny or done something equally kick-worthy. I don't know if DH had forgotten this incident or if he hoped I had. If the latter, he really should have known better. I don't forget shit like that.

From the sound of it, more than one of us has a skid veering toward the psychopathic in this way. It is astonishing that the bio parents don't see this behavior for what it is, and expect us to love and respect or at least tolerate their spawn anyway.

Miss T's picture

You know, I really like that. I could immediately end any further discussion of SS staying here (or even entering the place?) by saying something like, "After kicking Dog1, he's damn lucky I let him in the house at all."

Stepdrama11's picture

Both SKs are banned from the house because both have had animal abuse incidents. The second time I had to hang up the phone because there were verbal threats and abuse spewing out at me, both were blocked from the house phone. These are both boundaries that I am willing to relax if anyone can tell me that my animals and I will not be harmed. But so far, that simple kindergarten rule seems to be unattainable.

enuf's picture

I am so sorry, it sounds like it was a very frustrating episode. However, look at this way, "YOU WON"!!! And your dh stopped and accepted your stance. Way to go! Next time it will not be as difficult as this episode because a new norm is establishing itself. Go have a martini and celebrate!! I am so happy for you! Smile

Miss T's picture

Ugh, yeah, thanks. I really hate having to give him the beatdown like that, but honestly I felt like I had no choice. It's just so wearying, you know?

Drinks at 6. Wink

Miss T's picture

Lawsy ... I just realized what's going on, that is, why DH has been spoiling for a fight.

He's at work right now, and because that's the kind of obsessive I am, I have spent some of my quiet time preparing a script for when he starts up again. Because he will.

"Look, I don't care if you bow out of this trip or go on it. [By now, that is actually true.] But stop trying to pick a fight so you can be in a bad mood and blame me if you don't enjoy yourself."

That should take care of it. And now, back to my regular programming.

Miss T's picture

Ugh, I need to stop. And I will. Soon.

Just wanted to add that this wonderful trip is to start with a 400-mile motorcycle ride. As previously noted, the route is on crowded roads and in 100+ degree heat. (DH and SS aren't Hell's Angels or whatnot, but they do like their toys and motorcycles are among them.) DH hasn't ridden his 'cycle for over a year, and it needs service. The thing's not dangerous or anything, but it needs oil and a checkout and a little TLC. DH does this for himself, and he does a fine job.

But guess what? The machine has been sitting neglected in the garage. DH hasn't made a single move to get the thing out and do so much as a quick inspection, let alone take a look at how it's running. Not to say that he won't, but we're less than a week out from the ETD. He and I have extensive plans for the next couple of days, and he hasn't mentioned motorcycle oil or talked about brakes or so much as looked at the thing. It's still 50/50 he'll end up telling SS and the bros to have fun without him. Again, I believe this is what he really wants to do, but if he can get me arguing about it, he'll go just because.

Staying out of it, other than to be sure to emphasize to him that our weekend plans can wait until after his trip. And now really returning, for sure, to my regular programming.

OP, I apologize profusely for derailing your topic. Please return to your regular programming, too. Smile

enuf's picture

That is perfect! Nothing beats being prepared, wait till you see the expression on his face when you say that remark! Way to go!!!

momjeans's picture

Yep, the impending holiday of doom with skid and my in-laws has been on my mind as of late, actually.

Skid is here every Christmas and New Year's, opposed to every other per the CO, because BM likes her Christmases free of her crotch fruit.

Miss T's picture

Update. DH got his motorcycle in sufficient repair to go on the trip. I haven't heard anything about it because I refused to listen to any of his stories. I have a mouth on me, and the temptation to make sarcastic, nasty comments would have been too great. He is suffering terribly because I won't listen to a recounting of the trip with the bros 35 years his junior, but I tell him it's for the best because he really does not want to hear what I would have to say in response. There are times when I can be an extremely blunt and frankly not-nice person, and this is one of them.

I got an agreement that SS won't be spending any more nights in my home, which is good. Unfortunately this whole mess has turned into a marital problem, which is not good. For him to spend time away from me and with SS is fine. Using up large chunks of work vacation to hang out with SS and the bros is not fine. It seems to me this would be obvious to pretty much anyone who doesn't have their head deep their a ... never mind. (He actually has quite a lot of vacation time and right now looks to be on track to split his vacation about evenly between me and SS. Why he feels a need to do this is a separate topic.) I believe he is planning a winter ski trip with SS and the bros, which at this point is none of my business and again I will insist on not hearing a discussion so that I will not be tempted to provide what would undoubtedly be very nasty editorial commentary. I will say here, though, that eventually the 20-something bros are going to get tired of having SS's 60-year-old Daddy tagging along on their trips. Alas, it looks like DH is going to have to learn for himself that there's no fool like an old fool.

And yes, I am keeping an eye out for any new, ah, social connections that DH may develop along the way to learning that he is no longer a young man and should not be hanging around with his kid and the bros.

enuf's picture

That is one of the issues my ex72 had with ss48. SS wants a buddy, instead of a parent. Disney dad wants to please ds and is willing to act like his buddy. So ex attends events with ss and vice versa, like going to each others dentist appointments. Ugh :jawdrop:

Hopefully, your dh will soon realize that being your ss buddy is not realistic considering the age and stamina differences. Does your dh have any friends his age to hang out with?

Miss T's picture

Enuf, thanks for your response. Unfortunately DH does not have a lot of friends--mostly people at work he does not see after hours, and a guy he's in the process of dropping because the dude is in his 70s and can't seem to adjust his behavior accordingly. There's a lesson in there somewhere for DH. This guy is single and I actually think he's not well, but anyway.

Going to dentist appointments together? Ewwww. I'm not perfect. My kids are not perfect. But if one of them offered to accompany me to the dentist, I'd offer to drop her off at the psychiatrist's on the way.

I'm hoping DH will figure it out soon, but he can be oblivious to subtle social signals. SS flat-out is an Aspie, so he doesn't pick up those distressed "Would you please shut up/stop it/do something" social distress signals either. They're quite a pair. Likely the bros will begin dropping out because of girlfriends or being creeped out by the omni-presence of Daddy. Oh well, not my problem.

I am considering inviting myself along on the ski trip if it comes together as I expect it will.