It's no big secret. I have a human quaalude for an aunt...and it just gets worse the older she gets. She used to be somewhat fun when she was younger, at least she kept her opinions to herself. While I respect that everyone has their own distinct and unique opinions, it is never a good thing to voice those opinions to make other people feel bad so you can feel superior.
My mom's half sister, and the oldest, she sort of established herself as the matriarch of the family, and apparently it went to her head. As everyone has grown up, they have moved away, gone on to live productive and busy lives while she stays in the same place, and life has seemingly stood still for her. Big life decisions are made without her input. I'd like to think that she is somewhat bitter that everyone has moved ahead, leaving her behind.
My aunt is also the inventor of the Guilt Trip.
With that in mind, I spoke with her yesterday on the phone and got the same song I always hear: Woe is me. Everyone moved away and no one calls me. No one comes to visit. Your mother doesn't even come to see me since she moved away. No one loves me. Blah, blah, blah.
As I have been sick, all my mental faculties were still not at peak form, I felt sorry and promised I would take her to lunch today.
What in God's name was I thinking?
I got up this morning, got dressed, drove the 50-some miles north. Picked her up, and she immediately began harping on my driving. I'm not a bad driver. I always wear my seatbelt, which she always associates with bad driving.
Aunt: Plan on getting in a wreck?
Me: Not today. Why do you ask?
Aunt: You are wearing your seatbelt.
Me: I always wear my seatbelt. It's the law.
Mind you, I'm still driving the rental, which is bigger than my PT, and certainly has more power than my PT. I'm still trying to get used to the fact that one nudge of the gas pedal, and it takes off. I cross an intersection with no incident, and Aunt grabs the "Oh crap" bar with much dramatic flair.
Aunt: Are you trying to kill me?
Me: No, the car just has more power. We are perfectly fine.
Aunt: Well, you take off like a rocket. I don't want to be thrown out the front window.
Me: You should wear your seatbelt, then you won't be thrown from the car.
For the rest of the trip to the restaurant, she procedes to point out every stop sign, what every speed limit is, all the while glancing at at my speedometer to make certain I am not going 1 mile over the speed limit.
Lunch passes with little fanfare at a truckstop that she picked out. I scarf down my food in an attempt to make lunch pass by faster. It doesn't. Aunt takes her time. Meanwhile, she picks apart my life. She manages to insult my profession, insult my friends, and makes me want to drive off a bridge.
Overall, an average visit. The things we tolerate in the name of family.
I dropped her off, and then sped out of town, my good service done for this quarter. I called Mom at work when I got home and told her about my good deed, and how she needs to do something really, REALLY nice for me.
A month of Starbucks would be great.