While life is still good, there's a little something that is causing irritation so here we go, back to Mr Cranky. As some of you know, the GM's father and half-sister live a few miles away. As some of you also know, her relationship with both of these people is somewhat contentious. In a nutshell dad left the GM's mother, the GM and older sister when she was little to take up with a "new lady". They had a love child (the half-sister) who has basked in paternal love her whole life while the GM and her older sister have been consistently treated like second-class family. This is not to say he doesn't love them, just that he is oblivious to how his treatment of two of his progeny has affected not only them, but also the half-sibling. And while I've said the relationship has been contentious, there isn't actual acrimony and there is indeed a lot of love between all parties.
The GM moved here many years ago to pursue a reasonable adult relationship with these people and it has been a long time of frustration, tears, anger and resignation. Many people in town don't know that the GM is related to her father and half-sister and dad is a pretty well-known figure in these parts. I have mostly been on the sidelines (I've got my own crappy paternal problems to deal with) but with the arrival of our son, I am going to have to be a little more active.
So here's what's bugging me. The half-sister is getting married this weekend. You would think that owning one of the better restaurants in the area we might have been called upon to provide some service for this event. I would think so. However, not only only are we going to be sitting down to a rehearsal dinner tonight, at someone else's restaurant, when we should be tending our own, and tomorrow eating food prepared by another caterer, we weren't even asked. Is the GM one of the bridesmaids, or even a part of the wedding party? No.
Now the devil's advocate might say the bride and groom didn't want to presume upon a familial relationship. And that may be the case. But I can count on one hand the number of times the half sister-in-law has been to our restaurant of her own accord. That is, not as part of a large family gathering. One hand, nearly eight years. On the other hand the GM and I have gone out of our way to support her, buying her crappy hippie beads as gifts for the crew, sending business her way, the GM acting as shill at craft fairs...etc.
Now maybe she doesn't like our restaurant. I'd have to say she definitely doesn't like our restaurant given the frequency of her visits. Fine. Just tell us so. There are always areas where we can improve. Instead she is always lavish with the praise and liberal doses of telling the GM she loves her and she's so proud of her.
Does this sound like sour grapes? It is. Beyond the often complicated family land mines, does this woman realize what kind of a message it sends in a small town when your sister owns a restaurant and catering operation and she is not involved in any way in your wedding?
I'm tired of the pretense. At the vet the other day, when the receptionist said "Oh, I've known the half-sister for years. I didn't know she had a sister." I nearly replied, "Neither does she." But I held my tongue. The GM and I have navigated these waters for years, but I'd like better answers for my son about why his aunt and grandfather are so distant. Hell, she's only seen him one time (at the hospital) in the 9 weeks he's been here.
Sorry to be so bitter. I'm just not looking forward to dinner tonight. I don't want to say anything because I want her to have a wonderful, beautiful rehearsal dinner and wedding. But I'm not sure how to respond when someone at the table (and someone will) brings up our restaurant and says, "not as good as yours", or something along those lines.