It's been two weeks since NMIL's best friend, Toast, left her rambling Happy Birthday voice mail for DH, in which she promised to mail us a gift she'd been holding on to for six months.
Let's review, shall we? Concerning a gift for our DS, this is what she had to say:
"I have a gift for baby DS and um I just never sent it cause I was hoping I would see you...I’ll actually get the address from your mom and just send it to you...And just look for that present in the mail within a week or so."
I am not surprised that no gift ever came. I am not surprised that, once again, these people have proven that their love is conditional. I am not surprised that they are only willing to take, and never to give. I am not surprised that love, for them, is a measure of quantity and not quality. I am not surprised that their promises are always a loaded gun, and that if you take the bait, they'll shoot you every time. I am not surprised that the "prize" they offer for good behavior is never equivalent to what they are expecting in return. I am not surprised that they are full of lies.
In reality, Toast was saying that in order to receive her crummy gift, DH had to jump through hoops and, inevitably, come back into the fold. In this, it is so apparent how much they are asking of my husband and how little they are willing to give in return. The shipment of her gift was contingent on the following conditions:
1. DH was expected to call Toast back, thereby cementing his loyalties to her and indirectly to his NM.
2. DH was expected to accept Toast as a trusted confidant and talk to her about what is going on between he and his mother, thereby allowing her to further defend her best friend.
3. DH was expected to take their words at face-value and believe their lies.
4. DH was expected to recognize that he is wrong and that they are right.
5. DH was expected to give up the fight for his rights and SEE these people, on their terms, thereby forgetting about his own.
6. And, ultimately, DH was expected to divorce his wife and abandon his children because his relationship with a FOC cannot exist alongside his NM's overpowering presence. More specifically, his relationship with THIS FOC cannot exist alongside his NM's overpowering, demanding, controlling, and ever-pitiful presence.
So you see, Dear Reader, there is no fair and equal balance in this game, no way for DH to win because the rules they've created automatically favor NMIL.
One thing that strikes me as funny about this scenario is that Toast is such a non-player that I can easily see the real source of all this drama. Toast is merely a fallen pawn so it's easy to look past her and see that it's the Queen of Hearts running the show. Between the lines of her message, as seen above, one can make out the lines, whispered in a hushed tone, "Off with their heads!" They haven't yet gotten to shouting it because NMIL still thinks she's going to win.
No crummy gift is worth what they want. Toast's effort at tempting DH was transparent and pathetic. One would have to be awfully unintelligent to accept the terms of such a contract: DH, in exchange for your hope, free-will, undying devotion, loyalties, undivided attention, unconditional love, trust, and at the expense of your marriage and children, I offer you one possibly-non-existent, strings-attached, cheap and useless gift.
I'm betting we aren't going to see any such gift from Toast, because DH didn't respond to her bargain pleas. It's not that far-fetched a thought either, when you consider that NMIL never sent any Christmas gifts for our children and at this late stage, she's not going to. I highly doubt NMIL will direct her Toasted Pawn to send us a gift, when NMIL herself never sent the ones she promised.
The only thing these people are proving is that they have nothing to offer us but lies and conditions.
We won't accept either.