Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Beach

DH and I have been spending a lot of our time at our local beaches. We live in a seaside town with lots of beach access and our beaches really are lovely.

This week is DH's vacation and we've decided to spend most of it at the beach - it's free, cool, and nearby - and nothing beats that, in my opinion. Plus, at the end of the day, the kiddles are pooped from swimming and being in the sun for just a few hours which gives us a nice rest at the end of the day. Tomorrow, we've invited my parents to come along and we're going to have a picnic lunch.

Anyway, my reason for talking about this isn't just to showcase our beautiful beaches (though I am quite proud of them) or to elaborate on the fun of each found seashell (though I assure you, I never get tired of the kids' excitement over their beach finds - I can ooh and ahh over wet, gray pebbles clenched in chubby fists all day long). Today, I was thinking back to a time in 2009 when NMIL made us a no-doubt strings-attached offer for a "little" vacation, so that "baby could see the beach" and so she'd have an opportunity to get her idea of family [read: anyone who would have brought drama to the trip] together. First of all, I hate that it's so hard to explain why a "simple" offer for a "nice family vacation" was such a heinous and disingenuous act, given how nothing in a narc's playbook is ever straight-forward. But secondly, I have such a feeling of pure joy that we don't have to deal with that shit anymore: that we don't have to worry about even considering whether or not we'll take up an offer for some shitty little vacation or day trip; that we don't have to exert any energy protecting our emotional well-being for the sake of preserving NMIL's constant lies. We will never again have to deliberate over whether or not to support her performance.

Every year, at beach time, I get this little stab of - I'm not even sure what to call it - satisfaction, triumph, justice, vindication - because we have our own beaches, we have our own vacations, and we're perfectly happy without NMIL's offers where the fine-print is in a language we don't understand. NMIL has money, and I've always thought that she figured waving it around in front of us (more specifically, waving it around in front of DH, who was trained to respond to that sort of thing) would be her winning hand. Really, that's all she ever had to offer: extravagant gifts that always came with a price I was never willing to accept.

That trip (which would have taken place in 2010) never happened, mostly because I was able to convince DH that the price we would have had to pay, on a "vacation" that was subtly offered to us as being "completely free" was (ironically enough) not worth it; but I have to say, it worked in our favor that NMIL's plan was so poorly conceived, it would have been nearly impossible for us to go with her anyway, even just logistically speaking. Bitch really shot herself in the foot. I've always guessed that NMIL knew right away that we weren't going to take her up on her offer, and I have to imagine that burned up her little control-loving biscuits. At any rate, it's almost like my enjoyment of the beach is now even more so, because I get that little tickle of glee in my gut at the simple thought that it's ours - that WE are our own and we don't have to share ourselves or stretch ourselves for anyone, let alone NMIL. I can enjoy the beach that much more, knowing that we are free.

11 comments:

  1. For a guy from Texas that whole beach concept is foreign to me. We have the Gulf of Mexico but I call Houston the town where the sewer meets the sea. It's hard to tell where the sewer stops and the bay begins. I was almost 30 before I saw the sunrise over the ocean in Cancun.

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  2. And you don't have to explain it to us why a seemingly innocuous invitation is fraught with peril. We are the ULB's and so are you.

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  3. Looks and sounds like heaven to me!

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  4. Narc-free beaches straight ahead!

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  5. The beach was my back yard growing up. Even now there are three things that will bring me back there instantly: The smell of salt water, the sound of a fog horn, a bank of fog moving in....
    I remember that "invite" from NMIL. Ohhh, how she underestimated her apparent (and classic) N-Move and it's transparency. I can just imagine the revisioN and spin placed on that gilded turd/"offer." The price of admission was your soul and eternal debt while she pumped her "Grands" for Supply, screwed with your heads and played hostess with the mostess at her Frat Party.
    Enjoy your time together and revel in the peace!
    TW

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    1. I always hated the level of thought I had to put into the whole thing - I had questions, lots of them which were never answered. She was vague with the details and there was no follow through on her part. Besides the fact that it would have been HELL spending much more than a few hours with the psycho (let alone a full day or a WEEK which was what she was originally suggesting), I can only imagine what kind of shit she'd have pulled.

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  6. AND! And and and - she didn't ruin the whole 'beach' thing for you! There is no taint of narc on your beach adventures. NONE of it reminds you of her, except for the fact that you guys WON. So it's ALL positive, she didn't put her stank on ANY of it!

    'Glee' is such a word - it goes with 'giddy'. I love that feeling.

    PS - I still have a little clay bowl Mike made me when he was 6 - it has a bunch of "...wet, gray pebbles clenched in chubby fists" memories in it! "look Mommy!" I will remember that sound forever. :)

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    1. You're right, Gladys. There is no negative left-over bullshit. The beach is what it has always been, but a little bit better. I DO in fact feel giddy because we won that fucking game. We weren't in it to win a damn thing, but you know, since SHE started the game...somebody had to win.

      It's so sweet, the treasures they find on the beach - wet feathers, broken shells, straws (Hey! What a find, but that one we have to throw away, 'cause that's garbage), and today, for DD, lots of orange rocks and sea shells. But they are excited and that's really all I care about.

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    2. It is absolutely about "Winning" in their mind. If "winning" translates into: Repeatedly slamming your AC for having the brains to think independently; repeated attempts to "buy off" the resulting effects of the life-long NFOO Dynamics (they're two fer two with their "kids,"); manipulate/FOG your way back into suffocating the person out of your now adult "kid" and their families; recruiting who ever including your other kids who are too young to get out or your other cohorts, the over-sized Frat "kids" with whom you identify; and ultimately attempt to BULLY/FORCE unwanted contact, then I guess you've won. Each of these further exposes the NP for WHO they ARE.

      I'm now absolutely convinced of this underlying MO across all NFOOS: They set up a faux and unstated binary dynamic "Choose: Your personhood/Your FOC or MEEEE!!!!" and no surprise, it's NOT the NPs. Sounds like a Natural Consequence subsequent to years of the same ol' NP use and abuse to this old broad.
      I can just imagine how much you and DH must so fully enjoy your family without all the drama! You have what the NPs never will have: Unconditional love for one another and your children. You're creating an enduring Legacy from which your children and their children will benefit beyond description.
      I can not imagine a richer, more fulfilling life!
      TW

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  7. Today we stopped for ice cream after the beach. It was such a great day.

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  8. The photos are beautiful.

    I'm glad you are having some time to relax and be together as a family.

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