I know, it's been a while. A lot has happened since I decided to stop blogging a few years ago - most of it good and exciting and I'm happy to say that, by and large, I don't have much to report that's all that bad. But something happened today that gave me an urge to write again - we had a slightly more than brief (but loaded) run-in with one of DH's FOO members.
But before I can get into that, first you'll need some background intel: We've recently moved. In fact, we've moved to a location that's near EFIL and L's residence, with full understanding that with the closer physical proximity, run-ins were possible. We are at the point in our lives and felt that DH was at the point on his mental and emotional journey that such proximity would not have any profound affect on us. We chose our new house based on a lot of priorities: EFIL and L did not factor in. Having said that, I suppose what happened today was not unexpected.
But lets back up a bit more for a second. During the summer of 2014 one of DH's step-siblings (on this blog, she's referred to as "Crabby") moved to our old town. Aside from seeing her a few times from a distance, this never posed an issue for us. But she is a real estate agent and when she moved to our (old) town, she was buying and selling houses in our area. So, fast-forward to 2016 when we put our house on the market and it would seem obvious that she very likely, at some point, found out that we were selling our house. We were aware that this was a possibility, but since we don't live our lives making choices out of fear of some repercussion from DH's FOO, obviously we went on with the business of selling our house.
After a few months, our house sold and we purchased our new house in a town where L is also a well-known real-estate agent. A few months after moving to our house, I happened to see L at a local grocery store. I don't know whether she saw me before I saw her, or vice versa, but as I continued shopping, at one point we crossed each other as we were both entering an aisle on opposite sides. I know she saw me, although she power-walked past me with blinders on, and I just smirked as she walked by, thinking to myself that it would have been pretty funny if she had tried to engage me in some way.
Add to all of this the fact that the agent representing the sellers of our new house left us a note that she "happened" to know another person sharing my husband's first and last name [EFIL], that L and ALL THREE OF HER ADULT CHILDREN ARE IN THE REAL ESTATE BUSINESS, and we figure not only does DH's FOO know we moved, but it's likely they know our precise location.
So this evening, DH was working outside. I will not confirm whether he was working at our residence or the residence of a friend, acquaintance, or someone else, due to the fact that DH's FOO discovered our blogs several years ago, but it's safe to say that, when L's other daughter, Brainwashed drove by DH, she appeared to "assume" that DH lived at that residence. DH was loading up the back of a pick-up truck with yard waste when he heard three beeps and saw a red sports car drive past. He kept working and didn't think much of the commotion. A few seconds later, however, the red car drove by, this time on the opposite side of the road, and DH recognized Brainwashed as she called out her car window, "Hey, [DH's childhood nickname]! I thought that was you! I didn't know you lived in [town] now."
To this, DH responded, "I have an appointment to get to."
He said Brainwashed sort of sounded deflated as she said, "Oh." DH turned his back and kept working. A few seconds passed and Brainwashed tried again, "Sooo, are you good?"
DH said, "I'm busy."
Brainwashed muttered something unintelligible and drove away.
My thoughts: I find it very interesting that Brainwashed would "assume" DH lived at the residence outside of which he was working - why assume this if she didn't already have some information to back up such an assumption? Why wouldn't she assume, for example, since when we last spoke with her we lived at a different residence, that he did NOT live there and might be in town doing a favor for a friend or perhaps was being paid to do yard work at this house? (Brainwashed doesn't know this, but DH does, on occasion, work for my brother, who owns a landscaping business). Without some prior knowledge that we had moved, it's unlikely she would have assumed DH now lived elsewhere. I think her initial attempt to engage DH was not as "blind" as she would have had him believe. In fact, I think it was a superficial, yet contrived attempt to get information out of him. Perhaps she was hoping he would either confirm or deny the assumption, but I do believe she had prior knowledge of the fact that we no longer live at our previous residence.
It also seemed unlikely to me that after the last six+ years of NC, she could possibly be that ignorant to the reality of the situation, or that oblivious. She's not particularly bright, but I don't believe she's dimwitted enough for these attempts to engage to have been wholly genuine. She approached DH as though he were someone she attended high school with, whom she hadn't seen since graduation. Her, "Heyyyyyyyyy, there you are, I forgot about you, how you doin'" approach to attempting to engage with DH screamed phony, even if she wasn't being exorbitantly malicious. She did not acknowledge this lack of contact for an extensive length of time. DH described his feeling that Brainwashed was playing dumb in order to engage him and that she fully expected him to fall in line and respond the way he would have in the past. He also thought she was probably disappointed that he wouldn't communicate on her terms and probably drove away calling him an "asshole" under her breath. [I assured DH he is not an asshole and that he managed a brilliantly smooth, warranted, and polite dismissal of her attempt to engage him.]
To me, the whole encounter speaks to the fact that Brainwashed and her siblings never had a meaningful relationship with DH, and never saw him as more than an outsider to which they occasionally had to fulfill some necessary obligation. Our absenteeism since we went NC with DH's parents, step-parents, and half-sister was no great shake-up or cause for concern in his step-siblings' lives. So, when she "happened" to see DH in the town where she and her FOO reside, and "stopped to chitchat" with a step-sibling that she conveniently (and perhaps actually) forgot about for the last six+ years, and "assumed" that he lived at the location where he happened to be doing some yardwork, I will "happen" to call her bluff.
I loved that DH shut her down. I love that he brushed her off. I love that he didn't answer her subtle questions. I love that he turned his back on her. On the off chance that she didn't get the picture before (in which case, she'd have to be stupider than I imagined), she definitely got it loud and clear now: Move along little doggy.