Penguin Ponderings – Eleanor Roosevelt


This past weekend the words of Eleanor Roosevelt kept running through my head. I had to do something that made me look bad in the eyes of many people who do not know my situation. It was beyond hard. It was embarrassing. It made me look like I don’t care about someone that I care deeply for. The reason I did what I did was out of care and concern for the very person it appeared that I didn’t care for!! It’s maddening.

Long story short: Our niece is getting married. She is a sweet girl who I love very much. Her bridal shower was this weekend and I am probably the only woman in town (or nearby towns) in my husbands family that did not go. Why didn’t I go?

Her mother…Steve’s sister…doesn’t like me. I don’t mean she could take or leave me…I mean she can’t stand to be in the same room as me. She doesn’t hide it. She doesn’t say anything. She literally stares at the floor and wont speak if I am in a room with her. This has been going on for nearly 8 years. In that time we have been in the same room 5 times. This was at different family gatherings…a birthday party…a funeral…a cookout….out of town relatives visiting and so on. If I am anywhere near her she shuts down and it is evident to anyone with eyes that she is reacting to my presence. It’s embarrassing and uncomfortable for everyone. She won’t leave the room. So I do. Add to this…I have been in this family for 20 plus years but she has been in this family for 48 years. I lose.

Before you suggest it…no there is no way to make peace with her. None. She will not hear of it. If I told you why she doesn’t like me you wouldn’t believe me so I’m not going to bother. Just know that it has to do with her thinking she was going to miss an episode of 24 because of me. No really. Enough said.

SO I made the choice not to go to her daughters bridal shower because it was being held at a cousins house…so close quarters….and I didn’t want our niece to be uncomfortable or for her mother to steal the attention away from her for any reason.

I look bad. I look like I don’t care. I’m not a good family member. yadda yadda yadda.

But I know why I did it. I know it was the right thing to do. I know in the end I saved a lot of people… including myself a lot of stress and anxiety.

If they never know why…that’s ok. I have to be ok with that. Because in the end…I will be criticized anyway.

ps…yes we are going to the wedding. It will be in a large venue where I can keep a safe distance! πŸ˜‰

Happy Hump Day!!



43 thoughts on “Penguin Ponderings – Eleanor Roosevelt

  1. You sacrificed having the chance to celebrate with your niece on that party- and love is also a sacrifice. 😊 I think I’d do the same thing if I were on your shoes…and I’m sure your niece would understand your reason for not going. Practical and Real. πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Family situations can be tricky. My SIL doesn’t seem to care much for me either. I made every effort in the world, she complains if I don’t come to see her when she comes to visit, but if I do go to see her she will made snide comments about me in one way or another. So do I go and get insulted or stay home and not be insulted (to my face anyway)? 9 times out of 10, I stay home. Know why she doesn’t like me? Because I am a housewife. That’s it. When I was a ‘working woman’, she wanted to be BFF’s. I quit working and she quit liking me. Whatever! You gotta do what you gotta do. Buy a wedding gift for the niece, take it to the wedding reception, bypass the SIL. πŸ™‚


  3. What pettiness from your S-I-L to not try and act naturally on family occasions to save a bad atmosphere. It’s good of you to put your niece first but I hope she gave her mum a dressing down when you didn’t appear.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She has never had a dressing down in her whole life. I think that’s why she behaves this way at 48! She’s also never had act like she felt any way than she does. My lack of understanding on how this family reacts to her probably feeds in to her distaste for me. πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, I hope your husband supported you and knows there’s no reason for this misplaced animosity.Your S–IL is not only childish she’s very selfish to spoil her family occasions, especially her own daughter’s like this.
        xxx Massive Hugs xxx

        Liked by 2 people

  4. I could say what I feel, but I’m not going to because I understand why you did what you did. This, coming from a woman whose own mother did not attend her college graduation. That was 14 years ago, I still ache from it. Have you spoken to your niece? How does she feel about it?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry to read this. I get it though. If you and I talked over a cup of coffee…or tea….we would have a lot in common. ❀ I have not talked to my niece. I won't. I don't want to make her feel that I'm putting her in the middle. The thing is…no one talks about this behavior. They just all accept it. I didn't. So I'm out. That's ok. I don't want IN to a situation like this. ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Sending you HUGE hugs, Nikki! ❀ I love this saying from E.R. because it does sum up so much of our lives. I went to a wedding like this a bunch of years back where I told people who helped me shop for the outfit that it had to look nice, but I had to blend in to the wall, so I would not be noticed. There was no way for me to not go, but there was no way everything was going to be "nice" either.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Family ….they are another story. I really feel for you Nikki. It is an uncomfortable situation to be in. There is one thing I have learnt with family and awkward situations like that, you need to do what you are comfortable with and forget the rest. This situation has been going on for years, and it is just not going to go away anytime soon, or if ever.
    This woman clearly has issues, but that is her problem. I am sure your niece understood why you were not able to attend. I am glad you are going to the wedding, hopefully you will be seated at another table and so be it, you do not need to talk to her. Hugs x
    PS. what is that saying….you can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family


    1. Thank you Lynne…you said it best. It’s not a good’s not going to change…and luckily I can choose not to be around her very often. I will go to the wedding because it’s the right thing to do for my niece. But I am not looking forward to it. I will however make my husband dance with me. If I have to buy a dress…I’m gonna dance. πŸ˜‰ ❀


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