Monday, December 20, 2004

please, volunteer me...

my grandmother finds it necessary to volunteer me for various things people need. in most cases, i wouldn't mind, but she has a bad habit of volunteering me for things i don't want to do. at the beginning of the year, she volunteered me to do a wedding video for my uncle. not necessarily something i would want to do for free. okay, she told them that i would do it...without asking me first. so my uncle and his fiance apparently thought that i was going to do it. not that i had ruled it out entirely, but it wasn't something i really wanted to do. the wedding was quickly approaching and i was hearing specifics about the wedding. talking on the phone one night to my mom i learned that the ceremony was going to take place downtown in the town where they lived. now, i'm not even sure the place is big enough to be called a town. i might as well just say they got married at the local watering hole. but it gets even better. it was a themed wedding. i can't say i've ever been to one in my whole life, and i can't say that i ever care too. i think it just screams "tacky" so loud that the whole world realizes your a little off your rocker. but anyway, back to the point. my uncle was under the impression that i was going to do a wedding video for them. we talked about it last christmas for about 8.9 seconds. the conversation went something like this...

dave: "mom said that you do video stuff."
me: "yeah."
dave: "would you be interested in doing a video of our wedding?"
me: "i've never done a wedding before, but i'm sure i wouldn't have a problem."
dave: "that's cool. the wedding will probably be in april."

seriously, nothing else was ever mentioned. the first week of april came and went. no phone call, no wedding invitation. nothing. then one day after a long day at work, while comfy in my bed taking a nap, the phone rings. anyone who knows me knows that i'm pretty much good for nothing when i first get up. if you call while i'm asleep, i probably don't remember. yeah, even if i talk to you and carry on a seemingly important conversation. i usually don't remember. so the phone rings, i stumble to the kitchen to answer it. it's the fiance. this conversation was short and to be honest, i really don't remember much of it. but what she said to me was such a slap in the face, i woke up quick enough to know what was going on.

"amy, hi. this is the fiance. i was just calling to see if needed anything for saturday."

i think to myself...saturday...what's saturday? oh. the wedding must be saturday. right. i remember mom telling me.

"well...i hadn't heard anything from you, so i was just thinking you didn't need me to do it."

this next part is where i snapped out of my sleepy-stuper and realized what i was actually dealing with.

"WHAT? (in a very upset tone) what do you mean you didn't know about it?"

"i never heard anything from you or dave about it. i didn't even know when it was."

okay, so that line was a half-lie. i did know when it was, i found out from my mom. but if she hadn't told me, i wouldn't have had any idea. my mom and i didn't talk all the time and even if we did, she's kind of forgetful. plus, it wasn't her job to tell me was theirs.

"we sent you an invitation. it came back to us because the address was wrong."

and this somehow is now my fault.

"blah blah blah...on campus"

"on campus. i haven't lived on campus for two years"

"well, that's where we sent it. are you telling me that you can't do it?"

"i'm telling you that it's an inconvenience because i had plans for this weekend. i had no idea about your wedding because i hadn't heard anything from you or dave."

what i was thinking was that i was never even properly asked about it once the wedding plans were in effect. in december was i just suppose to mark all weekends in april out? isn't it important to make sure you have securely scheduled people such as a photographer, cake decorator, videographer or anyone else you find vital to the wedding? it seems you would call and make sure they were available before 2 days until the wedding. at this point i'm pretty pissed.

"great! (very hateful) i can't believe this. well, what am i suppose to do now?"

"i don't know, i'm going to have to check some things out and call you back."

with that being said, i hung up the phone. i was livid. i picked the phone back up and called my mom. after ranting and raving to her about it, i decided that it really wasn't fair of them to just expect me to do it. the more i thought about it, the more upset i became. and to make matters worse, she had such a bad attitude about it.

so i called my grandma and told her the story. she blamed herself and said that it was all her fault (which it was). i wasn't trying to put her in the middle at all. i just wanted an opinion that wasn't as biased.

i eventually just called back and asked the fiance if i could speak with my uncle. i explained that when i agreed to do it in december, i was under the impression that i would hear something else about it before a couple days before the wedding. i told him that it was unfair to place blame upon my grandma because she was just trying to help out. i told him that it was incredibly out of place for them to just assume i was going to do it and find out all the information from another family member when i never received a phone call or an invitation. and then i told him i wouldn't be able to do it.

i know that he was a little more than frustrated when i hung up the phone, but so was i. if i'd been treated with a little more respect and if the fiance hadn't gone off on me, it might have had a different ending, but it didn't. if she was going to talk down to me and yell at me on the phone, then i was going to just not have anything to do with it.

i admit now, i could have probably handled the situation better, but i was mad. i was tired of being taken advantage of. and i was tired of being volunteered for things. i thought after this fiasco my grandmother had learned her lesson, but apparently she has relapsed.

monday i got a call from the fiance who is now the wife. the wife and dave are having problems finding a babysitter for her 6 year old daughter. she needs someone to drive to their house, pick her up from the bus stop and stay with her until either her or dave get off work. my grandma apparently had taken on the task last week, but after 2 days told the wife that the kid was too much of a brat to be able to handle. so she ever so graciously offered my services.

i told her that i could do it for the week. i was to pick up the kid from tues-fri. tuesday morning the wife calls and said that i didn't have to do it because she didn't go to work. i was relieved. wednesday, i drove 25 miles out to their house, got the kid from the bus stop and stayed with her. everything was okay...she's not bad, but she's certainly no angel. thursday i went, picked her up from the bus stop, took her home and watched her. that night when my uncle got home, he pulled out his wallet and asked me if i needed money. i responded with a joke about always needing money. he reaches in and pulls out a bill and hands it to me. i look down and see andrew jackson staring right past me with that big huge forehead of his. a measly 20 bucks. i drove over 80 miles in those two days to pick her up, which is barely worth the 20 bones i got paid. did i mention that the kid isn't that easy to babysit. she requires constant attention needs you to spend every second entertaining her. the second you lose interest or think she's fine on her own, all heck breaks loose. she's six, but she acts like a whiney four year old.

i was under the impression that last week was going to be it for me watching the kid. but no, the wife didn't have a sitter lined up for christmas break. are you seeing the pattern here with the lack of preparation and scheduling in this family? because i am. on thursday i told her that i could watch the kid on monday and tuesday if she absolutely needed me to. i was under the impression that she was going to try to find someone else. silly me. what was i thinking. i got a call last night. it was the wife. keep the kid? sure. ugh. all day? what time? 7:30-6 or 7pm. are you kidding? that's almost 12 hrs. wow.

so with only about 3 hrs of sleep last night, i get up and have a big cup of coffee ready to start my day. the kid gets here. we color. we watch the powerpuff girls dvd...almost 5 episodes. we draw. we play playstation. we color some more. my brothers wake up, so we can now go in the family room in the basement. we play xbox. we eat lunch. then, she starts to whine. not just a little whimper, but a full out acting like a baby. it begins to take longer for her to listen to what i'm saying. she whines more. i was thinking it was a good time to put in a movie, but the entire disney collection didn't phase her one bit. she wanted to play xbox again. i wasn't looking too forward to this because she didn't know how to play. she's six. my brothers have blow 'em up shoot 'em up games, racing, and football. nothing a six year old girl would be interested in. so i put in crash bandicoot racing, a game that hasn't gotten any play since the day my mom bought it thinking my brothers would like it. she doesn't understand it. so i'm trying to explain it to her, but she keeps whining about how hard it is. after about 30 minutes of her whining everytime she started going the wrong way or everytime she crashed into something, i'd had enough. so i told her if she whined again i was going to make her sit on the end of the couch. sure enough, she starts whining. so i tell her she has to sit because she's acting like a baby. she starts throwing a tantrum laying on the floor crying. after about the 5th time i told her to get off the floor and sit on the end of the couch i'd just about lost it. i'm usually exteremly patient with kids, but with this kid...i was way past that point. i was about to lose it. i walk over, pick her up off the floor and sit her on the couch where i proceed to explain to her that i'm not going to put up with her acting like a baby. she turns from whimpering and whining into crying. full blown crying with big huge alligator tears. i didn't feel guilty at all. she starts saying things under her breath between gasps of air. stuff that made it really hard for me not to laugh at her. some of my favorites...

"i don't like you anymore"
"i don't want to sit here"
"you can't make me sit here" (as she continues to sit there)
"i don't have to listen to you"
"you're so mean"
"i'm going to tell my momma"
"i hate this house. it's boring here"

after ten minutes of this, i was so sick of listening to her cry. plus i was afraid she was going to make herself throw up because she was in such a frenzy. so i tell her that i'm tired of her acting like a baby and if she's going to act like a baby, then she needed to lay down and take a nap, just like a baby. so she pulled a blanket over her and not even two minutes later she was sleeping, just like a baby.

so yet again, i'm doing something because i feel obligated to do it. please, volunteer me for things you know i don't want to do.

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