Monday, 4 September 2017

Cats aren't kids

It was Father’s Day here in New Zealand yesterday, and fortunately there had been little build-up to bother me or my husband (or so I thought). 

We got together with my father-in-law on Saturday night, because I had wisely advised our visiting relatives that it would be impossible for us to go out and get a table at any “quiet” cafĂ© for Sunday lunch (a prospect I have avoided for 17 years and counting), and suggested that a dinner together would be much better received by the FIL (as I know it would).

So we made a fuss of this rather frail elderly man, which we were going to do anyway as his eldest grandchildren was leaving the next day, and then the other son and the rest of his family were leaving the day after, and he feels their departure overseas deeply every time they leave. I was fine with doing that, but the brother-in-law kept trying to insert the fact that he was a father into the proceedings. I interjected once or twice, pointing out that it was up to his family to celebrate Father’s Day for him the next day, and that Saturday night and the dinner we were enjoying was all about his Dad.

I was surprised however, when my husband spoke up, pointing out that they should all feel sorry for him, because he doesn’t get a Father’s Day ever, missing out completely. There was a brief, stunned silence, then everyone decided to toast him, and my niece cheerfully said that he needed to get some cats again, because then he’d be able to celebrate Father’s Day. It was nicely meant, rather than being blatantly insensitive, and we all laughed (but felt the difference) when my husband said,

“but they can’t buy me presents.”

14 comments:

  1. Tears pricking in my eyes.
    Big hug for you (and your husband) That was a brilliant reply.

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  2. Moving. I'm so glad your husband spoke up. Why sit there listening to the unknowingly selfish brother-in-law harping on about being a father, as if he too wanted in on the early action (could he not wait until the next day?). Kudos to your hub for pointing out that he doesn't get a Father's Day at all - sometimes parents are so blinkered and blind towards non-parents: if they don't hear anything to the contrary, they just assume everything's hunky-dory with the little universe that they are the centre of. I'm glad people were stunned. I get sick enough of people posting up their little Mother's/Father's Day love notes and presents from their kids up on Facebook, feeling the need to share it with the world; never mind in real life - I think I'd have said exactly the same thing as your hub. Very poignant piece.

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  3. I'm glad your husband spoke up and got a toast!

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  4. Wow, that's awesome that your husband said that.

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  5. Bravo DH! That was both a brave and appropriate response. Particularly when the focus was meant to be for one person and the other was being extremely selfish (seriously, there's a story there with trying to gain recognition). Your DH handled it all very well.

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  6. your husband sounds like gentleman and a legend. You must be proud of him

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  7. Oh, wow. Good on your husband to say that! Both things, the reminder that he isn't included in Father's Day, but also that cats don't quite reciprocate in the same way. It's crazy to me that people can't make a celebration about someone JUST ABOUT THAT SOMEONE instead of bringing themselves into it, argh. I hear your husband about the cats. I love my cats, but I made it clear early on that nothing good would come to anyone who sent me a mother's day card from the cats. Just no. So glad he spoke up and said his piece, and got a toast to boot!

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  8. Your husbands first comment, golden. His response to the "get cats", golden squared.

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  9. Bravo Mr Mali - what a great way of serving a very large cup of STFU to your brother in law. What pains me about reading anything like this (apart from loving you dearly and being filled with 'argh' about anyone even being so self centred like that) is how, in general, other people be it family, friends, acquaintances and so forth spare NO THOUGHT that on family occasions like this, there are those of us who miss out repeatedly.

    Loved the comment from Mr Mali about cats not being able to buy him presents! Brilliant response - also poignant. Big squishy hugs and well done for getting through the evening without impaling anyone on the end of your fork!

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    1. And... if anyone can tell me how to reply using my WordPress account I'd be most grateful, it's taken me months to be able to actually get a response published here, yours thickly... lambs ;-)

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  10. Wow. I felt that one.

    And thank you! I am sure I will "have the opportunity" to use your husband's line someday.

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  11. Well done. I hope it left them all thinking.

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  12. Oooh, good one, Mali's dh!! :) Well done!

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  13. Beautiful post. Your husband's words were so very poignant. Good for him to speak his truth. I read your post when you wrote it, but am late in commenting. His words have lingered in my mind.

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