A few people have asked me, that given my SIL’s history with emigrating (Went back to the UK on Dec 3rd, 2004, arrived back in SA January 4th, 2005 (yes just a few weeks!) – that what the hell is different now?
Well, this is the thing. N-O-T-H-I-N-G.
Oh wait, this time around her hubby has a job (he’s being transferred at his request), and this time around they have 2 kids to consider instead of just one.
We all knew it was just a matter of time before they went back for good, we just didn’t know when they’d actually get around to actually going. The thing is that SIL’s hubby is very close to his family who are all over there, and he constantly talks about missing them. The problem is that last time, SIL *really* didn’t get on with them well at all – and one big argument with one of her SIL’s is what instigated her running back home (to SA) to her mummy and daddy – who paid for her and her son’s airtickets, they were so happy (and a little desperate) to have their only grandchild (back then he was the only one) near them again. SIL always said, that she’d happily go back to the UK again, as long as they a) didn’t have to live anywhere near his family (But still be within reach for them to visit either way), and b) had enough saved up so that they didn’t even have to stay with any of his family to get started off with. So we all waited to see what would happen – and how they would eventually achieve this.
A few months ago they talked about going to Dubai (in the MIddle East), it’s a popular destination for a lot of young execs because the pay is exceptionally good, it’s a modern and safe country, and within easy reach of the whole of Europe. This would have satisfied SIL’s criteria at any rate, but at the last minute with all the tension in the rest of the middle east, they decided against it (much to MIL and FIL’s relief). Then SIL’s hubby decided about 3 months ago they *really* needed to go back to the UK because his dad was having triple bypass surgery – and EVERYONE said to him, “Don’t pack up your whole family just because your dad is sick, just go and visit him if you’re desperate to see him.” Thankfully sense prevailed and they stayed put. It’s not that everyone wants them to stay in SA – on the contrary – everyone pretty much wants to get out, but we’re all just trying to make sure they do it the right way, that they don’t have to come back again because they were ill prepared.
So this time, when my SIL emails my hubby and tells him they’re emigrating, hubby and I chatted about it that night, and said, “Oh well I’m sure they’ve sorted something out, they must be going to City X this time, his family are in City Y so that’s a least better for all of them – close enough to visit but not to be imposing.”
So yesterday afternoon SIL calls me, and says, “So I suppose you’ve heard we’re going back hey?”. I replied that I had, and in general chatting, asked her where they’re going to stay.
SIL: “City Y.” Silence
Me: “You’re kidding right?”
SIL: “No, we’re going to stay in a nice part of City Y, not too close to his family, and they have good schools” etc etc – and she went on and on about how great it would be. I just let her talk.
Me: “Has your hubby found a nice place to rent in that area to get you guys started off?”
SIL: “No not yet, we’re going to have to stay with his mom at first for the first month while hubby works, and I’m job hunting.”
I nearly fell off the couch. Out of everyone in his whole family (and yes they’re all a bunch of working class nutters), I would have picked ANYONE other than his mother for them to stay with. Because, well, because she’s certifiable. I don’t mean mildly depressed either, I mean CERTIFIABLE. MEDICATED. CERTIFIABLE. This is a woman who regularly beat her kids growing up. I don’t mean spanked, I mean beat. She had 5 kids, apparently (I’m not sure which one it was) for one of the pregnancies she tried to lose the baby by beating her own belly (thankfully she didn’t succeed). My SIL thinks it’s okay to take her two children and stay with this woman? When all is said and done – all her children are now grown up, and their relationships have vastly improved and they all say she’s so changed, well sorry, I don’t care how much you say someone’s changed I DON’T put my kids in potential harms way. Imagine she offers to babysit – are you going to leave your kids with her on the hope that ‘she’s changed’. No way Jose.
For the first time ever I’m feeling *very* sorry for my MIL and FIL on this one, they’re devastated. One would think that with them being in the UK too at the moment that it would make things easier for them to visit, but the grim reality is that they’re terrified for their grandchildren going into that womans’ house however temporary it may be. We spoke to MIL last night on the Skype and she was nearly in tears over the whole thing. I think that finally it may have sunk in, that SIL thinks of no-one but herself, doesn’t think about the emotional cheesegrater that she’s putting her parents through and expects everyone else to pay for her mistakes. We found out last night that for MIL and FIL’s scheduled vacation in Sep Oct Nov, they were planning on going up to the game parks in the north for a week, and taking their eldest grandchild with, and they’d already paid for his flights and everything – and guess what – not even so much as a ‘Sorry’ from SIL for scuppering their plans. Also – in November is my inlaws 40th wedding anniversary for which they had a big bash planned back here in SA with all the friends and family on this side. Well – now they’re minus one daughter, a son-in-law and 2 grandkids from the guestlist – again, not so much as a mention of it.
Well, I suppose now MIL will think twice before she sides with SIL against my hubby on anything else because I think finally she realises how she’s been played. At least, for her sake, I hope she does.