What good thing can I say about Holly Holy-er Than Thou? She’s dedicated to her private beliefs. Being dedicated to something is good, I suppose. It’s the private beliefs that are so obvious that make the dedication questionable. Plus, the private beliefs are totally at odds with her Mormon religion. Frank, incensed by only me and no one else, would glibly say that if his family ever did anything wrong, they would be held accountable on the Great Day of Judgment. Of course, they never did anything wrong. I was the one with the problem. I misunderstood things that were said. They never said anything hurtful. It was always all in my head.
One time, Holly Holy-er Than Thou said clearly. “I’ll take your baby until he’s three, then you’ll want him back.” No misunderstanding there, but when I told Frank, he said Holly Holy-er Than Thou didn’t mean it the way I took it.
This isn’t meant to be a recounting of all the hurtful things that were done and said over the years. My own family members have told me to let it go, and I have tried. I’ve even stayed away from Frank’s family for a few years at a time. And right when I think I can cope with Holly Holy-er Than Thou and realize I need to see my elderly mother-in-law, Holly Holy-er Than Thou is more obnoxious and hurtful than ever. How do you let it go when Holly Holy-er Than Thou keeps digging and gouging, even after 2 or 3 years of my steering clear of her? She’s 53, and a bigger brat than ever.
We spent 3 or 4 hours at my mother-in-law’s house on Saturday, with Holly Holy-er Than Thou liberally sprinkling the time with put downs, and not to be outdones, and trying to rub salt in perceived wounds I carry around. She let us know more than once that her husband Forbes just didn’t want to come with her and visit with us. That he wasn’t there didn’t bother me a bit, but she felt the need to say it loudly more than once.
The sad part about Holly Holy-er Than Thou (and yes, there is a sad part to her) is that she thinks it’s all righ to sit in judgement of me. Frank always said that Mormons would be judged harsher on Judgement Day than anyone else because they believe they have full understanding of the gospel and should know better than to judge, criticize, play favorites among their nieces and nephews (the favorites being certain nephews grown into adulthood), and condemn. Holly Holy-er Than Thou must honestly believe that God has singled her out to have her private beliefs, although they conflict with His will.
So how do I just let it all go, when Holly Holy-er Than Thou is jabbing at me and trying to needle me with her twisted perceptions, even as I am trying mend the fences I have broken?
I finally opened my mouth after 40 years of taking it silently and gleefully called her an old woman to her face. My mother-in-law doesn’t hear very well, so I felt perfectly at ease saying it. Rather bratty of this particular old woman, wouldn’t you say?