Today is the "family" party celebrating difficult child 1's birthday (the 7th) husband's (13th) and mother in law's (18th) at sister in law #2's house. This is the sister in law who is probably borderline and BiPolar (BP). She's medicated now, but it always comes out when she's stressed, and having to get her place ready for a shin-dig like this, not to mention having her mother around, ALWAYS stresses her. Then there's sister in law #3 who is Pollyanna-turned-New-Age-Crystal-Lite and tries to conduct healings and such on poor unfortunate souls -- she was doing it to strangers in the hospital lobby when husband was in surgery. sister in law #3 is the one the other two sister in law's are always in competition with because of deep seated issues from childhood. I actually like her. This is a HIGHLY, HIGHLY competitive group of women. They see me as odd because I won't play their games of one-upmanship and comparison with their kids. If it wasn't the size of their babies' growth, it was their developmental milestones. And now it's all about grades, scholarships, athletics, jobs, blah, blah, blah ad nauseum. I generally seek refuge in hanging with husband or brother in law #2 or #3. brother in law #1 is a male chauvenist pig from the Italian old country who thinks women were put on this earth to serve men and make babies. He is threatened by any woman with 1/2 a brain, let alone a college education. father in law is likely an aspie who's very hard of hearing and tends to drone on about things no one really understands the relevance of. He's nice, but he wears on me after awhile. I'll probably end up being the pool watcher and hanging out with my glass of wine (to avoid the whine) Man, do I sound like a cranky b!tch or what?