We went to dinner with my in-laws tonight. I debuted the idea of us considering maybe opening my business in New Orleans after my husband graduates if their economy is ready for a marketing/design startup (the plan is to begin research now, look into grants, etc). It was not received warmly, but I don't think anyone gave it much credence. That's probably okay.
Overall, though, dinner was not offensive. It was on the drive home, the hour long drive home, with my husband's grandma yammering on in the back seat while A slept. She talked and talked and talked the whole way.
It was awkward, yes, but then, only minutes from home, she said the thing that I can't get out of my mind: She started talking about her son's first wife, "that horrible woman".
"I was so glad when she got that marriage annulled, even though it took him years to get over it." She paused, took a deep breath, and said, "She didn't want to have children, that horrible woman."
I wish I believed that there were other reasons that she called her "that horrible woman", that the main reason she said she was horrible was because she broke her son's heart and this was just icing. I wish I was imagining the disdain in her voice, that I had a recording to combat all the people who think I heard it that way because I'm a drama queen and reading too much into things. I wish I could convey how my stomach sank through the floor of the car and splattered all over the road, and I felt about two inches tall and wanted to just cry, the words stung so much. "That horrible woman."
It matters to me what she thinks, even though I know it makes her mean and intolerant and narrowminded and Catholic. It doesn't make the words sting any less. My best friend thinks she might have been trying to bait me, that she heard rumours from the stepsisters whom I've hinted to that we weren't interested in kids and wanted to see my reaction. Who knows.
I have to wonder how she feels about the fact that they chose not to adopt after his second wife's inability to complete a pregnancy, after, from what I've heard, stillbirths out of horror movies and countless miscarriages. I wonder if that makes them horrible in their eyes, if she thinks less of them for making that choice, even after all they went through.
I know I'm not horrible, but the words still hurt.