In-law's/drama/and possibly the wrong forum

myfampgJune 16, 2011

Not sure where to post this as GW doesn't seem to have a 'in-law' forum, but... I know you all have in-law's or you wouldn't be here as stepfamilies so I thought I'd try it out. If not, I'll figure out where to post.

My brother and his wife are about to drive us batty. It's up and down and around and we never know which direction.

They have been married for 16 years and all together have 4 kids. . my brother is in the military and they don't live around here.

My brother and his wife are very private. We never know what is going on with them and we have come to just accept that. They only share happy stories, when there are 'downs' in their lives, no one knows about it. If they have a beef with one of us, they never say. They keep in touch through Facebook and the occasional once or twice a year visit. When they are here every part of it is about them. We make a huge deal over their kids when they come to town, it's like a huge party from start to finish. Celebrating early and belated birthdays, spoiling them since we don't get to through out the year. We go through phases though where we get really close and have many phone calls all at once for a while and then times where we dont talk at all. Not because we aren't getting along, just because we are far apart. My brother is very much a family man and is an amazing father. I know he adores his wife and loves her to pieces. I think my SIL loves my brother. She doesn't show it much but I'm sure she does.

Anyway - just recently my brother has started calling my mom or emailing and telling her what all she does that bothers him and his wife. Which you can imagine is very upsetting for my mom. She kind of just got slapped with it one day (mother's day). He brought up things that happened 16 years ago, 10 years ago, 5 years ago and of course the most recent things she does. He says she smothers him. Ok I get it. She calls once a week, she sometimes emails and the occasional Facebook comment. So she stopped. Then he calls and says you don't do enough for my kids and you don't treat my wife the same as your daughters. My mom is baffled. She explains the things she does for all three of us girls (which is my sister, SIL and me). If she buys us a little gift, she buys SIL the same. Difference being SIL never likes the little things mom buys. She will pick up bracelets or cute flip flops or just something little that she might see and she buys three. The difference is, she hands ours to us and actually has to mail SIL hers. Everywhere they have lived, all over the country, my parents have visited. When they come home they always pay for their meals, spoil their kids and give them a place to stay. I think my parents are very fair. It might seem like they do more since we live here but they really try to make sure and do equal for us all.

So it has become obvious over the years that my SIL seems to be very jealous of my mom. It's very odd. But she mocks my brother for calling our mom 'momma'. Ya he is a grown man but he calls her that and in my opinion, that's his business and his choice. She says she is annoyed by all the attention my mom gives him because she brags about her military career son. My mom has pictures on her Facebook of all of us kids and our kids. Mine is named with my name, sister is listed by her name and brother is listed with his name. Most of his pictures are military pics. Like in uniform. Everyone comments how handsome he is or how proud she should be etc. SIL says we make too big of a deal over his job. We are PROUD of him. 1 tour in Iraq and many other overseas missions and so yes, we are proud he is ours and that he has come home safe. SIL says mom babies him too much and shows him too much attention. Shouldn't my sister and I be the ones that are jealous of that?? Not his wife right?

So is it normal for a wife to be so jealous like this? My brother is by no means a 'momma's boy' but SIL calls him that. Constantly. Almost to the point of making fun of him. It's gotten so bad that if any of us, mom, Sis or I comment on his Facebook about anything, he deletes it. He doesn't delete us, he jus deleted our comments like we never made them. I think because she gets mad. I noticed last week my mom tagged herself in a picture of my brother that he posted from a long time ago. Today I noticed now my SIL has tagged herself in the same picture. My

Mom wrote on his Facebook, just saying hi, hope everyone is doing well-- he deleted it.

What in the world? Where do you learn to treat your mother this way? Does a wife have that much influence over a husband that she would cause him to push his family away? When I think about my mother in law, I think of how grateful I am that she raised such an awesome man. I don't even think of her in a jealous way at all. Is jealous even the right word?

I feel that my parents have done nothing but be supportive and loving to all in the family. They make sure NOONE is left out or forgotten to the point of being obsessive about it. So what's the deal? My mom feels like she is in a hard place. He said don't smother, now he says, you're not doing enough. So which is it? When she asked him he got off the phone.

It's like he can't describe how he feels. He can't even explain his feelings because I don't think they are HIS feelings.

After ALL these years, this is what it has become? What have you done for me lately? Wow.

I don't know what I'm really asking for but I'm just so fed up. I've tried calling them to find out what's going on and no one will answer me.

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Most momma's are proud of their sons. Momma's Boy? Pfft. Anyone willing to put their life on the line and fight for their country isn't no momma's boy. Of course if SIL means yep, Momma sure does love that boy, well then she's right on that part.

This is the brother who recently had visit with bio-father isn't it? I'm thinking whatever is going on with him is his own issues and nothing at all that Mom/you/or anyone else has done wrong. I think he just has a few things to work out for himself and it may take him some time to do so. I'd not be begging him to explain himself nor troubling myself over what ever it is he's got his nose outta joint over.

You know yourself that Mom is not unfair to him. She's done nothing wrong and especially nothing to deserve the sudden 'tude change. So let him figure it out for himself. Messing in the middle just might in fact make matters worse.

A couple thought. How is SIL with her own family? Does she have a close relationship with her own family? 1) if so, she could be comparing what her family does to what yours does. 2) if she perhaps is not close or her family may not or may not be able to do anything for her she might be feeling resentment over that and feeling jealous her family is not like hers.

You might want to suggest to Mom that she stay off Brother's FB for a while. Why set herself up for disappointment and heartache if he's just going to be rude and delete her comments. Next it him actually deleting the comments? Could it be his wife? No matter which, why visit it. Let Mom send pleasant texts or emails and calls for now. She can still update for her page with new pictures and 'news' of Brother and his family ...just stay away from his for now.

It could be anything about the FB. Who knows, maybe his friends are razzing him because their own mother's don't pay as much attention to them.

Actually for whatever reason, I doubt no matter what Mom does or sends to Brother's family it will suit nor please Brother. He seems to have an unneccessary cob up his buns. There's no need for Mom to knock herself out fussing over it. She did nothing wrong. If for some reason Brother thinks she did or perhaps Mom said something that 'came out wrong' in his thinking, then he can act like a man and say so.

Sorry to say it, but the guy should be ashamed of himself to be making Mom worry and fret like this over what she may have said/done to upset him. Big boys discuss problems and/or percieved issues. Mom is not a mind reader.

And maybe that's all Mom needs to say 'I love you, I always have, I always will, and if something has been said or if I've done something to upset you we need to discuss it like adults, I'll be here anytime you'd like to talk'...and let it go. She can't 'fix' what she does not know what's broke. He's not a little boy anymore and if he's got something on his mind he needs to spit it out.

From what you've written over a couple postings of late, Brother has been pretty hard on Mom of late. She's the same Mom she was a few months ago and she'll be the same Mom next month...whatever is going on is his problem and he's going to have to figure it out for himself.

Give Mom a hug and let her know how much you love her and how lucky you are to have her for a mother.

Hopefully Brother will work it out in his head and be ready to talk about whatever his issue is and why his sudden change in behavior. You can't beat it out of him. In the meantime continue on...send the birthday cards, call as usual, whatever it is you normally do, continue on.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 12:12PM
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Thanks! Yes this is the same brother (He is the only boy and has Always been treated in my opinion as the golden boy) that started a new relationship with biodad. My mom emailed him to remind him not to forget our stepdad on father's day since all of this mess has started, she just wanted to put that out there. He wrote back and said no I won't forget him. He raised me. He is my only dad. I tried to get to know my dad and he dropped the ball and doesn't seem interested. I know who has been there for me and who hasnt.

Funny you bring up SILs family. No they are not close. They have an odd relationship. Her mom is a loser and bums money from them and then vanishes for months. Her family does nothing for them or the kids. My mom has commented to me that she feels like they expect her to make up for her families short comings. She doesn't mind but show some appreciation.

My parents are very proud of all of us. My brother has done very well in his Career in the military and sometimes I think that has made him a jerk. He feels very entitled. He is often judgemental of others and looks down on people for their failures/faults you name it. He is quite the comedian so he is very 'popular' and people think he is just hilarious. Sometimes I think he is just an a$$, not funny.

My SILs jealousy goes all the way back to when I was only a young teenager. When my brother left, it was so hard on me because we were close and I had a hard time adjusting to him being gone. He would come home after 3 years or however long and I was taller, once I was married, another time I had a baby and he would say, I just still see you as a little kid.. I can't imagine you being a grown up. When we would try to hang out and he would try to give me some big brother attention, she would be furious! She would say things like this is 'our' time. I'm his wife! She had a daughter and he had a daughter for many years before they had children together. She would expect him to no spend any time with us or his daughter when he would come home because they are a 'family' the three of them and that is what is important -- husband, wife, child. Not his child but her child. And he would do it.
Recently he came to town and we all went to eat. His family lives close to us while he is in another state (this is just temporary). As soon as we sat down his youngest daughter, wife and teenage stepdaughter looked just ridiculously mad. No one would even speak. It was so awkward. Finally someone asked, what's the matter? And the youngest one piped up and said 'he just got back and we always have to share him with YOU'.
Hmmmm you think she might have heard that from somewhere??
They want us to do things for them but they dont want to share my brother. It's like a tug of war or something and not from us. It was HIS idea to meet for lunch when he came in to town. But apparently that isn't what his wife had in mind.

I just don't understand the problem???

My mom just keeps getting hit at every turn. She is a full time caregiver to my grandmother who verbally abuses her day in and day out. I told my
Mom what she needs is a back bone and these people that keep walking all over her need a serious slap in the face. And she needs to stop allowing people to treat her badly.

She has cut back on FB. It causes her too much heartache for many reasons. Such as my biodad being on there and commenting on everything. We know he is a loser and has dropped the ball on the relationship but he still has to comment on every post and every picture. I have him blocked so I don't have to even see his name. And speaking of, guess who's idea it was to start the relationship with biodad? Sister in law!! Of course.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 12:53PM
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part of it sounds like she is not cut out to be a military wife. it takes a certain kind of woman that is able to deal with that. The other part of it sounds like just plain insecurity...

i dont really know my mom side of the family because for the most part they are losers. Mom's sister is a druggie user theif, other sister skips from one man to the next spending them dry until she finds a new mark, dad died due to being a lifelong alcoholic, mom is in an institution now because she drank herself crazy. Not a good crowd. My dads side is completely different. We all get together at least once a year (usually more) even though we are spread out over a few states... when my grandfather had a heart attack everyone was there within a few hours to hold hands cry support. We argue fight joke and love each other fiercly.

My mom doesnt really get it sometimes (even after 30 years of marriage and around 36 years being with my dad) Sometimes she resents it. A lot of the times she just doesnt get why my dad does certain things he does for his family or takes attitudes over things... She loves his family (in her own way) and is grateful they took her in as their own...but still sometimes it is a slap in the face of what she doesnt have... sometimes it is just difficult for her.

Perhaps this is some of SIL's problem. It doesnt really change anything but if her family is kind of crap perhaps it will help to understand a little. And it is perhaps past time for a serious talk with SIL and brother... ofcourse they will almost certainly get mad but it will sink into their brain somewhere and maybe get through. Ofcourse I would have said something at lunch when little one spoke up.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 2:50PM
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That sounds about right -- sure her family isn't the same as your mom's? Lol
My relationship with my ex in law's (dd's grandparents) was a little strained because I was young and had a bit of an attitude. They didn't think ex and I should have married because they thought I was too young for him. I was 20 and he was 28. Probably right but I didn't care back then. Now 11 years later, things are just different for me. I look back and know how young and naive I was. How everyon was right that said I should finish college before settling Down. Those are things my own parents said. But age changed me in a lot of ways and now, my 'new' in law's are just amazing. I am so blessed. The most non judgemental people I have ever known. So loving and caring. No wonder DH is so loving and affectionate. He was raised with it. I would never treat them this way. I would be so embarrassed and ashamed of myself. And Dh has said many times, if I treated my mom that way my dad would have a foot up my behind. So I just don't get it. We aren't talking about a 20 yr old (no offense to 20 yr olds) we are talkin about a 37 yr old woman that should know better.

I don't know if she is cut out for military life or not. She is military also. She isn't in any more but that's how they met. They were both stationed at the same place and she got out before they married. She does fine when they are away. If they are secluded away from everyone (just the 5 of them) then she is happy and there are no issues. The issues arise when they come home. And then linger apparently for years! Looking back, every time they come home there is some kind of drama. Someone says something that offends someone else or does something and everyone gets into a hissy fit. I remember once after they married, I was about 16ish. They came home and they had to sleep on air mattresses because we didn't have a guest room available. One room was the office and the other room was mine. So mom bought air mattresses. She threw a fit because she thought I should give up my room to them to sleep in and I should sleep on the air mattress. My parents were against the idea because I was in school and had to get up and needed access to my things without interrupting them. And it was my room. I of course was also against it because I didn't want to give up my room. They ended up leaving before they were scheduled to because they were mad. Not sure if 'they' were mad but mostly she was mad.

And when the little one said something at lunch, we all just stopped and looked at her and my mom said 'well little one, we wanted to see you all and we are so glad we get to spend the time with all of you, don't you like visiting grandma?' and she said yes but I just want to see my daddy. Well we completely understand. They had not seen each other in a few months but if that's the case then why invite us? Why not just keep driving by and not say anything? Instead they invite us but then make us all miserable when we are with them. Blah

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 3:46PM
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thats because she didnt invite you guys bro did. (let me preface this that my mom is not causing drama or acting to the extremes that you SIL is but) For example this summer is a family reunion in New York... my mom has been complaining to me for weeks that she should just stay home. She isnt going to know anyone there and dad is just going to go running off with the guys to play around and she is going to be stuck with a bunch of people she doesnt know and right now she cant stand my aunts because they are always negative (which they really are these days so I get it) and so on and so on. And I know from past experiance she will end up shutting herself off playing with a computer and then she "won't feel good" Now granted my mom does have some health issues but it is the same routine. Don't get me wrong, I love my mom to death and she is a fantastic person. But there is just something about these family gatherings that shuts her into herself and she feels like she is an outsider and doesnt have a place or HAS to watch over granny or HAS to eat the terrible food that they make that isnt good for her diabetes or HAS to feel uncomfortable and get all up in arms when everyone is drinking and she doesnt drink. But, really she does it to herself...she doesnt have to eat the food, she doesnt have to watch over granny or's in her mind. At this point in our lives it's oh that is just mom... She has been scarred and it is not going to change. It's like she literally does not know how to function in the family structure and so takes things personal or gets irritated way easier than any of us. Like with my Aunts... I think old age has made them huge complainers, they have an opinion on everything and usually not to positive these days. But hey, they are also sweet and sensitive and would do anything for ya... So I laugh it off and start making jokes about oscar popping out of her garbage can again. But for my mom it is sooo stressful and exasperating.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 5:07PM
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Well I wonder if it's stressful for SIL what do we do to change that? We can shrug them off and say 'oh I'm not going to be worried about that' but what about when they attack, constantly?

I am so stressed out today. I could post 12 threads on different subjects about my day and what all has taken place... But I think I'll go have a glass of wine. Lol

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 6:34PM
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Hmmm...reunion in New York. I could handle that, Pops could go to buddy up with the guy stuff and I'd swim at pool, get my hair done (maybe nails too), do a bit of shopping, check in and see what going on now and then and in down time I'd shop shop shop. I'd have a great time. LOL.

I actually don't enjoy spending the day/evening with a bunch of people I don't know and have nothing in common with. I deal with people all the time, the last thing I want to do on my 'me' time is deal with more. I do do the family stuff I'd rather not when I have to, but I have no trouble excusing myself and doing my own thing after I get bored to pieces surrounded by people expecting me to make small talk. The DH does not mind, we enjoy the actual outing and getting away together, it's just the 'social hour' I back out on.

Myfam, SIL does indeed seem to be the one with the problem and a bundle of jealous crap. I kinda 'get it' to a point, she does not have her husband home all the time and does not want to share when he is. Too bad. Childish to expect to have him all to herself the entire time. Of course he wants to see his mother and siblings. You'd think one dinner with all together would not cramp her so much. She sounds like a greedy one.

I spend time with my DIL and even my ex DIL at times DS is not around. I call/email/text with the ladies, we have the occassional lunch, blah blah. I like the ladies above and beyond their connection to my DS. If I'm somewhere and I see something I think either lady would like, I pick it up for them. I really don't feel a need to buy for both just because I bought something for one...but both ladies get gifts and little treats, just not always at same time. I doubt my ladies compare notes to see what and if I've been up to.

The other Ds's GF gets the same attention. This lady is a bit different. We get along, I like her, I respect my son loves her, but there is just not the closeness with this one as with DIL and exDIL. She does not get left out though. She gets the same treats and stuff everybody else does. We just don't do much of the lunches out and shopping blah blah together. It's not a snub, we just don't feel a need to hang together. She does come to family stuff, is always welcome and she knows we care about's just we likely will never have a close relationship. She has a close one with her mother though. Those two lunch, shop, gossip blah blah. I think it's just a matter of we don't really have a lot in common and she'd rather spend her 'me' time with her own family. Which is fine and understandable.

Quick question. Does your mom reach out to just the DIL minus Brother occassionally? Maybe drive over once in a while and see just SIL and the kids when Brother is not home? Phone calls to keep up with the DIL/kids on their routine daily lifes? I will assume yes, but if not a bit of just the two ladies one on one attention might ease the jealous notion SIL has going on.

Your poor mom, carrying for an elderly too. That is a true labor of love. Caretaking for the elder family members is not an easy thing to do. And as the person gets more and more dependent they are not always real pleasant. It's hard on these older people to find their independence slipping away and to have to have someone else do for them and/or assist them in what they use to do all by themselves. I cared for my grandfather in his final year with alzheimers. One of the hardest and most heart tearing things I've ever had to do. He would say and do things that were so hard to deal with, but I had loved the man my whole life and he had cared for me was my turn to thank him for all his years of taking care of me by me now taking care of him , no matter how hard it was or how much it hurt. Don't know the situation with your mom and the person she is now having to be care giver for, but I know it's not an easy thing to do and I wish your mom the strength and love to get through it. In the end she'll be glad she did and that she was able to do it. Give Mom another hug, she'll need lots of them.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 7:18PM
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I feel for you and your, SIL clearly has issues, poor your mother.

Funny you posted about SIL, my SIL has been on my mind too. Don't want to hijack your thread but my SIL started to come across as being jealous/envious of me. It started to get noticeable for other people and I was getting comments. It is nothing like straight forward mean how your SIl is, SIL is not mean but comments she makes don't come across right.

I think all you and your mother can do is to think that it is her issue, not yours.

I think your brother makes no sense by saying mom is smothering him, she calls once a week? My brother would not tell my mom she is smothering, but that's how his conversations with mom go "huh? i am fine. and You? I gotta go, i am out the door, busy". Sigh...Your mom seems to be like mine, too nice to people and cannot say NO.

I wish i could think of any advice.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 8:55PM
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haha not new york new york... upstate new york... farmland. That is where my dads family is all from. actually, moms family is from new york too but not upstate

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 9:14PM
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I think we have the same brother/SIL... except mine is younger then me and isn't military.

My brother is turning 30 next month... July 27. I told my sister last year that I didn't think we'd get invited to a party for him. Well.... today I got a text from my sister stating that my SIL is having his 30 party w/a graduation party next weekend. Guess who hasn't received an invitation yet. Yep... that'd be us. My dad has had his for over a week... my mom just got hers today. My sister and I live out of town so we'll probably get it tomorrow... but seriously.... it's a week away. She sent us an invite for her baby shower exactly one week away as well. Obviously that's to cover her butt but make it so we can't make it. Like I said... we are out of town. So... it's a suprise party... but my sister and I are going to text my brother that we won't be able to make it. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! I'm having a week. I'm really not normally this evil minded. I need that glass of wine too myfampg.... but I'm at work. Booo!!

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 10:27PM
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Mom of 3 hahaha! You better not or she'll hunt you down!! Lol

Thanks PO1 -- I'm glad I'm not the only one. My DH doesn't have any siblings so I'm not in her shoes. Yes mom calls on Sunday's. If he thinks she is smothering, he should see my phone bill. I talk to my mom several times a day. Granted, she is helping a lot with the kids during the summer but normally I talk to her a lot any way. We are just very close. I talk to my sister daily too. If I don't talk to my dad(stepdad) for one day, he's calling as well..

My mom is caring for my grandmother (her mother) that has Parkinson's. It's actually very devastating how fast she is declining. Of course she was diagnosed years ago and never told anyone and so now the treatment she could have been receiving isn't working like it could have. Parkinson's tends to effect the part of your brain that controls behavior and mood. So the dr had warned my mom that she will get meaner as time goes on. It's just the nature of the disease. She has turned into an evil lady. Apparently I'm learning that she has always been this mean, mom just sheltered us from it growing up. Even SIL told me once, that woman is mean!
My mom does call SIL too. She calls to check on her and the kids. But they are so secretive they never really 'tell' how they are. They are very proud. We just found out that the oldest is failing and having issues at school but they always make it sound like she is doing fabulous. I've told my sil if she keeps it bottled up and has no outlet she will explode. I've tried being there for her. We've had nights where we talk for four hours and all she wants to talk about is 1. My brothers ex and his daughter 2. My mom and all the 'evil' things my mom has done.
She told me not long ago that my mom had been critical of a decision they had made and it made her mad that my mom was even commenting. I said 'she would have said the same thing to me'. You aren't getting special treatment or anything. We are her kids and she tells us when she thinks we are wrong.
A lot of my moms problem is that her mom was not the custodial parent and so my mom felt abandoned by her so she always said she would NEVER let her children feel the way she felt. Knowing that I let my mom smother me because I know her intentions are good. She wants to be the best mom and in my eyes she is. She was a good mom growing up, she has now become my very best friend. And I am super protective of her so that's why this drama is really effecting me. Dont mess with my momma!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 1:10AM
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myfam, OMG my SIL is very secretive too, my brother does share when she is not around. They really don't have much to be secretive about, there is nothing really. I don't know why she is this way.

My SIL has some mental health issues though so we think her behavior is due to that. She used to be on meds, but not anymore. I love my SIl and me and mom got used to this but my dad keeps having hard time with it. It is what it is. I can write a novel here, she is the type of woman who does not know how to write a check, my brother does everything. But oh well...

My SIL's mother is a nice hard working woman and she treates our family like we are royalty because she knew my SIl got lucky marrying my brother. Interesting...

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 6:22AM
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Po1 same with my SIL. She can't do the bills she is awful and has a spending problem. She has actually been diagnosed! She also has another issue and she just kind of goes off her rocker occasionally. I love her. I really do but damn!!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 11:04AM
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SIl does not have spending problems, it is actually the opposite, she refuses to purchase anything for herself even if they can afford it and insists on looking like a bum. When they go on vacation she borrows my mom's clothes (she is way bigger than me, does not borrow mine), and my brother beggs her to buy some clothes, she refuses. Weird.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 12:27PM
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I read wrong. Lol I can't even imagine being like that lol

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 1:13PM
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