Category Archives: It's a Family Affair (Issues Concerning Family)

Dog Gone It

So the big talk over here at Camp Mix & Bitch is if and/or when we’re going to adopt a shelter dog.  It’s either a dog or a third kid, believe it or not. 

One of the strange side effects of turning 40 has been this overwhelmingly strong urge to nurture something small.  It’s like my body realizes it just made a hard right turn down mid-life crisis highway and is desperate to propagate the species one…last…(cough)…time. 

Biology’s a bitch my fine furless  friends.

Good thing for me and Mr. Mix that I tied up the internal plumbing years ago, otherwise I may let that toxic drug known as estrogen overrule my common sense and get myself knocked up on purpose.  Mr. Mix is an infinitely patient and selfless man, but even I know I’d be pushing it too far with another one.

Between you and me (ahem), if I had my way, I’d be high tailing it over to China or Vietnam in a heartbeat and grab me one of those beyond adorable and precious little Asian babies.  Hey, if they’re stupid enough not to want their girls, I’ll take ’em.

AsianBaby2.jpg Asian Baby 2 image by arthur-o_O

C’mon, how cute is she?

Don’t you just want to bite those little cheeks?

Btw, I am not implying that a dog replaces a human child.  I’m just saying that I can handle an adult dog…a baby (even a beyond gorgeous Asian girl baby) is beyond my emotional and financial resources at this point in my life. And I’m pretty sure Mr. Mix would leave me if there was a third baby to contend with around here.

So as long as I don’t get a puppy, I think he’s cool with abating my aching womb syndrome.

Anyhoo, so I’ve been doing lots of research, on breeds, on shelters, on what to expect when you’re expecting something furry, etc. etc.  And while I’d like something of a scrappy variety like this little guy…

Drama Queen and Sweet Pea long for a dog more along the lines of this…

I know, I know…it’s not a dog, it’s a duster. But they want something small and cuddly that they can pick up and hold. I get it.

So I start finding dogs on Petfinder and submitting applications to different shelters. Holy Friggin’ Shitballs Batman! These applications were ridiculous.  I think I could’ve adopted me some Angelina orphans for less hassle than to get me a goddamn dog in this town.

Long story a bit shorter, I finally chucked the idea of the smaller rescue outfits in favor of the good ‘ol Humane Society of Fairfax County.  Within 24 hours, they called me after I filled out only a 2 page application (versus the 4-6 pages monsters with the other rescues, each asking for, like 5 references, my mother’s maiden name, how large is my husband’s left nut, and will I promise to wipe the dog’s ass after every poop for the rest of my life, so help me God?).  They told me they’ll line up the kinds of dogs we’re looking for, gave me the address, and made an appointment for next weekend.

Done. Capeesh. Finite.

So once we get the precious mutt, I promise to post some pictures. Wish me luck people!

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Twisted Sisters

 
Ms. Mix and Bitch,
 
I feel like I’m constantly being criticized and monitored. We have talked about her snapping at me, and she tells me that I have to tell her when she’s snapping at me in a calm manner because she doesn’t know she’s doing it. I have been doing that, in fact my control on my anger has become amazing.
 
I don’t know what kind of advice I’m seeking from you. I know that most of this letter represents my sister in a negative light. I can sincerely tell you that I love her. She cares fiercely for the ones she loves, she has a wicked sense of humor and she’s very smart. I just wish she saw these things in herself so she could find her own happiness. I think I tried to save her by letting her in my social life. I feel like our problem right now as a whole is my fault, but I don’t know what to do. I want her to be happy. I hate that she has to go through this after everything she has had to deal with. It’s not fair. I want to help her, but when I do I get hurt. Once gain, a Catch-22. I think what I’m asking you is if I’m doing the right thing, or am I really being selfish? I’m also very bothered by my father telling me you don’t have to be friends with you siblings, just try to be civil. I have wished for a friendship with her for so long, must it really be this way? I want to feel hope again.
 
 
Dear Sad and Frustrated Sister,
I received this letter months ago, and I am sincerely sorry I did not answer you sooner.  I have no excuse. 
I am hoping by now you and your sister have been attending therapy with a counselor specializing in PTSD because that’s exactly what your sister is suffering from, Ms. Sis.  I am also hoping that by now you have continued to enforce the boundaries between you two (such as NOT having her hang out with your friends, having separate social outings, etc).  If neither of these two strategies have been implemented, then I seriously urge you to do both. 
It should go without saying, but here it goes regardless: you deserve your own life.  A happy life.  Really.  That doesn’t mean you are not suppose to be there for your sister and your parents, but not at the expense of your own dignity or needs.  And another thing – about the whole ‘model daughter’ deal…while there’s no need to get all self-destructive on their asses, just because you’re sister’s a disaster doesn’t mean YOU have to be perfect.  I hope you have some people in your life you can count on.  If you don’t, and you feel you must handle everything on your own, then I would seriously urge you to start taking some risks and begin reaching out and relying on people.  Whether that’s your family or friends, hopefully both, that’s up to you. 
As far as your sister is concerned, if she’s going to make any sort of life worth living for herself, she’s going to have to learn the social skills needed to make her own friends, pick appropriate men, and -most importantly – work through her PTSD.  Expect this to take years.
Meanwhile, be good to yourself.  I’m rooting for you 🙂
10. “This Woman’s Work,” (Kate Bush) The Sensual World.
 
09. “Edge of the Ocean,” (Ivy) Long Distance.
 
08.  “Cracking,” (Suzanne Vega) Suzanne Vega.
 
07. “Sister Winter,” (Sufjan Stevens) Songs for Christmas.
 
06.”I Live on a Battlefield,” (Nick Lowe) Untouched Takeaway.
 
05. “Roads,” (Portishead) Dummy.
 
04. “Acid Tongue,” (Jenny Lewis) Acid Tongue.
 
03.  “Crooked Legs,” (The Acorn) Glory Hope Mountain.
 
02.  “Good Woman,” (Cat Power) You are Free.
 
01.   “So Sorry,” (Feist) The Reminder.

A Distorted Reality is Now a Necessity to Be Free

This is a post I’ve been wanting to write for a while now.  I have been trying to take a phrase here, a thought there, and compile it together in some sort of coherent piece.  Needless to say, I’ve got next to nothing.  So, I’m just going to rattle on here a bit, so stay with me, ok?

I don’t know why this is, but I think most relationships rest on the edge of a knife.  They are inherently fragile entities, based much more on conditional circumstances than we would care to admit.  I bring this up because I now know about five couples going through various stages of divorce.  Some of them weren’t a surprise, others were a shock. 

They all prove a central point: no one knows what really goes on with a couple not just behind closed doors, but in the hearts and minds of each involved.  You could live with someone everyday of your life, eat meals together, bump uglies, clean up after one another, and not know what’s really going on with your partner.  That’s a scary thought in and of itself.  Just as frightening is to think that during a low point of your life – diagnosed with cancer, losing your job, having your business go under, or your child is in some sort of trouble – that’s when your husband or wife completely bails on you. 

Although for some people I know, the reasons are not so dramatic.  It’s a slow, creeping cold which grows over too many years of not being heard, of not being seen…so even when your significant other finally gets a clue, oftentimes it’s too late to crawl back from the abyss.  The chasm has grown too great in distance.

I know something about this not just as an armchair spectator.  Mr. Mix and I went through our own crisis back in 2005.  It was a confluence of influences for us, both financial stress and the internal combustion of two people growing apart at vastly different rates.  Wow, that makes it sound simple, doesn’t it? It wasn’t, of course.  So, how did we survive through that hell, while others around us are falling to pieces? 

I’ve thought a lot about that over the last few months, and whatever I’ve got, it’s probably speculative at best.  While, yes, I run an advice site, I’ve never pretended to have all the answers.  Those who believe in their own hype fall the hardest.

I wish I could say I had this steely determination to save our marriage, but at that point, I was out.  And the only reason why I went to counseling in the first place was to be able to look my girls in the eyes and say yeah, mommy tried everything to make her marriage to their daddy work.  We didn’t find some therapist in the phone book or go for the first shmoe on our insurance plan either.  I asked my friend who I knew also went through a hard time – and was thriving now – and got the name of the therapist they went to.  Of course, he didn’t take insurance and he wasn’t cheap.  My mom and her husband offered to pay for the sessions, as long as we went in with an open mind.  I know how lucky we were to be able to accept such a gift.  It probably was one of the deciding factors which saved us.

It also didn’t hurt that all around us were devoted couples – not all of them happy, mind you, but all of them hell-bent on staying together.  Our children went to the same school, we had monthly pot luck dinners at each others’ homes…we were ensconced in one another’s lives.  And as much as I like to think of myself as a non-conformist, I was not immuned to the effects of social psychology in the form of latent peer pressure.

Lastly, but a point which probably should’ve been mentioned at the top of the list, Mr. Mix was willing to do anything and everything to get our marriage back on track.  Like being awoken from a long-suffering coma, he finally heard what I had to say.  Not every time, or for every session, but enough.  Likewise, I realized over time how hurtful my communication style could be…so much so that after a while he couldn’t hear so much of what I was saying, but rather how I was saying it.  Trust me, it takes training to take one’s raw anger and frustration, calm down enough to get to the root of the issue, and convey such info with love and respect. 

In the end, however, that’s the only way any of us are going to make it.  To give the ones you love the benefit of the doubt…to show the same kindness, decorum, and compassion you would to your best friend….to remember it’s more inportant to be loved than to always be right. 

I think back on how bad off we were…how even now – with all the work we’ve done and how far we’ve come – that all it takes is a few weeks of not connecting to feel the cold creep in some.  I guess the difference now is we try to nip that crap in the bud before it has a chance to kill all we’ve worked towards.  There are, and will always be, what psychologists call ‘permanent issues’ – specific conflicts which may wax and wane, but never fully go away.  Sometimes, they feel like a light nuisance, like a gnat buzzing in your ear…other times, it’s like a jack hammer in your gut.  But I suppose some maturity comes when you realize that someone else isn’t the ‘cure all’ answer…that they have a litany of baggage which may make your current issues look like nothing in comparison. 

That all said, I’d say that most of the friends and family in various stages of divorce right now are probably better off splitting up….not because their outside circumstances are so dire, but because one or both partners lack the character or conviction to do the work needed.  Some have been outright abusive with their actions.  I don’t believe you stay married at all costs.  That said, it’s a death for all of us when someone you know splits. 

It never stops being a big deal.  It may be necessary, but it doesn’t make it any less tragic.

Ms. Mix & Bitch’s Pouting Session #1: Not Home for the Holidays

So the whole Mix & Bitch gang was supposed to go to my mom and stepdad’s house in North Carolina for the Thanksgiving holiday.  And while I know plenty of you dread the idea of having to see the people unfortunately related to you, I was really looking forward to going this year.  For one thing, they built themselves quite the rustic palace – and I only say rustic because of its location, not it’s amenities.  With 10,000 square feet and air and heating systems for every wing, it’s not exactly winning any green earth awards anytime soon either.  But my mom really goes all out with the decorations and my stepdad cooks a mean bird.  And thank God my mom loves her box of wine just as much as Kathy Griffin’s mom because she gets more charming by the glass (a trait I too share).  We spend the weekend doing North Carolina mountainy thingys like fishing and hiking the trails and roasting marshmallows at the open fire pit…sigh, it’s just good country fun.

Anyway, the reason why we’re not going is because Queen Mama Bitch (she’s not a music fan at all, hence why no ‘Mix” in her title) is having some unusually bad acid reflux and thinks she’s going to die.  Or that she has a tumor growing on her gall bladder. Or maybe she’s really been having a heart attack the whole time.  In other words, she’s a fucking hypochondriac.  And I wish I could tell you this happens with aging parents, but she’s been this way since I was eight years old.  So she wants to stay down in South Florida, where the “good” doctors are and get this resolved before trekking back to the boonies of Carolina. 

I know I sound selfish. I am, btw.  And I do get it that it’s scary to have pain that doesn’t go away.  I promise you all, I am much more understanding with her on the phone.  But between you and me, the whole jumping to the worse conclusion deal has gotten way old with me.  She’s had a particularly stressful couple of weeks down in Florida (for reasons I can’t get into) and hence, her upper GI tract is inflamed.  Doesn’t take an MD to see the stress is getting to her.  I’ve really been missing her and wanted to see her…so I’m pouting via blogging. I told you all I was a spoiled brat.

The good news is that some very cool Mix & Bitch friends are hosting Thanksgiving and have invited us – there’s also going to be an after-Thanksgiving shin dig on Friday I had wanted to attend.  So that works 🙂   I just hate feeling like the third wheel for someone else’s Norman Rockwellian Thanksgiving Day parade.  I have really stank memories of Thanksgiving with my parents – either it being just the three of us barely talking to each other, or getting the pity invite from someone and feeling like I was looking at happy family functioning through the looking-glass.  I would always end up feeling lonelier than ever.

A lot of that changed once my parents split for good and my stepdad came into my mother’s life.  King Stepdad Bitch (he is also not a fan of music, hence why he shares in my mother’s title) can be a real piece of work, but for all his craziness (and trust me, he’s packaging a full load of the crazies) he brought a genuine sense of joy and – dare I say – merriment back into the holidays for me and my mom.  He’s a trip and then some, and he kinda looks like a Jewishy Santa Claus so he just screams holiday friggin’ cheer.  It’s a good time, and I’m going to miss it. So there’s that.

Girl Interrupted

 

Ms. Mix,

Mine is a family in perpetual crisis. I have left home to go to school but the crisis follows.

In my pyramid of importance and priority my family is at the top, school/career follows, then my relationship with my boyfriend, and then me. Recently I feel my grasp on all these things is weakening.

My sister (with whom I am practically telepathic) has been going through some problems. She’s 17 (I’m almost 21) and has always been extremely intelligent, happy, outgoing and loving- but has recently been diagnosed with depression, anxiety, and other health problems. She has been suicidal a few times. This summer I travelled three hours every weekend to see her and when I could get the time off (I work and go to school in the summer as well as the regular school year) I would go for weeks at a time to be with her. My parents are also going through a bit of a crisis. Both of them have highly stressful jobs and often have to go through counselling for the stress they incur there.

I am fairly stable- I work, go to school, live with my boyfriend, have two cats, listen to blues and live three hours away in the closest city. I am “the rock” of my family. I am the outlet. I am always there. The rare occasions I break down and cry in front of my family I feel immensely guilty because I don’t want to give them anything more to worry about. Today I talked with my mother on the phone about the stresses of her work and the recent “down” period my sister has been having. I listened to her cry, gave her advice: (“It has to get worse before it can get better. Take some time to do the things you love to do together. Take a stay-cation.”) Then after I hung up and was getting ready to go to class I totally broke down. Crying, praying, coughing, sputtering- Hoping the neighbours wouldn’t hear, hoping my boyfriend wouldn’t come home from work and see me in that state. This has been more and more common in the past year and it just shuts me down for the whole day. I feel exhausted and tired and just want to turn off my mind and sleep. Everything I have is for them. I have very often asked if they want me to quit work and school and come home and they insist that I don’t. I consider doing it every time I go home.

This is all a very long winded background for the reason I’m writing. They are the most important thing to me and I don’t know how to keep myself functioning in order to be there for them. I don’t know how I can help them! I don’t know how I can be there for them and still work and go to school and have a relationship with my boyfriend and get the laundry done and finish my readings and have a life. I went to therapy briefly but I felt like a lot of her advice was to let go of their problems and take care of myself- but I can’t take care of myself knowing they are in crisis. I can’t ask for help knowing they need it more. I was afraid of sending this because I’m afraid of them seeing it, recognizing that it was me, and then getting stressed out that I am so upset.

I don’t know what this is more- a letter asking for help or an outlet for me to vent my exhaustion and frustration. I graduate in April so I wonder if I should move back to help them or run far far away… (yeah right, as if I could really run away). My mantra is “don’t panic”. Thanks Douglas Adams.

I could really go for a mix tape, Ms. Mix.
Sincerely, The Rock

P.S. You’ll notice that “friends” aren’t on the pyramid. Those have kind of fallen to the wayside as I can’t be the supportive friend I want to be. I go out for lunch and drinks, I go see movies with friends at work or school- I don’t have friends I can talk to this about.They don’t need my problems.

 

Dear Rocky,

I hear ya. I am the “rock” of my family as well – the burden of being the only fairly stable one in a three-ring circus of stress, I suppose.

Since your letter was long, I’ll keep this short: your therapist is right, mostly.    (S)he has a point that you should be focusing more on yourself, but here’s what she didn’t get a chance to tell you (since you stopped going to therapy).  There are three reasons why you should take care of yourself more:

1) Keep this up, and you won’t be a help to anyone.  Your body and mind will rebel against this relentless emotional pace and you will have a full-fledged breakdown.  That’s a promise.  Take it from someone who knows…I’ve been there. It’s a very dark hole to try to crawl out of…

2)  By constantly being there for your family, by dropping everything to be there for them, believe it or not, you are preventing them from learning their own coping skills.  That doesn’t mean you turn your back on them, but it means you give some space for them to figure out their own solutions. If they are not taking any of your self-care suggestions (hint hint), and just insisting on going at their issues the same way over and over, then you need to limit how much of your physical time and emotional energy you expend.  One or more of them may “crash and burn” – or they may learn that they’re stronger than they thought.  Right now, however, you being 100% available to them denies them the opportunity for fend for themselves.

3)  You need to form your own identity beyond the moniker of “problem solver.”  Again, I know A LOT about this.  Believe it or not, you get a tremendous charitable ego benefit from being the savior of the family.  It’s cool to be the one everyone turns to, unless it becomes all of who you are.  By being so absorbed in their crises, you deny yourself the ability to discover what else you’re about.  The fact that you are willing to quit school, your job, your life for theirs is a sign to me that perhaps you’re hesistant to fully live in your world.  The only caveat to that is if a family member was seriously ill, dying, and no other family member could help them.

All of the above doesn’t mean you should cut them out and become a narcissistic beast.  But here are some concrete solutions to find some balance:

1) Insist your sister get into counseling and your parents find a more effective counselor.  Whether or not they do this is out of your control, but at least you put it out there. And while you’re at it, go back into counseling…if not with your original therapist, then someone you click with – and don’t bolt the first time they tell you something outside your comfort zone.

2) Talk to them on the phone of course, but limit the time.  You don’t have to say, “you’ve only got 30 minutes” but keep an eye on the clock, and wind it up when it’s time to go.

3) Schedule time for yourself and your boyfriend.  Just because you live together doesn’t mean you should forget date nights and autumn walks together and all that corny shit I hate talking about, but secretly love. 

4) Reconnect with your friends and explain what you’ve been going through.  If they are really your friends, they’ll understand.  And while no friend wants to only hear burdens from another, a real friend thinks you are worth the occasional dumping ground session.  You should have enough self love and worth to know that. 

I have a feeling that you won’t take most of this advice because you feel as if your family’s world will collapse without you doing the same thing you’re doing.  What I hope you come away from this is that in the end they must be responsible for themselves, you can’t save everyone, and you’re worth the time and effort outside of this one identity you and your family have built for yourself.  Good luck.

 10. “Dead End,” (The Whitest Boy Alive)  Rules.

09.  “How You Survived the War,”  (The Weepies)  Hideaway.

08.  “Disaster Button,” (Snow Patrol)  A Hundred Million Suns.

07.  “Half a Person,”  (The Smiths)  The Sounds of the Smiths.

06.  “I Still Care for You,”  (Ray LaMontagne) Gossip in the Grain.

05.  “You Never Wash Up After Yourself,” (Radiohead) My Iron Lung.

04.  “I Guess You’re Right,”  (The Posies) Every Kind of Light.

03.  “Pink Light,” (Laura Veirs) Saltbreakers.

02.  “Wait It Out,” (Imogen Heap) Ellipse.

01.  “I Am Part of a Large Family,”  (Great Lake Swimmers)  The Live Sessions.

Reunited and It Feels So…Good?

 

Dear Ms. Mix & Bitch,

I am a 22-year-old woman, from Saudi Arabia, but currently living in New York.  I convinced my parents to let me study in the United States, and I am earning my MBA from a prestigious university.  One of the reasons why they agreed to let me go was because the man I was engaged to marry broke off our engagement.  In my culture, families arrange marriages (the bride and groom may or may not have a say. I did.)  and everything was good until my older brother (living in Paris) surprised and defied my family and married a non-Muslim French woman.   At first, my family and I were enraged and stopped talking to him.  As the “news” got around, my fiancé’s family also found out and pressured him to break the engagement, saying that my family was now no good because of the shame brought on us by my brother.  At first, he resisted because he said he had fallen in love with me, and that I should not be punished because of my brother’s foolishness.  But his mother was relentless, and he finally gave in and he broke up with me.  I was devastated because I really loved him.  What was even worse than my broken heart was the gossip swirling around my community. 

I couldn’t take it after a while and wanted to get as far away from them as possible.  I was allowed to study in New York because my mother’s uncle lives there.  So I moved into their home and discovered all the freedoms that America has to offer.  My uncle and his family are also very open-minded and American (I don’t think my mother knows this, otherwise she wouldn’t have let me come).  I feel a freedom that I never knew was possible.  After several months of living in New York, I got enough courage to call my brother, and we have reconciled (my parents have not and do not know that I talk to him).  Over the summer, I returned home for a visit and happen to see my ex at mutual friend’s wedding.  We did not talk, but I can see from his eyes that he still loved me.  The next day, he called me, and begged me to meet him.  I refused, feeling angry over his cowardice still.  A week later, I was back in New York, enjoying my routine with my extended family and the friends I have made here.  Then I get a call from my mother, saying that my ex fiance’s family has reluctantly changed their position and would be open to a marriage if my family agrees to never talk or see my brother again.  While it is true that my parents were already not speaking to my brother, my father resented them dictating terms to his family.  My mother is thrilled and is urging me to accept, feeling it will help restore the family honor.  However, the choice is mine.

I must admit, I still have some love for him in my heart, but the hurt over his abandonment is there too.  He calls and texts me constantly, saying I should not deny him our future because of  ‘a moment of weakness’ and that he will make me happy.  Meanwhile, I will graduate from my program at the end of this semester, and one of my cousins has already offered me a job at his firm (he’s a venture capitalist).  I think he offered it to me as a way to keep encouraging me to become my own woman. 

What do I do? Do I try to forgive this man and marry him? Or do I take the job here?  The opinion is divided between my family and friends both back home and here in the United States.  I know you’re an American unfamiliar with Muslim culture, but my cousins and I love your blog and I think you will try and be fair. Besides, I have learned so much about American music from you!  Thank you for answering my question.

Signed,

An American Girl?

Dear American Girl,

I’ve got to imagine before I even get started here that’s you’ve got enough sharp tools in your think tank to know that coming to a socially-liberal, foul-mouth, Jewish-American Piece of Work is going to give you a certain kind of an answer, right? To say that I’m unfamiliar with the Muslim world is the fucking understatement of the year.  But this I know for sure…

Determine what kind of woman you want to be.  Are you the kind of woman who values family unity over personal freedom?  Or does having  a taste of American individualism (the real American religion) buzz your pleasure principle?  Doesn’t mean you can’t try to balance both, but we all dominantly hang left or right, so it’s good for you to know – at your core – who you are.

Btw, if I’m to understand a lil’ o’bit of Saudi culture (hey, I read Girls of Riyadh.  I’m not completely clueless), then didn’t you only meet your ex – like once or twice – before agreeing to be married?  I don’t mean to come off big and culture imperialist-y on you sweetums, but how the fuck do you know you love him after so little time?  Because while I do believe that people usually deserve a second chance, I base that philosophy on the knowledge that I’m, like, über particular on my inner circle membership. 

So, does he deserve that chance?  I honestly don’t know how you can know if he’s either (1) a boy who became a man through the thought of losing you, (2) he’s just an overgrown mama’s boy doing a little rebelling, but is still – at heart – mama’s man forever.

Personally, if I were you, I’d ditch the ex for good, stay in New York, and find an open-minded Saudi like your uncle (but obviously, um, younger) for yourself.  That way, you can honor your heritage while still being your own woman. Deep down, you know the answer.  Now just muster up the courage to live it.  Whatever you choose, I promise you, you won’t please everyone – but hopefully – you find contentment for yourself.

10.  “Bartering Lines,”  (Ryan Adams)  Heartbreaker.

09.  “You Never Know,” (Wilco) Wilco.

08.  “Upon My Shoulders,” (Brad) Interiors.

07.  “Unplayed Piano,”  (Damien Rice) The Single.

06. “Somebody that I Used to Know,”  (Elliott Smith)  Figure 8.

05.  “Slipping Through the Sensors,”  (Fruit Bats)  Mouthfuls.

04.  “No Man’s Woman,”  (Sinead O’Connor)  Faith and Courage.

03.  “Make Me Believe,”  (Angel Taylor)  Love Travels.

02.  “Beautiful Freak,”  (Eels)  Beautiful Freak.

01.  “California One/Youth and Beauty Brigade,”  (The Decemberist) Castaways and Cutouts.

Double Trouble

Dear Ms. Mix & Bitch,

I am about to get married to the most wonderful man.  I am so happy!  I only wish my twin sister could be happy for me.  I’ve asked her what’s wrong and she tells me nothing, but meanwhile, she rolls her eyes during fittings, she shrugs when I ask if she likes something. I wish I didn’t need her approval, but I do.  She’s been by my side since the beginning and we’ve always done everything together.  But it’s as if she wants no part of my day.  I’m heart broken.

To tell you the truth, ever since Brad and I have gotten serious, my sister, Hailey, has been weird.  Not mean, but not warm either.  She says she thinks Brad’s a great guy, so I know it’s not that.  I don’t know, maybe if she had someone serious for herself, but Hailey goes through men like others go through breath mints.  So, if she doesn’t want a serious relationship, why is she acting jealous over mine?  Do I just start leaving her out, or do I try to say something again? Should I get my parents involved? What should I do?

By the way, could you NOT give me a mix filled with bitchy sister references? I’d actually like your selections of cool wedding music.  Thanks.

Your Biggest Fan,

Holly

 

Dear Holly,

First of all, I’m really hoping you made up the names in this letter.  Twins named Holly and Hailey?  No wonder your sister is having a bitch of a time separating here.  And btw, that’s a big part of what’s happening here.  You two have been THE unit since, well, birth…but now you’re coupling with someone else, and she probably feels left out in the dust.  Yes, you’re trying to include her, but it’s no longer the Holly and Hailey show.  Even worse, YOU’RE getting all the attention as the blushing bride and she resents riding on your wedding dress train. 

In short, your sister’s acting like an immature, short-sighted, lil’ bitch.  And what a shame because she’s not only damaging what “should” be a magical time for you, but casting a dark cloud on her future relationship with you and her brother-in-law.  I use the quotes around should because, let’s face it, happy occasions never go as planned.  What should bring out the best in people can actually bring out their worst.  Case in point: your twin from hell.

So, what to do?  As much as I’d like to tell you to bitch slap her down the aisle and back again, you should probably act more mature than she has towards you.  Sit her down with no one else around and tell her how you feel – that her heart isn’t in this with you, that she’s killing pieces of your happiness with every apathetic answer and eye roll.  Give her specifics, because otherwise, she’ll try to blow you off.  If she still trys to discount your examples, tell her this, “Listen, I’m not looking for a fight or to create problems.  This is how I feel with you and that should be valid enough.”  Use your own words, of course…because being her twin means you probably know her better than anyone, right?  Reassure her that no one can replace her role as your sister.  If that doesn’t turn it around, then you may need to lessen her involvement in the wedding plans and have your mom give her a talkin’ to.

Or send her my way. I’d love to set her straight.  Hopefully, it doesn’t come to any of that…because I promise, what I have to say won’t be so darm pretty.  One last thing…this day is about you and Brad – not you and your sister.  Good luck.

10.  “It’s Good to Be in Love,”  (Frou Frou)  Details.

09. “Love is All,”  (The Rapture)  Echoes.

08. “Crazy for You,”  (Adele)  19.

07. “Cigarettes, Wedding Bands,”  (Band of Horses)  Sub Pop’s 20th Anniversary Collection.

06. “Passenger Seat,”  (Death Cab for Cutie)  Transatlanticism.

05. “For You,”  (Duncan Sheik)  Daylight.

04. “Sweetheart,”  (Jont) Supernatural.

03. “I Was Made for You,” (She & Him)  Volume One.

02. “The Planets Bend Between Us,”  (Snow Patrol) A Hundred Million Suns.

01. “Siren Song,”  (Bat for Lashes)  Two Suns.

PS: You have no idea how hard it was for me not to put Iron & Wine’s “Such Great Heights” into this mix.  Why didn’t I? Because I have to recognize that I tend to get a bit stuck on certain favorites and recycle them more than I should on my mixes. So there. I’m growing. Happy now???