Saturday, March 03, 2007

True MIL Confessions - Edition 14

1. Your mother (my grandma-in-law) is grouchy. She is grouchy ALL THE TIME. Now I understand that it is because of her brain tumor, but before any of us knew about the brain tumor, my telling her off for being rude was no more than she deserved. Calling me later to tell me that grandma's feelings were hurt and that I needed to apologize, EVEN THOUGH YOU AGREED WITH WHAT I SAID, didn't make me regret what I said. Perhaps if YOU told her off once in awhile, she'd tone it down a little.

2. I found a gorgeous, expensive, art-show photograph for you for Christmas, framed it, and wrapped it carefully so it wouldn't break. You didn't say a thing when you opened it--not even "thank you." Whereas I exclaimed, smiled, and generally put on a good show for my, let's see, name-brand (e.g., Hershey) cookbooks, orange-scented bath products, gift cards to Bath & Body Works (I don't shop there because the store makes me sneeze), etc.

3. Every Christmas, you tell me not to write a thank-you card. WTH?! I think I shut you up when I said that MY mother taught me to write thank-yous, and you wouldn't want me to disobey my mother, but I have a feeling we're going to have this conversation again next year. And the next. Ad nauseum.

4. Calling your son every day, much less SEVEN TIMES every day, is not and was not ever appropriate. Not in college, not before we were married, not now. He has set the caller ID to read "The Nuisance" and play scary music when your number comes up. (And you wonder why we don't answer our phone.)

5. Asking your son about our sex life is not and was not ever appropriate. I don't know whether you've stopped, because hubby won't tell me--he knows I'm thisclose to confronting you about it.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

True MIL Confessions - Edition 13

1. The thought of you being alone with my child terrifies me. I am going to try to delay that happening for as long as I possibly can.

2. Spare me the marital advice, will you? Quantity does NOT make you an expert in the subject (married six times; to the same guy twice). I only think how lucky the bastards are to have gotten away.

3. My mom was taken to the ER with renal failure on December 20. Over the next few days as the doctors struggled to explain what was wrong, we stopped by MIL’s house. In response to her question, I said we would probably skip Christmas evening at my grandmother’s since I didn’t think I could enjoy it in her absence or be up to fielding questions that even the doctors couldn’t yet answer.

Oh, she said perkily, then we’d be free to come here that night rather than opening gifts Christmas Eve.

We usually spent all that evening at her house, about two hours with my parents Christmas morning, midday at her parents’ house, and a few hours on Christmas evening at my grandmother’s – it’s exhausting. I had always got the feeling that MIL resented the time we spent with my family on Christmas day (or almost any other day), but it was kind of obvious now. I wanted to throw up.

By Christmas day, the doctors were pretty sure they knew what Mom had, but not sure at all that their treatments would be enough. I decided to go to hubby’s grandparents thinking it would take my mind off Mom lying in ICU. MIL couldn’t wait to grab the spotlight with her “news” and as soon as we arrived the entire family was bombarding me with questions. It wouldn’t have been that bad if I felt they were concerned and sympathetic, but it seemed like some kind of morbid entertainment for most of them with MIL hamming up her role as “stand-in mom.” I spent the next few hours on the verge of tears.

Before we left, MIL made a point of asking us if we were coming to her house to open presents. I let hubby say yes, but as soon as we got in the car, I told him I couldn’t handle any more. He went without me so that we wouldn’t “hurt her feelings” by both not showing up. Yes, she had spent so many years using emotional blackmail to get her way that he would rather leave his wife alone, in tears over her mother’s life-and-death struggle than risk upsetting his own mother.

By the end of March, the only signs that Mom had been sick were occasional bouts of fatigue. If my mom had not recovered, I might not have ever talked to MIL again over that.

4. When your grandson asks you very nicely and innocently to come to his concert why do you have to be such a mean and uncaring old bag? How do I explain to my children why you aren't there for them?

5. My husband and I have been married for two years. We're both in our mid-twenties. We have PLENTY of time to have children. Reminding us every hour on the hour how much you want grandbabies is a deterrent, not encouragement. When we're out of debt and hubby has a full-time job,then we'll have children. In other words, on our time frame, NOT YOURS.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

True MIL Confessions - Edition 12

1. It is NOT possible for a diaper to cripple a child. So next time you think about writing me telling me that you are worried my son will suffer "lifelong nerve, bone and muscle damage due to the constriction," go f*ck yourself sideways.

2. Thanks for the death-trap bassinet, by the way. The slats were nearly twice the recommended width, the mattress didn't fit all the way and it's over 100-year old frame had seen better days. I'm surprised it wasn't coated in lead-based paint.

3. Quit your f*cking bitching about not seeing your grandson every week. You live an hour away from us and we both work full-time. We barely see our baby and yet you think your so damn special.

4. Operating a digital camera or a computer is not brain surgery. People have shown you how to use them a MILLION times!! Don't own them if you can't use them. You just frustrate people.

5. You are in no competition with my mother. She lives closer and, quite honestly, she is a better woman than you any day. She is strong and independent and doesn't whine about petty sh*t. Plus, she could whoop your ass big time.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

True MIL Confessions - Edition 11

1. I hate your cooking.

2. My kids are not a dog and pony show. Yes, they are cute, smart, and funny, but you would know this if you ever spent time interacting with them.

3. Please stop being helpful in my house. I’m not sure whether you are trying to be the most thoughtful guest ever, or whether you feel very at home with us, or both. Possibly other daughers-in-law would find your helpfulness incredibly... well... helpful.

However, whether you mean to or not, you are making me feel inadequate. You strip the beds and uncover our nasty old mattress. You arrive with three kinds of homemade dessert, or you bring your own flour and sugar and then you make some. You clean the bathtub and shower when you’ve only used them once. You unload the dishwasher, in the process going into every single cupboard in the kitchen.

I say, “Oh, you don’t need to do all this.”
You say, “Oh, but I know how busy you are.”

Sure, I’m busy, (and that is why I haven’t got around to replacing the old mattress), but I don’t make dessert because I don’t like dessert. It’s not a healthy habit. I have to eat all the crazy stuff you make when I visit you, so I would really like to be able to eat MY food in MY house. Also I clean the bathroom right before you come and there isn’t any need to clean it all over again. Also I keep things in my cupboards that aren’t for your perusal. For instance, a shamefully large liquor collection, which I know you disapprove of, and a whole bunch of really ugly wedding gifts that I’m afraid you will discover at the very back of the cupboard under a layer of dust.

Please, understand that I need some privacy in my own home. Yes, you are family, but you are a guest here. There’s a fine line between appropriate thoughtfulness from a guest, and inappropriate making-yourself-at-home. Maybe you haven’t even crossed it—maybe it’s just my hangup. But I really wish I knew how to discuss it without coming across as an ingrate.

4. I already have a mother. I do not want you to be my mother; I do not want to be your little friend. Accept the fact that I try my hardest to respect you as my MIL. You make it tough to do even that.

5. If you need something done, call your son that ISN'T married or has children. My husband has responsibilities to me and my son; we have no time to deal with you.

Monday, November 06, 2006

True MIL Confessions - Edition 10

1. An apology should be an apology, not an explanation of how everyone has wronged you.

2. You are the suckiest grandparents ever. Not much better at parents from what I can tell.

3. When we suggested that everyone donate to charities last year, that was a hint. Take it. Try to think of others, for a change.

4. Your daughter is not that great. Your son, however, is pretty damn special. Why can't you see that?

5. It is not a good idea to feed your guests meat that has been left out on the counter for over 24 hours. I just used being pregnant as an excuse.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

True MIL Confessions - Edition 9

1. I would be forever grateful if you would just please forget that I exist, or move back to Canada so I could finally hear the end of how great Canada is and how much and my home town sucks. Don’t like it, then leave!

2. PLEASE stop forcing food on me and my children. You are overweight and so are your sons. My children and I are not and I'd like to keep it that way. I am trying very hard to teach them to eat when they are hungry and stop when they are full. Being asked every 5 seconds if they want something to eat (something that is never a fruit or vegetable, BTW) is NOT HELPING.

3. You left him to live your life, got mad at him when he was just a child - being a child - when you divorced his father. then you made bad choices, continually. And now today - after not being there at all for him, you magically want him to just be everything you weren't? before you got ill, you saw our child THREE TIMES in two years, and you wonder why I don't visit you every time you send your sister with your hissy fit? trying to kill your self by starving is not going to garner the attention from us you think it will. we can't heal you - he can't heal you and I won't stand by and watch him drain himself, kill his soul, trying to.

you don't deserve him. or his efforts.

and while I encourage him to try to heal his wounds and forgive you and build some sort of relationship, i personally don't have to like you. and I will protect him from you for ever.

4. I'm sorry, but your house is tiny and uncomfortable. I wish you could understand that if you would allow us to stay in a hotel (without the extreme guilt-tripping) we would all be happier, including you. Maybe we would even stay longer or visit more often. Think about it.

5. Would it kill you to acknowledge me or my children? When I send you pictures, although you have behaved poorly and boorishly to our entire family, sending me an email about how proud my husband must be to be their father doesn't help. I took the picture, I sent it to you, and we have raised those precious children.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

True MIL Confessions - Edition 8

1. Please stop buying my son toys. He’s not 3 anymore and has outgrown nursery rhyme themes.

2. Stop using baby talk to talk to my son. He is six years old, with a vocabulary and literary skill set far superior to yours. The baby talk irritates him and me.

3. Please stop asking when we will plan another baby. We have enough to worry about financially and otherwise while you gamble you fixed income away, have unexpected expenses come up and your get rich quick schemes that end up with your attorney son, my hub, sending a threatening letter to whom ever swindled you.

4. You’re a very miserable person. Very mean and selfish. I cannot believe my hub grew up w/ you as a mother. You are in no position to ever give advice or comment on my parenting skills when you passed off your two daughters as your sisters. I realize that in the 50’s there was a certain shame with children born out of wedlock. But, I will never understand how a mother can deny her children and live a lie. Your mother, to whom your daughters refer to as Mommy, was a saint.

5. Please stop asking how everyone in my entire extended family is doing. Just take for granted that if there was a problem, your son would have told you about it. My guess is that you ask because you want there to be a problem or illness. I’ve seen how you beam with glee when describing the latest illness to hit a relative. It’s really sick.