Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Got MIL?

Today's flavor: vinegar chips
It's finally happened, my Flavorites - one of your lot gave me a topic to flavor: IN-LAWS!! Well...problem is that I can't write a post about my in-law situation because what I have to say about that would technically be called a book. So, instead, I will write about my very special friend, who I'll call Notme. As it happens, Notme and I have a lot in common: college educated, married in the 10-year range, 3 kids, slathering on wrinkle cream like it might create a force-field against the dreaded 4-0. We are also both afflicted with BFHMILS. What? You haven't heard of Bitch-From-Hell-Mother-In-Law Syndrome? I do count myself quite fortunate that my MIL lives in a land far, far away (and also in her own wanna-be hippie head), while poor Notme lives snooping distance from her MIL. For some, proximity to the in-laws actually works out quite nicely, what with the default baby-sitting, plant watering and emergency grocery borrowing. But for Notme, it's a constant source of teeth-grinding angst. There's her MIL, dropping in unannounced to offer such sweet complements as "Oh, look you chose that tan grout - that's good, now you can barely see the dirt at all." She likes to help out by bringing in the mail - especially on those summer days when the humidity might


You can dream, but a tornado is not
going to solve your in-law issues.




unseal a bank statement. And, the good intentions run rampant with such helpful tidbits as: "If you let that boy play with the barbies he's going to turn into one of those gays - not that some of them aren't perfectly nice, but you don't want your child to be handicapped if you can help it." And there's Notme holding tension like an over-stretched bungee and sputtering out such brilliant retorts as "Oh, well, I guess ..um...well...he'll grow out of it." Of course, she calls me later and says "I should have said, if I let you play with books will it turn you into one of those smart people? Why can't I give her a good comeback that will shut her up!" What can I do, but assure Notme that we all come up with the perfect line when the moment's passed.
What role does Notme's husband play in this serial annoyance and frequent interloping? Mostly he's deaf and dumb. But I'm not mad at him. After all, when things get really ugly he does manage to be the peacemaker while in the unfortunate position of being the fluttering flag in their mental tug of war. Thankfully, he has the sense to be the defender of his wife's many virtues and, thereby, protector of his marriage.
Most unusually, I realize I can't tell Notme what to do as I don't live in her head or in her house. But, you know how I do: take a nasty situation and make it fun. I told Notme to turn her MIL's next visit into a drinking game. Take a drink every time she insults your housekeeping; drink every time she insults your parenting skills; drink every time she picks on your appearance; drink when she says something racist; take 2 drinks if she mentions your drinking. You can really enjoy your position by working with the criticism - ask her to demonstrate the right way to clean the bathroom. Again. And again.
If you can't make it fun, you can always make fun of it. No one can get the better of you when you use my favorite weapons: humor and sarcasm.(Bonus points for treating yourself to something cute.)












20 comments:

  1. Very funny post! My MIL is no longer with us so no complaints here :)

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  2. LMAO oh dear, this was the first thing I read this morning. Priceless! My MIL is coming to visit tomorrow(sigh) My motto? just like the penguins...."Just smile and wave boys" especially when her pampered pooch leaves me steaming little present all over my carpets to step in....waving madly already:)

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  3. Man, I was so, so lucky. I feel for women that have it look like this.

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  4. Overall, I have a pretty good MIL, but there are times, OH are there times, when I want to pull out my hair (and hers). I am pretty damn good at making snarky comments in response. I think she knows me well enough to know when to stop or to not even start, because I don't take much shit, especially IN MY OWN HOUSE!

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  5. LOL!! This story made my day! Like Nancy, my mil is no longer with us, but my own mother is driving me CRAZY! and she lives 45 minutes away!

    Have a great day!

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  6. I love this! Big hugs to Notme :)

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  7. Humor and sarcasm are LOST on the typical MIL. They just don't fathom that it might be directed at them.

    And the husband's blind, deaf and dumb complex? Oh, so irritating.

    But they can be trained. Yessirree. It took me 25 years of marriage, but he now takes my side in arguments with mom.

    Only 15 years to go. You can make it. Or you can drink.

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  8. "ask her to demonstrate the right way to clean the bathroom. Again. And again." Greatest idea ever. My MIL was a wonderful lady, but this drinking game will work perfectly with my own mother! But don't tell her I said that!

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  9. Being a work from home mom, I've learned a little trick when my MIL comes over... I immediately have a client that has a problem, which means I get to spend the time tucked away at my desk working than entertaining her. I leave that up to hubby, she is HIS mom after all.

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  10. HA! I'm glad Houston is a BIG city and my MIL lives as far across it from me as is geographically possible. I'd almost swear Notme was me ... if I didn't already know it's not me.

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  11. Ugh, poor NotMe and you. I'm blessed with a fantasic MIL. I hope to be like mine when I'm a MIL myself.

    Sending you all strength

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  12. I think not me IS me! Ugh. But my goal in life, much like little dickens wants to be like her fantastic MIL, my goal is to be completely unlike my monster in law when I am one someday. Will definitely try the drinking game. Love, love, love that idea and won't it make her visit oh so much more pleasant, if I even remember it! LOL

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  13. Love this post...you really made my day...My MIL lives not more that a mile from us..but the good new is she hate me.. See there are those little blessings out there. 24 years ago..even before I met this woman she told everyone she knew I was a 39 year old bleached blonde hot pants...At that time I live 300 miles from here. Well she was not totally wrong, 39 yes, bleached blonde no, hot pants just for her son. You see I am almost ten years older than my husband. So thankfully she hated me from the start so don't have top up with her....See there is a God and She is Wonderful....

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  14. Love the voodoo doll! Think I can have one shipped from New Orleans?

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  15. This is really funny! I'm a regular reader and I love your entries. I've 2 awards for you at my blog :)

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  16. The drinking game sounds like a great idea. Too bad I hadn't thought of that when I had to deal with my late ex-mil.

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  17. Awesome! That's why hubby and I moved far far away from everyone.

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  18. My MIL has a mother in law who (before she became an invalid and had to be taken care of by my FIL and MIL) was always in her business, judging what she did. This makes me very lucky, because my MIL is very careful not cross any lines, she doesn't want me to deal with what she had to deal with I guess. She's actually really awesome, I'm so grateful!

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  19. Luckily, I don't have the Bitch from Hell Mother in Law Syndrome. However, I do suffer from the next best (worst???) thing--Bitch from Hell Step Mother Syndrome, as well as the all popular Bitch from Hell Little Sister Syndrome. Seriously, is there a cure for any of them?

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