Friday, November 20, 2009

It's All About ME! Starring: The Devil Herself

Thank you, reader Katie, for sharing your experience. I can relate. Kind of. With my most recent pregnancy, I was six months pregnant before The Devil asked me when the baby was due.

You know, my husband and I have been married for almost 10 months now. I adore him. I adore his entire family, including all 7 of his brothers and sisters, his dad and s'mother (that's step-mother for those of you not extended-family-terminology savvy), even his insane drug-addict grandmother and over-bearing grandfather. But, the one that I cannot stand is The Devil Herself.

The MIL just has a knack for making everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) about her. My bridal shower? About her. My wedding? About her. The fucking tasting dinner for our caterer before the wedding was even about her! She politely arrived to the tasting to inform her son (my future husband at the time) that she was not going to stay because she was pretty sure she was having a heart attack. So, she left and drove herself to the hospital. I am sure you can only imagine the martyrdom. She thinks the world revolves around her and the sun fucking rises and sets on her ass.

Most recently, my husband and I found out that we are having a baby. The Devil was in the hospital at the time, which is another horrifying, story for another time. The short and sweet of it is that The Devil comes down with some life threatening illness or another about once every two months or so. Thus far, we've had brain tumors, MS, breast cancer, paralysis... you get the picture. Anyway, the crazy fuck was in the hospital again, and so she was next to the very last person to know that we are expecting a child. On the way to the hospital to tell her, my husband asked me if I really thought it was a good idea to tell her about our news at this time. When I asked him why he thought we should wait, he honestly said "Well, you know... because of the condition of her heart." I wanted to scream.

When we did finally tell her, the exchange went something like this:

Husband: "Mom, we wanted to tell you that we're having a baby."
Devil: "I'M going to be a grandma?!"
Husband: "Yep. We're having a baby, Mom."
Devil: "I'M so happy! I'M going to be a grandma!"
(Unsuspecting nurse enters.)
Devil: "Nurse! I'M going to be a grandma! Aren't you so happy for ME?!?"

No congratulations. No indication of the fact that this is something about my husband and myself and almost is in no way at all about HER. Nothing that signified her happiness or pleasure with the two of us. Simply celebration for her being launched into grandparenthood... by no real contribution of her own. Gosh, you have to love the self-centeredness of The Devil.
I'll just have to be sure that when she does finally kick it, I'm sure to let her know that that one really is all.about.her.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Devil Wears Polyester

I must begin by apologizing profusely to my readers, especially to those who have submitted MIL stories for me to share. While I hadn't checked my email in months, I have finally started wading through it, and I promise to get your stories queued up, and post each and every one. I'm incredibly grateful for my faithful readers and my new followers. I have been enjoying catching up on all the comments I've missed! I had a busy summer, and now autumn has brought many changes to my life. A lame excuse, but that's my excuse, nonetheless. Fortunately, I am fine. Thank you, readers, for your loyalty and concern, but the Devil has NOT got the best of me. Now let's get back to business: bad-mouthing our mothers-in-law all over the Internet.

Kansas Girl submitted this hilarious post about her own polyester-clad Devil.

Now, don't get me wrong, I adore my children - but before I had them, I had some serious fun.

And then when I was 27, I got married and had my first of many (2) children. I had just turned 30 when my daughter was born; it was understood I would quit my job and become a stay-at-home mom. The world was calm and peaceful. I bought a jogging stroller and ran through the neighborhood everyday with baby Alli. Life at 30 wasn't the same as life at 22, but it was relatively nice.

Alas, there came a bump in the road... I was awakened one morning by the sound of the house shaking. The floor split open and flames shot up. I grabbed my baby girl and huddled in the corner as the devil rose from the pits of hell. I'd seen a lot of pictures of the devil - you know, dressed in red, horns, long tail, etc, etc, etc. But the devil that entered my house was wearing a double knit polyester pantsuit and bad wig. Baby Alli and I were informed that the devil was moving in. And we wept. OK, I wept. Oh, how I freakin' wept.

I know everyone has stories about how bad their mother-in-law is/was/can be, but my stories, I'm sure, are worse. The woman never stopped talking! Long, boring, pointless stories - well, I believe in total she had only 3 stories, so, she kept repeating them over and over until you wanted to rip the wig off her head and smack her with it. She liked to look out the window while she talked and one day I realized: I can leave the room while she's talking and she would never notice. And that's what I would do.

What was worse than having to listen to my mother-in-law? Actually having a conversation with her. Here's a sampling of a few:

Me: I'm making chicken for dinner tonight.
MIL: Stop using pepper when you cook, because I'm allergic to it.
Me: What? No, you aren't! How are you allergic to pepper?
MIL: It makes me sneeze.
Me: It seems the whole world is allergic to pepper then.
MIL: I don't like sarcasm - it's not funny.

(Driving out to eat.)
MIL: Did you see that huge dead dog in the middle of the road?
Me: No, that was just a flattened cardboard box.
Me: Obviously not, because that was a cardboard box.
(Husband turns car around and we freakin' drive back to the box in the road.)
MIL: Well, that's not what I was talking about. I saw a dead dog and it's gone now.
Me: I'm sure it magically got better and ran away.
MIL: I don't like sarcasm - it's not funny.

Me: I hate to tear myself away from your always entertaining story, but I have to feed the baby.
MIL: Why are you breast feeding my grandchild?
Me: Because I think I read somewhere that if you don't feed a baby it will die.
MIL: I don't like sarcasm - it's not funny.
Me: I didn't know that.
MIL: Baby formula is much better for a baby than breast milk.
Me: What? Where did you hear this?
MIL: When I had my babies the hospital nurse told me I should not breast feed, because it's not good for the baby.
Me: She probably only meant you, because you act like someone all whacked out on PCP.
MIL: What?
Me: That was sarcasm - and it was funny.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Totally Worth The Heat And The Crowds And The Exhaustion

Annual family membership to the zoo: $60

Carousel rides for 3 kids: $5.50

Cotton candy, popcorn, and lemonade: $14

The joy I get from telling The Devil that we already have plans when she calls to invite the kids over to her house to swim: Priceless.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Just Like Poetic Justice

This is fucking great.

I have young children and a rule that no balls are to be thrown inside the house. Too dangerous. Too many chances for breakage or injury or tears. Common sense, right? Occasionally, much to my chagrin, my husband (the Anti-Christ?) can be found tossing a ball back and forth in the living room with one or more children, resulting in nagging and heated discussion about consistent discipline, much to my husband's (the Anti-Christ's?) chagrin. This happened again last week.

Several days later, during a small family gathering in our home, my son, in a moment of unbridled excitement, threw a ball at top speed across the living room, attempting to hit his father (the Anti-Christ?). Guess where it landed instead. Right in the middle of The Devil's bloated, thin-lipped, unsuspecting face.

No bloody nose or black eye for The Devil, but a moment I'll never forget, nonetheless.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Silver Lining On The Fucked-Up, Drug-Addicted Cloud

Thanks to a reader, Katie, for sending her story.

I married a great guy, who had primary responsibility for three young children. Love the kids. Hate their mom (a whole other blog I suppose.) His mom, well, I knew she talked about me behind my back but was super-great to my face. You know the type, right? Made me paranoid. For 7 or 8 years. Doesn't anymore.

Why not?

Well, my friends, it's because I found out she doesn't know what the hell she ever talks about and no one ever believes her because they all know she's a druggie. No, not coke and heroin drugs, but steal-'em-from-your-friends and shop-around-at-hospitals drugs. Found this out in the best possible way.

My oldest had his tonsils out at age 7 or 8. The hospital sent him home with liquid Tylenol-3, you know, the fun kind with Codeine in it. Was giving him a dose every morning and every night for about a week so about half the bottle was left. The last dose I gave him, he commented that it didn't taste so bad anymore. "It almost tastes like water now!" Hmmm. Water? Really? Dipped my finger in it and discovered we'd performed a miracle in our house. Backwards, though. We'd turned T-3 into water! Hallelujah! Actually, guess who'd come to babysit while I'd run to the grocery store? Yep! Druggie gramma! Seems like she'd downed half a bottle of T-3 while taking care of my four small children. Awesome!!! But since I didn't know it yet, our suspicions actually turned to my teenage sons. . . which is fabulous to contemplate. Your teens are not only taking drugs but have stooped to the level of stealing it from their young siblings. It was a shitty moment. Thankfully,we didn't confront them (since it turns out they didn't do it) we just put things away in, we thought, a safer place. About 6 months later, I had my gallbladder removed and things became much clearer. Since I had four young children, Drug-gramma (henceforth to be known as D-G) took my kids for a few nights because I couldn't lift the children and was in a LOT of pain. My vicodin was stashed in the upstairs bathroom cabinet. Strangely, when D-G brought the children over for a visit two days post op (actually to dump them on me because she suddenly had some mysterious errand) she did something very strange, had to use the upstairs bathroom about 15 minutes after using our downstairs bathroom. Oh, and she rummaged our kitchen cabinets 'looking for a glass' even though she'd hit the glasses in the first cupboard. So that night I got my drugs out (again -- two days post op and in a LOT of pain) and realized there weren't quite as many. So Hubby and I counted. She'd taken over HALF my prescription. Guess I should be thankful it wasn't ALL like she did to her grandson.

Anyway, over the years we've confronted, ignored, tried to deal with and get her to deal with her problems. But we've maintained the relationship because the grandkids love her (who wouldn't love a gramma who let you do whatever you wanted and fed you tons of junk food?), but the final straw happened last December when our oldest son, her oldest grandchild, got married. Oh, yeah. We have a D-G wedding story.

Instead of coming to first grandson's wedding, she was at the ER shopping for drugs. So I called her on the phone in her room at the ER, and upon getting her on the phone (here she's thinking I'm going to commiserate) I sweetly informed her that if she didn't get her fucking druggie ass to her grandsons fucking wedding she wouldn't see her grandchildren again. The loving words that flowed from my mouth would've made a sailor blush.

So now she's comparing me to my husband's psycho ex-wife (when I say psycho I mean it because the woman's spent over three years of the last 12 in the psych ward) and telling everyone that I'm a bitch. I guess the silver lining is that she no longer has any friends (because she's stolen drugs from all of them) or anyone to believe her, so the word that I'm a bitch isn't spreading far.

Cuz I'm a silver-lining type of gal.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Should I Bring This Up In Couple's Therapy?

In a moment of weakness, I allowed myself to be convinced to visit The Devil.

I should explain that my husband (The Anti-Christ?) and I have had our share of issues, but in a recent attempt to promote marital harmony, I agreed to accompany him and our children to the house of The Devil. I hemmed and hawed and made excuses and placed conditions, but in the end, I relented.

Big. Fucking. Mistake.

I should have known the evening was destined to end disastrously when my husband (The Anti-Christ?) and I had the following conversation on the drive over:

A-C: Well, your mom probably hates me.

DDIL: No, my mom loves you like a son, even though you've done some shitty things. Because, you know, she's, like, normal and wants the best for us. Unlike some other mother I know who hates me even though I've never done a thing wrong to her, ever.*

A-C: My mom doesn't hate you, she thinks you hate her.

DDIL: No comment.

So, I sat, being eaten alive by demon mosquitoes in The Devil's backyard, and watched my children splash happily in The Devil's pool and listened to The Devil recount her week's activities of shopping, yoga, British television programming, new prescription medications and earlier that day, lunch with a friend of her's and the friend's daughters. Of course, my husband, being a dutiful and attentive minion son asked how she enjoyed her lunch, which she must have interpreted as "Hey, mom, can you tell us about your lunch and find a way to piss off DDIL while you're at it?"

So, she spends the next 15 minutes telling us how all she heard the entire time at lunch from the friend's daughters was how "hot" A-C was. How he's so good-looking, he could be a model. How nobody would believe he's married, with children. Of course, The Devil thought it necessary to add:

"I don't think DDIL knows how lucky she is, with such a hot-looking husband!"

Meaning what? I'm such a fucking ugly dog-face that I should be grateful she allowed her "hot" son to have sex with me multiple times? I'm really not a jealous person, but the fact that I know she said these things to get under my skin infuriates me. And it infuriates me because I know she said these things knowing that it could create discord for us, at a time when we're already struggling to keep our marriage and family together. And it infuriates me that I let her infuriate me.

I held my tongue and tried to not let on that she accomplished her goal. I bit my lip when she insisted we stay for dinner. I swallowed the bile that rose to my mouth when she licked her fingers after dinner while complaining about not being able to lose any weight. I resisted making any snide comments when The Devil lamented her daughter's poor choice in boyfriends. And I kept my thoughts to myself when my husband (The Anti-Christ?) mentioned that night that I seemed upset. All for the sake of marital harmony.

And because I'm afraid if I mention it, my husband (The Anti-Christ?) may, with good intentions, tell his mother that her comments were inappropriate. And I'd rather have every last ounce of blood in my body drained by those demon mosquitoes than give her that satisfaction.

Live and learn, I guess. Learn to avoid The Devil like the bloated, white-haired, drunken plague.

*Not counting creating this blog, of course, because as far as I know, The Devil and my husband (The Anti-Christ?) are none the wiser.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

But At Least She's Not A Nigger, Right, Ma?

Reader, Chatterbox Sara, shares more of her MIL with us. Read her other posts HERE.

Directly after meeting my future in-laws for the first time, as in, when they called to let us know they got home safely, N put MIL on speaker phone again and here's a snippet of the conversation, where MIL basically calls me a heifer.

N: I'm glad you guys made it home ok. Did you have a good time here?

MIL: It was nice. The food was soooo good that you two made. (Insert a long paragraph where she obsessed over my daughter and started crying about having to leave her.)

N interrupts the drama: I'm glad you see why I love them so much. I assume you guys like Sara and are ok with all this then?

MIL: Well, I didn't say that I particularly like Sara. I'm just so in love with her daughter. I guess if she makes you happy, I can overlook somethings.

N: Uhh, like what? I didn't see her do or say anything that should make you not like her.

MIL: It's just that she's so large. You always dated much smaller girls and I really liked that because that meant you would always have a wife who's thin and pretty.

N: Sara's not big, ma! I don't even think she's a size 8, plus she did just have a baby 5 months ago.

MIL: I'm just saying she could be smaller and prettier is all! I just don't think you'll be happy with a larger woman. I mean, fat people never get thinner, they just get fatter. I would know. What if in ten years, you don't find her attractive at all, then you'd have to get a divorce!

N: I happen to not have a problem with her size or looks, CLEARLY, since I'm dating her and would like to marry her eventually.

MIL: Well, I guess not everyone wants a thin or pretty wife. Just make sure that your choice really makes you happy.

N hung up on her then. They had several more fights over how inappropriate that was and then for a year straight she would make these smirking comments about how thiiiiiiiiiin I was and how greeeeeeeeeeeeeeat I looked. Ugh. Anytime we went out to eat, I would always order salads and water, and comment on how many calories or fat grams whatever she ate probably had. Mama didn't raise no coward! I guess, at least this time she wasn't being racist is a plus?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Psycho Tree

"Agog" sent me this email. I hope sharing this helped a bit.

I made the mistake of marrying some woman's only child. I did not know at the time that he was a swirling cauldron of mother-hate. I innocently bred with him. I had three children with him before it became unavoidably obvious that his mother-hate therapy consisted in abusing ME.

Meanwhile, she helpfully called me from across town to inform me that my child "smelled yesterday and she needs to be put on the potty." Helpful advice like that. Or that my child needed to be taken outside to play. (When there was 4 inches of ice on the ground and it was 5 degrees out.) Eventually, life with Psycho got so bad I tried to confide in HatedMother. Her words: "I don't know, and I don't want to know. It's not my problem." When he left me, HatedMother moved in with him to clean his toilets and help him raise my children 48 percent of the time. He had ignored the kids for almost 10 years and maybe needed someone to tell him when to put them on the potty. I dunno. Seeing how he had the attention span of a goldfish when it came to anything that required actual work, HatedMother helped him keep my sweet precious children away from my love and discipline for 48 percent of the time for the past 10 years. In the past few years, she started to notice that Psycho is crazier than a betsy bug and mean as a snake. And that my previously-dear children have changed and now act and sound and treat her a lot like, well, Psycho. Go figure. Then she began to call ME and complain about how horrible Psycho and the Cherubs were. Look, woman! You don't get to help ruin my children and now tell me that they suck!

Sometimes, she kind of hints that she'd like to live with me when her son threatens to throw her out on the street. Like hell.

Oh, she still refers to me as her DIL.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Suck This!

Yikes! Reader, Carrie, shared a truly horrible labor/delivery/MIL experience.

When I was in labor, my MIL complained about waiting in the waiting area while I was pushing because she was "too good" for it. She threatened to sue my doctor and the nurses when they wouldn't let her in while I was pushing. She then said my husband was a selfish b*stard for asking her to wait an hour or so after the baby was born for us to have time alone with her. And she came in anyways. My cervix tore and I had to go to the operating room after the birth and when I was wheeled back in, she was there and when my husband asked me how I was she told me to "suck it up." My IL's, without telling us, sent out a mass email to THEIR friends inviting them to a party in my hospital room a few hours after the baby was born. When we said I wasn't up for it,they still did it. Then, a day later, my MIL said she wanted me to apologize for ruining her labor experience.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Shut The Door, Devil Woman

Reader, Miles, shares a few MIL memories with us. Thank you so much, Miles!

I should have known my MIL was trouble the day I met her and the first words out of her mouth were, “I’ve had bad haircuts before, too.” Then, a few moments later, she pointed to a wart on my hand that’s since been removed, and said, “You know, there are doctors that can remove those.” Not surprisingly, that meeting ended with my wife yelling, “Don’t talk to him anymore, please!” She later explained to me that she’d been nervous about meeting me so she’d taken down 1.5 bottles of cheap white wine, which is now kind of her calling card. My wife actually makes bets with me, and if I lose, I have to call my MIL and talk to her. This usually involves me saying, “Hello, [devil woman]” and then sitting back and listening to her drunkenly talk about whatever. The last bet I lost she was crying on the phone to me about her college alma mater’s football team for an hour before my wife finally had mercy and saved me. And I mean literally crying, while slurring her speech.

I wish there were some stories I could tell about her involvement in our wedding, like so many of your other commenters, but to be honest she didn’t contribute at all to the planning. I do remember my wife calling her stressed out about money though, and she actually encouraged us to run away and get married in Vegas. Luckily, my mom was there to settle us down and give us advice on how to cut back on some expenses. Oh, and she made it through maybe ¼ of the wedding before she was so drunk my wife had to escort her to her quarters. Now that I think about it, maybe that was her contribution!

Fast forward to her most recent trip during Easter Weekend. MIL and her boyfriend were planning to visit, and had arranged for my wife to host a dinner party for them and another couple that they are friends with who live in our area. I thought maybe this would be the first trip where she closed the bathroom door while doing her business, but alas that streak (no pun intended) is still alive and well. So after Jedi-mind-tricking my wife into throwing a dinner party for her, she proceeded to waddle around and spend the day drinking wine to work up the courage to talk to people. Her boyfriend parked himself on our couch in front of the TV and smoked more weed than I previously thought was humanly possible. Seriously, Dale and Saul from Pineapple Express would have been in awe.

As previously mentioned, white wine gives her the amazing ability to say the absolute worst possible things and this day was no different. While my wife spent the day slaving away in the kitchen, my MIL hovered over her shoulder generally henpecking and giving bad, drunken advice. There were a number of yelling episodes over things like pie crust, table setting and the like, but the grand finale came during dinner when she drunkenly fell while carrying au jus and spilled it all over our off-white carpet. Instead of apologizing, or even attempting to help clean up, she then yelled at us for having off-white carpet as if we deserved to have a stain for buying a house with off white-carpet.

Now, I should point out that the MIL’s boyfriend owns a carpet cleaning business, and they had, in fact. driven to our house in a carpet-cleaning van which, at that very moment, was parked in our driveway. The next morning, I figured we could use that to our advantage, but I was sorely mistaken. After getting up bright and early at 11:30 am, the boyfriend stretched out, smoked three joints and said he had to hit the road. Classic. Well the good news is, I don’t think my MIL will be back until next year, so I’ve got until then to try to erase the memory of her using the toilet with the bathroom door open.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Maybe Take a Sharpie and Draw Some Horns and a Tail on That Family Photo

Many thanks to reader, Carly, for sharing this anecdote.

My MIL has passed away, and in the spirit of not speaking poorly of the dead, I'll refrain from the many stories I could tell, except for her parting gift.

She had three children, but both of the daughters were single and had no children. In fact, both of them pretty much cut all ties with their folks. It was the MIL's heart's desire, however, to have a family photo taken, and as neither sister would be present, the family portrait would be with just the parents, my husband and I and our children. Fine. As we prepared to make an appointment with the photographer, my MIL pulled me aside and let me know that she'd "like to have the picture taken, you know, with just the family"... I looked at her rather blankly and slowly caught on that she'd like my husband and children in the photo, but not me. I wasn't "family." I was afraid for a moment that we were going to have to cut the kids in half so that no one would be able to see that portion of genetic material that I had contributed. Apparently, there were concessions she'd be willing to make, so the children were spared...

She died shortly after that due to diabetic complications. My heart still sinks whenever I see a short, rotund, white haired woman. The legacy she left is (hopefully) not the one she intended.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Some Kind Of Sick Bitch

The Devil is a freak about ailments and illness. She loves them. She loves when someone is sick. She loves when she's sick herself. She loves having surgery. And she especially loves taking and administering medication, almost to the point of obsession (think Munchausen's Syndrome).

She hoards medications. She keeps both prescription and over-the-counter medications in this giant cardboard box in a cabinet. And she keeps them indefinitely. My husband had poison ivy last summer and she sent him home with some kind of ointment. That expired in 1997. I made the mistake once of mentioning that I had a headache at her house. She offered me some left-over antibiotic from her box o' drugs for the "sinus infection" that I "must be getting." If someone complains of a sore back, she gets out her box and offers vicodin or percocet. Toothache? Have some codeine. Can't sleep? The Devil's got a xanax for you.

Loose pills can often be found in The Devil's purse or scattered on her nightstand. She keeps her current prescription jars lined up on her kitchen counter. Like trophies. I once heard The Devil berate one of her grown children for cleaning her kitchen and putting the prescription bottles inside a kitchen cupboard, right above where they were normally kept on the counter. She shouted: "I need to be able to see them!"

Years ago, my husband and I were desperate to conceive and sought help from a fertility specialist, who prescribed a series of pills to be taken orally by me, detailed ultrasounds of follicles and such, and carefully-timed injections. One of these carefully-timed injections needed to occur at The Devil's house after we'd been invited for dinner one evening. This was no secret, and The Devil practically begged me to let her administer the injection. She did, and I carefully wrapped the needle and empty jar in paper towels and placed them inside a plastic grocery bag, which I tied tightly in a knot and threw away in the kitchen garbage can. Several days later, when I happened to stop at The Devil's house for one reason or another, I noticed the discarded, empty serum jar lined up on her counter with the rest of her trophies. What the freaky fuck?

I am generally a live-and-let-live, non-judgemental kind of person. It doesn't bother me a bit if The Devil wants to drug herself into incoherent oblivion or stare lovingly at used syringes. I'm not as casual, however, about medication myself, and in fact, I happen to be quite conservative when it comes to medicating my children. That is, I don't. I rarely give any medicines to my children that aren't specifically prescribed by their pediatrician, and even those, over the years have been few and far between.

When my oldest child was about 6 months old, and just starting to eat solid foods, she, consequently, was having a tough time moving her little bowels, as is common. We "treated" her with fruit juice and prunes, as was recommended by the pediatrician. I was pregnant again, but nearly 3 months into the pregnancy, began to miscarry at home. My husband and I rushed to the hospital, and dropped our oldest off at The Devil's house. A few miserable hours later, we picked her up and returned home. While preparing her for bedtime, I noticed something that looked, to my new-mother's eyes, like a choking-hazard-size piece of plastic in my baby's extremely messy diaper. Obviously, my husband and I were incredibly alarmed and he called The Devil to ask what the baby could have possibly swallowed while in her care. The Devil "reassured" us by telling us that she'd given a rectal suppository to the baby.

WHAT. THE. FUCK? Who, in their right mind, would think to administer a rectal suppository to an infant without thinking to ask the parents' permission, and at the very least, thinking to tell the (already traumatized by a proximate miscarriage!) parents after the fact so they wouldn't freak the fuck out when finding what was left of it in the infant's disgusting diaper?!?

Amazingly, my husband remained calm when he explained to his mother that this is not the way we dealt with the baby's constipation. And that it had been completely inappropriate for her to administer the suppository without asking us or telling us about it. And that, in the future, she must never give the baby any kind of medicine without our explicit permission.

Do you think The Devil apologized? No. The Devil sobbed. My husband got a stern lecture from his father for 'upsetting' her and expected him to apologize. We got the silent treatment for a week or more. I found out years later, that The Devil had called many family members and cried to them, saying how awful we were to her.

Just a few years ago, my two oldest - about ages 6 and 3 at the time - came home from a visit with The Devil and mentioned, out of the blue, the "orange medicine" that she'd given to my young son, the 3 year-old, when he fell and scraped his knee. I remained calm, but interrogated the older child for details. She got the medicine from her box. It was orange. She gave it to him on a spoon. She offered to let the older child have a taste. As young as they were, both kids told the same story and I knew they were telling the truth. My cure for a scraped knee is a band-aid and a kiss. I was livid. I explained the situation to my husband and demanded he call The Devil for an explanation. He was hesitant, but finally spoke to his father, who refused to even bring the subject up with The Devil, but offered a weak denial of any "orange medicine" incident. We got the silent treatment again. Which was fine with me.

Fucking crazy bitch.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Thanks For The Eating Disorder

Thanks to an anonymous reader for sharing a recent experience with us. Hope to hear more from you!

My mother-in-law was sitting in her kitchen, talking to my husband's grandmother with the windows open. I was sitting on the patio reading the paper. It was a glorious day and about 90 degrees. I heard my husband's grandmother say to my MIL about me: "Is Shelly going to put on her swimsuit and join you outside?" and my MIL replied "No, I don't think so, I think she realizes she is rather on the large size."

My mouth hit the floor! First of all, I am a size 10 (Isn't that average?) Secondly, she knew I could hear every damn word she said.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

And Speaking of Racists - Chapter Three

Thank you, Chatterbox Sara, for sharing! Enjoy Chapter Two below or HERE.

After we had dated for awhile, N and I moved in together. We invited his parents to our new house for a lunch. N was pretty nervous. When they first arrived, this is what my MIL said:

"Oh wow! This house is so nice! I mean, I just figured everything would be all trashy and such. You're not black! Wow! I brought you a present, hope you like it! It's a pig. N told me you think pigs are cute, so I got you a pig as a centerpiece for your table. I love animal centerpieces. Where's your daughter? Is she black? I guess I've never asked that. Where is she, I want to see her. You know I love babies, right?"

E woke up from her nap and we brought her out. MIL grabs her and starts sobbing hysterically. She then says:

"Oh my God! She's so precious! I always wanted a daughter, but we ended up having to adopt and got him. I so wish we could have adopted a girl instead. Honey, LOOK at E. She's just what I always wanted, blond curls and blue eyes, she looks like one of my little porcelain dolls I collect. When can we have her for a visit? I want to take her to live with us, I mean visit us. If you two are really going to get married, then E is ours now. I want to bring her home right away, I just need to be with her. God finally granted my wish, now I have a little girl!"

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

And Speaking of Racists - Chapter Two

Here is the second part of reader Chatterbox Sara's series. Read Chapter One below or HERE.

Two weeks after that phone call, I recieved a call out of the blue from my future-MIL. Apparently, she had realized I was not going away, so she decided to "make nice". She spent about three minutes asking about me, telling me about herself, and then launched into an hour- long monologue about what an awful human being my husband is. Some highlights included:

"You know he's a liar, right? When he was in 6th grade, he lied to me. I was heart broken for months. He said he got a good grade on a test, but I found out later that he DIDN'T. He got an 88% on that test! I just can't find it in my heart to forgive him. Everytime we speak, I find myself looking into his eyes, desperate to know if he's talling me the truth or if that's the liar devil in his eyes!"

"I just really hope he's still a virgin. Do you two have sex? What does he like? What's he like in bed. Did you steal his virginity from him? I always wonder whether he's actually secretly gay. I keep telling him that it's fine if he is gay, but he keeps denying it and getting mad at me. I wouldn't mind if he didn't get married. He's my only son you know, it would be nice if he moved home and just lived with us to take care of us when we get older. Well, you guys must be having sex if he wants to marry a woman with a kid."

"Are you a nigger? Do you drink or do drugs? How did you end up having a kid? Are you trying to get us to assume financial responsibility of that kid?"

Monday, May 11, 2009

And Speaking of Racists - Chapter One

Reader Chatterbox Sara, sent me a series of stories about her first impressions of her mother-in-law. I hope we hear more from her, this one sounds like a real prize!

When my husband and I first started dating, I was a single mother with a 4 month old daughter. Surprisingly, he was okay with this. I say surprisingly because I was 24 and he was barely 22. He had been regaling me with stories of how horrifically weird my now MIL is, but all I could think was: "Yeah, okay, who's the one who had a drunk psycho for a father? That'd be me, nothing tops that."

But he proved to be right. It came time to tell her that he had met someone he was serious about. He put her on speaker phone:

So, anyways, I wanted to tell you about the gal I'm dating.

Oh, so you're dating again? A girl? I've always told you it's okay if you're gay.

Yeah. Thanks for that. Anyways, her name is Sara. We met about two months ago and I'm really crazy about her.

Hmmm. I never liked the name Sara. I always liked that girl Katherine you dated. She was so nice.

Mom, Kath and I dated when we were 14. She's a lesbian now and she lives in Maine.


Okay, mom, let's just stop. You've known that Katherine is a lesbo for like 5 years.

Fine. So, tell me all about her.

Okay well... (fill in some boring details about me)... Also, she's got a 4 month old daughter named E, who's really adorable. I'm so crazy about them both!

You got some girl pregnant and didn't tell me? You have a secret child? What is she, black? Is that why you never told me? Is she a nigger?

Um. No. E isn't my daughter. But if Sara and I get married, I'd like to adopt E someday. I'm pretty serious about her.

How can you be serious about some floozy that I've never met? I don't like this Sara girl. She's just trying to trick you into marrying her. Are you having sex? Are you using birth control? You can never be too careful, this girl obviously tried to trap someone else into marrying her and look how that worked out.

Well, I'd like you to meet her if you'd be normal and treat her nicely. No, she's not black. No she's not trying to trick me into marrying her. In fact, she's never even brought it up. As for birth control, that's our business, not yours. I just THOUGHT you'd like to know about the woman I'm dating and serious about.

Well, I can't be glad about you dating sluts. I'd be glad if you dated nice girls like Katherine.

You'd rather I date a lesbian than a single mother?

Then she hung up.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Speaking of Weddings

My sister-in-law, The Devil's daughter, is to be a bridesmaid in the wedding of a friend. Recently, The Devil expressed disdain for the whole affair, wrinkling her demon nose at the fact that this friend was getting married to "a black guy". She grasped for a half dozen reasons to criticize the bride, her family, the bachelorette party, and the dress, but what it really comes down to is that she doesn't want her daughter to be in the wedding party because she doesn't want any of "those people" hitting on her at the reception. Nice, huh?

But when The Devil was gainfully employed, she used to make a point of talking about how friendly she was with the one black woman in her office. Like to prove how modern she was.

She makes it so easy to hate her.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Wedding Hells

Thank you, reader, J, for the story of ultimate mother-in-law misery: wedding planning!

Where to begin?

I suppose my mother-in-law behaved most like a wretched lunatic before she actually became my mother-in-law, when my husband and I were engaged and planning our wedding. She's not so bad now that she knows I'm not going anywhere, and she's really not a bad person. She can at times just be shockingly immature and childishly self-absorbed.

At first, when my husband and I moved in together a few months before our wedding, she started calling. And calling and calling and calling. She didn't live too far from us, so there was a constant imaginary need for him to come over and push the right button on the VCR so she could watch a movie, because she just "can't figure it out alone! You just have to come over right now and do it for me!" or "I am splitting up with your step dad (again) and I'm going to be out of town for the weekend, so I need you to stay in the house in case he breaks in!" Great, lady. Ask my husband to risk his safety to defend all your tacky knick-knacks. Super parenting. Fortunately he refused.

Then when it got closer to the wedding date, I tried to be nice and make her feel included. She'd already offered and then reneged on paying for the cake and the flowers, so I'd sort of left her out of the loop after that because I couldn't deal with her constant failure to keep her commitments (see above: "splitting up with your step dad (again)"), whether financial or marital. So one afternoon I called her up and asked her what she planned to wear to the wedding because my mom and friends and I were planning to make the corsages and boutonnieres ourselves, and I offered to make her one that would match her outfit. I commented, completely in passing, that we'd be hand-making corsages "for all the moms and grandmothers," so we figured why not see what people would like to wear. How nice of my mom to be willing to do that, right? She told me she'd be wearing a "sexy, gold suit with purple embroidered flowers" and thanked me for asking. (BTW - the suit was hilarious, especially because she neglected to cut the little stitch that holds the slit closed, so it was VERY tight, and consequently she waddled around like Morticia Addams through the whole reception!)

So after she spoke with me about the corsage, she immediately called my husband, not realizing we were in the car together. I was shocked to hear my very mild-mannered husband speak quite sharply to his mother. My favorite line was, "If my step-mother wearing a fucking flower on her fucking dress would keep you from attending my marriage then you don't deserve to be there at all. Call me back when you feel like being an adult." Click.

Ooh, daaaang!!! I thought with joy.

Apparently this woman had been shrieking in tearful hysterics that he just had to make sure that his step-mother (who had at that point been married to my husband's father for SEVENTEEN YEARS and was also the mother of my husband's little brother, our ring-bearer) did not get to wear a corsage. Thinking this was her just her usual childish attention-grab, he dismissively told her that sort of decision wasn't up to him and that if I and my mom were making his step-mom a corsage, she would be wearing a corsage. Period. That's when she began to wail and moan and scream and insist that because he's a man, he just "can't understand that corsages are for mothers and grandmothers only not for step-mothers!!!!" And when he again informed her that the decision had been made, and he would not try to stop the impending corsage-wearing, she informed him that if his step-mother were allowed to wear a corsage to our wedding, she would not attend. She actually threatened to skip our wedding over a flower! Thankfully, my husband does not negotiate with terrorists, so he left her with the choice words I've already provided above and hung up the phone. A little while later she left him a voicemail telling him of course she'd be there, and imploring him not to tell me about her behavior because she "doesn't want her and her mom to think I am a difficult person because I am not a difficult person. I get along with everybody. Everybody likes me."


It gets better, too. My sweet but at times negligent husband had failed to write the specific names of some tenth cousins on their wedding invitation, and instead just wrote "The So-and-so Family." Well, about ONE WEEK before the wedding, they RSVP'd for ELEVEN PEOPLE. Because we'd already had to find space for various cousins that my husband didn't really know at his mother's insistence, these people were just going to be IMPOSSIBLE to seat. When I asked my husband why he hadn't written their names on the invitation (btw, it's a middle-aged married couple, and we'd thought they MIGHT bring their two adult daughters, so it should have been two people, or four if they were rude), he said, I kid you not, "Oh, I don't know their first names."

Why are we inviting people whose NAMES HE DOES NOT EVEN KNOW??????

Well. In that case, I decided we could just call them and explain that we just cannot seat 11 people and that we had meant to only address the invitation to the two occupants of the household and we are very, terribly sorry, etc. I mean, obviously this can't be THAT offensive since he really doesn't even know them, right????

So he called his mother to find out their names and explain the situation. Cue the wailing and crying and screaming. "Son, you cannot un-invite people from a wedding!" Now, ordinarily, I'd agree with that, but these people had behaved outrageously by RSVP-ing ELEVEN people one week before the wedding! Furthermore, they don't even know my husband personally, and the extra people they were bringing included their daughter's boyfriend and his cousin who happens to also live in our city and that guy's friend who was visiting from out of town.


So she screams and wails and insists that if we un-invite them, "THE FAMILY WILL BE RUINED! RUINED!!!! AND THEY ARE IN MOURNING! THEIR GRANDMOTHER JUST PASSED AWAY!!! IT WILL TEAR US APART!!!!"

THEN the crazy woman calls me and tells me she understands that my parents are having some trouble covering expenses, so she has decided that she will rent a tent and some tables and set them up outside the building where our reception would be, for her family to have dinner in. OH. HELL. NO. Over my dead body would my mother-in-law throw a PRIVATE PARTY at our wedding reception! I was livid. But because I was a tender twenty-one years of age, I simply said that wouldn't be necessary. When I informed my mother, she was outraged at my MIL's jab at her finances and the notion of the private party, so right then my mother decided we'd squeeze in two more tables and absorb 11 more people and if anyone complained about the cramped space, we'd just explain to them that THOSE TWO TABLES FULL OF PEOPLE OVER THERE just RSVP'd last Thursday, so we'd had to make do.

Well, the wedding went off really without a hitch. It was a little crowded, but a good time was had by all, and my new mother-in-law got good and drunk and maintained a placid demeanor the whole time. I must point out though, that one of the Belated Eleven came up to me and my husband's best man and congratulated us on our marriage. Twice. So I doubt it really would have RUINED THE FAMILY if we had un-invited them, but whatever. It's all good, and now that she knows I'm not going anywhere, she ranges from tolerable to downright pleasant the vast majority of the time.

She's still crazy though.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

"Manipulative Bitch" Has A Nice Ring To It.

I was thinking the other day of ways I could get to The Devil. I mean, really get under her skin.

I've always called her by her first name, although I try and avoid addressing her directly at all. I was thinking that she'd find it very unsettling if, out of the blue, I just started calling her "Mom". I can imagine perfectly her showing up at my door (since I'm no longer welcome in her home, but that's another, very long, post) and me greeting her with a warm smile and a pleasant "Hi, Mom, come on in!" Just picturing the look on her face, and the way she'd be struck speechless for several seconds as she struggled to comprehend what was happening brings me such pleasure! I know she'd find this terribly disturbing and would probably spend days, if not weeks, trying to analyze and understand what this kind of development could mean. I'm sure she'd lose sleep over it. I bet she would call friends and family and ask for advice and opinions on the matter. If only I thought I could actually go through with it. With a straight face.

What do you call your mother-in-law? And what do you call her to her face?

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Creepy, Indeed!

Thanks to reader, K, for sharing more MIL misery with us.

Evidently, my MIL always wanted a daughter, but never had one.

So there we were, sitting around admiring MY newborn daughter when she says, "I think God sent her to me." WTF? To you? My eyebrows about shot off my head and she tried to amend what she said but it still sounded just as creepy. She said, "Oh I mean God gave her to you but really to me."

I think that was the last time I let her hold my daughter that visit. Then a few weeks later, I was telling my MIL about how smart I thought my infant daughter was (us moms can be so silly!) and she replied, "Of course she's smart, she's OURS." Ours? Ours? Creepy. Four years later, the woman tries to tell me about the vacations she wants to bring my daughter on. Can you say hell no?!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Speaking of Mad Dog 20/20

Have I mentioned that The Devil is fond of the drink?

Now I'm not some tee-totaling prude, and I can enjoy a drink at a socially acceptable time and place, but I choose to have my wits about me while my children are in my care - which just happens to be all of the time.

The Devil doesn't happen to hold sobriety as high a priority as I do, and she can often be found with a drink in hand. In fact, she has been known to polish off a bottle of wine herself at a family gathering. At noon, on a Sunday. And she's notorious (at least among her daughters-in-law) for bringing booze with her during visits to the homes of her grandchildren. Years ago, she arrived at my door to "comfort and grieve with me" (after an unexpected and tragic death in our family) with a plastic cupful of something that was too important to leave at home, or at least in the car.

All of these could be chalked up to lifestyle choice, but I find it hard to hold my tongue when she has wrinkled her nose at me nursing my babies and scoffed, with pity: "Oh. That's too bad you can't have a drink. I think that's half the reason I never wanted to breastfeed!", as if I appeared to be craving a drink in the first place. Believe it or not, bitch, I find it quite enjoyable to celebrate my child's first birthday without being sloshed. And, in fact, I don't hold my tongue, when I've seen her shoving a maraschino cherry in my toddler's mouth that's been floating in some drink of hers for a half hour. And then shoving it in again, when the tot clearly doesn't enjoy the taste. Of course, I'm "unreasonable" and "rude" when I'm vocal about the fact that I prefer if she didn't force-feed my babies cherries or ice cubes that have been steeped in alcohol. What the fuck should I expect from the woman who offers her own teenage daughter a drink and says, when it's refused: "What? You can drink with your friends, but not your own family?"

Fucking drunken freak.

I'd like to thank my readers for sharing your mother-in-law stories with me. It's certainly therapeutic for me to know that I'm not alone in my mother-in-law misery. I hope you all find them just as helpful. Or entertaining. Or both.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Mad Dog Mother-In-Law

Reader "SDL" emailed her mother-in-law horror story. Thanks for sharing this, SDL. Hope it helped to get some of this off your chest.

My husband was allowed to drink, and even drove his Dad home from bars, starting at the age of 10. When the family sits around and tells stories of the past, they laugh about how funny it all was. All their stories revolve around how drunk they were on Mad Dog 20/20.

Flash forward to 5 years ago and my husband became sober. Life is great with him being sober, but my mother-in-law says that I have changed him and that I am snotty and a bitch. According to her, he was just fine.

He had 3 DUI convictions. I didn’t get him out of jail when he got caught 5 years ago. I should have sold my horses to get him out, according to her. We had the money, but I didn't want to feel the guilt if he got out and killed somebody while driving drunk. She says he wouldn’t have done that and that I was being a "drama queen".

My mother-in-law only calls when she wants money. Yet, the woman goes to the casinos instead of buying her heart meds and cries that she can’t afford them. We had a sit-down talk at the house two years ago. My husband and I told her that calling us only when she needed money, and that calling me names like "bitch" was hurtful. She apologized to my hubby, but said I probably "made" him say all those things to her. I got up and told her to get out of my house and that is the last time I spoke to her.

Oh yeah. When my father-in-law died in '04, I paid for a large part of the funeral. We paid for the headstone because they have zero money and no life insurance. She knows I paid for the services, but says I didn’t do anything for her family when he died.

And I am the bitch???? I love my husband dearly. But my mother-in-law? I would have to hit the gas pedal if I saw her crossing the street.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Satan's Easter Basket

Reader "K" emailed to share a recent experience in hellish mother-in-law gifts. If you can call them that. Thanks, K.

My MIL is the worst gift-giver ever. Seriously, I don't know what her problem is, but if it's in the checkout line at Big Lots, or even better, at a garage sale, then it is purchased and shipped to my house and called a gift.

This Easter, like every other holiday, my kids got a package from their Mimi. A package of shit and the contents were the following:

  • Magic Grow Kitty, a paper (?) cat that you add water to and watch it grow into something mommy throws into the trash.
  • An elephant balloon. You know, every child wants one?!?!
  • A fly trapped in plastic ice cube. Yes! Just what I wanted my daughter to own.
  • A bubble blower from a wedding. Because nothing says cheap like I got you a free thing of bubbles.
  • A Ziploc bag of hangers. Because its what I always wanted.
  • An eyeball headband, what all the kids are wearing these days.
  • A bunny purse filled with 15 plastic caterpillars. WTF?
  • A jumbo 2ft long pencil. Because, you know, my kid is 3ft tall and needs a pencil this big?!?
  • A magnet shaped like the state of Oklahoma, just to remind us how far away she lives. Thank God.
  • Seven outfits for my son that are shockingly too small, as in 0-3 months size. My boy is 7 months old and wears size 12-18 months clothes.
Seriously, the woman is whacked if she really thought this shit made a great Easter gift. To make this all the more unbelievable, she paid $18.10 to ship it to our house.

Next time, just mail a card and put a $20 in it. Geez.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

(Try Not To) Picture It.

The Devil has this habit of telling the same stories over and over. I used to humor her, smile and nod and listen politely, then try and subtly change the subject. Lately, though, I've given up all tactfulness and just say: "Yeah. You already told me that." I just can't take it anymore.

For example. Whenever the subject of illness comes up in conversation, like if you happen to mention you're coming down with a cold, she tells the story of the worst case of stomach flu she ever had. Every time. With details. Such as: she was desperately clutching the toilet bowl, retching violently and simultaneously experiencing uncontrollable diarrhea. That is, retching into the toilet while trying to sit atop a garbage pail.

I wonder: Why the fuck would you not sit on the toilet and vomit into the trash can, like a human being, you stupid cow? And even if this actually happened to you, why the fuck would you tell somebody about it? Dozens of times?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Some Guy Felt Your Boob. Get Over It.

So, this one time about 3 years ago, my husband and I were at The Devil's house for dinner. I'm not sure if we were already on the subject, or if The Devil just admitted out of the blue:

"You know, I was molested as a child."

My husband and brother-in-law and I all exchanged a look and the implicit thought: Oh, Christ. Here we go... I had a moment of clarity when I thought maybe some horrific sexual torture had warped her personality. It all started making sense.

"When I was a teenager, a friend of my father's stopped over at the house. He'd been drinking and when I was alone in the room with him, he grabbed my breast." She broke down and sobbed.

We all tried not to laugh, and my father-in-law got up from the table, uncomfortable and embarrassed. We avoided looking at each other as my brother-in-law began "Mom..." but didn't finish his sentence.

All I could think was: Bitch, do you know how many men felt my boobs when I was a teenager? And you're crying about this 40 years later?