Redefining “Monster-In-Law”

, , , , | Related | September 13, 2020

My mother-in-law works on her own schedule. I am 100% convinced it’s a power play but she insists it’s always just bad luck. It also only seems to impact the events that my husband and I plan. If you tell her to be somewhere by 2:00 pm, she likely will not get there before 3:00 pm. And it’s never her fault; someone else took too long in the shower or traffic was bad or she got a phone call. She also never gives you a heads-up about what time she will actually be arriving.

When my husband and I get married, we decide to go to a courthouse and have a celebration and reception at the local park the next day. The courthouse has us scheduled for 3:00 pm. When we call my mother-in-law to tell her the time, we tell her 2:00 pm. When my husband calls his dad — they’re divorced — he tells them 3:00 pm. Everyone arrives around 2:30, except for my mother-in-law. At 2:55, she comes strolling in, all smiles, and… dressed in white.

Mother: *Fake sad* “I am so sorry I’m late! I hope you waited for me? I can’t miss my son’s—” *air quotes* “—‘wedding.’”

She takes her son’s arm and turns to me.

Mother: “What did you tell the justice? How did you get him to wait?”

Me: *Smiling* “We’re scheduled for 3:00 pm. You’re right on time.”

Her face fell, and she turned red and stormed out. We went through with our “wedding” without her. The next day, she didn’t show up at the park until the very end. She tried to make it sound like we had purposely told her the wrong time and that we wanted her to miss it, but everyone in attendance was familiar with her shenanigans and she ended up sitting alone, pouting.

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Don’t Cross That Bridge When You Come To It

, , , | Related | September 12, 2020

My grandfather had a series of mini-strokes which eventually made him blind in one eye and also affected the sight in the other. The doctor recommended he stop driving as his long-distance vision was affected and he had no depth perception. He had a few close misses when pulling out into traffic. My mother wanted his license to be taken away but my grandmother refused as it would upset him, but she did insist that she do the driving from then on.

One morning, Mum notices that their car is gone but my grandmother is still home.

Mum: “Did you know the car is gone? Where’s [Grandfather]?”

Grandmother: “No, he was here a few moments ago.”

A few minutes later, my grandfather drives the car back into the yard, very narrowly missing the power pole by the driveway. Mum and Grandmother rush outside.

Mum: “What are you doing driving?”

Grandfather: “I only went up to the shops.”

Mum: “You know you can’t see properly; you can’t drive.”

Grandfather: “It’s all right. I didn’t go by the main road; I went the back way.”

The next day, my grandmother gets their doctor to take away his license and she starts keeping the car keys hidden.  

A few weeks later, Grandfather’s eyesight worsens to the point that he can’t even see cars on the road. He is told that he is not to cross roads on his own. Again, my mother catches him walking back from the shops on his own.

Mum: “You know you can’t cross roads on your own.”

Grandfather: “I didn’t cross any roads.”

Mum: *Pointing to his newspaper* “The newsagency is on the other side of the main road.”

Grandfather: “I didn’t cross the main road; I walked up to the station and used the crossings.”

Mum: “You had to cross two roads to get to the shops, then cross the same one twice to get to the newsagent, and then do the same on the way back.”

Grandfather: “Those are only streets; they don’t count. I was told I couldn’t cross any roads on my own.”

They had to get the doctor to tell him he wasn’t allowed to cross any streets OR roads on his own.

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Do You Need To Be Drunk To Enjoy Your Family’s Happiness?

, , , , , | Related | September 11, 2020

My love and I are going to get married and we have an occasion where we can tell family members in person and we’re not stealing the spotlight from someone else.

Me: “So, the cards will come in a few weeks. Please let us know if you come!”

Aunt: “Of course I’ll come! I love wedding parties!”

Wife-To-Be: “Yes, and we decided to do things our way, so expect things to be different. But what and how things will be different… will be a surprise!”

Aunt: “Oh, that’s okay. Just place me at the bar and I’ll have the best time of my life!”

Me: “Yeah, about that… We decided to keep this wedding alcohol-free. There will be no alcohol served.”

My aunt snaps her head around to look at me. Her smile is gone. 

Aunt: “What did you say?”

Me: “We… asked the bar to not serve any alcoholic beverages.”

Aunt: “But… but… why?!”

Wife-To-Be: “We have our reasons. Besides, we want everyone to have fun and not have to worry about who has to drive.”

Aunt: “Oh… okay.”

Uncle: “Well, we’ll be looking forward to your invitation!”

My aunt and uncle did not attend the wedding; they had forgotten about a planned vacation they booked one week after we told them. Such a shame.

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Your Immunocompromised Friends And Family Are Listening

, , , , , | Related | September 11, 2020

I live in a different country from my family and we keep contact online. I call my mother to ask what my teenage sister might want for her birthday and the conversation starts going places. Keep in mind that this is in the middle of the global health crisis.

Mother: “My friend [Friend] visited recently; we went to the beach. It was fully packed! But we had a great time.”

Me: “Okay, glad to hear that you did.”

Mother: “Plane tickets are crazy cheap right now. Are you sure you won’t be coming home?”

I am annoyed at this question for several reasons. First, it’s not home anymore; I live somewhere else now. Second, I have two chronic illnesses, one of which is asthma, and the second ensures that I have a difficult time recovering from any illness, including the common cold. To put it on simply, I cannot afford to contract the disease that shall not be named.

Me: “Nope, not flying anywhere this year.”

Mother: “But why not? Are you afraid?”

Me: “Of course I am! I don’t love the idea of sitting in a packed plane for two hours while all this is going on, so I won’t be doing it. Not in the middle of a disease outbreak.”

My mother then starts “explaining” that not everyone dies of the disease in question, that it’s no worse than a common flu, and that the crisis isn’t real, ignoring official facts because she “doesn’t trust the media.”

Mother: “…anyway, only people with underlying health conditions have to worry about it. All of us can go about our lives as usual.”

Did I mention that I have asthma?

Me: “Great for you. I have to hang up now.”

Something tells me I won’t be visiting even when the crisis is under control.

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A Moving Story Of A Stubborn Oma

, , , , , | Related | September 10, 2020

For as long as I can remember, my grandmother has had this, like, fetish with moving furniture. She literally tries to rearrange things every other day. It was mostly fine while she was living alone, although it kind of sucked because pretty much any time we went up to see her, my mom, brothers, and/or myself would have to move something.

Several years ago, she had a stroke. After realizing that she wasn’t as steady as she’d once been, she finally agreed that moving was a good idea, and we got her into an assisted living facility.

She walks with a walker now and has been told by her doctor to literally never let that thing out of her reach. It’s okay to put it to the side so it’s out of the way of her recliner, but she needs to be able to grab it as soon as she gets up.

My grandmother takes that to mean that she can leave it across the room. She also keeps trying to move her furniture because she can “use those pieces to stabilize herself.”

First of all, she’s trying to move things like her bed and bookcases — things she shouldn’t be moving on her own anyway. She’s actually fallen a few times; one time they actually needed to call EMS to come check her out because she’d hit her head and given herself a black eye.

I am on the phone with her a couple of days ago, just checking in.

Oma: “I’m trying to move my chair into the bedroom.”

Me: “You don’t need to move anything!”

Oma: “Well, it’s just that I want the chair near the window so I can look outside and I’m going to move the TV in here so I can talk to people while watching TV.”

Me: “You don’t need to move anything. You can use your walker for a seat, and isn’t your bed near the window?”

Oma: “Well, yeah, but I still want to move it.”

Me: “Move a book. You can shift it from the bookcase to your table near the window. You don’t need to move your recliner.”

Oma: “Well, it would make it easier to see outside.”

Me: “Do I need to call Mom and have her talk to you?”

Oma: “No, I’ve already talked to her. And to [Aunt].”

Me: “And what did they say?”

Oma: “I don’t need to move anything.”

Me: “They’re right; you don’t need to move anything. You’re fine.”

Oma: “Well, I’ve got one of the guys coming tomorrow to help me move my sewing table and that’s the last thing I’m moving.”

I roll my eyes because it’s been “the last time” every time we’ve called her on this.

Me: “Whatever you say.”

Oma: “And my doctor did say that it wouldn’t hurt me to walk from the window to my chair and back.”

Me: “Just as long as you use your walker.”

Oma: “Well, I hear them coming down the hall, so it’s lunchtime. I’ll talk to you later.”

Me: “Enjoy.”

Oma: “Talk to you later!”

Me: “Bye. Love you!”

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