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, , , , , | Related | January 1, 2022

My wife’s sister is staying with us while she is going through a difficult divorce. It’s been quite a few weeks now, and to be honest, I’m looking forward to getting our home back to ourselves.

She’s been “helping” out around the house as she can’t afford to pay her way with the bills, or so she claims. Her “help” is well-intentioned, but she does things the way she wants to, which is annoying.

For example, she is kind enough to make coffee in the morning, but she always adds milk to it, even though I’ve mentioned several times that I take mine black. She “can’t use” our fabric softener and insists we use hers, and then she acts like she is doing us this massive favour. Generally, everything she does, she has to do her way. Things get tidied up in the wrong places, meals made with ingredients we don’t like, etc.

After months of patience, even my wife is fed up with her. 

Sister-In-Law: “Well, it’s been fun and I know you’ll miss me. But I think I’m going to move out.”

Wife: “Oh, wow. I’m happy for you! Are you going to be staying with a friend?”

Sister-In-Law: “No, silly. I found a flat in [Expensive Area].”

Me: “Oh, wow. You must have been lucky to find anything affordable there.”

Sister-In-Law: “Oh, it’s great. Let me show you the pictures!”

She scrolled through her phone showing us pictures of a very nice flat. We knew she hadn’t had any money yet from the divorce, so she must have been pretending to be broke and keeping the money to herself. The deposit alone would have been thousands.

And her leaving gift to us? The half-empty bottle of fabric softener and her weird ingredients.  

I dropped her and her stuff off at her new flat, to no thanks or anything. But having her out of our hair was probably enough.

More Hindrance Than Help

, , , , , , | Related | December 31, 2021

My husband and I were living temporarily with my parents when I had my third child by cesarean after a high-risk pregnancy. She was born a little premature (36.5 weeks) but healthy. I couldn’t say the same for me; I had acute bronchitis that led to severe coughing fits anytime I even considered laying down. 

Between the coughing and surgery, taking care of the newborn, and being unable to lie down to sleep, I was basically a complete zombie for the first month and lived on the couch so I could sleep sitting up. My husband did try to help with the older kids, but he had to work full time and couldn’t be there all day. My dad also worked, but my mom was retired and had nothing outside of the house to do, so she was there all the time to “help out”. In theory. But she has always treated everyone like their problems weren’t as important as her problems.

My one-week-old was asleep on my chest and I was trying to get some desperately needed sleep myself when my mom came loudly stomping into the room. I opened my eyes to see her pulling my five-year-old along with her.

Mom: “You need to go look at the mess your daughter just made! Her crayons are everywhere!” 

Me: “So? Just ask her to pick them up. [Daughter], can you please pick up your crayons?” 

[Daughter] nodded and skipped back to her room, and I tried to close my eyes again.

Mom: “No, you need to see this! She broke her crayons into pieces! On the carpet!”

I rolled my eyes and very carefully stood up from the couch, trying not to pull on my stitches or wake the baby. Then, I slowly followed my mom into the back room while she ranted about having to get crayon out of the carpet.

Mom: “See?! It’s everywhere!” 

There were a dozen or so crayons with the paper torn off and broken into pieces, most of which were on the notebook my daughter had been using, but yes, some of it was ground into the carpet. My mom then walked off — I assumed to get a trash bag — so I told my daughter it wasn’t nice to make messes and asked her to help Grandma pick up the pieces.

When my mom returned, she actually had a hot washrag and a bottle of carpet cleaner, which seemed reasonable, so I turned to head back to the living room. But before I could react, she put the cleaning supplies down on the floor, grabbed my sleeping newborn from my arms, and flounced back to the living room, shouting over her shoulder:

Mom: “She’s your daughter, so you get to clean it up!” 

I was too exhausted to fight it, so I just got down and cleaned. This, of course, caused a coughing fit, which pulled on my stitches, which made my eyes water from the pain, which caused my five-year-old to ask why I was crying. By the time I had finished, the baby was awake, so I didn’t get to nap, either. I ignored my mom for the rest of the day out of spite.

Later, when my dad and my husband each got home from work, my mom, of course, went on and on about the “horrible” mess that was made and how hard it is to get out of carpet, saying that I was being “extra grumpy for no reason,” conveniently glossing over the fact that she’d made me clean it up.

And she wonders why we moved three states away.

Don’t Make Promises You Can’t Keep

, , , , | Related | December 30, 2021

My husband and I temporarily lived with his parents for a few months while we waited to be able to move into our new place. We did pay them rent, and I helped with cleaning and cooking while my husband helped with projects around their house. A majority of our belongings were in storage. 

Father-In-Law: “Hey, do you still have that fancy blender you got for a wedding present?”

Me: “Yes, why?”

Father-In-Law: “I have a coworker who needs a blender, and since you’re not using it, I told him he could have it.”

Me: “Why did you do that? We’re not currently using it because it’s in the storage unit, but we will be using it once we move to the new place.”

Father-In-Law: “You’re not using it now, so you have no need for it anymore.”

Me: “We will be using it eventually. We’re not giving it away.”

Father-In-Law: “But I told him he could have it.”

Me: “Are you going to buy us a new one if we give ours away?”

Father-In-Law: “No.”

Me: “Well then, you’re going to have to untell him, because it wasn’t yours to give away.”

He later brought it up to my husband and my husband had the same response. He was ticked at us and ended up giving his coworker one of the blenders they owned, but he told us how we had embarrassed him when he had to give his coworker a lower-end blender. They tried a few more times to get us to give away our things to someone they knew. When we refused, they told us we were ungrateful. We were very happy once we were able to move out.

There’s Been A Spike In This Kind Of Argument Recently

, , , , , | Related | December 29, 2021

I visited my parents for Thanksgiving recently. My mom has relatively recently gotten big into extreme conservative websites, as in the sites that complain that Fox News is way too liberal. I’ve seen a lot of silly changes as a result of this, but out of all of them, my biggest complaint is her refusal to get the vaccine despite the family all telling her it’s safer and my father complaining they can’t go on any vacations because she isn’t allowed to travel.

Mom: “I heard the vaccine hijacks your body to produce spike proteins.”

Me: “Well, it does teach your body to make spike proteins. That’s what teaches your body to fight the disease; it’s literally the vaccine’s job.”

Mom: “But it hijacks your body. Your body is so busy making spike proteins that it doesn’t protect against other diseases.

Me: “The spike proteins should only be generated for a few weeks. After that, the vaccine gets flushed out of your system, and without it, the proteins would stop being made. Besides, your body is making thousands of proteins every day; one more protein — and one made in very small quantities since it’s only created where the vaccine is present to trigger it — is chump change compared to all the proteins your body already produces. It shouldn’t stress the body, and the immune system is otherwise pretty independent from the protein production process, anyway.”

Mom: “That’s not what the sites I read said.”

Me: “No offense, Mom, but I don’t really trust the sites you read. You’re going to sites that people only visit if they want to hear that there is a problem with the vaccine, so those sites will tell you there is a problem whether or not there is one. It’s a kind of blatant conflict of interest. I only trust actual studies and scientific research.

Mom: “But they did that once. There was this doctor who had a patient who was getting treatment for something else anyway and was planning to get the vaccine, so the doctor suggested they do a study. They tested him before and after he got the vaccine, and afterward, his numbers were all down.”

Me: “What numbers?”

Mom: “The other spike proteins.”

Me: “Spike proteins are a [disease] vaccine thing. We don’t really call the other proteins your body makes ‘spike proteins’.”

Mom: “Whatever they were, the other proteins were lower.”

Me: “Okay, so, first of all, I doubt this supposed doctor actually published any paper on it, so we don’t have any proof he even exists. Like I said, you’re going to sites with an agenda, so it’s hard to trust they are publishing honest news. But even if this doctor did exist, and it was so easy to test protein production, it still wouldn’t mean anything. That was one guy without any kind of control; it’s purely anecdotal evidence. Maybe the guy had extra stress that week, or was injured, or didn’t eat well, or any one of a number of other things that could affect protein production other than the vaccine. There is no way to prove this one guy, if he even exists, had a drop due to the vaccine and not some other reason. That’s why proper studies need a large number of people and controls.

Mom: “Well, it’s still something. What do you have to prove that it doesn’t happen?”

Me: “A multitude of studies done by numerous independent sources.”

Mom: “What studies?”

Me: “They had to do a ton of studies before releasing the vaccine. Yes, I know it’s still technically an emergency authorization, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t do any studies at all. They’ve done numerous studies with literally hundreds of thousands of people involved. How do you think we know the success rate of the three vaccines? They gave a ton of people the vaccine and then saw how many got sick and how many were fine, and they compared that to a control because proper studies have controls! Why do you think it took longer for teens and then kids to be authorized for the vaccine? Because they had to do additional studies focused on those ages to make sure it was safe for them. If it was as easy to detect a body being ‘hijacked’ as you say, then don’t you think they would have noticed it when they vaccinated hundreds of thousands of people and watched them afterward to see what happened? There are numerous independent studies from many different countries, so you can’t say it’s just one group trying to keep things a secret or anything; it would have to be a worldwide conspiracy.”

My mom just sort of quieted down at this point. She didn’t say anything for a bit, and soon, we were able to change the subject. I can only assume she realized she didn’t have much room to argue with me on the subject.

I can only hope that between my dad and me, we might eventually convince her to trust the vaccine. She is in her late seventies and not taking any precautions about the crisis. She wanted to invite my sister and her family, who had just been exposed to the illness, to our house last holiday and was only convinced it was a bad idea when I pointed out that if they did that, I’d either have to leave or wouldn’t be allowed to go into work for two weeks afterward. I really am a little worried for her safety.

Not Tow-day, Lady!

, , , , | Friendly | December 29, 2021

I have recently purchased a home and am in the process of repairing it. It’s a steamy hot day, and I am waiting for the HVAC repairman, hoping he can resurrect the air conditioner without breaking the bank.

The front driveway is shaded with a huge pecan tree that provides a lot of shade. There aren’t many trees on the block, so there are frequently cars parked in the shade. I don’t blame them; as long as they aren’t blocking my driveway, I have no concerns with who parks there.

I’m on a ladder on the side of the house and hear a car stop and park. I am hoping it is the HVAC guy, but it’s a sedan with two ladies. The driver parks so that her car completely blocks my driveway. I wave and try to get her attention before she exits her car. She looks directly at me and chooses to ignore me. I begin walking toward her car. I am not even annoyed at this point. She can have some shade; she just can’t block the driveway. I wave again, but she is hurrying to exit her car.

Me: “Can you please move forward about six feet to leave my driveway clear?”

She ignores me. The other lady with her clearly hears me as she turns and looks at me.

Me: *Louder* “Excuse me. You need to move your car out of my driveway.”

She continues down the street with an armload of paperwork, giving me no response whatsoever. I follow the ladies, now getting annoyed with the driver’s obvious decision to ignore me completely.

I see my HVAC guy approaching, so I flag him down.

Me: “I’ll have the driveway open for you in a minute.”

I am gaining on the woman. I see her stop, so I jog the twenty steps to her and again ask her to move her car ahead a bit. She acts as though I am not even there, so I repeat my request, and she repeats her performance. Okay, now I am pissed. I step into her personal space and loudly repeat my request. She looks directly at me.

Woman: “This is a state-funded street and I will park wherever I want.”

Me: “Yes, but you’re impeding my access, and that isn’t within your rights.”

Woman: “I will park wherever I want.”

Me: “Who are you visiting?”

Woman: “I have several friends who are on my roster to visit today.”

I look and the papers are of a religious nature.

Me: “You will move away from my driveway or you can explain your rights to security.”

I head for home. She decides to further state her rights, and I decide to make that call. The HVAC guy has parked closely behind her car to glean a scant bit of shade.

HVAC Guy: “I’m eating my lunch quickly as I was a bit early.”

I offer him a cold drink of water while I make a call to security.

Security: “We’ve had problems with her in the past. I’ll gladly refresh her with the rules again.”

He was there in minutes. I explained that she was welcome to park in the shade, just not to block access to my driveway. I pointed to where she had gone and left to get the repairman started.

We were in the backyard when I heard a shriek. Apparently, the woman felt it was okay to push the security dude! By the time I got to the front yard, the police were arriving. They arrested her at the request of security, and her car was towed!