Didn’t Clean The Log Cabin When You Were Building A Log Cabin

, , , , | Related | January 12, 2020

(My in-laws own a cabin at the lake. One summer, my 21-year-old daughter asks if she and her friends can borrow it for a long weekend.)

Mother-In-Law: “That’s fine, but there are a couple of things you need to promise me. Keep the noise down; don’t disturb our neighbours.”

Daughter: “No problem, Grandma.”

Mother-In-Law: “Also, you need to clean up after yourselves. Leave the cabin looking exactly as you found it. Got it? Otherwise, I won’t lend it to you again.”

Daughter: “Absolutely. I promise.”

(After the weekend is over, I ask how it went.)

Daughter: “Fine! We had a few drinks each evening, but we stayed inside the cabin, and we didn’t make any noise. On the morning we left, the three of us cleaned the place from top to bottom, and it looked great.”

(Later that day, the phone rings. It is my mother-in-law.)

Husband: “I hear that [Daughter] and her friends had a great time at the cabin. Thanks so much for lending it to them.”

Mother-In-Law: “Uh-huh.”

Husband: “Is something wrong?”

Mother-In-Law: “I told her that she had to leave the place clean. I’m not happy, and I’m thinking seriously about not lending it to her again.”

Husband: “But… she said that they left it spic-and-span. What didn’t they clean?”

Mother-In-Law: “The underside of the toilet seat.”

Husband: *expectant pause* “And?”

Mother-In-Law: “That’s it.”

Husband: “That’s it? They only missed one thing that I don’t think I would have remembered to clean?”

Mother-In-Law: “Regardless, it wasn’t cleaned. I’ll have to think long and hard before I let her borrow the cabin again.”

(She eventually relented, but sheesh. There’s being house-proud, and then there’s THAT.)

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Why Egg-Nog Was Invented

, , , , | Related | December 24, 2019

(My boyfriend of three years has invited his parents for Christmas at our home. I refer to them as my in-laws and they are notoriously poorly behaved, demanding things and being very rude at times for no reason. This occurs on Christmas Eve when there’s a problem with their car. After texting my own father, who is a red seal mechanic, I tell them what he believes the problem is based on the facts.)

Me: “My dad said it sounds like the hose wasn’t attached properly and came off; it should be an easy fix.”

Mother-In-Law: *condescendingly* “That’s not the problem.”

(They continue to talk amongst themselves, all getting irritated and angry at each other until eventually, my boyfriend has to tell them to stop fighting and calls a car-savvy friend to take a look.)

Friend: “Yeah, they didn’t attach that hose right. Looks like it fell off. It’s a pretty easy fix; I’ll do it now.”

Mother-In-Law: *giving me an “I told you so” look* “See, I knew that was the problem.”

Me: *proceeds to Irish up my coffee*

(Turns out they didn’t actually replace the hose, either, just poorly fixed it, so it’s still messed up. When it comes detached again, [Father-In-Law] starts asking the friend why it stayed on before but not for him in a very rude way that makes everyone uncomfortable. The in-laws then go outside, likely to smoke.)

Friend: *to me* “Alcohol?”

Me: *already tipsy* “Have as much as you want.”

(At least my boyfriend is a sweetie.)

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Rubbish Behavior From Rubbish People Getting Not-So-Rubbish Gifts

, , , , , , , | Related | December 24, 2019

(My husband and I are spending Christmas at my in-laws. My husband’s younger brother is an architecture journalist who writes for magazines and websites, married to a radiologist. My husband and I both work as nursing home assistants to support our infant son. My mother-in-law always boasts about my brother-in-law’s successes while constantly putting me and my husband down for many reasons — our flat is too dirty, we’re working dead-end jobs, our child is learning too slow, etc. When it’s time to exchange gifts, my brother-in-law receives a framed LP signed by his favourite band and his wife gets a first-edition copy of her favourite children’s book, while my husband and I both get £10 gift vouchers. My husband gives his mother our gift, a modest but beautiful set of amber earrings. The wrapping is a bit sloppy but my husband tried his very best to get it neat.)

Mother-In-Law: “Oh? Are you giving me my gift or passing me your rubbish?”

Father-In-Law: *uncomfortably* “Dear, let’s try to be nice, all right? It’s the thought that counts, after all.”

Mother-In-Law: *having opened present* “Yes, and clearly, they didn’t put much thought at all into this.”

(I am shocked at this, while my husband just looks crestfallen. However, before any of us can say anything, my brother-in-law gets up, and SHOVES his LP into his mother’s arms.)

Brother-In-Law: “You need to take this back.”

Mother-In-Law: *confused* “What’s wrong, [Brother-In-Law]? Don’t you like the band? I can get another one for you.”

Brother-In-Law: *quiet, but visually furious* “Honestly, I’m sickened by your behaviour. [Husband] and [My Name] work their a**es off to provide for your grandson, they bought you that gorgeous pair of earrings even though you’ve done nothing to deserve them, and you still treat them like s***. I’ve had enough. I’m going to make sure my brother has a good Christmas for once, and if I hear from anyone you’ve been making fun of him or his family again you can forget about spending another Christmas with us.”

(The room is silent as we all stare, jaws agape.)

Mother-In-Law: “I’m… I’m so sorry, [Brother-In-Law], I didn’t know…”

Brother-In-Law: *laughs in disbelief* “You seriously think I’m the one you need to apologise to?”

Mother-In-Law: “No… no, you’re right. I’m sorry, [Husband], and to you, [My Name].”

(The rest of the day was a little awkward, but it picked up by the end. The mother-in-law even joined in for a few board games in the evening. My husband’s rapport with his mother is still a little strained, but his friendship with his brother has never been better!)

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When A Gift Is A Curse

, , , , , , | Related | December 24, 2019

(It’s Christmas Eve. We are gathering with my brother and his wife and their two daughters at his wife’s sister’s house. We have had appetizers, and before the main meal we decide to do gifts. We watch my two nieces and their cousin open their gifts, and then my mom gives my brother and his wife their gift from my husband and I. My brother’s mother-in-law also gives each of us a small gift of candy, which is very nice. But other than that, nothing. Except for last year, when they said no gifts because they took an expensive trip, we’ve always exchanged gifts. I figure it’s a lack of communication. They also exchange with my parents on Christmas Day, so I don’t think anything of it. Fast forward to the Friday after Christmas. We go to their house for lunch and to see their gifts and tree. It’s quite obvious they’ve spent a lot of money on Christmas on themselves and on their kids. Later, when we get home I ask my mom if they’d gotten anything from them for Christmas.)

Mom: “We got a container of nuts and a votive holder. They weren’t wrapped. It was like a hostess gift for having Christmas dinner.”

Me: “So, basically the four of them sat there and opened gifts while you and [My Aunt] watched?”

Mom: “Yep.”

(My sister-in-law said she thought they weren’t exchanging this year. My mom said she asked and never got a response. Both of them have great paying jobs. I know my parents spent a lot of money on them and their kids. It just makes me ill how they don’t seem to have any remorse at all. So, from now on, we will not be buying for them — only the kids because it’s not their fault and they’re innocent in all this.)

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I’m Related To A Celebrity! Get Me Out Of Here!

, , | Related | December 15, 2019

(My father-in-law’s cousin is a B-list Hollywood actor. My father-in-law frequently tells people that he is “special” because [Actor] is his cousin. This is despite the fact that he hasn’t actually seen this cousin in person nor spoken to him since the late 1960s. The following story happens when my husband and I are stationed with the military in South Korea.)

Mother-In-Law: *to my husband* “You should go on [Actor]’s Facebook page and invite him to do a USO tour in South Korea. He can stay at your apartment.”

(My husband is a little clueless just like his parents and goes for the idea. He posts a number of posts on [Actor]’s Facebook page to the nature of:)

Post: “Hey, cousin! It’s me, [Husband]. You really need to do a USO tour in Korea; you can stay at my apartment.”

(As the weeks wear on and he keeps making these posts, he doesn’t understand why his cousin isn’t responding. I tell him that [Actor]’s Facebook page isn’t even run by him and that it is a social media management team who doesn’t know [Husband] from Adam; therefore, his posts are being ignored. He calls my mother-in-law and complains to her. Instead of discouraging him, she doubles down on this whack-a-doodle idea.)

Mother-In-Law: “[Actor] probably isn’t responding because he thinks that he will have to stay at a hotel. He probably hates hotels! You need to reassure him that he will be staying at your apartment and not a hotel.”

(At the time, my husband and I are living in a small two-bedroom apartment in military housing, so hosting guests isn’t even an option for us. We have an old futon in the spare bedroom but I primarily use the room for my office. The only person who has stayed on the futon is my friend’s five-year-old daughter when she had to spend the night at our house while her mom was on a temporary duty assignment overnight. I finally get sick of this insanity so I confront my husband.)

Me: “[Husband], [Mother-In-Law], are you guys nuts?! I seriously doubt that [Actor] wants to sleep on a futon and share a bathroom in his cousin’s apartment in Korea. The last USO show that came to [Military Base] had the celebrities stay at the Novotel downtown. Anyway, he has never met either of you and I seriously doubt that his social media team is going to take a random stranger’s posts on his page seriously.”

Mother-In-Law: “But he is [Father-In-Law]’s cousin! That makes us special! He is going to listen to [Husband]’s invitations to go on a USO tour sometime. He hasn’t responded because he doesn’t want to stay at a hotel!”

(My husband rightly dropped the idea after we had a heart-to-heart about his parents’ decades-long delusions about how being related to a celebrity makes them special and that said celebrity is going to do whatever they want him to do. My father-in-law still mentions that he is related to [Actor] when he disagrees with me because he thinks that it automatically makes him right!)

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