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The Only Thing Worse Than A Party Crasher

, , , | Related | March 17, 2021

My youngest sister-in-law moved closer to us a couple of years ago and we have included her and her boyfriend in our friend circle which we have known for approximately ten years. Everybody is in their mid- to late twenties; [Sister-In-Law] and her boyfriend are the youngest.

Our Dutch friends have a summer party every year, and this year, for the first time, they invite [Sister-In-Law] and her boyfriend. The Dutch friends start an email chain as it is a potluck party. 

Sister-In-Law: “We are bringing our friend, [Guest], as well.”

The party hostess is obviously a bit surprised to be told and not asked.

Hostess: “I guess that is okay.”

After a couple of emails about food:

Sister-In-Law’s Boyfriend: *To [Hostess]* “So, do you have a large table where [Guest] can set up?”

Another friend in the group email replies.

Friend: “It’s okay. We are only supposed to bring one or two dishes each. She won’t need a large table.”

Sister-In-Law’s Boyfriend: *As if stating the obvious* “For the health products she is going to sell us, of course. It is amazing what they can do! It has changed our lives!”

My dear husband and I see this email before our Dutch friends and have a discussion on how to politely stop [Sister-In-Law] and her boyfriend from embarrassing themselves further, but while my husband is composing an email to his sister, the hostess responds.

Hostess: “This is our summer party, not a sales party! You can tell [Guest] she is no longer welcome!”

Sister-In-Law: “But everybody will love the products and I promised her I would arrange this.”

Hostess: “NO!”

Host: “Do not bring her!”

Our Dutch friends are graceful and do not uninvite [Sister-In-Law] and her boyfriend, but at the party, both [Sister-In-Law] and her boyfriend still can’t understand that they have done anything wrong or weird.

Sister-In-Law: “Too bad they didn’t want to hear about all the nice products. This would have been such a perfect setting for a sales party.”

I have a distinct feeling [Sister-In-Law] either would have kept the hostess gift herself or would have gotten a discount on her next purchase for “arranging the party.”

In all fairness, I had complained to [Hostess] about [Sister-In-Law]’s immaturity and bad manners a couple of times, so I did not feel too bad for her. Anyway, she was better at shutting [Sister-In-Law]’s antics down than we were.

[Sister-In-Law] and her boyfriend — who became her husband — “saw the light” many more times in the following years, but after a couple of failed tries to “convert” us to whatever nonsense product or fad they were fans of, they realized we were out of pedagogic reach and stopped trying.

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Not Showering This Monster-In-Law With Praise

, , , , | Related | March 15, 2021

My husband’s mother doesn’t trust men. When my husband was eight he “broke up” with a classmate. His mother yelled at him, saying he was just like all men.

He had a girlfriend in high school for two years but they mutually broke up their junior year. When my husband and I got engaged, some friends, including his ex-girlfriend, threw me a bridal shower. At one point, I was in a small circle of women: me, my husband’s ex-girlfriend, his mom, his sister, and two friends. His mother turned to the ex.

Husband’s Mom: “[Ex-Girlfriend], this should be your bridal shower.”

I told my husband that night that when we got married, his mother could visit but her suitcases would never come through the front door. She also told us we couldn’t invite his dad to the wedding. I told her we already had and would let her know if he was coming so she could decide if she wanted to attend. If looks could kill…

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Bring A Thing… Just Not Him

, , , , | Related | March 13, 2021

We are hosting a “bring a thing” party, as we call it. You have to bring something to eat or drink to share. We sort of take turns hosting, and with everyone bringing a little bit, it makes hosting not so expensive and makes sure any picky eaters are catered for. Plus, those who don’t want to host can still contribute.

That said, I honestly didn’t want to invite my brother-in-law to this one. He clearly doesn’t like social events that he doesn’t host. He sits on his phone inside while the party goes on outside. He refuses to talk to anyone, and he tries to leave as soon as he has finished eating.

He shows up with one pack of the cheapest sausages, suspiciously with the best-before date scribbled out. Unfortunately, this is not unlike him at all.

I fire up the barbecue and he’s first in line.

Brother-In-Law: “Burger, please.”

Me: “Oh, sorry. No one bought any with them.”

This is not a lie. Most people have drinks and sides, and some brought ribs, but they are still being prepared.

Brother-In-Law: “Oh, okay, I’ll have one of them.”

He points to the butcher’s sausages.

Me: “Sausage? Sure, two enough for now? Help yourself to salad and things.”

I pick out two of his cheap sausages and put them on his plate.

Brother-In-Law: “No, I meant one of those ones.”

Me: “Oh, I’m sure those are just as good. Who’s next?”

He sulked and barely ate his food. I felt a bit bad and saved him a few of the nice sausages and some ribs. I found a few burgers in the freezer and brought them out, too.

When I got back, I found that my brother-in-law had disappeared. He’d left without a word. Much later we heard secondhand that he had been whining about us and the lack of food. He admitted leaving early and going to a drive-thru! He didn’t come to any more of our barbecues — no loss there!

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You’d Sleep Even Better With This Nice Pillow Over Your Face

, , , , , | Related | February 23, 2021

My mother-in-law is very self-centred. When my second daughter is an infant, [Mother-In-Law] comes to stay with us for a few days, ostensibly to help with the new baby. She barely lifts a finger, however; in fact, she makes MORE work for my husband and me.

One morning kind of takes the cake, though. The baby has been up all night crying, and I am absolutely exhausted. [Mother-In-Law] comes upstairs from her room for breakfast.

Mother-In-Law: “You look terrible, [My Name].”

Me: “I bet. [Daughter] was crying all night, and—”

Mother-In-Law: *Reassuringly* “Don’t worry. I didn’t hear a thing, and I slept just fine.”

Oh, phew, because THAT was my biggest concern!

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Boarding School It Is!

, , , , | Related | February 19, 2021

I have two daughters; as such, we do have our share of pink decorations and toys at home. 

As a man, a house full of unicorns, fairies, and glitter wouldn’t be my first choice, but it’s their home, too, and we keep it tidy-ish, so it is perfectly fine.

My brother-in-law doesn’t have kids, and despite all obvious visual, physical, and historic clues, he thinks of himself as some manly bloke’s bloke.

Brother-In-Law: *Smirking* “Nice unicorn. Is this yours?”

Me: “No. No, it’s not.”

Brother-In-Law: “I wouldn’t have all this stuff in my house, you know.”

Me: “You wouldn’t let your kids have toys?”

Brother-In-Law: “Well, I guess they could keep it out of the way, so I didn’t have to see it.”

Me: “We try not to lock the kids away all day when they are playing.”

Brother-In-Law: “I’m not saying that; I’m just saying that I wouldn’t have it in my part of the house.”

Me: “We don’t have parts of the house; we live in one house. I mean, why wouldn’t we want them with us? I just don’t—”

My wife interrupted me as she could see I was getting irritated. He would often give us his opinion or advice about parenting, despite not being asked or having any clue about children.

He eventually had children of his own, and wouldn’t you know it? His house looks like a toy shop.

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