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We’re Going To Come Under Fire For This One

, , , , | Related | January 3, 2018

(I live in Montana, but my brother-in-law lives in California with his daughter. Recently there have been several large and out-of-control fires raging in California.)

Father-In-Law: *talking about a conversation with his son earlier* “So, he says they’re going to go down and pick out a Christmas tree.”

Me: *from the other room* “Are you sure there are any left?”

Father-In-Law: *thoughtfully* “You know, I don’t know if they’ve sold out or not.”

Me: “No, I mean with all the fires… It was humor. Dry humor. Like California.”

(I pause dramatically.)

Me: “I’m on fire… just like California!”

(I make dry, morbid jokes. So sue me!)

Things Are Going South

, , , , , , , | Related | January 2, 2018

(My husband and I are playing with our toddler and he’s excitedly jabbering away at us. Suddenly, he very clearly says the “N” word.)

Me: *gasps* “No, no, [Son]! That’s a rude word! Never say that!”

Son: *shaking his head* “No, no!”

Husband: *frowns* “I wonder where he heard that? I know we don’t say it, and none of our friends do. No one even says it with an ‘a’ on the end.”

Me: *scowling at him* “Well, obviously it was from your mom and step-dad or some of their friends at their church.”

Husband: *scoffs* “Why would you say that? How do you know that he didn’t hear it from your parents or some of your family?”

Me: “Oh, I don’t know. It could be the fact that your mom said some of her neighbors proudly told her that they had run a—” *leans over and whispers [ethnic slur] then resumes normal tone of voice* “—out of their town a few years before your mom and step-dad moved in. And she still tries to say that they’re good, nice people.”

Husband: *shocked* “What?!” *shakes his head* “And she claims that living in the South hasn’t rubbed off on her.”

Me: *glares*

Husband: “I’m not saying all people from the South are racist, but that’s how my mom used to think, and she always swore that living in the South wouldn’t make her ‘like those people,’ as she used to say. Seems she’s become one of the people she swore she’d never be.”

Me: *sighs* “We’re going to have to have a long talk with your mom and step-dad, and it’s going to be a long time before he stays with them again.”

When Arguments Happen At Christmas, The Claus Come Out

, , , , , , , | Related | December 28, 2017

(My husband and I have never let our children believe in Santa. We host my in-laws for Christmas this year. They live 2000 miles away, so they stay for a couple weeks. We adults are chatting a couple days before Christmas, when my four-year-old comes up to me.)

Daughter: “[Nine-Year-Old Uncle] is angry with me.”

Me: “Why is he upset with you?”

Daughter: “Because I told him Santa isn’t real.”

(Thankfully his parents were amused, not upset! I had another chat with my daughter about not telling other children about Santa, even though she knows he’s pretend. Meanwhile, it’s not everyday that a niece breaks the news of Santa Claus to her uncle!)

I’m Dreaming Of A Wi-Fi Christmas

, , , , , | Related | December 26, 2017

(It’s not that I don’t like my brother-in-law; it’s just that I find him very difficult. Despite being in his 30s, he acts like a child; he is selfish and irritating, and he won’t make conversation unless it is about him or something he likes. My wife invites her sister and her husband around for Christmas, along with some more family. They turn up late, and he immediately makes himself comfortable, feet up on the sofa, and logs into our Wi-Fi.  After half an hour, he hasn’t spoken to anyone; he’s just been staring at his phone. I look at my wife who wordlessly motions me not to say anything. Then…)

Brother-In-Law: “What’s wrong with the Wi-Fi?”

Me: “Hmm?”

Brother-In-Law: “I can’t get on.”

Me: “Oh, really?” *my wife shoots me a dirty look*

Brother-In-Law: *whining* “I was just about to level up.”

Me: “Oh, it does that sometimes; it might come back on in a bit.”

(He finally put away his phone and actually joined in a conversation. But not before moaning about how much better his Internet speed was, and how we should sort it out. He actually tried to get his wife to leave, on Christmas Day, as he was getting bored. She told him to shut up and deal with it. Now, every time they come over, the Wi-Fi has the same mysterious problem. I don’t think he will ever work it out!)

The Lightbulb Moment That Never Came

, , , , , , | Related | December 16, 2017

My mother-in-law-to-be is very sweet, but is hopelessly clueless about some things. For example, she thinks that a thief can access your bank account if they find your receipt for something you bought, and she thinks she finds “shortcuts” when driving that actually make the trip twice as long.

Recently, my fiancé and I went on a weekend vacation and asked her to house sit and feed our cats. I realized that I’d left a light on that I didn’t mean to, and told my fiancé to ask her to turn if off next time she visited. Big mistake.

He texted her with this request, she said she would turn the light off when she stopped by our house next, and we went about our vacation. Later, my fiancé noticed several missed calls from his mother and finally a text:

“I’ve been here for over an hour, and I can’t figure out how to turn the light off!”

We were baffled, as it was a small, simple box lamp with a switch on the back and a cord going into the wall. Nothing more, nothing less. He called her, but she said she’d already left our house. “She was there for… an hour?” I asked, incredulous at the thought that something as simple as locating a switch on a small object was so daunting. He rolled his eyes and tried to explain to her how to turn it off when she next returned.

On her next trip, she still couldn’t figure it out. So, the lamp remained on all weekend, and when I next saw her, she complained about how it was just impossible to turn off. I still have yet to understand how a box with a switch was so perplexing… and why she didn’t just unplug it.