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Not So Highly Recommended

, , , , , , | Related | December 9, 2017

(My husband and I are visiting his family for Thanksgiving, including his mother, aunt, and grandparents. His mother in particular is a very impatient and self-centered person. We’re in the open living room and kitchen area while his grandparents are working in the kitchen. They refuse to let us help out at all, as we are “guests,” so we are chatting with his aunt and mother when she interrupts my husband’s story:)

Husband: “So, we were trying to–“

Mother: “You know what?! I woke up this morning with a really bad pain in my neck!”

Husband: *caught off guard by the interruption* “Uh… Um, I’m sorry?”

Me: “Well, I’ve got some acetaminophen in my purse if you want some?”

Mother: *with a dramatic sigh* “No, no, no! Those just don’t work on me! They never make the over-the-counter stuff strong enough for me! I have to have a prescription for any kind of pain, but I left my pills at the hotel!”

Aunt: “Well, all I have is some muscle relaxant for my shoulder, but that won’t help much with the pain.”

Mother: *shouting across room at grandparents who are busy in the kitchen* “[Grandmother]! Do you have anything that might actually work for me?! It has to be something strong!”

Grandmother: “Well, I’ve got some leftover oxycodone from when they fixed my knee. Would that work?”

Mother:Yes! That will work! Where is it?”

Grandmother: “It’s just in our bathroom, on the top shelf of the medicine cabinet.”

Mother: *exaggeratedly rubs side of neck* “Oh! Can you go get it for me? My neck hurts too much to look up!”

Me: *starts to get out of chair* “I can go grab it.”

Mother: *waves her hand at me to sit back down* “Oh no, dear! Don’t you fuss over little ol’ me! [Grandmother] can get it just fine!”

(My husband and I just sit awkwardly while [Grandmother] has to stop working on a side-dish and wash her hands to go to the bathroom and retrieve the pills. She hands one to [Mother] who immediately swallows the pill without water.)

Mother: “Oh! I hope that helps! My neck is just so sore!”

(But, not even five minutes later, she’s still complaining about the “horrible pain” in her neck:)

Mother: *turning to aunt and interrupting my husband again* “You know that pill just is not working! Can I have one of your muscle-relaxers?”

Me: “It probably just hasn’t kicked in yet. You could try to give it a few more minutes?”

Mother: *in a snotty tone* “No! It’s definitely not working! I knew this would happen; I always have to take more than other people! [Aunt] please? My neck hurts!”

([Aunt] turns and pulls a pill out of her purse, while rolling her eyes so I can see, and hands it to [Mother] who, once again, swallows it without a drink. She finally stops complaining and we go back to chatting. About ten minutes later she is telling a story about her work when this happens:)

Mother: “—and they said I did such a good job with the display that they want me to…” *voice trails off and she just sits quietly for a moment*

Husband: “Uh… Mom?”

Mother: *softly* “It’s really pretty in here with all these lights!”

([Aunt] turns to hide her face as she quietly shakes with laughter.)

Husband: “Um, okay. You were saying? About the display?”

Me: *looking at [Mother]’s eyes, which have dilated considerably* “Uh, honey, I don’t think she’s going to finish that story.”

Husband: *whispering to [Aunt]* “Did she just get high off those pills?!”

([Aunt] just lost it and started laughing so hard she almost fell out of her chair, which just made the rest of us laugh! [Mother] was so out of it that we couldn’t get her to stand up, so we just let her sit at the table. She was so high she just stared at the lights and occasionally giggled to herself for the next few hours while we continued to hang out. She did mostly come-to once dinner was served. I don’t know if she realized what happened, or refuses to admit it as she has never mentioned it, but the rest of the family likes to joke about it every year!)

My Wife, My Love, My Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free Card

, , , , , | Romantic | November 25, 2017

(It’s our 25th wedding anniversary.)

Me: “You seem not so happy. Why? What’s on your mind, baby?”

Husband: “I just remembered this day 25 years ago. Your father told me to marry you or he would see to it that I went to jail for 25 years.”

Me: “Don’t mind him; he loves you and his grandchildren.”

Husband: “But I could have been out of jail today!”

Mothering A Soon-To-Be Mother

, , , , , , , | Related | November 23, 2017

(Because I am showing signs of preeclampsia, my doctor decides to induce me. My mom comes from two states away to be there for the delivery, but I honestly wish she would have stayed away because she cannot behave herself.)

Mom: *jumping up and fondling my belly at the first signs of contractions* “I just hated people touching me when I was having contractions!”

(My husband sees the murderous glint in my eyes and turns to his mom, making a suggestion before I can say anything.)

Husband: “Ma? Why don’t you take our DVD player and you two go watch a movie in the waiting room? We’ll probably be here a while.”

(My mother-in-law catches the aura of pure pregnancy-hormone-enhanced rage coming from me while my mom continues her assault on my abdomen)

Mother-In-Law: “That’s a good idea. [Mom], let’s go out to the waiting room.”

Mom: *still oblivious* “We’re okay in here; aren’t we?”

Husband: “But you were saying you hadn’t watched [Movie] yet, and we brought it. Maybe you’d like a coffee or something while you watched it? And it’s so much quieter in the waiting room.”

Mother-In-Law: *talking my mom by the arm and firmly leading her away* “Coffee sounds great.”

(Later, when the OB/GYN is explaining the situation and recommending a C-section, my mom decides the Q&A is open-forum:)

Me: “What are the odds of labor progressing normally?”

OB-GYN: “I’d give it about 20%, but the longer you wait the more likely we are to see irreparable brain trauma because of oxygen deprivation.”

Husband: “What are the other options?”

OB-GYN: “Honestly? It’s either a nice, leisurely C-section now or an emergency one later.”

Mom: *deciding she’s going to ask the REAL questions* “And how soon can they go back to having sex?” *turning to me* “If you go with a natural labor, you can start having sex again sooner!”

OB-GYN: *ushering everyone out of the room when she sees the glint in my eye* “Okay. Why don’t we let them have some time to discuss this between themselves?”

(In all honesty, it takes us two seconds to decide; our sex life is far less of a priority than our son’s well-being! While I am in recovery and my husband is giving our son his first bath and helping with first shots, my mom is in the waiting room pacing and assaulting everyone wearing scrubs with demands of my condition when they walk by. Every time they explain that they don’t know, but that I am probably still in recovery because anaesthesia takes time to wear off, she becomes more agitated until:)

Mom: *after being told that the staff she is harassing didn’t know my condition* “You’re lying to me! You all just don’t want to tell us she died on the table! TELL ME WHAT’S HAPPENING!”

(They had to ask my husband to leave our son to assure her that I was still alive and, as the staff had said, still in recovery waiting until I could wiggle my toes. I’ve made a mental note to not tell her when I’m in labor if I ever have another child.)

The Bridal Shower Of Tears

, , , , , , , | Related | October 26, 2017

While planning my wedding, I have neglected to plan, or get a family member to plan a bridal shower. I don’t particularly mind, but my aunt very graciously offers to throw a bridal shower for me. I give her a guest list based off of my previous baby shower for my son, and she starts planning away.

One day after handing out the invitations, my future mother-in-law calls saying that I forgot to invite two of my fiancé’s cousins. I don’t know them well, but I feel bad for neglecting them, so, after asking my aunt, I tell my mother-in-law to invite them, but to make sure to let them know that this isn’t a children-friendly event.

A week before the shower, my aunt calls me, confused, as several people not on the guest list have RSVP’d, and specified that they are bringing their kids. I call my mother-in-law to make sure there wasn’t a miscommunication. She not only invited four of my fiancé’s cousins, most of whom I don’t know, or my fiancé doesn’t talk to anymore, but she also told them to invite their kids, too. This adds up to about eight more people than previously expected, and my aunt’s house can’t accommodate this.

After hanging up with my mother-in-law, I call my mom, because I am not sure what to do or how to approach this situation. My mother, understandably, is mad that my mother-in-law was rude enough to invite people without at least asking me or making sure I knew the people. She decides to call my mother-in-law to figure out a solution: either have two showers to accommodate the people, or rent space so that there is room for these people and split the cost.

My mother calls, and she barely gets into the conversation before my mother-in-law loses it on her. She calls my mom all sorts of names and ends with, “Shove this party right up your a**.” My fiancé and I, after hearing this, decide not to engage with my mother-in-law’s behavior and let her calm down.

The next day, my mother-in-law texts me, telling me that her side is throwing a “Welcome to the Family” party for me, despite the fact that I gave her a grandson two years ago and have been a part of the family since then. I bluntly tell her that I will not attend any event until she apologizes to my mom for her outburst. After much foot-stomping and whining and, “You don’t care about my feelings,” she finally relents and gives my mother a half-baked apology.

When it comes time to attend her party, every person there ignores me. It is, in theory, a party for me, but not one person really talks to me the entire time. It is bad enough that even my maid of honour, who came with me, notices.

I did marry into the family, in the end. But honestly, if I didn’t know my now-husband so well, I would have taken off running as far away from that family as possible!

Pogo Bounce Out Of That Marriage

, , , , , , , , | Related | October 25, 2017

I’m the lead singer in a metal band that does both original songs and covers. When my brother got engaged, his bridezilla fiancée asked my band to perform at the wedding. At some point she realized that they were going over budget, so her solution to cut back on costs was to tell us at the very last minute that she expected us to work for free because I was family and therefore “obligated,” even though we had already agreed to work at a discount because we were playing for a family event. I was furious, and the only reason we didn’t cancel was because it would have been too late for them to find a replacement and I love my brother and didn’t want to ruin his wedding.

Between her refusal to pay us, her constant treating of my brother and our family members like crap, her refusal to make me a bridesmaid solely on the grounds that I wasn’t “pretty enough”, meaning I’m tomboyish, and several underhanded insults she levied at one of my bandmates for being a transman, we were all very displeased with her come the morning of the wedding. She was either oblivious to our displeasure, or she just didn’t care.

While we were setting up, an hour before we were supposed to play, the bride came up to us, stood in our way, and suddenly announced that she didn’t like our chosen set because it wasn’t “romantic enough,” even though she and my brother both approved of it in advance. She was apparently under the impression that musicians can learn songs on the fly without practice or having ever performed them before, and asked us to play the Celine Dion song from Titanic, to which our drummer replied, “You realize we’re a f****** metal band, right?”

Our bass guitarist suddenly had a light-bulb moment and told her that he knew a love song we could play for her. She got excited and told us to play that one first. When she walked away and he told us what song he had in mind, we all agreed it was a great idea.

When it came time for our set to start, we opened up with a cover of “Bounce” by System of a Down, which is technically a love song. I don’t think I ever saw my brother’s fiancée run so fast, in heels, and my brother was dying of laughter.

After the wedding, we found out my brother didn’t even know that she had decided not to pay us, and he made sure we got paid, even though his new wife insisted that we didn’t even deserve it for ruining her wedding with our stunt.

They got divorced just two months later, because it turns out that when you marry someone who’s controlling and abusive, they don’t stop being controlling and abusive. No one was really surprised at the divorce, and my brother cited our spontaneous song choice as his only good memory of the wedding, anyway.