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Home Is Where The Heartbreak Is

, , , , , | Related | July 13, 2017

(I just had my first child and have moved to a rented townhouse in a seaside suburb. My mother has brought my mother-in-law for her first visit to see the new baby. My mother-in-law has always lived in the public housing system with low subsided rents and most of her daughters do as well. She believes that I had a privileged upbringing while in fact my parents worked hard for what they had and taught the principles to me. Her first husband was abusive and violent. Just before I left hospital I had to have a deep vein blood test, which was painful and left prominent bruising, including finger marks where the doctor was firmly holding my arm still.)

Mother-In-Law: *looking at our small but nice townhouse* “How much does this cost?”

Me: “The rent is $[amount] a week.”

Mother-In-Law: “No, you should be in [Public Housing]. The rent is much cheaper.”

Me: “We don’t qualify. [Husband] earns too much.”

Mother-In-Law: “This is what you do. You go down to [Housing Department] and you tell them that you’ve left [Husband] because he’s abusing you” *my mother and I are both looking at her in shock* “You’ll get emergency housing right away and then he can move back in with you in a few months”.”

Me: *calmly rolling up my sleeve* “I guess I could show them this.”

Mother-In-Law: *her eyes go steely and she shrieks* “DID [HUSBAND] DO THAT TO YOU?!”

Me: *still calm* “No, but you are telling me to tell the authorities that he does.”

Mother-In-Law: *stutters* “I’m just trying to get you and him cheaper housing.”

Me: “We are fine here, thanks.”

(I think I shocked her enough to stop giving such advice to me but not to her own daughters, one of whom was investigated for cheating the public housing system.)

Unable To Pacify Both Of Them

, , , | Related | June 29, 2017

(My son is about five to six months at the time, and has never really taken to a pacifier or soothie. Now that he is teething I try a cold soothie and he somewhat enjoys it. My husband’s parents are over for a visit.)

Son: *crying and being fussy, despite not being hungry*

Father-In-Law: “Looks like he’s teething.”

Me: *goes to kitchen and pull soothie out, puts in in baby’s mouth, seems to calm him down*

(As I sit down next to my husband.)

Father-In-Law: “No! Bad!” *yes, he’s scolding the baby*

(I must have looked shocked and glanced at my husband for help.)

Father-In-Law: “What? Those will mess up his teeth; do your research, [Husband].”

(Meanwhile, when we go visit my family:)

Mom: “Honey, where is [Son]’s pacifier? Why doesn’t he have one?”

Me: “Oh, he has a couple; he just doesn’t really like them.”

Mom: “You know, I’m just trying to make things easier for you.”

(Every time she had him, or he was fussy she’d push a pacifier in his mouth, and give me a triumphant look whenever he took it or fell asleep.)

Me: “There’s​ no winning.”

With Grandpa Just Play Possum

, , , | Related | June 28, 2017

(After getting married, my husband and I moved in with his Grandpa, whom we call Pop, in the country. I am very nervous around him because I don’t want to make him dislike me so I try not to be alone with him. Pop has been nothing but nice and just wants us all to spend time together. Despite this he still kind of scares me. I get home one night from work and my husband isn’t home yet. I get out of my car and see Pop standing in the middle of the garage. It’s pitch black outside except for a flickering light overhead in the garage.)

Me: “Oh, hello, Pop. What are you doing out here?”

(I then notice he is dressed in a suit and fancy jacket.)

Pop: *turns and looks at me* “Ah. Hello.” *holds up a revolver*

(All kinds of things run through my mind. Why is he in the garage? Why does he have a gun? Why a suit? I’m trying not to show I’m scared.)

Me: “Uh, Pop, what’s going on?”

Pop: “Gotta take care of something.”

Me: *backing up to my car slowly* “What kind of something?”

Pop: “Seems an opossum got in here. He won’t leave.”

(Sure enough there was an opossum curled up in the cat bed on a table. I just nodded, white faced, and went inside to wait for my husband who came home soon after. He told me the possum had come in a few days ago; he was probably hurt so it was best to put it out of its misery. As for the suit, Pop had just gotten home from church. But I never did stop being scared of him.)

You’re Being Hysterectical

, , , | Related | June 10, 2017

(Due to health reasons, I had to have a hysterectomy. This is something well-known in my family as it was devastating to me to know I could never carry children. One day I’m talking to my mother-in-law and the topic of adoption comes up.)

Mother-In-Law: “Well, don’t you still make eggs?”

Me: “Yes… But there’s nowhere for them to go… They’d have to do surgery to get them for, like, in-vitro or whatever.”

Mother-In-Law: “What?”

Me: *in disbelief* “Uh. I had a hysterectomy?”

Mother-In-Law: “Yeah but isn’t there like some of it left?”

Me: “No.”

Mother-In-Law: “Well… we’ll just see what God thinks of that.”

Me: “…”

(Yeah. My mother-in-law believes that a complete lack of baby-making parts is just a minor obstacle… WTF.)

This Story Will Haunt You Forever

, , , , , , | Related | June 6, 2017

(One year while my husband’s younger brother, a big guy in his 30s, is down visiting us in Florida, he expresses an interest in going to the Halloween event at a big theme park. Leading up to it, he jeers and laughs and rolls his eyes at how corny all the advertising is and brags about how he’s not scared of anything. We all get along very well and like to joke with and tease one another in a friendly way. I can’t help but notice as we walk up to the first haunted house of the event that he seems a little less braggy that evening. He’s right behind me in line, and, sure enough, he has my shoulders in a death-grip the entire time. This repeats through every house for the night. He never makes a sound, but I can feel him flinching and jumping, even though whenever we come out of a house, he rolls his eyes and laughs at it. The next day, we’re at the hotel bar on resort property and he’s flirting with a woman who seems pretty into him.)

Woman: “So did you go to the Halloween event last night?”

Brother-In-Law: “Yeah. It was fun, but it wasn’t even scary.”

Husband: “You seemed pretty freaked out to me, dude.”

Brother-In-Law: *scoff* “How would you know? I was behind [My Name] all night. I was fine.”

(Wordlessly, I roll up the sleeves of my t-shirt to show my shoulders… where each one has five matching, tiny, fingertip bruises from where he was clinging to me.)

Me: “These are not the marks of a fearless man, sweetheart.”

(He blushed red right up to his hairline, and we all shared a good-natured laugh. I guess the woman he was flirting with thought that was cute, too, so he still got her number. Hopefully, she can protect him from all those ghosties and zombies out there!)

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