A novel length glimpse of what happened during the Thanksgiving holiday with my in-laws. Alternate title: I wish I drank on the plane, at the hotel, and in their bathroom.

I’ve said before how my father-in-law goes into these very long conversations/monologues about things like how the ice machine in a refrigerator works. My favorite for almost 2 years was when he talked for nearly 90 minutes about satellite imaging.

He went on about whether or not it’s better to take the imaging at 45,000 feet or 60,000 feet and, well, that’s all I remember since I pretty much went into a coma. He finally topped himself during the holiday. I somehow managed to end up down on his side of the table with my hubby and daughter during an early holiday dinner while my mother-in-law and the rest of the family was at the other end.

I was already zoning out while he was talking, possibly drooling as well, when he started talking about how to make cement. He went on and on about making cement, what’s in it, and the purpose of each thing. Oh.my.gawd. And he’s not even in construction, he’s a mathematician! *bangs head against spike*

My mother-in-law stuck her nose into everything and was her usual unpleasant self. They had a car seat for our daughter so we didn’t have to bring ours. I kept on telling my hubby he needs to call them and make sure everyone is on the same page and they know what we need to borrow.

I know I could call them but I really, really don’t like to. For one, it can never be just a quick call. They both have to get on the phone when you call so obviously you have to talk to them both. A highlight from that was when I was talking to my MIL about maternity bras and breastfeeding while I was pregnant and my FIL was obviously embarrassed. Instead of just getting off of the phone, he stayed on. Not long after I could hear him snoring.

My hubby has called quite a few times to ask a quick question that his mom could easily answer but she will actually tell him he needs to call back since his dad isn’t home yet. They also take notes of everything you say and will even ask you to repeat and spell things so they write it correctly.

So I don’t call them since they are cuckoo for cocoa puffs for those reasons. My hubs never did call them and I was worried because I wasn’t sure if they knew we needed the car seat. We were flying in late and my only priority was to get to the hotel so I could give my daughter dinner and put her to bed. Seemed simple enough.

We arrived at the airport, as one does when they are flying, and said our hello’s. Then my FIL asked about the car seat. My hubby said we were just going to use the one they have. That’s when the FIL said since he didn’t hear back from the hubs they didn’t bring it along. But not to worry, he can go back home and get it, then come back to the airport… which would take about 40 freaking minutes.

We were all exhausted and it was past my daughter’s dinner time. We would’ve had to go back through security to go to the airport food court and I know my MIL would want to come along with us so it would have been made into a long, nerve-wracking process.

My FIL was off to get the car seat. I don’t know what wife wouldn’t have been pissed off annoyed with her hubby because he didn’t make a call to his parents that could have saved us waiting 40 minutes so we could get our daughter fed and in bed.

To my surprise I never raised my voice or yelled at my hubby but just said to him “I told you to call your parents to let them know”. That was followed by a few playful slaps to his arm. His mom stuck her nose where it doesn’t belong, as usual, and turned what I said into a big fraking deal. In less than five minutes I was ready to get back on a plane home.

The MIL then took off with the little girl in her stroller and went over by the baggage claim. She leaned down to my daughter and was pointing at the baggage carousel and explaining what it was. I thought she would use simple toddler speak. The only way I could explain it to my daughter is that there’s luggage going around on the thingamajig.

When I got closer I heard her explaining it in great detail. She told her about the luggage handlers taking it off of the plane, what the baggage carousel was made of, and what made it go around.

That’s fine by me but really, my little girl is 19 months old and doesn’t have that kind of attention span. I’m sure she just heard luggage, wondered it she could put it in her mouth, and that’s it. The look my daughter had on her face was one of “help” and she was trying to escape her stroller. Not even exaggerating. I had to go over and save her. Finally my FIL came back it was way longer than 40 minutes and then another challenge came about.

We had already told them straight out that the little hummingbird needed to have dinner and then go to bed asap. They said that we had to drop them off at their house which added an extra 20 minutes. I blame my hubby though because I told him when he calls he should mention that they need to just come to the airport in separate cars. That way we could see them for a small bit of time and then head to the hotel.

When we’re very clear with them things still don’t sink in with them. While in the car for the drive back to their house, my FIL said that we can have dinner at their house and it wouldn’t take that long. Ha! My hubs didn’t say anything at first, he’s always like that with them and never corrects them, so I gave him some jabs and he told them for the tenth time that we really needed to pick something up on they way to the hotel.

My MIL then suggested we all pick something up and they go back to the hotel with us, then after dinner we could drive them back home. I thought my head would explode. Not just from the sinus infection I had but because they don’t ever seem to get it. They did this a few more times.

I couldn’t help it so I groaned loudly and said “oh, my sinuses are killing me”. Just replace sinuses with in-laws. This was just in the first hour or so of being with them. My poor daughter, whose bedtime is around 7:30 pm, didn’t get to bed until 11pm.

I had two more days with the in-laws that were much more frustrating. Plus my brother-in-law, who is not my hubby’s brother, thank gawd, was even douchey-er than usual. He was awful to his kids. He didn’t yell at them but he was so stern with them, like a dictator. If they even sat there quietly, he would find something wrong with that.

For some reason he thinks he’s some great photographer just because he has a fancy camera. While taking a family photo, he took it way too seriously and was getting lights out of the garage and setting them up in the living room so the lighting for the photo would be perfect, he rearranged the furniture, had my sister-in-law and their son do several test shots, etc. He even got my FIL to sweep the hardwood floor. It couldn’t just be a quick and cute family photo.

My niece, 5, and nephew, 7, wanted to have fun during it and I thought he was going to rip their heads off. He kept on critiquing us after each photo and was being such an asshole.

My mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and I were standing behind the guys, who were seated in front. I was standing behind my hubby and right after my brother-in-law was douchey to his kids and scolded them because they were gasp laughing, I gave my hubby rabbit ears for a few photos. I’m sure the douche du jour was thrilled when seeing those photos.

After the torturous photos, he went to download them on the computer. When he came out, my hubs asked how they were. My BIL told us we don’t want to see them now. We should wait until he uses some much-needed photoshop. Douche.

My hubby got a bottle of vodka that we took along but we kept on forgetting it. If we remembered it, I would have loved to shove that bottle up my BIL’s ass. Don’t worry, it was cheap vodka. I wouldn’t waste the good stuff on him. Fast forward to the day we were leaving.

My FIL was talking about their (mother-in-law and him) traveling plans for the near future. He mentioned that they’re going to somebody’s wedding in San Diego and then he said they’re coming to visit us in Northern Cali for our daughter’s second birthday. Both my hubby and I looked at each other like wha?

Just to be clear, I don’t have any problem with them coming for their grandchild’s birthday. Okay, I do but I would never deny them time with my daughter and their son. But we haven’t even thought that far ahead AND we haven’t even invited them. They make me so crazy and I don’t want to have to deal with them on every birthday my daughter has.

Although I hadn’t thought much about her birthday yet because, sniff, my baby is turning 2, in 4 months, I did plan on it just being the three of us. I want to be happy on her birthdays, not think of every one with a sense of dread.

They were there for her 1st birthday and try as I might, all I can really think about is my MIL picking at me. Not only that, she was visiting us 2 weeks prior (for a looong twelve days) and it was such a disaster. So for the little hummingbird’s 1st birthday I was in meltdown mode by having my MIL there.

That’s another thing. They visit us 3 or 4 times a year and before I can recover from their last visit, they’re back. I just think when it comes to these things you should wait to be invited because that’s the polite thing to do.

I will now go crawl into bed, get into a fetal position, and whimper myself to sleep.

I’d really like to know how you would handle the birthday situation. Would you just stock up on vodka or would you be honest and let them know that you’re just planning the birthday to be the three of you, but they’re welcome coughcough anytime besides that?

I’m for the latter, my hubby is for the former, and my mom thought I should ask you. 😉

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13 Responses to A novel length glimpse of what happened during the Thanksgiving holiday with my in-laws. Alternate title: I wish I drank on the plane, at the hotel, and in their bathroom.

  1. Mandi December 10, 2010 at 09:40 #

    They are seriously crazy! I love that you gave him bunny ears. LOVE IT!
    I would like to pretend like I would do that latter but I’m such a wimp I would probably just stock up. But my vote is for the latter!! 😉

    • Elle December 10, 2010 at 09:54 #

      I’ll probably cave (like always) and they’ll come but I’m really hoping I can get the courage to be honest. Fingers crossed. 🙂

  2. Lady Jennie December 10, 2010 at 12:33 #

    This was very funny. It reminded me of my FIL, who talked to me for hours about the different types of trees on the day I came back from the hospital because they said I was not ready to give birth. SO depressed. But he could eventually see by my grunts that I wasn’t into it.

    The truth is, I love my in-law package, foibles and all. I hope they love me too, although sometimes it’s touch and go with our wildly different personalities (and cultures, come to think of it).

    • Elle December 10, 2010 at 14:56 #

      You’re lucky! My in-laws can be sweet, actually my father-in-law is, but he’s so clueless and never picks up signs from people about needing to change the subject. He loves to talk about trees as well. What is up with that?! 😉

      For nearly 16 years I’ve tried to get along with my mother-in-law and we’re civil but she just always picks at me no matter what. I mostly stay quiet around her and let her take charge but when I every so often say something, she always finds fault with it. I’ve pretty much given up with her.

      • Melissa February 16, 2013 at 16:45 #

        maybe you’ve been told this before, and I realize this is a very old post, but from your description, it honestly sounds like your FIL may possibly be dealing with Asbergers Syndrome…..not being able to read people or social situations, very high intelligence in an area like mathematics, and content to fixate on non-interactive conversational topics for hours on end….might still be hard to sit through, but finding out more about it may give you some empathy to help deal with him/it.

        • Elle February 16, 2013 at 19:56 #

          I’m really starting to think you’re right, along with others who have mentioned it.

  3. Mammywoo December 11, 2010 at 14:12 #

    My god woman! You deserve a medal! Cement?!? How the he’ll did that subject even come up? And I love the douche photo shoot! I’d have made sure I had my eyes closed in every single shot. I am also impressed you didn’t shout about the car seat. The Irish one would have been a dead man walking.

    I think if I’m bieng honest you’d probably have to allow them to be there as they are grandparents but why don’t you set something special up for her and you and hubby to do the weekend before or after where it is just the three of you? Then you’d remember this day when you look back as her special birthday day? But yeah, also buy vodka.

    I here by present you with an award.

    You deserve one after that visit! Big hugs x

    • Elle December 11, 2010 at 14:46 #

      It was my nephew that brought up cement in a joke. “Where are cement trucks buried? A cement-tary”. 😉

      Just by having a 7 year old say that, it gave my father-in-law license to go on and on about the history of cement. Oh joy! Normally when the brother-in-law takes pic, I intentionally close my eyes. If the kids weren’t around I would have loved to do the bunny ears with one hand and given him a one finger salute with the other. 🙂

      I love your idea about doing something special with the little girl before the in-laws visit. It would just be nice if they waited for us to ask them to come. I’m pretty sure we would have invited them anyway but I’m just bothered that they invited themselves and have already made the plans, then told us afterwards.

      I will gladly accept an award for dealing with them. 😉


  4. Alitalyn December 13, 2010 at 10:27 #

    If I were you, I would lie about her birthday. Say that you’ll be out of town or something. Just lie, lie, lie. And threaten your husband with dismemberment if he squeals.

    • Elle December 13, 2010 at 12:28 #

      Oooo, yeah! I could mess with them and make them think they’re losing their minds, which isn’t far from the truth. When they mention the date they’re coming for her birthday, I could be all “What are you talking about? Her birthday isn’t for another 6 months.” If that doesn’t work, then dismemberment. 😀

  5. MrsMosby April 7, 2011 at 22:04 #

    Haaaaaa!! Cuckoo for cocoa puffs!!! I love it! You are hilarious!

  6. LeeAnne Curtis February 17, 2013 at 06:10 #

    Elle – I know this is at least a 2.5 year old post – but I will say this anyway!! You know me – I go where Angels fear to tread – let me know when they are coming again – I’ll fly over (on my Broom) and put the FEAR of Step GREAT GRANDNANA on them. Remember – I dye the hair red for a reason!!!

    Back to the birthday question (especially if you are still having the problem) – Let them come, Thank them for their wonderful idea and they will be such a HUGE help with the 10-15 children that range in age 3 – 5. How could they possibly have known you needed their help?!?! You never know when those sinus attacks can hit – Birthday possibley? Staying in bed while MIL and FIL take care of 15 kids? PLEASE let me be a fly on the wall?!?!?!
    LeeAnne Curtis recently posted..Easter or special occasion Dress by LeeannesCreationsMy Profile


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