I suppose everyone has mother in law stories. I used to hear these MIL jokes and think, oh surely not, these are just jokes. And some are that - just jokes. But then there are the ones that have some basis in fact....
My MIL is not a bad person. I don't dislike her. She means well. But sometimes she really gets under my skin.
I need to preface all of this by telling what DH says about his mother. He claims she has a congenital defect. She doesn't edit what she says. Her defect is not having that little something in your head that says "maybe I shouldn't say that". She lacks this.
Toads have been known to fall from her mouth.
An example: I'm not trim and fit. I'm fat, and have been since forever, from infancy in fact. (The largest baby in the nursery that week, for real.) My MIL is about 5'2" and athletic. When we were first married, I remember sitting in her living room with many guests present and having her berate me about why don't I get breast reduction surgery.
Really. Not that it's her business, and not as an aside, but in front of the assembled hordes. I was speechless. And she did it on other occasions, too. She used to call me at work and ream me out about when were we going to provide her with grandchildren. I finally told her off on that one.
She can be helpful. Really, she can. When I had my craniotomy in 2005, she came and stayed for 10 days, keeping the house in order and managing things until I could return. And usually when she stays with us, she'll cook. And she's a good cook. Plus, last summer she voluntarily took Curly off our hand for over 2 weeks. Which was a huge help.
But oh, those toads.
She lives over 6 hours drive away and is very cheap, so she doesn't fly to see us and seldom drives. We see her about once a year. She's a gifted seamstress. She makes quilts for us, and clothes for DH's necees. And these are much appreciated.
But she has been known to show up with NO warning and expect to have housing for a week. (And she does have a working cell phone.) And sometimes she will have extra guests with her, ones she didn't tell us about.
Another time I'll tell you about the presents she gives. As I said, she's cheap. And her taste is, um, questionable.
So why bring her up?
As I said, those toads can be awful. And large. And sometimes, there are a LOT of them.
Recently, I was letting her know about Curly's legal issues via email. I included her on the email I sent to family members giving updates. And my MIL initially responded in a supportive fashion, which I really appreciated.
But then the toads needed to get OUT.
I got a diatribe from her saying that Curly's issues were all the result of our poor parenting. DH and I were lenient, reckless, we let kids get away with anything, we defended everything they did to their teachers, on and on and on. Why didn't we suck it up and send him to military school or those camps for "troubled youth"? We were awful from day one with Curly and we are reaping that now. Yadda yadda yadda.
I was horrified. And absolutely furious.
(Back story on my MIL - she got pregnant with DH at 16. I don't know if she graduated from high school. None of her kids went to college, though they were certainly smart enough. DH is the only one of her 4 children who did not get pregnant out of wedlock. She tossed DH's brother out of the house before he was 18 - he's now an alcoholic. And she's on husband number four. My back story? I have the least amount of education in my family, with only a BA. My dad and a sister each received a doctorate. No divorces anywhere in my family. No surprise children.)
Anywho, I was so mad about this - because I have spent an unbelievable amount of time and effort on Curly, and my MIL is totally absent from the kids' lives - that I lost it.
And I emailed her this response. Verbatim.
In this case, you are clueless.I haven't heard from her since.
I'll let you know if anything major comes up, like we die.