September 25, 2007

October Part Two

  1. Anyone sick of talking about my mother-in-law yet? I SURE AM.
  3. This is why the Zoloft, on another pre-visit occasion.
  4. Well. I made Paul email her and ask when she was coming.
  5. That is a lie, to make myself look like I Took Charge of My Destiny.
  6. It was actually his idea to email. He hadn't read my blog, either. He just did it.
  7. Should we take a moment to appreciate Paul? He may dump a cup of dry cereal and crackers into the non-disposal-equipped sink instead of walking an equal number of steps to the trash, but he did email his mother without me telling him to.
  8. Unless you count "wringing hands and crying and fretting for weeks" as "telling him to."
  9. Anyway, she DID know when she was coming.
  10. The plans were all made; she just hadn't told us.
  11. Information = power.
  12. She's coming "around October 15th."
  13. That's better than "this coming week."
  14. That's better than "the entire month."
  15. She didn't say when she was leaving. She did say she doesn't have to be back to work until November 5th.
  16. That would leave time for a 2.5-week visit. That's how long she likes to stay.
  17. After 1 week, that's when I typically feel like I can't stand another minute.
  18. If she stayed one week, I would probably feel like her visits were almost pleasant.
  19. A week is how long it takes her to feel comfortable in her sense of self, and start spreading that sense of self into every corner of our lives.
  20. She has not looked into hotels.
  21. She asked us to research it.
  23. Also, I think I should probably delete all this in a week or so, don't you?


Devan said...

AH! Ok - well, you can at least try to enjoy the first 2 weeks of Oct, and get that cleaning scheduled. DO look into hotels and email her EVERY ONE within a 45 min radius. Make the reservations if you have to!

Nowheymama said...

Yes, I think you'd better make the reservations. That's better than no one making them. Ahem.

Nowheymama said...

And why, why wouldn't she say when she's coming? I don't understand.

AndreAnna said...

I read #20 as "She did not look into holes" and that first read also made total sense. LOL

Welcome to our World said...

OMG... you are funny. I love it. Ah, MILs are the best aren't they?!!!?

PS Do you secretly wish she would see this just so she would know how it feels?! I feel that way about my MIL!!! In the same vein, do you think perhaps it her way of getting back at her very own MIL?!

Lauren said...

She wants you to look into hotels? GOOD! So find one that is 30 miles away, reserve her a room and call and tell her about it...then theres no chance of her staying with y'all!

Sigh. Good luck. I feel for ya.

Shannon said...

Serenity NOW!!!!

Tessie said...

I can't focus on The Good, because I'm still bitter about the part where SHE ALREADY KNEW WHEN SHE WAS COMING.

I guess you had better make the hotel reservation, and also possibly make the boys invite some "friends" over so that there's no room for her to sleep.

tulipmom said...

Manipulative little .....

Thank goodness for small favors, I guess (knowing the date, willing to stay in a hotel) and Paul finally making the call).

Marie Green said...

Hey, the first 2 weeks of Oct are going to be LOVELY. It's such a beautiful time of year, and the kids will be fully "adjusted" to the school routine. LOVELY.

Then you'll go on survival mode for 2 weeks. If you look at it that way, that you merely just have to SURVIVE for 2 weeks, maybe it'll seem less overwhelming??

Or not.

Now research away! Hotel visit here we come.

Also, about deleting it... are you afraid she'll snoop on your computer and find your blog? B/c otherwise, I don't think you need to...

We are doing NOTHING the last 2 weeks of Oct. Just saying. In case you still want to come. =)

Misty said...


Your MIL doesn't even sound like a real person. She sounds like some totally evil character in a movie that has no redeeming qualities.

I am so sorry. But yes, remember that you can do ANYTHING for two weeks. ANYTHING! Even this.

Pickles & Dimes said...

You only need to delete this if you're worried about her googling "CALM BLUE OCEAN!" after you repeat it furiously during her visit.

Erin said...

Are there any B&B's around you, if not a hotel? I don't know much about the whole Bed & Breakfast business, and I think they can be expensive, but I also think maybe you can negotiate the price if you're talking about 2 weeks stay. Just a thought.

Maybe the calm blue ocean visual would be more effective if you also imagined the MIL stranded miles from shore on a calm blue ocean.

Mommy Daisy said...

My first thought is two weeks? Or more!! Yikes! I can't imagine ANYone visiting that long. Doesn't matter who it was...I'd go nuts. So, I can see how this is difficult. At least you have an idea now. Good Paul!

janet said...

make the reservation!!!! do it! it will be your salvation.

and yay for paul!

also just in case you want to escape, we're not busy the second half of october either. bring the kids. we're down to only 2 in the house now, and i'm kinda empty-nesty about it.

Erica said...

Yay Paul! Way to step up! Now, please email your mother and tell her to stop being so power-hungry, manipulative and secretive or she can just keep her ass at home.

That might be too much to ask, huh?

Black Sheeped said...

Am I the only one who hates researching hotels for people? I get all, that's what the phonebook and internet are for! The internet! Read the internet!

I'd delete it if I were you after a bit, but I am Paranoid.

Alice said...

i agree with nowheymama, go ahead and make the reservations. immediately. but not at a place that's too far away, because then she might get "too tired" by staying at your place "too late" and not want to make the trek. which is why i also agree with tessie... invite extra kids because they're BETTER THAN HAVING HER THERE. also! potential upside? perhaps she'll be there for halloween, and you can trick her into making / finding / creating costumes for all the kids? and then you just get to take the cute pictures? i'm reaching here, i know.

CANNOT. BELIEVE. SHE. HAD. A. DATE. what an unbelievable wench.

Shelly Overlook said...

You may make it to Saint Swistle after this visit.

Isn't October 15th-ish when you have that emergency out of town conference for official taste testers of Dove Give In To Mint?

Trina N. said...

If I were you I would delete. I get the feeling that one day she would ask to use your computer to check her email or something and come across this "accidently".

Woman with a Hatchet said...

I wouldn't make that reservation unless she's given you a credit card number. Your MIL does NOT sound like the sort that would "remember" to pay with her own CC on check-in or check-out. Instead, you can play on her own secretive/control issues and list the X closest hotels and tell her that you'd be GLAD to make the reservation, once she gives you the CC number. Otherwise, here are the phone numbers for the hotels!

Also, were it me, I would set up lots of playdates and outings. The more people and child-induced insanity between you and she, the less you'll need to directly interact with her. I hope!

As for erasing your entries...well...personally I'm pretty mean and I think that manipulators need to be drop kicked. That being said, I wouldn't think twice about making her as miserable as she makes me. She's not your mother and you shouldn't have to be the one dealing with her. If you're always in the position of being the bad guy anyway you might as well get evil satisfaction from it!

Besides, a little necessary meanness may net you a shorter visit!

Practical, I'm being practical over here!

LoriD said...

Way to go Paul! By all means research the hotels. It's possible that the one that is closest/cheapest/best-appointed is only available for 1 week. It's possible that they are all only available one week. And that you have a house full of 8 yo boys the next week.

Sara said...

My vote is for exchange students. You'll hardly have time for her, what with the exchange students in town. You only get them for 2 weeks and have to keep them entertained. What poor luck that they'll be with you for the duration of her visit.

Kathryn said...

Wow...I think I would shoot myself if my MIL stayed that long. You show amazing restraint, dear Swistle.

Chelle said...

Your MIL is a nutter. Seriously. I'll be praying for your sanity :)

Jess said...

How could we be sick of hearing about your MIL? In fact, you're so inspirational that I just did what you requested earlier and posted a list of quirks that Torsten likes and his mother doesn't. I added vicious MIL commentary at the end of each, just for kicks. MIL blogging never gets old.

laughing mommy said...

There are eerie similarities between your family and mine.

CALM! BLUE! OCEAN! I'm going to use this phrase.

Acutally when I'm in a similar situation I say SERENITY NOW! and then I whisper under my breath "insanity later" (Did anybody else see that Seinfeld show?)

MadMad said...

Oh, yes, make the reservations before you are crushed by the weight of this mad woman. (And I know whereof I speak, when it comes to madness - and to mad house guests, for that matter!)

But don't delete. Au contraire... help her find the appropriate post when the time comes!

Swistle said...

Nowheymama- I know, WHAT IS THE DEAL?? When I visit people, I tell them ALL THE DETAILS the MINUTE I KNOW. I do think it's a weird secrets = power thing they've got going in that family.

Welcome to our World- *laughing* It HAS crossed my mind that maybe if she DID read this, she would Suddenly Realize! and then Change Her Ways! But I think it's more likely she would flip the hell out and rain down destruction and horror upon us for YEARS. I've also wondered if it could cause a RIFT! And then we wouldn't be SPEAKING! But no, I'm afraid I couldn't hope for that, either. And I guess I wouldn't want that. Because IN THEORY I believe in Extended Family. IN THEORY.

Shannon- SERENITY NOW. I'm going to keep that in mind. It would be fun to say it the way George's father does, WHILE SHE'S WITH ME.

Marie Green- I'm worried she'll accidentally find my blog online sometime, the way people sometimes do. Like, she'll be searching for something about twins, just because she has twin grandchildren, and one of the hits will be MY BLOG. And she'll read along, with awareness gradually dawning. And then I'll get an email. *shudder*

Misty- I know it! I need to see if I can flesh out the character with some good things to say. Thinking....thinking...

Erin- THAT IS AN EXCELLENT ADDITION TO THE CALMING PHRASE. And bed-and-breakfast is a good idea. I think she'd like the kind with a "common room" where she could do a lot of talking. And if they serve breakfast (and this is probably the POINT of your suggestion), I don't have to! Although she'd probably complain about the quality/substance of the breakfasts, and need a second one at my house.

Black Sheeped- I KNOW!!! What can WE find out that SHE couldn't find out HERSELF??? And we have five children and it is not easy to use the phone!!

Alice- I am liking Tessie's "friends" idea, too. The more people there are, the better. And I like your costume idea. She's always after me about how I should SEW (and I DON'T), so perhaps she'd like to handle it?

Woman with a Hatchet- You are exactly right: this MIL is a "taker." She allows people to pay for things for her, without any official noticing of it. She would TOTALLY let us pay the hotel bill, leaving us thinking, "Did she FORGET? Did she think that was the ARRANGEMENT? What the hell happened to our $2000?"

Jess- YAY! THAT'S what I need: to read about OTHER PEOPLE'S mother-in-laws!

Devan said...

oh yes, definitely get her cc info. The only thing worse than a visit that long would be having to foot the bill for it!

Erica said...

You could pose this to her: Are you sure you want to stay 2.5 weeks? The hotel bill will be quite high. I just wanted to make sure that you realize that.

Make sure there is NO WAY she can read an invitation to stay will you out of it.

Flibberty said...

Out of curiousity, was she always like this? I mean, in your time of knowing her?

Swistle said...

Flibberty- Yes, she's been totally consistent. It wouldn't surprise me to find she's been like this from birth.

Kelsey said...

You may have posted about this in the past and I'm sorry I'm too lazy to scan the archives, but what about Paul's father? What is/was he like? Hard to believe a woman like this was (presumably) married at some point. And what must THAT have been like???

Swistle said...

Kelsey- Paul's dad is the self-centered, mentally-unstable type. Needs someone to run his life for him, but then resents it. Match made in heaven with my mother-in-law--I don't know why they split up.

JMH said...

I think after your 2 weeks of MIL hell, you deserve a vacation at the CALM BLUE OCEAN :)