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May 10, 2008 / Maleesha Kovnesky

Why It’s Mother’s Day, and not Mother-In-Law’s Day (Part IV)

April 20, 2008

There have been several times in the past week that I have come home at random moments during the day.  Why is it that every time I enter the house it seems the baby is laying on the rug in the living room, crying?  MILfH is busy in the kitchen eating all the yogurt.  I bought the good brand of yogurt, see, and she goes through that like it’s water.  When I bought the cheaper, non-Tillamook brand, that stayed in the fridge, untouched.  She’s awfully picky about her free food.

Part of the deal of her staying here was that we would feed her.  And I make dinner every single night.  I would do this whether she was here or not.  There are very few nights that I do not make dinner for my family.  But now and then I use the leftovers.  I hate waste.  So chicken tenders become chicken fajitas.  Mashed potatoes become potato patties.  Et cetera. 

But MILfH doesn’t eat leftovers.  I can only assume that she is too good for them.  So she instead chooses to leave the house and go buy her food from a “sub-par Mexican restaurant” where she will most certainly “make a point of sending her food back after telling the waiter it was no good.” 

It’s a free country and she can do that, but the problem is that we can hear her complaining on the phone at night about how we aren’t feeding her.  WHAT?  Not feeding her?  On the contrary, MILfH.  I’m actually upset about the huge grocery bill that we’re paying due to your presence.  And I’d normally feel bad complaining about it, except that you are bitching about us to everyone you talk to on the phone at night.  Yes.  She has loud conversations every single night.  Her cell phone must be enormous.  Usually, the subject of these calls is “feel sorry for me” because of “X,Y, and Z.”  Wasband and I often come up in her conversations, about how awful we are, and how uncomfortable it all is, and how we aren’t paying her enough, and how none of her children respect her. 

So why doesn’t she just go home?  To hear her talk about her “conditions” would make you wonder if Wasband and I got our training as guards at Auschwitz.  So leave, why don’t you?  Any rational person would have left long ago, if they felt it was that bad.  Oh, because then you would have nothing to complain about, and if you had nothing to complain about, you wouldn’t know what do with yourself.  You might dry up into a little ball of paper.  Or perhaps you would seem like an actual nice person?  HA.  AHahahahha. HAHAHAHahhahAHHA

(By now I am really losing my mind.)

Every day that I drive home and see her car in front of the house, I get a knotted-up feeling in the pit of my stomach.  I don’t want to go inside the house.  I don’t want to see her.  I don’t want to hear her.  I don’t want to see the mess that is left.  I don’t want to smell her overpowering lotion that has permeated my very skin.

April 27, 2008

My dad calls me to inform me that MILfH has visited him out on our land today.  Why?  I’m stumped.  Sure, she kept telling me that she wanted to go see the land, but I didn’t want to show her the land.  That place is very special to me and frankly, she doesn’t need to see it.  It’s not a freaking carnival, lady.  But she showed up nonetheless.  How?  I couldn’t figure out how she even found it.  No one told her where it was.  No one.  I double checked with my dad.  He was just as surprised to see her as I was to hear about it.

This piece of land is not a place you would “just find.”  No way in hell.  It’s not like Ted Turners spread, anyway.  Maybe it’s like .000000000000000002% the size of Ted Turner’s land.  So I asked her how she found it.

“Oh, I just remembered that it was by <NAME OF WHERE ITS BY>.  I was out for a drive and I saw your dad’s truck.”

Riiiight.  Let me just tell you that in a state the size of Montana, it is easier to win Powerball than to “just be out for a drive” and find property of someone that you just met a couple of weeks before.  And why was she so concerned about seeing the land?  She met my dad when we all went to Butte for St. Patrick’s Day.  But wouldn’t she feel weird, being the insecure person that she is, just showing up out there?  Was it possible she had a crush on my dad?  My mother-in-law?  That was just a fleeting wonder.  Would never happen.

Later that day when I was cleaning up the kitchen, I discovered how she found the land.  It’s the only possible way she could have.  I had an insurance bill sitting in a pile of mail on the counter.  She had to have gone through it.  She could have gotten the address from one of the policies inside.  It wouldn’t have been the first time that she dug through my personal paperwork.  She dug through my entire desk years ago when she was staying at our house, recovering from a bad car accident.   She went through all of my personal paperwork.  I was furious.  So when she did it again, color me unsurprised.  My only regret is that I didn’t have the foresight to scribble notes on all of my bills that said “HA I SEE YOU!  GO HOME NOW.  YOU SHOULDN’T BE HERE.  -GOD”

My husband took a short weekend trip back to Colorado to get a load of things that were still in our house there.  It was blizzarding outside.  I was stuck in the house with MILfH all day long.  I decided to make the best of it.  Maybe we could get along.  Maybe she wasn’t so bad. 

She started in on talking about Greg, the guy she is married to, but apparently doesn’t want to be.  She talked and bitched about him for three hours before I finally said “Okay.  What are you going to do?”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, you sound like you’re in a bad situation,” I said.  “So what is your plan to get out?”

Tumbleweeds.

I continued.  “Cause I don’t want to be hearing about this six months down the road, and neither does Wasband.  Either you figure out a way to get out of it, or you don’t complain.”  I was semi-surprised at how direct I was finally being with my MILfH.  It just came out.  “Sorry,” I kept going.  “But I’m pretty sick of hearing about Greg.  So just do something.”

Then I decided we should get out of the house, lest I lapse into a coma from hearing one more thing about her life.  I took us all to the Museum of the Rockies.  We all had a fun time, come to think of it.  Then I took us all to dinner at Johnny Carino’s.  The bill came to fifty bucks, but it was fun to be out of the house and away from the drama.

Sometime during the meal she said “You know how I used to work at the <MEDICAL OFFICE>?  That place I quit? Well, if I tell you something can you promise not to ever repeat it to Wasband?”

Oh, shit.  When will I learn?  If someone ever tells you something that comes with a caveat, plug your ears.  Bad juju.  But when it’s your mother in law telling you to keep something from your husband, how can you resist?  I will say that I never promised.  I just smiled.  (If you’re ever telling me something I’m not supposed to repeat and I just smile, you should know what is coming) 

“Well, I looked in <Step -MILs NAME>’s medical records and guess what!  <Step-MIL’s MEDICAL INFORMATION>.”

“Oh,” I said.  I was a little let down.  “We already knew that.”  I was referring to knowing that she looked through the records.  Sheesh, practically the whole town knows that.  Incidentally, my step-MIL knows that too, and her response is great:

“The only thing she can find out about me is that I’m younger and I weigh less.” –Step-MIL

Anyway, what MILfH didn’t admit, but that we all know, is that she was fired from that job for snooping in those records.  We all know, but she doesn’t know we know.  It’s funny.  She tells everyone she quit, but hell-O.  You can’t go snooping through medical records. 

Which brings me to an age old question (at least in this family):  Why the hell does she care?  She’s been divorced from my husband’s father for nearly 30 years.  I don’t understand the animosity that she still holds toward him.  I worry about what bad information she will pass on to my children about their other grandparents.  That is, if I ever let her see my children again…

Anyway, these obsessive tendencies come in to play very soon.

April 30, 2008

I hear whimpering.  AJ must be crying about something.  I thought the whole house was asleep.  I get up to investigate, but AJ is sound asleep and probably dreaming about cartoons.  The sobbing is coming from my MILfH’s bedroom.  My husband gets up to see what is wrong with her. 

She is apparently having a nervous breakdown.  My husband emerged from the room feeling really bad.  “She thinks we don’t like her,” he said. 

“She’s half right,” I assured him.

“Be nice,” he said.  “She is having a hard time.”  He explained what the breakdown was about.  Basically, she is upset because everyone in the whole world “hates” her and she feels like she should go “disappear.”  Okay, so now I feel bad for her, momentarily anyway.  A grown woman…s the most insecure person I have ever met, who pops pills that aren’t prescribed in God-knows-what kind of detrimental combinations.  I am certain that these pills must be creating paranoia and weirdness in her mind, but my husband swears she has been this way her entire life.  Husband does his best to comfort his mommy, and say all the right things, and reassure her that we like her.  Husband decides we should take her out to dinner tomorrow since she is about to leave to go home to Colorado.  I roll my eyes and say “Fine.” 

We’ll take her out to dinner tomorrow.  But I have a gut feeling that this show of tears is a ploy for pity.  I’ll let my husband buy it since it’s his mom, and boys love their mommies. 

But I’m not falling for it.

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3 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. wpm1955 / May 15 2008 1:00 pm

    Well, you’ve described to a tee what it’s like having a maid most of the time!!! Rarely do you get someone who doesn’t do all of the above, and make you feel EXACTLY as you have described here.

    I once had to tell my husband that if he didn’t get rid of the maid we had, and fire her that day, that it was her or me, I would have to go to a hotel. I was serious.
    He fired her.

    Madame Monet, in Marrakesh
    Writing, Painting, Music, and Wine
    winewriter.wordpress.com

  2. Allison / May 15 2008 7:41 am

    Your continuing saga is fascinating and your writing style is most impressive.

  3. Ian Thomas Healy / May 11 2008 1:45 pm

    You’ve made me hate this woman, and I almost never hate anyone. You must have the patience of a saint, because I’d have thrown her ass out after part III.

    Ian

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