Author Topic: I am a mute around my in-laws...  (Read 12023 times)

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LadyL

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I am a mute around my in-laws...
« on: July 01, 2010, 10:59:50 AM »
...because I am constantly employing the "complete silence" trick! They are a "colorful" bunch who treat arguing like a sport so it is hard to not be baited by them! Here are a few examples:

Mother in law: You know, I must have been a slave owner in a past life.
Me: COMPLETE SILENCE
MIL: Because now, I have the dish washer and the clothes washer and dryer to do all my work for me, I just tell them "wash!" and they do, it's like having machines that are slaves!
Me: COMPLETE SILENCE
MIL: But if I *did* have slaves I was a nice slave owner, one who would help the women have babies and teach them to read.
Me: COMPLETE SILENCE

My MIL also refers to Alzheimer's disease (which my grandmother in law was recently diagnosed with) as "Alt timer's disease," a neologism of "Old Timer's" and "Alzheimer's." I though that was cringe worthy enough, but no:

MIL: I hope that if the baby boomers all start getting ALT-TIMER-ISH that the politicians don't come in and trick them into voting for them! That's what I worry about, that we'll all be in homes being ALT-TIMER-ISH and they'll take advantage!
Me: COMPLETE SILENCE

I also have a cousin in law who has been drifting from career to career for over a decade and recently started studying chiropractic medicine. Unfortunately it sounds like the school is less than reputable, but we bite our tongues because she's already enrolled. But then she says stuff like this:

Cousin in law: At school we went to a lecture where they told us about a boy with Autism who was cured by chiropractic medicine!
Us: COMPLETE SILENCE
CIL: Because Autism is neurological, and chiropractors work on nerves in the spine that go to the brain, so it makes a lot of sense!
Us: COMPLETE SILENCE

Other baffling things that could only be responded to properly with silence: a cousin revealing that his father forbade them to watch Star Wars growing up because it would "convert them to New Age religion" - this same cousin ended up having a Star Wars wedding! Or an aunt telling me that "high fructose corn syrup is what made America fat" so they were cutting it out of their diets - mind you, not watching portions or exercising, just cutting out HFCS - is it any wonder that a year later they are still just as overweight?

I am seeing all of them this weekend for the 4th of July so I'm sure I'll have more gems to share :).
 




jayhawk

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Re: I am a mute around my in-laws...
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2010, 11:32:01 AM »
Hehe!  can't wait for your update.  Don't know how you keep your eyes from rolling all the way back in your head!

LadyL

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Re: I am a mute around my in-laws...
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2010, 11:36:05 AM »
Sometimes I think my eyes will detach themselves from all the rolling. And I am getting forehead wrinkles from all the eyebrow raising probably :). I spend a LOT of time "excusing myself to the bathroom/to take a phone call/to check on the food/etc." and then my partner and I freak out about all this stuff until it's out of our system. Usually it takes 10 minutes of debriefing for each hour in their presence, so sometimes we will go on for HOURS about how nuts they are when we're driving home.

Shortcake

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Re: I am a mute around my in-laws...
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2010, 11:38:23 AM »
Wow!  :o

You are right, those things your MIL and other family members say really don't need a response. I wouldn't want to encourage your MIL to keep on saying those awful insulting comments. I would probably not only use complete silence, but I might even stop giving her eye contact and find a reason to go into another room. If you try to correct her or tell her to stop, it might cause an argument. You are right to keep silent. It is the polite thing to do in this situation.

You are also wise to not try and convince your cousin she won't be curing autism.

Good luck this weekend! It looks like you won't be talking much!  ;)

ETA Well, at least you and your partner have plenty to talk about on the way home! I am also looking forward to your up date!
« Last Edit: July 01, 2010, 11:41:01 AM by Shortcake »
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LadyL

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Re: I am a mute around my in-laws...
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2010, 11:51:24 AM »
We are bringing about a gallon of sangria "for the family." The family is not that into wine, we are :).

I will also be fielding the issue of them expecting me to do henna for them at the party this weekend, which I've decided against. I have a second job as a henna artist and have paying jobs both Friday night and Saturday afternoon, and while it's fun work it's still work and I don't plan on doing it as a favor in my spare time. They are not good customers and ask for difficult designs and then don't take care of them. I made the mistake of doing it one year, it was a big headache, but they ask for it every year (which I also think is rude and presumptuous - if I was a dental hygienist would they ask me for cleanings?). So I plan on explaining that after working half the weekend on top of my regular job, I am just looking forward to relaxing at the party and not having to work.

Another story that I must include: They tricked us into cooking Thanksgiving dinner a few years ago. We agreed to make mashed potatoes and be in charge of the turkey - make sure it got in the oven and was basted regularly. We had to be at the house super early to start it but I figured I could get a quick nap in after we got the bird in the oven, so I didn't even have my morning coffee. No one told us that everyone else had bailed on bringing all the other dishes! We showed up to find a list of 10 or so dishes we needed to prepare for 12 people, with grandma and grandpa frantic because they didn't think we were coming  because we ran 10 minutes late. We ended up cooking the ENTIRE dinner with no help and no advance warning!

The real kicker? After getting everything ready by noon like they requested, one notoriously cantankerous family member ran 2 hours late and they made us wait for him. So a lot of the food, including my prized mashed potato recipe, got dried out from being heated for so long.




VorFemme

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Re: I am a mute around my in-laws...
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2010, 06:41:14 PM »
I'd suggest that the family go OUT FOR DINNER on Thanksgiving - yes, I'd suggest it loudly.  Someone might be going deaf or have Alt timer's ::)...........If the late person gets there two hours after everyone else has left - well, not your fault.

The only downside would be having to pay for Sangria instead of being able to bring your own.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2010, 06:52:33 PM by VorFemme »
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hobish

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Re: I am a mute around my in-laws...
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2010, 07:15:05 PM »

Oh, boy! I think I would be employing complete silence, as well because my mouth would be hanging open catching flies.

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Re: I am a mute around my in-laws...
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2010, 08:10:08 PM »
Wow...

You MIL is somethin' else, ain't she?
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JoanOfArc

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Re: I am a mute around my in-laws...
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2010, 08:20:39 PM »
Dang, are we related?  I swear, this sounds like my family (both sides)!  You aren't in Texas, are you? 
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missmolly

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Re: I am a mute around my in-laws...
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2010, 08:35:37 PM »
Yeesh. Something tells me this isn't the only thread that will pop up about your delightful inlaws.
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Darcy

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Re: I am a mute around my in-laws...
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2010, 09:23:26 PM »
if I was a dental hygienist would they ask me for cleanings?

Probably ;)

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Re: I am a mute around my in-laws...
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2010, 04:41:42 AM »


They're a weird bunch arn't they?
I've learnt how to keep the same expression on my face for hours so I don't really have to put up with that.
Keep up what your doing and you'll be fine.


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LadyL

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Re: I am a mute around my in-laws...
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2010, 09:29:43 AM »
I'd suggest that the family go OUT FOR DINNER on Thanksgiving - yes, I'd suggest it loudly.  Someone might be going deaf or have Alt timer's ::)...........If the late person gets there two hours after everyone else has left - well, not your fault.

The only downside would be having to pay for Sangria instead of being able to bring your own.

Oh, I have a story about going out to dinner for holidays too...this one is kind of a doozey.

"Uncle A" is always angry at someone or something, usually an ethnic group. For a long time it was the Native Americans, who built a large casino in his town and were making money from it. Never mind that his brother in law and two nephews are part Native American - he'd still rant about them and their "free land." Obviously he is not a scholar of history.

Either way, the company he worked for became obsolete and he was laid off. Lacking any other job skills, he was forced to take a job...as a security guard at the casino.

Oh wait, it gets better.

He does not get religious holidays off and he is a born again Christian who belongs to a somewhat extreme conservative church. This obviously doesn't sit well with him ;P. But, in an effort to maintain family tradition, the family agrees to have Easter dinner *at the casino buffet* while he is on break so that he can be there.

Now I am sure there are other restaurants a quick drive from the casino that they could have picked but I understand they are going for convenience. So we grit our teeth (I hate the sensory overload of casinos) and pay for the extremely overpriced, poor quality buffet and "enjoy" Easter with Uncle A and company, thinking next year he will be able to request the day off well in advance so it's a temporary solution.

Wrong!

They decided that since the location was convenient to everyone they would voluntarily continue having Easter at the casino! Ok, so never mind that the buffet is a rip off and it's tacky, half of them are born again Christians who I thought were against gambling?! I do not understand the thought process here other than Uncle A can be very demanding and so maybe it was his idea.

The "tradition" is into its third or fourth year now, we've managed to beg out of it twice so far (we are not religious). But I don't think I will ever quite understand the thinking behind this one.

clairesmom77

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Re: I am a mute around my in-laws...
« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2010, 09:41:53 AM »
Those are great stories!

I think you are doing the right thing by not engaging the crazy and remaining silent. 

About the uncle and the casino -- karma is a wonderful thing, isn't it?

magician5

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Re: I am a mute around my in-laws...
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2010, 01:28:21 PM »
a cousin revealing that his father forbade them to watch Star Wars growing up because it would "convert them to New Age religion"

Maybe all of Australia has an uncle like that ... according to some sources, more than 70,000 people in Australia and over 53,000 people in New Zealand listed their religion as "Jedi" in a recent census, and there is some pressure to insist that the answer be taken seriously.
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