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April 26, 2005 - 9:57 am


My mother-in-law just left this morning. I love her dearly, and since John and I have been together sheís been like a mother to me. Sheís a wonderful person with a great heart and she always means well, BUT DEAR GOD THAT WOMAN DRIVES ME TO DRINK.

She was a kid during WWII, so sheís got that post-war hoarding mentality. You know, that generation that thinks you should eat everything out of a can and never throw anything away. Her favorite store is the Dollar Store, and she always comes to visit us with an ENTIRE SUITCASE full of cheap stuff that we have no use for. Iím the anti-clutter Nazi, and she is the Winston Churchill of small plastic items that sing. I don't stand a chance.

She actually reminded me Sunday night not to forget to do the tooth fairy for the Girl Ė calling in a REALLY LOUD WHISPER to me in the Girlís room WHILE Iím taking her tooth out from under her pillow and nearly waking the Girl up. Iíve managed to remember to be the tooth fairy eleven times so far. I think Iíve earned my wand and wings.

This is pretty much how our morning went:

Mother-in-law: Do you ever wear those snuggle suits?
Me: Whatís that?
M-I-L: You know Ė theyíre like long johns but a two piece thing.
Me: No. I have worn long johns, but not those.
M-I-L: You donít wear them?
Me: Nope.
M-I-L: Not even in the winter?
Me: Iíd never heard of them until you just told me. Iíve never worn them.
M-I-L: You donít think youíd wear something like that? Not even when itís really cold out? Theyíre really very comfortable, you know.
Me: UmÖyes?

M-I-L (while the kids are eating pancakes): Do they like oatmeal? I could fix them some oatmeal.
Me: Theyíre already eating pancakes.
M-I-L: Donít they like oatmeal?

M-I-L (to the Girl at breakfast): Do you take your lunch to school?
The Girl: No. We eat the schoolís lunch.
M-I-L (turns to me): Do they take their lunch to school?
Me: UmÖ.no. They eat the schoolís lunch.
M-I-L: So you donít pack their lunch?
Me: Nope.
M-I-L: Want me to do it?

M-I-L: Is that what sheís wearing to school? Isnít she going to be cold? Does she ever wear those snuggle suits?

M-I-L (after the kids have finished their pancakes): When do they eat again?
Me: At lunch time in the school cafeteria.
M-I-L: They donít eat a snack first?
Me: Not that I know of.
M-I-L: Donít they need a little something before lunch? What time do they eat?
Me: I honestly have no idea. Maybe I should be more inquisitive, but I usually just trust that lunch happens some time before I pick them up at 2:45.

M-I-L: Want me to fix you some breakfast?
Me: No thanks. I canít eat this early. Iíll have something a little later. Help yourself to whatever. Iíve got eggs, oatmeal, cereal and bagels. Thereís orange juice in the fridge.
M-I-L: I could fix you an egg. You need your protein because itíll stick with you until lunch.
Me: No thanks. I canít eat this early.
M-I-L: You really need to eat breakfast. You sure you donít want me to fix you a little something now? How about some oatmeal?
Me: Iím leaving now.
M-I-L: Donít you like oatmeal?

The funny thing is that the gist of these conversations reminds me a lot of the conversations I have with John, only with John the subjects are a lot more important and my blood pressure goes up a few points higher when we talk. Between the two of them I find it amazing that anyone ever actually gets to the point of whatís on their minds. He comes by it honestly, though, and I think he does remarkably well considering his communication role model. But Iím just not really equipped with the decoding skills it takes to have that kind of conversation on a regular basis. For the rest of my life.

And I DO like oatmeal, by the way.

Just not my mother-in-lawís.


reading -Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris
viewing - The Women
listening -"Frank's Wild Years" by Tom Waits

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recent entries:
RELOCATION - October 21, 2006
OVERHEARD IN MAYFAIR - October 19, 2006
OKAY, THEN... - August 21, 2006
MOTHERHOOD - March 26, 2006

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