Monday, 27 June 2011

When MIL's Attack


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Okay, so attack might be a wee bit overstating it but I thought it was a cool post title nonetheless.

So let me begin this post by stating that I love my in-laws.  They are very sweet people who have accepted me into their family with open arms.  They would do anything to help Brad and I, and have been the source of great support since the start of our relationship.

They are rather typical, or is that stereotypical, small town folk . . . lived in the same area since they were born, surrounded by family and friends that look like them and share the same sorts of biases.  Let's just say that there isn't exactly a great deal of racial diversity or open closets where they come from. 

I do not agree with these biases but I am understanding of why they exist.  The fact is I have a tendency to play up things that I know get them because it is funny.  Take for example this past weekend when we got discussing the fact the Buddy LOVES trucks.  My sweet yet sexist FIL stated "Of course he loves trucks, they are boy toys."  I don't think there is such a thing as girl and boy toys and so I proceed to tell them how I let Buddy wear his sister's clip on earrings to school one day because that is what he wanted to do.  What can I say, the look of shock and dismay on their faces can be highly entertaining.  Lest you think they I just tease them in this manner, I would happily do the same thing to my dad because there are times that he exhibits similar beliefs regarding boy and girl toys.

So we have established that I love my in-laws and that I am understanding that they have certain biases and I have a tendency to be a wee bit of a shit and tease them about these biases.  Occasionally though, I have been frustrated and there have been a couple of instances where I have been rather pissed off.  This post is about an occassion when their baises actually pissed me off.

Cutting a long story short, this past December my MIL's mother passed away.  In June the house sold and the siblings all received a bit of money from the estate.  My MIL decided she wanted to give us a little bit of that money.  Now my MIL is all about the presentation of gifts.  She likes to sit us down together and give us a little speech before gifting us with whatever she is gifting with.  So I sat there listening intently to said speech when out of the blue a sentence stuck in my head and I began to feel the frustration rising.  It went like this: "Blah, blah, blah.  Yadda, yadda, yadda.  I wanted to give you a little bit of this money.  All I ask is that it not be used to buy alcohol." 

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Full stop.  What the hell?!  So random.  So out of context.  So blooding insulting.  I admit it, that sentence pissed me off.  I will also admit that it ran through my head to tell her to keep the money if she felt she had to put restrictions on as to how it was spent.  From my perspective, that is not so much a gift as it is a bribe . . . trying to get us to stop a behaviour that she does not approve of.

Now, I do enjoy a nice glass or two of wine but I cannot even remember the last time I was drunk.  I am and I have been for years, a responsible drinker.  Hell, that was one of the major issues with my ex-husband  . . . I no longer found drinking for the express purpose of getting drunk to be fun.  So I found this restriction on the gift to be insulting.

I understand that she has been exposed to alcoholics in her life and therefore she and my FIL do not drink at all.  Fine, that is their choice but I cannot stand being judged because I do enjoy alcohol.  For years Brad would not even have a drink in front of them.  He is an adult and he is very, very responsible with his drinking. 

I asked Brad where this totally out of context statement came from and he had no idea.  He could only assume that it came from the fact that there were a couple of bottles of alcohol on our counter and the fact that I drank a couple of glasses of wine in their presence.  I guess his mom did apologize when she phoned later on but as you can tell, I am still a bit miffed about it.

I won't say anything because ultimately this is not worth creating family drama.  I honestly believe that my MIL would be devastated to learn that she pissed me off this much and I don't want to make her feel that way because she truly is a sweet person.  I just cannot stand being judged and it pisses me off even more when it is in my own home.

So I decided to blog out my frustration and move forward.  Just so you know, I enjoyed a couple of tasty cappuccino martinis in her honour on Saturday night.  What can I say, I am a wee bit of a shit.

Anyone else ever felt judged by their in-laws?  Any in-law stories to share?

Jenn

8 comments:

  1. I can't believe she said, " ... as long as you don't buy alcohol with it." She sounds dreadful.

    Dude_WaitWhat

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  2. She really isn't at all, she truly is sweet. That is why that comment really bothered me.
    Jenn

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  3. Oh goodness, the stories I could tell you. I sometimes think about writing them out on my blog (cause they're doozies) but I'm afraid that they would get back to my relatives.
    But I would be super pissed off too. WTF? Mama needs some BOOOOOOZEEEE

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  4. Interesting that she would put stipulations on the gift. But, and just to throw another perspective out there, she didn't have to share any of the money to begin with. Maybe she just felt like she didn't want her gift to be used for something that she considers destructive if that's what she's seen others do. I sure hope it wasn't meant to insult you--that would be awful. So what did you spend the $$ on??

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  5. I can see how the stipulations would seem offensive! Weird that her only stipulation was alcohol - far worse things you can waste your money on out there in the big bad world :)

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  6. Thats a bit weird... a gift is a gift, it shouldn't be given with any rules attached to it. The martinis sound divine...

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  7. Hmm...alcohol is the only way my side of the family can tolerate the In-Laws. We will kill each other without a glass of wine in hand. That's not a little string--it's a whole ball of yarn...

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  8. Thanks for all of the comments! The frustration will pass and the gift will be used to help cover some bills.
    Jenn

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Ah connecting is a grand thing!