Monday, August 7, 2006

The Daily Gripe #17 - Mothers-In-Law

It's time for The Daily Gripe, from Average Joe American.

Sometimes it seems there is so very much to gripe about. Bills, taxes, gas prices, insurance, politics, you name it. Last week I threw a few extras into the mix: medical insurance coverage, auto accidents, just to name a few. And one of my regular gripes became increasingly gripe-worthy as the week progressed. Today: mothers-in law.

Actually, in-laws in general, with a special focus specifically on mothers-in-law.

My mother-in-law is a huge busy body. She has to know everything about everybody at all times. I've been looking at job postings for quite some time trying to find something suitable that's closer to home. My wife was speaking about that with her mother and mentioned providing my salary requirements with my resume. Her mother asked, "And what is his requirement?" Really! I mean, come on, she really expected my wife to discuss with her how much I make or would hope to make in another job? That really gripes me!

But wait, there's more. My mother-in-law can be a real doozie? If you think Marie on Everybody Loves Raymond is bad, you should me my mother-in-law. She is the most materialistic, judgemental person I have ever met! It's all about the show with her. Appearance is king, even in the little things. For example, we went to our neice's birthday party yesterday at a bowling alley. Gifts were opened after a couple hours of bowling. My mother-in-law is so obsessed with always having the best presentation, that she individually wrapped five small gifts (it looks like she's giving more that way) in solid colored wrapping paper: some red and some blue. Then she stacked them in alternating colors: blue, red, blue, red, blue. She actually premeditated this arrangement, because the gifts were stacked smallest to largest in alternating colors with a red ribbon resting on the blue package on top. And when my neice grabbed the stack to start opening gifts, my mother-in-law stopped her long enough to straighten the packages for a picture and said, "These are supposed to be in the center." That really gripes me!

What else can I say? Just you wait.

A few years back my wife and I were relocated to Kentucky by my then-employer. After less than a year we were unhappy and were ready to move back to Indiana. I looked for transfer opportunities within the company and at job listings on the major Internet job sites. At one point my mother-in-law was so concerned about how a certain job might appear that she said, "Oh I hope he doesn't get that." She talked of wanting her daughter to move back into town, but not if it meant she would feel embarrassed about her son-in-law's job. That really gripes me!

Last week, I wrecked my car. Totalled it. You've probably heard the story. My mother-in-law was the one to tell my wife what happened because she was the only one I could reach by phone after it happened. Since then, any time my wife mentions the accident (and sometimes when she doesn't), my mother-in-law's first question is, "What kind of car is he going to get next?" Why is she concerned with what kind of car I get? Because of how it will look. Today she said to my wife, "I hope he gets a new car soon so you can come over again. I feel like I'm not going to see much of you for quite a while." Amazingly enough, the drive from her house to ours is the exact same distance as the drive from our house to hers! We're fifteen minutes apart! She could drive to us as easily -- more easily considering she doesn't have two kids to load up in the car -- as my wife going there. Ah, but then she might get her new car dirty. She won't go anywhere in the rain because she's afraid it'll spot. That really gripes me!

I could go on, and on, and on, but I think you get the picture.


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