My husband’s cousin’s aunt died last week (husband’s uncle’s sister – no matter how hard I try to spell it out it still sounds confusing!) Anyhow, I ended up hosting a variety of visiting family members at my house for a day of post funeral talk while I waited on everyone hand and foot.
I don’t mind being the hostess; don’t mind chopping, broiling, baking, grilling, mixing, pouring, stirring, setting the table, clearing the table, making coffee, finding a DVD for the young relative, opening the wine, opening more wine, doing the dishes and starting all over again at dinner time to repeat the whole process, except….one of the family members was (drum roll) my mother-in-law.
She could try the patience of Job. She can make a normal human being turn matri-in-law-cidal. Twelve hours with this woman probably took twelve years off my life.
I don’t know how it is possible that I could do everything wrong but here’s a short list of her complaints:
Coffee too cold
Wine too warm
Hotdog too rare(?)
Roll too toasted
Macaroni salad – too much onion not enough mayo
Cloth napkin – polyester and a cranberry color while MIL likes white cotton napkins
(I have white cotton napkins but I’ll be damned if she’ll wipe her cranberry colored lips on them…ergo why she got the cranberry colored napkin.)
Chocolate cake too chocolatey
No ice-cream to go with the cake
Peach not ripe
Dog breath on her elbow
This is what I can remember off hand while I’m typing here – many of the complaints and comments have been blocked from my mind so that I could go on to serve her another meal which had the following faults:
Potato too big
Salad had tomato chunks when MIL likes cherry tomatoes
No Thousand Island salad dressing – (what the hell is that stuff??) (Only six other choices none of which she wanted because she really felt like Thousand Island dressing)
Mixed greens when she really likes plain old Iceberg lettuce
Green beans not her favorite
Salt came out too quickly
Pepper mill grind is too big
A different but still uncomfortable chair
A different dog breath on her ankle
Add in: I think your litter box needs to be changed…about ten screeching: “The cat is on the counter”s and at least four inquiries into how many glasses of wine I’d consumed plus one accusatory: What’s in that glass you’re drinking??? My response “water” was greeted with a notable lip wiggle of distrust.
Plus, which has to be the worst part: Almost twelve hours of non-stop repetitive comments about her daughter (husband’s sister who wasn’t there) all which start with “Poor Cathy”.
Poor Cathy – she couldn’t go to the funeral because SHE has to WORK.
Poor Cathy had to go on yet another vacation because she can’t stay alone in the house when her ex husband has the kids.
Poor Cathy got a new dining room set and one of the light bulbs in the hutch isn’t working.
Poor Cathy’s new car has a spot on the seat where her coffee spilled.
Poor Cathy has to go to New York City for her job to have dinner with a client.
Poor Cathy works her head off.
Poor Cathy ballroom dances three nights a week because she has to do something other than work her head off.
Poor Cathy had to go out shopping for a new suit because she was going to be dining with the client.
Poor Cathy didn’t even have time to get her nails done or her hair done and had to do her own!
I am not kidding you, if Cathy won the lottery, she’d tell me with the preface of Poor Cathy.
Another favorite saying from my MIL is Poor Cathy works her head off AND has two little kids.
Cathy’s son is 18 -- 6 foot 5 inches and her daughter is 16 – and almost six feet so trying not to break into laughter is rough when MIL digs up the two little kids talk.
I am telling you all this because I am still emotionally, physically and mentally exhausted from being in her company for twelve hours in a row.
At one point in the day, my cousin whispered to me: The funeral was a hell of a lot more fun than hanging out with her all day.
Yup, that lady is single-handedly responsible for putting the fun back into funerals.