Monday, April 10, 2006
Tidbits from my Mother-in-Law's
I feel weird even posting from here, all Benedict-Arnold or something. Can I really post uncharitable things about my mother-in-law from her own computer???

Yeah, I think I can.

She's away now, had to attend a funeral in Florida, so the kids and I are here by ourselves. Which leads me to realize that apparently I have an entirely different worldview from her, in terms of privacy and boundaries. (I know, what an epiphany, you never could have know THAT before.) Like, I don't like other people to use my computer, and I don't like other people to go in my purse without my knowledge. And when I say "I don't like," I mean, "I get nauseous and shaky and can feel the beginnings of a 'roid rage without the 'roids and I swear my teeth and nails grow sharper and longer." And, the concept of her eating half her food at a restaurant and then saying, "I can't finish this, should I package it up for anyone else to eat?" brings the bile right up to the back of my tongue.

She doesn't share these lines, and doesn't understand what I mean when I say I'm not comfortable doing them myself. So, I wouldn't use her computer unless I was specifically looking for something, and then it was an in-and-out maneuver. Because, seriously, I feel very intrusive and uncomfortable, like I'm wearing her underwear. Which is actually not my idea of a good time.

But I'm rationalizing it now by seeing that the kids are playing happily and I have 2 hours before I'm going to head back over to Jessi's (who, in an offense which is only forgiveable given her recent surgery, has a toddler who sleeps until 10:00), and I can run a System Restore and clear the cache and all that other fun stuff, basically the cyber equivalent of washing her underwear before I put it back in the drawer.

Still, *shudder*.

Jacob and Emily are behaving well enough to stay alive, but are obviously trying to milk the No-Rules-at-Grandma's-House myth for all it's worth. I haven't been able to convince them completely that rules are more like a AAA membership - they follow the person (um... ME) not the place or vehicle. Ah, well. They'll figure it out, or die tryin'.

One of my mother-in-law's cats sounds like a squeak toy. It gets louder and louder as the evening progresses.

Both of her cats are very shy around children, so they only come out after the kids are asleep. And I typically stay up later than my mother-in-law does, so when I'm the only one awake, they both come talk to me. Not in an annoying way, just in a head-butting meow/squeak way. I mentioned this to C after the first night, and have apparently totally offended her. Apparently her cats are HERS and are *only* supposed to interact with her and are supposed to hate everyone else. Guess I'm just out to steal her cats' affection just like I stole her oldest son's.

*sigh* I suppose a disclaimer is in order here. I honestly don't hate, or even seriously dislike, my mother-in-law. She and I are able to get along fine when it's just the two of us, or even just us and the kids. She just carries around a huge pile of rage and defensiveness and imagined slights and long-held grudges, and she doesn't show the slightest sign of wanting to fix that. It's all old stuff, I don't think much of it is REALLY directed at me - I'm just a good vessel for it. And it's all poorly contained, too she's like a lit match in the hospital room of an emphysema patient - there's always a weird sizzle in the air and you're just waiting for the explosion.

So, I don't hate her. I just cannot feel comfortable around her, because I can't be honest with her - and honesty is where I'm most comfortable because it means I don't have to keep track of half-truths and avoidances. I feel like, if I was honest with her and let her know how hurtful she has been to me, upon occasion, she would simply implode. And while fascinating to watch, that's not the kind of situation I want to precipitate.

So. I vent here, and then pretend everything's fine. That's healthy, right?