Friday, August 18, 2006
It's Good to Know...
...that even in a world full of craziness and uncertainty, even in a world where a man in Thailand confesses to the international media that he was there when JonBenet Ramsey was kills and therefore the whole world is content to call him guilty without the fuss and bother of due process or the court system, even in a world where I order French vanilla coffee because it's been a long week and I haven't been sleeping well and I get blueberry coffee though I like neither coffee nor blueberries, even then, my mother-in-law can find ways to be audacious and mercenary and selfish and irritating.

Such a relief.

This week's episode is, of course, wrapped up with my father-in-law's illness. First, she has been by his side nearly 24/7, complaining to everyone who will listen about how hard it is and how much she's doing, but refusing help and conveniently forgetting that no one, NO ONE, asked her to do it. The word "martyr" comes to mind, but I can't think why.

Then, the other day she and Willem were cleaning some stuff in my father-in-law's house (she and my father-in-law haven't lived together for 10 years or more, but she just this year filed for divorce) and she found some jewelry with a note attached reading, "If I die unexpectedly, please give this to So-and-So." Which got her panties in a tourniquet-quality twist because "*I* wanted that bracelet." She was all set for a good sulk, but Willem told her, "Dad is right downstairs, how about you just ASK for it?" She did.

Willem wasn't there for the ask/response bit, but later he asked how it went. And she said, "He said yes, I could have it." This is supposed to be a good thing, right? HAH. No. "But he hesitated before he said it." She's having a feminine sulk because the man didn't respond quickly enough to her request for a piece of jewelry that he didn't even want to give her. Really? And let's review... in the past month, he has had at least 2 TIA's and a heart attack, he is on 24/7 oxygen dependence, he is unable to count to five or tell time, and she is upset that he hesitated before replying? Lovely!

Then came my personal favorite. This one requires some backstory. When my mother-in-law filed for divorce, the general reaction fell along the lines of, "Huh? Why *now*?" This includes my father-in-law. They had lived apart in a sort of detente for over a decade, and so he was shocked and unprepared and dramatic when she announced her plans for an official actual divorce. She started the process, and then he had the insensitivity and audacity to - can you believe it - hire a lawyer on his own behalf. The horror. And the lawyer decided not to let my father-in-law just roll over and hand over anything and everything.

So, that brings us to this week. Earlier in the week, my mother-in-law was stalking around and angry about something or other, and made some comment to my father-in-law about, "Is this final?" and he said, "Yes." She huffed and puffed and avoided all semblance of confrontation like any good passive-aggressive diva. Then later that night she employed her favorite means of unpleasant communication, which is to get on the phone with her friend S and talk loudly and in the same room with others, so she's not *officially* telling anyone anything, but we all hear it anyway. The last instance was when I was there in July and she told S how, "No, she hasn't noticed my weight loss... I guess it's not as dramatic as I thought... or maybe she's just so self-centered and thoughtless that she's not saying anything." With the she being yours truly. [BOWS DEEPLY]

Anyway. This week's phone call to S but directed at Willem was along the lines of, "He changed the will so that now instead of 70%, I'm only getting 50%. Can you believe it? After all I've done for him? What a bastard."

Apparently, among other things, the lawyer encouraged my father-in-law to change his will. It had been set so that my mother-in-law would inherit 70% of his estate, with 15% to each Willem and his brother; then, when the divorce proceedings started, mother-in-law got knocked down to 50%. The gall of the man, can you imagine? Only giving his ex-wife half of everything once she legally and publicly announced that she did not want to be his wife anymore.

Ugh. It's just nasty and yucky, leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Or maybe that's the blueberry coffee.