More Anger, Bitterness and Defeat.

19 10 2008

This is the sequel to post Anger, Bitterness and Defeat where I told everyone about the impending doom that was about to descend on my tiny flat, my future Mother in Law … affectionately referred to in this post as Mother in Law.

Ring, Ring

I know what that means…

I start clicking my heels together and chanting “There’s no place like home” …

Oh … I am home …

Bugger!

Fiancee answers the phone “Hi, Mum! Where are you? … oh so you drove past the shops then? … Um yes there were shops there … um … don’t worry about it just turn left and continue down the road until you see a block of units with me standing outside”

Fiancee leaves the apartment while I hang around on the balcony.

Five minutes later I look in horror as Mother in Law drives up in the biggest four wheel drive I’ve ever seen … it’s packed to the rafters inside and on the rooftop …

Looks like Mother in Law could survive a nuclear winter …

At my house …

Oh please God, don’t let her stay long!

We rush to get a cup of tea to quell the beast …

Sigh …

She’s smiling … things seem to be going well, better than usual …

For about five minutes …

Then Mother in Law pulls out a plastic bag full of useful items she thought we could use …

There’s a green back-pack …

Baby-poo green…

Or maybe they gave a baby lime cordial, spun in circles with it (gently) till it threw up and then matched the colour specifically for the bag …

Yeah it’s THAT ugly!

There are some clothes for me …

That if I wore would age me fifty years.

Mental note to self: Never wear cardigans EVER! On pain of death!

“Ooooohhhhh!!!” I say drawing it out as long as possible giving me time to think of a polite answer “Thank you so much!”

And then there’s the food …

Milk, eggs, potatoes … (Mother in Law thinks we don’t purchase these things ourselves)

And a tea cake with green (!) icing … apparently green was the colour of the day …

I immediately dive into evasive action … “Oh wow that cake looks good but we just ate … maybe I’ll try some later”

Don’t look at me like that …

You’ve been there.

One cup of tea down …

Only a possible 500 or so to go …

Sigh…

Mother in Law starts talking …

And doesn’t stop for twelve hours …

I don’t think she even paused for breath …

Have you ever seen someone talk in one complete long sentence for hours on end … it really is a marvel!

After a couple of hours consisting of only a couple of minor insults, I suggest a walk.

It helps to suppress the urge to strangle her.

Okay, well it gives me nice scenery to look at while suppressing the urge to strangle her …

While we are out the subject of our apartment comes up …

I can’t remember how it came up …

“What do you mean there’s a bed in the lounge room?” screeches Mother in Law

“Um … yeah … it’s a one room apartment and so the bed is in the lounge room” stammers Fiancee a little confused … we were sitting in the lounge room for a few hours before the walk.

Fiancee and I hold our breath, bracing ourselves for a Chernobyl type meltdown.

We all walk up the stairs in complete silence and enter the apartment again.

Mother in Law casts her eye around “Well I had no idea that your place was SO small” she declares.

What? I mean we’ve been sitting in it for the last four hours …

I want to scream!

I want to curse!

Instead the inane smile is fixed to my face once again and I brace for the next onslaught.

“Oh why didn’t you tell me you didn’t even have a place for me to stay?” she continues a little sulkily.

“Well actually I did” says Fiancee flatly but adds a smile attempting to diffuse the situation.

We have both told her on different occasions.

Obviously descriptors like “Studio Apartment” go over Mother in Law’s head.

After some discussion, it’s decided she will stay for dinner and then go and find a hotel nearby.

While trying to hide a relieved smile, I start cooking a lavish feast of Meat Pie,  mashed potato, peas and corn.

Yes, I’m all class!

Nothing says “Welcome” to a family member than a Meat Pie!

Yeah, look it was in the freezer okay!

We all sit down to dinner. Fiancee and I sit next to each other with Mother in Law across from us …

The battle lines are drawn … so to speak…

Like short waves of machine gun fire the first offensive hits us …

How come we never sent her a postcard while we were living in South Korea?

Postcards?!?

I wanted to say “What’s a postcard?”

But I held back …

We phoned her fairly often-ish …

Overseas calls are expensive …

What the heck? That wasn’t good enough?

I didn’t see that one coming …

We have no time to react … Mother in Law continues on to other more mundane things …

For a while …

Sometime later, the A-bomb hits us like a doozey.

Mother in Law addresses Fiancee “You know I spent all that money on sending you to University so you could get a high paying job, what happened?”

An awkward hush falls over the room …

Fiancee looks like a deer in headlights …

I look like a small, angry cherub … (I have chubby cheeks what can I say?)

Mother in Law opens her mouth to say more…

Dear God, there’s more?

“You know I think you never even got your degree, I think you just lied and made it all up!”

What …. The … Heck?!!???!!

For anyone that might be wondering Fiancee has his degree, he couldn’t have worked in Korea without it …

I have seen it …

If it had been close to hand I would have shoved it under her nose with glee …

I might have punched her in the nose with it!

Of course it’s packed away in a suitcase.

Typical.

Why didn’t I think to have all proof of Fiancee’s degree on hand for a moment like this?

Oh I don’t know, because normal parents would never say anything LIKE THIS to their kid!!!

Oh my god! I wish I was making this up!

Who says something like that to their own child???

And she wonders why we don’t visit often!

“And you wonder why I don’t visit often” says Fiancee quietly.

Apparantly Fiancee is on the same wavelength as me …

“Is it?” she says …”Oh that’s not the reason you don’t visit me” she shakes her head emphatically and continues on talking about something different again….

I forget what …

I stopped listening …

Fiancee and I have an agreement …

Under no circumstances am I allowed to say anything to her when she insults him or me or both of us …

I hate this stupid agreement …

As usual I plaster yet another inane grin on my face and start praying she leaves soon.

She left a few hours later.

I have no idea what she said for the rest of the evening …

I stopped listening …

I stopped caring.

Mother in Laws … can’t live with ‘em …

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Anger, Bitterness and Defeat

17 10 2008

Disaster struck …

It began as all disasters do …

With a phone call …

Okay maybe not all disasters…

I’m sure the ten plagues of Egypt didn’t have any phone calls involved but if phones had have been invented you can bet that before plague 1 you’d have heard the sound ring ring

I looked at the phone ringing in my hands …

It plays a stupid song instead of a normal phone ring …

It’s so annoying. I don’t want to answer it because of the stupid song,

Only half a dozen people in the world have my phone number …

The ones I WANT to talk to communicate with me over email or online chat …

One however thinks that computers will never catch on …

No good can come from this call …

I decide to do the only thing I can do …

Throw it out the window and tell Fiancee that it must be the neighbour’s phone …

Mum might be a bit upset when she comes back from her trip though …

It is her phone after all…

So, Plan B:

Make Fiancee answer it …

Woot! Ha Ha … it’s his mother!

Doing the happy dance …

Then I hear …

“Oh great you’re coming to visit” from Fiancee’s lips the dreaded words were uttered.

I pause mid happy dance … one leg is still in the air … I look stupid!

Fiancee continues “Oh day after tomorrow … yup we have a bed but our apartment is tiny … you might not be comfortable here … okay see you then”

I look at Fiancee … Fiancee looks back at me … my leg is still in the air … I put it down.

We exchange a look as if Genghis Khan himself phoned to tell us he’d be dropping in …

I shouldn’t ask but I can’t help it … “So, how long is she staying?”

“Oh, she didn’t say” Fiancee replies.

Oh. My. God!

Mother in Law has just sold her house and is between life plans at the moment …

This means she has no home to return to …

No home to return to in a timely manner …

Disaster …

You know how there are those families that get on well together and are happy to see each other?

Okay maybe they are only on TV then …

Suffice it to say that our relationship with Mother in Law is not like that …

In fact it’s all a downward spiral of anger, bitterness and defeat on both sides.

Mother in Law likes to use fun phrases like: Useless, you don’t care about me, oh I’m only your mother, you’re a liar, it’ll never catch on … she also speaks in shouting volume at all times.

We are permitted to act like deaf mutes for her entire visit …

Sometimes I add an inane grin to relieve stress but that can be dangerous … it can cause her to raise the volume louder.

“Did you tell her that the place is really, really small and she wouldn’t like it here?” I ask Fiancee.

I’m not being rude here … well not as rude as it seems …

Mother in Law has lived for the last twenty odd years on a big, big property …

She loves nature and wide open spaces …

We live in a studio apartment … This means the bed is in the lounge room and the kitchen is the nice view from the bed.

“Yes, I did hon.” Fiancee says a little annoyed (Fiancee has entered preparation mode for her eventual arrival … he will resemble a deaf mute until she arrives)

“So what did she say?” I asked

“She said it would be fine” he replied

Mission Impossible: To make the house look clean, tidy and inviting while at the same time small, cramped and with a hint of you don’t want to stay here too long.

Some of you know where I’m coming from on this …

The rest of you are lying …

Not for the first time I curse the gods for making Fiancee an only child.

To be continued …