Why Can’t You Drop Your In-Laws off at a “Safe Haven”, No Questions Asked?

If you are my husband. Stop reading. I know you do sometimes and that is OK, but today, step away. Go shopping online for golf clubs if you’re between patients but staying here is just going to ruin our evening. Oh, real quick, if you did tell people about me writing after I told you NOT to…big mistake.

Call those people and tell them there is a widespread internet blogging virus that turns your computer’s insides to liquids if you login to any blog sites. Tell them you are sure “That Lady in The School Drop Off Line” created the virus since so many mom’s are complaining about her on their blogs. Now stop reading Jim and call anyone you told about allthatmakesyou dot com and lie to them.

Ok, now that it is just us…I need to tell you about a little problem I am having with my in-laws.

Jim, I swear to God if you don’t stop reading this you won’t like me tonight and it is way too close to the weekend and that means we willl both be mad at each other and you won’t be getting hanky-panky for two weeks!

Now that I know my husband is gone…

No one talks about this issue we are having. At least I haven’t read anything about the stage between “Annoying Parenting Advice From My In-Laws” and “Caring For My Elderly In-Laws.” There is a whole “middle ground” that has me all in a state.

My MIL and FIL have been divorced since the beginning of time. I reference time with when my husband and I began “raising each other.” That was 21 years ago. We were kids. We have been together since we were kids! We have been together longer than any of our parents have ever been with anyone. I personally take credit for any success my husband has had. I take credit he was not only the first doctor in his family but also the first person to GO to college and the first person to GRADUATE from college. Aren’t I full of myself? I don’t care what you think of me. I raised a doctor and I am only 39 so that means I am pretty smart, for a stay-at-home mom.

I know my husband Jim also takes credit raising me to be the only “sane” member of my entire family. Oh, don’t chuckle that I think I am sane! It is all relative as my family not only likes to make the “arrests” section of the local paper back in Michigan, (we are over achievers) we strive to make the “arrests page” the “front page” on the same day.

If you are going to do something bad like walk into the mayors house and make yourself a drink and sit down in the front parlor, (we lived in the house for ten years, before the mayor lived there) you have to do it with PIZAZZ! No silly, not me, I didn’t get arrested. My husband raised me better than that.

Since I have NOT been arrested, (yet) and since within a six month period all of my husbands family members managed to get arrested, (one of his sisters did make the newspaper and gave my mom a run for her money with “Lady With Shotgun…”) I think my my husband and I did a rather fine job of raising each other.

Thank you and again…we both take full credit for what wonderful well adjusted spouses we raised despite of our parents. Ugh, our parents.

Here is where it’s getting sticky…

His parents are both in relationships with other people. This is not the problem.

They come to our home for visits from out-of-state and stay with us. This is not the problem. Shocking right?

The problem…

Holy crap bags, I cannot sleep for fear their “significant other” is going to sneak out in the middle of the night and leave Jim’s parents with us FOR-EV-ER!


Because, despite the fact that Jim’s mom and dad separated when Jim was a mere egg in his mom and sperm in his dad, (Jim was a “make up” baby and we know how that “Reunion Show” ended) his parents should have been forced to stay together. They should have been forced to stay together so they didn’t make two OTHER people miserable! Those two other people being their “significant others” they are with NOW. They should have been forced to stay together because they are the SAME PERSON.

My husband goes to work while they are here, in our home, and I am left playing marriage counselor or sounding board or BOBBLE HEAD all day. It is like confession time and I must look like someone that doesn’t tell secrets. So if telling secrets will get people to stop telling me secrets, then here goes…

I go in the living room and his dad’s girlfriend is telling me she can’t take his dad’s smoking and complaining. She is tired of picking up after him. That he never wants to do “anything.”

The last time his mom and “Her Man” were here I had to ask them to please not fight LOUDLY because my kids have school in the morning. “Her Man” was so sad telling me he wants to be able to travel now that his kids are raised and his parents deceased but my MIL has made it impossible…

I finally started taking my box of Corn Pops and spending a significant amount of time in my closet when they come to visit. It is just until the kids or Jim come home. I take my phone and call my best, bestie and run through the days antics, so far, with her. If she says I deserve “closet time” then I stay.

BTW, “My Bestie” has never thought I should come out of the closet based on my in-law stories. That may be because I keep her entertained. After all, the worst thing her parents ever did was buy her a charm necklace with an imprint of a plant that they didn’t realize was a marijuana leaf. Some people win the parent lottery, and the rest of us did not.

Hey, don’t judge unless you have had to start a conversation with, “Now MIL NAME, you aren’t fooling anyone by smoking in the bathroom. We don’t mind if you smoke but could you just do it outside?…. No, no, I won’t tell Jim, (your son and my husband) that you smoke.” As if he doesn’t know she started again.

This is NOT a problem seen through a daughter-in-law’s jaded lenses.

My husband brought the fear of his parents being abandoned by their “others” at our home to light.

One night, when his mom was visiting, we were laying in bed shell shocked after a marathon “counseling session” with his mom and “Her Man”. We were laying side by side staring up at the ceiling.

Jim says to me, “I don’t know. I mean, I know I should be honest and say if I think my mom is right but I don’t want to piss off “Her Man.”

I am like, “huh” and “what” all in my head because I know Jim. Jim always tries to see the good in people. Jim speaks up if he thinks someone is being wronged.

I am shocked and I say, “Why would you be worried about making “Man” mad?”

He replies, “What if he just leaves her here? I mean, she is to blame for plenty but I have to be careful. WE NEED THEM TO WORK THIS OUT!”

Jim is soooooo smart. I raised a smart doctor.

Every since that day I take all my sessions visits with my in-laws very serious.

I mend fences. I tell the other nice things I have heard one say about their spouse ten years ago. I listen to all their complaints and tell them that everyone I know hates their spouse and as long as they don’t kill them, it’s OK. I shove love notes in their bags and forge their significant others signatures. I send them books titled, “Weird Things to do in Florida” to try and get them to travel more. We “accidentally” turn on the porn channel in the guest room when they are here. Kidding, but you know it would work or they would at least shut the door so my kids could get some sleep.

Anyway, I have started taking half an Ambien when they are here. If when I wake up “Their Others” have left for greener pastures I will simply tell my in-laws we are going to lunch at a restaurant that looks like a fire station.

When they get out I will lock their doors and roll down the window and throw out a box of Corn Pops and speed off.

Have you had to raise your parents or found their “stash” under the claw foot bathtub when you were a kid? Do you want to help me get a bill passed that allows for “Safe Haven’s” to be established in every community for dropping off your in-laws, no questions asked?

-Abbie allthatmakesyou.com

Country club, bible belt, gated community…lets give her the “WTF” license plate.

My husband and I have been together since we were kids in rural Michigan.  Our families still share vegetables, (mostly because they want to rub it in each others faces who’s came in first and who has the biggest) and my husband never had a washer and dryer growing up.  Sundays were laundromat days with just him and his dad.  It wasn’t that they couldn’t afford to buy a washer and dryer it was because he was growing up in the family farmhouse.  No electricity on the second floor kind of house.  The kind of place where the windows would freeze up on the inside during Michigan winters and the outside was peeling plywood.  Eventually they would push the place over with a tractor and drop a modular home where it once stood but that was after my husband was raised and gone and long after his mom moved out with his sisters.   He rode dirt bikes and when he could finally drive legally he drove HIS car that had only one knob that you moved around to control everything on the dash and it smelled like spoiled milk and you didn’t care because it was $50 bucks and you paid in cash.  His dad was stabbed in a bar fight (he lived) and his mom worked in one.  His cousin had a baby in the bathroom at the VFW.  No one knew she was pregnant but now everyone knows she is the girl who had the baby in the toilet.  That is how he grew up and what made him who he is or like he says, “That’s why we are raising our kids ten hours away.”

I had twins with many health problems the first year so I proclaimed I was NOT going back to work to support us.  We would have to make due on the little bit of student loans we could get.  That meant sharing a car.  My grandparents thought this was completely stupid.  Who would have thought that someone from their generation would think a one car household was stupid?

This giant gold van pulls into my driveway one day.  My grandparents get out of it and they tell me its mine.  This is not a minivan.  This is a full size conversion van with running boards and mini blinds.  I smile because I have been raised right as they show me why we need this house on wheels.  It was customized.  It was customized?  They didn’t know that my giant double stroller folded up.  Picture the front seat being two giant RV chairs and an oak dashboard/control center.  I have an entire panel of mood lighting controls.  The middle row is a bench that you climb up a couple of steps to get in with only one door on one side and this is where it gets freaky…there is a piece of glass directly behind the second row bench.  It has the wall of glass like a limo.  Behind the glass is a truck bed.  Its half RV and half truck.  It is half truck so you simply toss the giant twin stroller in because they didn’t know it folded up.  Do I not have the sweetest grandparents ever?

Now look at it though the eyes of a 27-year-old woman who just had two babies, I have two babies nursing on me constantly and I feel anchored to the center of the earth, I just quit my fab job that allowed me to travel and I now had a “ghetto gold-Chester the molester-no one will park next to me at the mall for fear of being abducted” full size conversion van to drive around my hometown that I just moved back to after five years of living away.  I just kept smiling because I was pretty sure the giant “Half-Back” that was printed across the front window, so if you were standing in the front of the van and you couldn’t see that the back half was a truck, you would know, was actually stickers that I might be able to scrape off.

Flash forward several years and we got the heck out of our home town.  What were we thinking moving back?  We landed in the south, in a “country club community”.  In a “gated” country club community.  JR worked hard and is a physician now.  His parents both take credit that it’s from their side.  He does have some mad pool playing skills they endowed him with.   I sang George Jefferson’s “Moving on up” for months as I padded around our new home.

When we moved into our “forever house” my husband was still in training and so we were still driving our beat up old cars and I was still driving Chester.  I have never met a more comfortable seat and never had to leave anything behind because it didn’t fit in the car on a road trip.  The blinds were now a little crooked and the fabric seats keep our shampooer plugged in and I may have torn a running board half off while making a turn but it was free.  My husband kept asking me to pick out a new car.  I couldn’t stop telling people about my neighbor lady that apologized for not waving to me because she didn’t recognize me in my “van”.  She went on to explain she though I was a housekeeper.  Nice.

I kept saying “NO” to my husband about replacing Chester. I told him with three boys and their stuff I needed a car that big.  He finally pulled into a Chevy dealership and said pick out the color of a Suburban .  I said, “White and can I get leather seats?”  The next thing my husband does is insist we get those stickers of that represent our family and plaster us all across the back.  These are like a dog marking its territory.  I have always had a theory that those stick families are not on the people’s cars that knew they would eventually find themselves a family.  They are for the people who weren’t sure that someone would marry them and then agree to have their kids and then they would all stay together long enough that you need stick people in various sizes.  I buy them and hope he forgets but he doesn’t.  I put them on but I did not put them in order of height.  It was my protest.  The entire time I was putting them on I kept thinking of the “half-back” I removed from the front of the van my grandparents bought us.  My grandparents are now gone and it aches.  Those little stickers mean something to my husband and I understand.

I often tease that the club and neighborhood didn’t do a good background check before they “let us in” because we felt a bit out-of-place in this environment.  That is when I am, again, reminded that God has a sense of humor because my new shiny license plate for my shiny new Suburban comes in the mail and my plate randomly says, “WTF”.  There were news reports that these were indeed printed mistakenly and that we could return them to the license plate office.  I didn’t.  I like the irony.  I like where we came from and believe it or not I like where we are.  Sure, my kids never have to wonder if I’m frying pork chops to mask the smell of Marijuana and they don’t know how to shoot a squirrel out of a house window but they are sweet.  I drive my clean white Suburban with the ironic license plate  proudly and with a smirk.

Added a few days later…

 I thought my husband was going to kill me when he read it (and because he screamed for me to come in the house when he came home from work) but then when I came in (from fake gardening-hiding from him) he was a little teared up.  Then he gave me a future post idea…he told me my story was so touching but my grammar and punctuation was, “like a man who is an adult film star but really ugly.”  Bahahaha!  I only emailed him the story because someone we know, (the only person I know who has read my blog) tweeted a link to the story and FB’d it and I was like crap…its about JR….I better tell him first (that I told the story of the cousin having a baby in a toilet and the other family stuff).