Is it Possible to Write Without Insulting? I Say, IMPOSSIBLE!

Fear kept me from posting something I wrote a while back.  

I finally posted the story that scared me this week.

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

I had time to think about it and well, my in-laws know me.  They have known me for over twenty years.  They know I tease.

I tell stories and I tease in stories I tell, (my husband Jim says I would NEVER exaggerate.)   When he says, “NEVER” he looks up at the corner of the room and the word, “NEVER” doesn’t sound like the other words in the sentence.

I was not prepared for someone I am not related to, even by marriage, to take issue with my post.

It wasn’t on Word Press where I park my thoughts, but on BlogHer where I occasionally copy a post I think might be well received there.  I mean, come on, this is a story about a woman complaining about her in-laws and BlogHer is supposed to be female readers, right?

Whapppow!  Right to the back of my head.

A section editor over there let me have it in my comment section.

BlogHer post with BlogHer reader comments.

Here is the thing, I like this fellow bloggers style and respect her work and she has been very helpful to a newbie like me.  I even respect her for calling me out on it, (I will let you click the link above to read the comment for yourself.)

Here is what I deduced and replied with…(oh yeah, all in the comment section because I am a wordy girl.)

I think Safe Haven is an amazing program.  The entire concept is genius as I appreciate any government program that calls for the care of a child as an immediate priority instead of placing blame on the mother or father.  I realize that everyone has their own circumstances and I try VERY, very hard to not judge as I have not walked in someone else’s shoes.

I also work very hard at having a good relationship with my in-laws and the comment was made in good fun.  I would never really think anyone would think I was serious as it was simply a play on “walking in someone else’s shoes.”  If someone had been walking in my shoes they would realize that I would never want anyone to think I REALLY wanted to drop my husbands parents off at a fire department.  I never really would turn the porn channel on in the guest room to try and help them, “get along”.  However, I have sat up late into the night trying to think of ways to help them.

I was applauding Safe Havens as being a GOOD IDEA and thinking about a world in which it could be applied to other groups that need help.  If I could get a grown adult help without being judged for running out of options or lacking in the ability to help them anymore it would be great.   We really have though thought that their spouse might leave them with us.  I guess we are their “Safe Haven.”

I apologize if I offended you as I really think the entire Safe Haven program is great.  Sometimes I think I am funny and sometimes “getting” to funny I may have inadvertently insulted someone.   In this case I think we both agree that Safe Haven is a necessary program.

I also can tell you my dad in Michigan adopted me at three after my biological father signed off on custody.  I can also tell you that I have very real memories of having a dad and then going to see a judge who told me that I have a “new” dad.  I and am VERY aware of the ramifications of words related to adoption such as “real child” or “not really his” or “unwanted” and the list of words and phrases cut.  I feel in this case, and for me, it more of a compliment on a program that I obviously feel is genius.  I don’t think it is funny to write a “funny” story about REAL Safe Haven, but a fake Safe Haven to drop off your in-laws..I (still) do think is a little funny.

I joke about being anal retentive about things that don’t matter, but people really do have mental illness.  I joke about being messy but there are really people who have diseases that make them hoard.  I joke about having a cup holder as a bellybutton as a “birth defect”, (I give birth to double digits every time) and there are really people who have birth defects.  I have the attention span of a fruit fly and I blame it on a lead pacifier that I am convinced that my parents gave me, but there are people who really have contracted lead poisoning.   I tease about my poor writing skills and my inability to figure out how to use a comma, but there are people reading that have learning disabilities.

If I didn’t write things that MIGHT offend someone, I would never write anything.  When I was writing this story I was only worried about offending my in-laws.  Insulting anyone who has ever been touched by adoption, which is nearly everyone, had never been a worry.

I hope you understand and hope you might get to know me enough one day that you would know that hurting people is not even close to what I am about.  I do admit that I find things to laugh about but that comes from waaayyyyy back.  That comes from the same place that the people who like to make people laugh draw from.  I kind of consider it a gift, even if I had to go around the block a bit to receive it.

End of my BlogHer response.  

Then I thought, this is a post!  This is something I need to share with my WordPress friends!  What if they too have a bellybutton that turned into a cupholder.  What if I have insulted anyone that has wiped their boogers on the walls for someone else to clean up when I lied and said there was a “Booger DNA Test” that is sold at Walgreens?

Let this be fair warning to anyone who thinks I am an evil doer.  Let this also serve as a warning to everyone who thinks that I really have a TV in our guest bedroom to even turn porn on.  If I put a TV in the guest bedroom my in-laws for sure would never leave!

And I bet you thought I was a terrible person for the first photo at the top of the post.

Peter was so excited to be a black panther that he asked to sleep on the deck since he knew I would say he couldn’t go to bed without washing it off first.  Sometimes we just need to know the whole story or the whole person and sometimes we just need a sense of humor.

-Abbie, for all that makes you smile, laugh, think, love, cry, or cry laughing.

Why I Will Never Be Freshly Pressed

If you think you can handle me hit the “follow” button and I will explain later the booger test I mentioned, (I tweeted it but I will elaborate on “Booger-Gate” and Lord knows you don’t want to miss that when I do.)

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?