Getting crafty in my old age…

And so once again that time of year is upon me, the time of year when the MIL (mother in law) and TT (her husband, henceforth referred to as 'The Twat', TT for short) pay us the obligatory annual visit. How that 12 month period flashes by. Since I knew it was inevitable that they would come, I suggested they visit while my parents are in India on holiday, that way they can use my parent's house to stay in so they can 'have their own space'. Mr Vicola said that they were very touched by our suggestion that they come, mainly because 'they weren't aware of your ulterior motive not to have them in the house'. If that was meant to make me feel bad, it was an epic fail sir, because I feel no guilt about the safeguarding of my own sanity. TT's snoring is enough to wake the dead and more than enough to ensure that I get no more than 20 minutes of shut eye a night. It's like chinese water torture with noise instead of liquid, you lie there waiting for the next ear-shattering snort to rip through the partition wall, there isn't even a rhythm to it, it's irregular. The dog lies in the hallway whimpering gently to himself, before eventually the pair of us, me and dog, retreat downstairs to check out what it is that people watch on telly at 4am. Ideal when you have to be up at 6.30am for work and not really conducive to keeping your temper in check and not responding to TT's rudeness or MIL's drama. Neither is TT's insistence on having the TV turned on full volume, because "how am I meant to be able to hear it at low volume". No idea, but clearly the man next door can because you hear that banging noise that's vaguely audible over the deafening shriek of Sky News at volume 99? That's him banging on the wall to tell us to turn it the hell down. We don't all live in a farmhouse in the middle of a field mate, some of us have to consider the neighbours.

Anyway, I digress. They agreed to come and stay for a few nights in my parents house, which I was fine with. You know, not looking forward to but at least accepting of. Until last Mr Vicola chooses to furnish me with the finer details of the visit. Which are:
1) They are arriving on Monday 5th, one of the sacred bank holidays which I so look forward to because I get a lie in and can watch crappy films all day while doing chuff all. And they aren't so much staying 'a couple of nights' as '5 or 6 nights'. 5 or 6. Count them. Many nights. Almost a week in fact. So that's almost a week where self-employed Mr Vicola can't work because he's expected to escort them around the city. Almost a week of having to go over and wait for TT to serve up dinner, pissed, at 10pm, ensuring that indigestion will set in at about 2am. Almost a week. Even the thought is making me twitchy.
2) Despite the fact that they have stayed in my parent's house before, the MIL has announced that she feels uncomfortable staying in someone else's house so Mr Vicola (note Mr Vicola, not 'the two of you') is going to have to stay there too. Leaving me on my own in our house. Well apart from dog, of course. Let me make this clear – she is not uncomfortable in someone else's house, she doesn't have enough regard for the opinions of anyone else to be uncomfortable. If she were that uncomfortable she'd have either insisted she stay in our house or put her hand in her pocket and paid for a hotel. No, this is something entirely different. This is another one of her mind games, stemming from the massive row we had in the car last summer and the reasoning goes like this: If she insists he stays with her, not me he will agree to do it, as he has been trained to do from childhood. I will then kick off with him, insisting that he stays with me because of course I cannot possibly function without a man in the house. He will then still stay with her, despite my objections because he's been trained that the only way to survive is with her approval, which is with-held if you don't do as she wants. Hence she has won and proved her superiority over me because he has chosen her approval, rather than mine. She has proved that she can still control him and that she's still the main woman in his life. See?

So instead of going with my default position of 'go ballistic about her fucking ridiculous games and get into another row about her behaviour', I decided to think laterally. And came up with an interesting idea: agree with it, in fact positively encourage him to go and stay with them.

This has two main benefits:
1) He has not chosen her over me because he's doing what I've told him to do. So all she has proven is that I am a most considerate and understanding woman.
2) My house is only going to have me and dog in it, and as such will be a little haven of tranquility and sanity that I can escape to any time I like. Bliss. I can watch telly in the bath, ring people and bitch about what's going on and sleep soundly with no snoring to disturb me.

So I believe that that would be 1 – 0 to me. I'm getting crafty in my old age.

Which of course does not mean that I don't hope they both come down with something and have to cancel the visit….

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11 Responses

  1. There is definitely something to be said for staying single …

  2. I have only one piece of sage advice that I pass on to younger folks – only ever marry a man who either doesn't speak to his mother or doesn't have one. It will save you a whole lifetime of grief.

  3. It was great when my mother-in-law lived 800 miles away and we only saw her about every 4 or 5 years or so.It was even better when the bitch died. (Oops, did I really just type that?)Anyway, I agree with your reasoning. Staying alone (with dog) doesn't sound that bad.

  4. Aaaaargh. Just reading that made my blood pressure rise. But congrats on figuring out something that works for you. Invest in some fancy bath stuff and some good books.

  5. Best possible outcome, I say 🙂

  6. Unless you've been there, I don't think that anyone will fully appreciate the horror that is the MIL. I've no idea why they've been the butt of male comedian jokes for so long – they're about a gazillion times worse for women. Without wishing to sound smug, my H is pretty good at telling his mum to eff-off when she oversteps the mark which she still does because she's selfish, passive aggressive and 'my English isn't so good' (trans. 'I hear you, but I'm going to do my thing anyway'). Your advice above is sage and good.

  7. Nothing wrong with what you typed.Let's be honest, all of us with a nightmare MIL have thought along similar lines….

  8. What a wonderful (and wise 🙂 solution Vicola. It would suit me perfectly except that I have no in-laws to try it out on.

  9. I'm also considering having to go to one of our more distanced sites for a couple of days to 'deal with an emergency'….

  10. Mine is also selfish passive/aggressive, interspersed with bouts of tantrum. They drive you daft and Mr V is lousy at telling her to shut it. When I had the row with her last year, he actually wanted me to apologise to calm her down, even though it was entirely her fault and I was in the right. No chance sunshine, I'll apologise if I'm wrong but not if I'm right. At least we both know we're not alone, there are others out there with the MIL problem. The really fun thing is that her alcoholic husband is even more fun than she is. Sigh….expect some furious blogging during their visit.

  11. You lucky, lucky bugger.

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