Difficult relatives

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  • My mother in law buys my sister in law and I a top every year. She buys the same size, she is very small and I am , how shall we say it, a lot larger. MIL picks a size in the middle that fits neither of us. After 20 years I laugh it off, but it was not easy in the beginning.
  • My mother in law buys my sister in law and I a top every year. She buys the same size, she is very small and I am , how shall we say it, a lot larger. MIL picks a size in the middle that fits neither of us. After 20 years I laugh it off, but it was not easy in the beginning.

    Sorry EB, I had to laugh at that one.

    My late MiL used to buy her daughters (3), step-daughters (3) and DiL (1) the same present every year. Usually clothing and rarely in the correct size for the recipient it was, said the other half, completely democratic in that it was guaranteed to be in a style that suited none of them and invariably each got the colour which did the least for them :grimace:
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    The Organist - that takes a particular skill - or bloody mindedness.
  • Difficult Relatives have come to stay (mercifully, these days we make them stay at the hotel and not in our house because having them around 24/7 is likely to result in homicide).

    So far in less than two days: they have complained about the hotel we booked for them. I mean, of course they complained about the hotel, because the room is too small (yes, that’s what hotel rooms in Paris are like if you don’t want to pay €250 a night) and there’s nowhere to unpack your undies so they have to stay in the suitcase. Never mind that they would have to had to live out of the suitcase if they’d been staying in the apartment as well.

    For New Year’s celebratory catering, husband en rouge spends hours preparing a very delicious venison casserole. They eat two spoonfuls of it and declare that their digestion can’t handle a lot of rich food. This is not true. I have seen the meals they eat at home and they are both solid trencherpeople (this is the house where a bottomless-stomached teenager was once heard to ask “when do we stop eating?”).

    Last night husband en rouge makes soup (because of the earlier whingeing about rich food) and accidentally puts in too much pepper. Knowing that Difficult Relative dislikes peppery food, he asks her to taste it and tell him if it’s ok for her. She tastes it and says she doesn’t mind. We sit down at the table and then she makes a massive scene about how it’s too peppery and it stings her throat and she needs a glass of water and she can’t eat it. And husband en rouge goes off to the kitchen to get her something else which she makes a great fuss about accepting. Personally I would have left her to go hungry but he’s a more patient person than me.

    I think what really winds me up about this is the family dynamics that have never confronted the bad behaviour in fifty years because appeasement is supposedly easier. Unfortunately I think the horse has rather bolted on that front and it’s not going to get any better with old age.

    I have never been more pleased to go back to work.
  • Doc TorDoc Tor Hell Host
    Appeasement is always easier. Kick the can down the road long enough, and either they die, or you do.
  • TheOrganistTheOrganist Shipmate
    edited January 2
    Lord, LVeR, you have my sympathy.

    I'd say the only approach with people like this is to carry on with food, activities, etc, that you would if they weren't around: since they're going to moan anyway, you might as well do something you enjoy and just concentrate on filtering out the sniping.

    (Love the bit about the underwear-in-suitcase problem and the size of hotel room: one of my DRs once picked a row because the room in which they were sleeping was the wrong shape... :grey_question: )
  • You guys make me all so effing grateful....
  • The Organist - invariably each got the colour which did the least for them. My mother used to buy me clothes in colours I disliked on the basis that my wardrobe was full of clothes in colours I liked and which I thought suited me. By buying clothes in colours which I disliked and thought unflattering, she said that was giving me a chance to ring the changes.
  • LydaLyda Shipmate
    Lord, LVeR, you have my sympathy.

    I'd say the only approach with people like this is to carry on with food, activities, etc, that you would if they weren't around: since they're going to moan anyway, you might as well do something you enjoy and just concentrate on filtering out the sniping.

    (Love the bit about the underwear-in-suitcase problem and the size of hotel room: one of my DRs once picked a row because the room in which they were sleeping was the wrong shape... :grey_question: )

    Feng shui? :smirk:
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    My late MiL used to buy her daughters (3), step-daughters (3) and DiL (1) the same present every year. Usually clothing and rarely in the correct size for the recipient it was, said the other half, completely democratic in that it was guaranteed to be in a style that suited none of them and invariably each got the colour which did the least for them :grimace:

    But she did treat them equally, no preference for her natural daughters.
  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate
    edited January 5
    Re Paris hotel room and feng shui ;) :

    These may be of help.

    "Travel and Hotel Room Feng Shui" (Red Lotus Letter).
    Lots of tips--even instructions for making a kit. LVeR: if you have to deal with these folks and a similar situation again, might be worth it to make a small kit for them and include a copy of the page. Might shut them up--for a bit, at least.

    FWIW, YMMV.

  • Lyda wrote: »
    Lord, LVeR, you have my sympathy.

    I'd say the only approach with people like this is to carry on with food, activities, etc, that you would if they weren't around: since they're going to moan anyway, you might as well do something you enjoy and just concentrate on filtering out the sniping.

    (Love the bit about the underwear-in-suitcase problem and the size of hotel room: one of my DRs once picked a row because the room in which they were sleeping was the wrong shape... :grey_question: )

    Feng shui? :smirk:

    No. Sheer Bloodymindedness and a desire to be as unpleasant as possible.
  • Gee D wrote: »
    My late MiL used to buy her daughters (3), step-daughters (3) and DiL (1) the same present every year. Usually clothing and rarely in the correct size for the recipient it was, said the other half, completely democratic in that it was guaranteed to be in a style that suited none of them and invariably each got the colour which did the least for them :grimace:

    But she did treat them equally, no preference for her natural daughters.

    Yeeees - but then she loathed one of them, cordially disliked a second and just about tolerated the third... She actually rather liked her DiL...
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