Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Return of The Red Menace

This was the first weekend in which my wife and I agreed to avoid the toxic dump of my family, opting instead, for the beach club and our friends.  I was looking forward to the weekend.  The weather report was calling for high 80's, tons of sun and great beach weather.  What the weathermen didn't know was that there was a storm brewing.  A storm disguised as your worst clown nightmare whilst tripping on bad acid.
That's right, my mother in law returned form the fiery depths of hell Florida to wreak havoc on my family.

My mother in law spends her winters in Florida and, thankfully, each year, the time in Florida increases as the time spent up north dwindles down. This year she didn't fly north for the holidays but she did migrate upward for mother's day. All told, it was a most wonderful winter, thanks in part to her absence.  So, when she returned on Friday for her summer long sojourn up north, I expected the worst. I got it. She was in town for less than 24 hours when she managed to destroy my entire holiday weekend.

We hit the beach on Saturday, arriving earlier than usual for us.  The sun was up, the sky crystal clear and there was just enough breeze to make the high temperatures bearable.  My kids, and their friends, ran around, doing their thing, allowing the parents to enjoy the beach without the usual "swim with me, take me for ice cream, I need to poop" etc.

Late in the afternoon, the demon made her first appearance and, oddly enough, it was, for the most part, benign.  She arrived, said hello, hung out with the kids and her daughter, and went back to her lair.  Saturday seemed to be a win.

We went out to dinner with friends and, during the course of the meal, my wife dropped the bombshell on me.  After the day at the beach on Sunday, we were picking up Beelzebub and bringing her with us to New Jersey, for dinner at my sister in law's country club. 

On the ride back to the city, my wife called her monster mother to make all the arrangements and Satan informed us that we would not be spending the day at our beach club.  No, instead, Satan would drive into the city and I was to meet her at our garage so that I could convince the attendants in the garage to allow her to park the Satanmobile for free, in my spot.  Once I did her bidding, we would all hop into my car and I would drive us all out to Jersey for a day at their pool, ending with the big Memorial Day Weekend BBQ.

Fine, whatever.

Weekend is already on the verge of ruined.

Sunday comes, my wife is a fucking disaster.  She gets all kinds of psychotic when she knows she's spending time with her mother.  It's always fun and now, with the kids getting older and more attuned to these things, I got to hear my daughter tell my wife that she doesn't need to yell at everyone just because grandma is coming over.

I get the call to go meet Satan and I grab my daughter (buffer) and head to the garage.  I go in and tell the attendants on duty that they are to pretend that the parking is for free and they are to charge me, privately, quietly, when the devil is gone, for the cost of putting a car in the garage.  They say fine and off we go.

I live around the corner from the garage so it's truly amazing that Satan managed to create so much hell in so short a time but she did.  She brought up the apartment my wife and I are considering and then she started pushing for a home in the suburbs.  Knowing that the primary reason she wants us in the burbs is because, in her twisted, fucked up, uneducated mind, the burbs trump the city and that, as dumb as she is, she knows that an apartment in NYC means there will, most likely, be no guest room for her forked tailed self, I was left with very little to counter her argument so I did the only thing that I could.  I repeated things my wife, and I, both agreed on.  Things that my wife originally used as a means of convincing me that the city was preferable to the burbs.

I told the beast from below that there's far more culture in the city than the burbs, the commute would suck, that I don't really think I'll be happy with the parents in the burb (not my types) and, lastly, that kids that grow up in the city seem to be a bit wiser, more sophisticated, more worldly and less soft than their suburban counterparts.

She countered with "what about my daughter?"

I explained that both her daughter, and myself, were from the burbs and that, in my eyes, we are aberrations.  I explained everyone I know that grew up in the burbs seemed out of place in the city.  I explained that my kids' friends in the city were so much more mature, so much sharper, so much more aware, than their suburban counterparts.

Satan asked about her other daughter, and her kids.  I told her that her other daughter was also an aberration (outright lie) and that, as great as the kids were, they were not like city kids.  I explained that my two children are years younger than them both and, yet, they seem at least as mature, if not more so, than their older cousins.

Tendrils of smoke seemed to curl outward from her nostrils.

Then she said it was cheaper.  I explained that, in reality, it wasn't.  I explained that, while the city has private school issues to be dealt with, which would result in a higher cost, if you removed that from the equation, which is possible because it's not something that will need to be addressed for several years, the reality is, the two places wind up being very similar in cost.

She said I was nuts.

I said that living in the burbs means two cars, homeowners insurance is far more expensive, there's landscaping, there's commuting to and from the city and so on.

She then said that I was crazy and she asked what I thought the apartment we were interested in was going to cost me.  I told her and I said that, with a loan at 5.5% (conservatively high since I get a favorable rate via contacts that I've been sending business to for years), the monthly cost would be very good.

She told me loans were in the 3-3.5% range now and that I didn't know what I was talking about.

I explained that a fixed mortgage was not that low and that I didn't want to bother with an adjustable as rates are going to come up in the near future and I didn't want to be one of those people who stare at a payment that has doubled, wondering how the hell that happened so quickly.

She told me I didn't have a clue.  I told her that, if she wanted to pay for the home, she could have a say in what we do, otherwise, she should stay out of it.

Sunday was off to a great start.

Some time during the dinner, after listening to this woman talk too loudly (I think her hearing's going), listening to her make ignorant comment after ignorant comment, I was informed that she was sleeping over.

How the fuck was I going to get any sleep know she'd be hanging from her browned talons, somewhere in the living room or kids' room?

Ever the good husband (translation - schmuck), said it was fine.

On the ride back, I listened as my mother in law continued her nonstop barrage of chatter about all things meaningless.  She tells stories about people nobody knows, she knocks everyone and everything, if she doesn't have them.  At one point, she was telling my wife how ridiculous it is that Paulette (whoever the fuck she is) has a cleaning lady come 5 days a week to clean up.  My wife asked her mother why it mattered and she said it was a waste of money.  My wife pointed out that it was not her money being wasted so she shouldn't care.

I sat there, quiet as could be, waiting for the best possible time to say something.

And then it came. 

She said it was pointless to have a woman clean a house that only had two people living in it, except on weekends and holidays when the kids come to visit.

I said "you mean like my parents do?"  Is it a waste of your money that my parents have the means to have live in help to alleviate the work from my mother so she can spend more time doing things she likes?  Is it silly and wasteful that she would rather be with her friends and, since she can afford a cleaning woman, she has one?  Perhaps your judgement is clouded by petty envy and jealousy."

Bad move on my part.

Not another word was spoken on the way home.


Monday morning she was gone before I came out of the shower and she never came to the club.  She was, however, expecting us to meet her for dinner at which point I would have to pay for her dinner, at a restaurant I don't like, all to make her happy. 

So, when friends of ours suggested we eat with them, I agreed, told my wife we'd spent enough time with her mother for the weekend and the kids should be allowed to be with their friends.

She agreed and dinner was great.

Of course, we had to make a pit stop at Hell's Northern Post so that my daughter could give Satan the things she left in our apartment.  Of course Satan was furious that we did this at 9:30 at night.  We should have dropped everything, put our entire lives on hold, and catered to her every need.

fuck that.

My wife runs the bag of shit up to her mother's apartment and returns to the car with two newspaper clippings in her hand.  She says "my mother gave me this one and this one, an ad for a 3% home equity loan, is for you.  Look it's TD bank"

I turn to my wife and say "your mother is an ass without a hole and this is proof positive that she's a fucking idiot."

My wife stares at me like I'm crazy and says "she was right about the rates."

I then said to my wife "I never said she was wrong about home equity or other adjustable rate loans.  I said I wanted a fixed rate mortgage as the rates would go up and, to further explain the lack of desire for a home equity loan of this size, only the interest on the first $100,000 is deductible and we're taking a loan out for more than that so it's not only stupid, it's useless too, like your mother."

Bad move, Floogin.

Later that night, when the kids were in bed, my wife said "she means well."

I explained that it was only Saturday morning that I was explaining that your mother is ok, once you understand her.  I take it all back.  She doesn't mean well.  She cares only about appearances, she is very uneducated in the way things work beyond the world she knows and, as such, she needs to stop acting like an authority on everything as it only makes her seem more ignorant."

I then told my wife I didn't want to be subjected to her mother for a couple of weeks so, if she was going to be stopping by the club, I wanted ample notice so I could avoid any confrontation.  I explained that it was in everyone's best interest.

She agreed.

I'm sure the crazy old lady will show up, unannounced next weekend.


Julie Lamar said...

Ah, I knew Satan was on the move; when her wings start a-flapping, wind whips through sin city like a fucking cyclone.

Floogin McNoogin said...

when she moves, bad things happen. I'd post a picture of her but I don't think the camera could hold the image. just picture a redhead with a mushroom cap hairdo and more makeup than a 4 year old pageant contest. Blue eyeshadow is, as always, the part that scares me. My kids say it's the brown lipstick.