Saturday, January 05, 2008

Adding both texture and detail

Regular readers who correspond with me on a semi-regular basis have often inquired as to the way in which I refer to my family. To sum up for new arrivals, I love my wife and kids, I like my parents and niece and my sister's husband and my cousins D & N, I'm more-or-less OK on my sister and the rest of them fall far afield of my capacity for charitable explanation.

Anyway, everyone who comments on the matter asks why my inlaws escape my less-than-charitable explanation. The short answer is because they are not "my" side of the family and for the most part I can ignore them at will. You'll be pleased to note I exercise that will pretty frequently. However, sometimes their oft-ignored imbecilities spill over into MY field of vision when they do/say something that gets TFBIM's mood dark. Those who have observed her with great interest have commented -- quite correctly -- that it is impossible to mistake a spring morning with TFBIM when the latter is waxing wroth.

The people on whom wroth can count to make sure it gets a quality waxing from TFBIM are my MiL & FiL. They are not, I firmly maintain, evil. They are, however, a pair of sentient beings who have lifted the craft of aggravating and vexing to a martial art. MiL is someone who flows from reality to Planet MiL as if the laws of physics were subject to her will. Which is not too bad, until she starts her ceaseless stream of suggestions, many of which have the barest basis in this dimension. Sure, she broke open the concept of Particle String Theory when she suggested that she had been using these to replace shoelaces, but most of the time she says things that make us wonder what color the sky would be on her home planet.

FiL is a different animal altogether. His particular expertise is seeking out and (surprise!) finding the mortal danger in everything from (no joke) lettuce in sandwiches to playground swings. This gets very old, very fast. Which would be tolerable, except that in sharp contrast to MiL, he is far more assertive about his perplexing views. Anyway, today TFBIM and a whole crew of her pals took the kids to the circus and, this being the Fringe O' Paradise, they went by boat (skippered by someone's husband). They docked the boat for half the price of parking, walked a couple of blocks went to the circus, walked back and returned via boat. This was a treat for NTS, whose birthday is tomorrow.

My FiL was adamant (adamant, I tell you!) this was an unconscionable risk to take with small children and proceeded to expound this view at length and with considerable vigor. Which, as you may well imagine, might possibly grow tiresome to his audience after the third or fourth hour. In an uncharacteristic outburst, TFBIM explained to him exactly why he was both deep in error and out of line and, er, heated words were exchanged. FiL then proceeded to join those absent from NTS's birthday (observed) festivities, which, er, became a topic for hushed conversation. Furthermore, this put TFBIM in A Bad Mood. Which, as stated in the introduction to this paper, affects me. Y'see, when TFBIM gets in a bad mood, I become Chief Numbah One Speah Catcher until the ardor of the (protracted) moment passes.

So here I am, walking on eggshells. At very best, I won't get yelled at and I'll have to bend a sympathetic husbandly ear to her inevitable rant on the matter.

I probably did something to deserve it, so I'll shut up now.

-J.

Posted by Joke at 7:26 PM

11 Comments

  • Blogger Stomper Girl posted at 8:51 PM, January 05, 2008  
    That's it. That IS your job and it is good that you know it and perform it well.

    And even while she's taking out her feelings on you, you know that she really, really appreciates the fact that you're letting her do so. IME.
  • Blogger bluemountainsmary posted at 9:07 PM, January 05, 2008  
    Texture excellent. Detail even better.

    Broken any eggs yet?
  • Blogger daysgoby posted at 10:52 PM, January 05, 2008  
    You keep on keepin on.

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY NTS!
  • OpenID olivespearls posted at 1:44 AM, January 06, 2008  
    Ah; I shall be dispatchinmg LB shortly for his Husband 101training session at your house. I'm hoping your first lesson will involve when (and when NOT to) try to "fix" a situation.

    Jen
  • OpenID olivespearls posted at 1:55 AM, January 06, 2008  
    Ooops:
    http://olivespearls.typepad.com/knittersknitters/

    Jen
  • Blogger shula posted at 8:19 AM, January 06, 2008  
    (giggling stupidly)...

    I'll lay money she's handy with those spears, too.
  • Blogger Joke posted at 10:47 AM, January 06, 2008  
    Shula,

    You are a woman of uncommon wisdom. As it is, I was given a last-minute reprieve by my BiL, who had just returned from vacationing away in the mountains somewhere. So HE got the double-barrelled earful of "D'you know what Dad did this time..?"

    I still have to not say anything and otherwise look compliant and placid and the picosecond some errand need be carried out, I shall volunteer and, taking both lads in tow, shall sprint for the tall grass as if my hair was aflame.

    Oy.

    -J.
  • Blogger Tere posted at 1:16 PM, January 06, 2008  
    Your FiL sounds a lot like my mother.

    Which explains the high level of anxiety with which I've lived my whole life.

    People like that are exhausting, to put it tactfully.
  • Blogger Joke posted at 1:20 PM, January 06, 2008  
    Funny you should say that, becau8se I have often suspected my FiL to suffer form particularly severe menstrual cycles.

    -J.
  • Blogger Sarah O. posted at 1:45 PM, January 06, 2008  
    They are, however, a pair of sentient beings who have lifted the craft of aggravating and vexing to a martial art.

    One little sentence that says so much.
  • Blogger meggie posted at 5:02 AM, January 10, 2008  
    Sheesh! So difficult on so many levels.

    Happy Belated Birthday, NTS!!
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