I always try to get the kids down for their nap around 1 or 1:30 and we all lay in my bedroom and watch a movie and fall asleep. We had planned on dinner at 4:30. At 1:30pm, the kids and I were asleep and Jeff was at the gym working out. The doorbell rang. I woke thinking I heard something, but put my head back down. Then there was banging on the door. The doorbell rang again. More banging. I get up and head downstairs in my Pjs. I was showered and had my make up done, but if I’m at home Pjs are so much more comfy and I still had a lot of cooking to do so I didn’t want to put on my clothes I was planning on wearing when company was here. So there I am in my jammies opening the door while the kids are napping. They had been sleeping for only about 20 minutes and you know, it’s Christmas, so it’s already been a busy day - they needed rest! I opened the door and saw my Mother in law and Brother in law standing there trying to peek in. I opened the door and rudely said, “We’re all napping, we weren’t expecting you until sometime after 3 o’clock.” My MIL just said in her way too loud voice, (man, I need to record her voice one day and post it here so you can here the nails on a chalkboard voice she has….just imagine a whiny high pitched and way too loud irritating voice and that’d be her), “Weeelllll, it’s Christmas.” I just said, “Come on in, I need to make sure the kids are still asleep.” She came in and said something really loud and I about hit her. I just looked at her and said in my best irritated Mommy voice (the one I use with the kids) “Please…keep it down, I said they are sleeping!” Then I went upstairs and they were in fact still sleeping. I stayed upstairs for several minutes, changed my pants and fumed. When I came back downstairs, Jeff was just getting home. After giving him the evil eye, I ignored Nancy and James, and Jeff and I just started planning the meal.
About an hour later, Jeff and James and I are in the dining room putting the leaves in the table and Jeff and I are talking about place settings. There I hear Jeff and James run to the front door and open it and in walk my two very young newly declawed kittens. WHAT? I looked and Jeff and said, “Who let the cats outside?” James immediately says, “Not me.” Jeff has always talked about the Not Me character from the cartoon strip Family Circus. He says he and his dad always used to talk about the Not Me in the house growing up and how his mom and brother would always deny doing anything. So Not Me evidently just left the front door wide open after coming in and going back to the car to get the gifts he was bringing in. Jeff pulled me aside later and apologized for the cats. Not that he did it, but he said when he walked in and I was upstairs still, the two of them were sitting in the living room and the front door was wide open. No big deal, right….it’s just fucking December and freezing outside; who cares if your ass is too lazy to close the fucking door after you come inside. So the cats of course got outside. I feel so lucky they came back. I think it’s because it was so cold and there was snow on the ground, they couldn’t have gone far. (Although Christmas day it was in the 40s) After Jeff told me that, I walked up to James and just said, “You left the front door open!!???!!!??” And walked away….I didn’t give him a chance to even stammer. I was so upset. I went upstairs and fought back tears. I kept telling myself the cats were fine and inside, but knowing what could have happened and how I would tell the kids just drove me to tears. We have coyotes walking through our yard every night. It’s still upsetting for me. But anyway….
Here’s an annoying fact about my mother in law. She has no social skills. She doesn’t know how to start a conversation or when it’s appropriate to say something or even when something doesn’t need to be said. She had a little tidbit of information that for whatever reason she wanted to share with us. Out of the blue she says, “You know it’s been so cold lately, a lot of restaurants have had problems with pipes freezing.” Now, to my knowledge, she knows of only one restaurant that had that trouble, but she didn’t know how to pipe in and just say James told me the Denny’s where he works had their pipes freeze on a cold night. She made it sound like she had taken a poll on all the restaurants in the area and determined that A LOT have had this problem. So being the bitchy hateful person I can be with her, I said, “Really, A lot?” And her reply was of course, “Weeeeellllll. Denny’s in Boulder did.” The she and James got into the story about that one place with frozen pipes and I ignored them both and started talking to my mom and Arwen who were sitting next to me.
A while after Joe got there and started eating he took a shot at her and said to me, “Stephanie, I think you’re cooking has really improved,” then he smiled and chuckled and winked at me. You may recall she said that very thing at Thanksgiving in front of our 12 guests as if to say I really sucked as a cook before but I’ve gotten better. I guess maybe she’s noticed how things taste if you actually prepare and cook them rather than open a can and pour. Later Joe told me that she said something to him about why she’s not having sex. WHAT?? Joe just said he tried to get Jeff’s attention and talk about guy stuff with him. He was laughing when he told me, but I could tell he was embarrassed a bit. He said, I guess she’s noticed me around a lot and she knows your mother and I are dating, so she’s probably explaining why she’s not bringing someone to dinners as well. I told him a few stories like Thanksgiving last year when she asked Jeff and I at Thanksgiving dinner if we were going to go have sex after everyone leaves. I also told him about the time she told me in front of a waitress at breakfast one morning that I’ll have to handcuff Jeff to the bed to keep him home. Then I said, I can glance at her and tell you why she’s not having sex; she doesn’t need to come up with a bunch of lines about how she doesn’t want to go down that relationship road anymore.
The other kind of funny and very annoying thing (at the time) that happened was she told Jeff and I she got Arwen the Barbie Castle dollhouse. I told Jeff we’d just keep it even though we had gotten Arwen a big wooden dollhouse made for the Barbie sized dolls. She never asked us for suggestions and I didn’t want to make her feel bad (hey, I am human) So I said we’d just keep it and Arwen can have two dollhouses….or we’d put that one in the playroom….whatever, we’d deal with it, no biggie. I sent my mom upstairs to see the huge dollhouse we got Arwen because it really is cool. It’s taller than Arwen. Zoe can’t even reach the top floor which is really cute. I knew Nancy wouldn’t go up there because she can’t do stairs, so I figured she’ll never see it and therefore never know that Arwen got two dollhouses for Christmas. Anyway, I told my mom to go look at the one we gave her and not to say anything because Nancy got her a different dollhouse, and I didn’t want to hurt her feelings. A few hours later Arwen opens up a Barbie Island Princess vanity. Not a dollhouse…but a vanity. Arwen loves it, so I’m not irritated anymore, but it’s freaking huge! And with the dollhouse, the giraffe and her furniture in her room, I had no idea where we would put a huge vanity. It’s nice and it’s plastic, but it’s like another piece of furniture. My first thought was this is not a dollhouse. My second thought was I thought it was a bit rude to buy something that big and not tell us. It’s like buying drums for a kid and not telling the parents.
When Arwen opened the vanity and Zoe opened her Little people sets, Nancy kept telling everyone how ALL the people in Toys R Us were watching her put these things in her cart and they all had looks on their faces, like ‘how could you afford all of that?’ I thought that was a little pretentious. I mean I know a lot of kids don’t get a vanity or Little People sets for Christmas from a grandparent, but a lot of kids get that and more. So I’m sure not many people in Toys R Us doing their Christmas shopping were looking at her like she was Donald Trump shopping on 5th Avenue. (I don’t remember much about NYC, is 5th in the shopping district?) I mean come on….really, people were looking at you with envy and wondering just how you could afford these three toys….well, four I think they gave Arwen a Barbie too. I haven’t looked up these prices, but I’ve seen vanities before and they are about $70-$80 and I can only imagine there was a sale. Each Little People thing was probably about $30. So let’s say her whole shopping cart was $140. REALLY?? EVERYONE was looking at you as if to ask how can you afford this? It just annoyed me and it was uncalled for…
The last hilarious thing with MIL and BIL was the Wii. I got Jeff a Wii for Christmas. While Jeff and I were cooking, he set it up and they started bowling. Nancy sat in the chair and told James over and over again his mistakes and how to do it. I told Jeff at one point that she sounded just like my four year old. “I know how to do it” when she’s never seen a Wii or the Wii remote before in her entire life. So she kept telling James how to do it and when it was her turn, she practically rolled herself down the lane and right into our TV. She had gutter ball after gutter ball. She threw balls instead of rolling them and every time Jeff tried to tell her how to hold the remote and when to let go of the button, she’d say, “I know how to do it. I have bowled before, you know.” Yep, ‘cause bowling on the Wii is EXACTLY like it is in real life. And I’m pretty sure you haven’t been inside a bowling alley in 20 years anyway! She’s such an idiot!