Thursday, March 3, 2011

A couple minor gripes...

Not much to do with N's really but I just needed to vent a bit.

The first gripe has to do with my SM and dad who will be visiting next month. They live up north and I in the south with several states between us. For me to drive there or they here, it's about a 9 hour drive.

Anyhoo so, according to SM, they are going to be coming down for a visit around the second week of April. They will be staying with friends a couple towns over - about a 45 minute to an hour drive from me. In talking with SM on the phone the other day, she says to me, "Your father and I just really need some rest and relaxation so, we'll probably be spending most of our time with (their friends' names) and only get down to see you for the party that weekend." (We're celebrating ds' birthday early since they can't be here on the actual date.) So, in other words, they are coming ALL this way and driving 9 hours............just to see me for a few hours the day of the party??? How much time am I going to get to spend with them while trying to host a party for my (soon to be) 5 year old? It's even more upsetting because the last time they came down, nearly a year ago, I didn't get to spend any time with my dad because he was busy helping dh replace the shower fixture and they kept having problems with leaking, etc. so as soon as they were finished, he and SM left.

On the one hand, I'm really hurt and pissed. Because they live so far away - and because my anxiety/panic issues keep me from traveling up to see them - I rarely get to see them. I missed about 15 years of having my father in my life growing up, in large part due to NM and NSJ, and now because of distance, I'm lucky to see them once every 3 years or so. And if that trend continues, with my dad being 60, I've got - what? - maybe 8 or 10 visits with him left?

On the other hand, SM can be a pain and highly annoying - then again, so can my dad from time to time - when they are in close proximity to me, such as during visits. It's why dh and I got rid of the spare bed in the guest room and turned it into an art studio - because they were so annoying and overbearing a few times ago when they came to visit and stayed with us. Part of it is that they have N tendencies (though aren't full on NPD I don't think) but it's also just a major difference in personalities. They are the sort of people who have their day planned out ahead of time and like to always be on the go. Dh and I, we are total homebodies and like to just lounge around home and watch a movie or sit and talk or whatever. Totally the opposite of my SM and dad.

Still, it hurts and angers me that they're coming all this way and will be in town for a week, week and a half and I'll likely only see them for the one day, and only a few hours at that.

Moving on to gripe # 2...

When FIL's mother passed away a few years ago, she left a lovely sideboard/hutch piece of furniture to MIL as MIL had always liked it. However, MIL has no place in her home to fit the piece and display it. She offered it to me a short time after inheriting it and I gladly accepted. When MIL found out I planned to refinish it however - as FIL had done a total shit job of refinishing it and wound up seriously messing it up - she forbid me to refinish it and demanded it back if I insisted on doing so. So, we had FIL come pick it back up and it went back into their garage where it continues to sit to this day. It's in the garage behind their home that FIL uses to hold all his crap. This gorgeous antique currently has FIL's paints, stains and tools sitting all over it ruining it.

I asked MIL again a couple years ago if I could please have the piece and refinish it. I promised to take good care of it and give it a place of honor in my home, etc. MIL asked what color I was going to stain it. I told her that I planned to paint it black and distress it. MIL said she didn't want it painted black and that I couldn't have it.

Well, since her comments the last time I asked led me to believe her issue was with the color black and that she might be open to my painting it another, lighter color, I asked her again last night if I could please have the piece, stating that I planned to paint it a lovely, creamy white to match my kitchen cabinets that I just refinished. She stated (rather snarkily in my opinion) that she didn't want it painted and that I could maybe have the item someday when she passed away.

Granted, it's hers and therefore she can do with it as she wishes. Still, it kills me to know there is this gorgeous antique hutch just rotting away in her damned garage just because she doesn't want me to paint it (and make it look nice), especially since she can't use it in HER home. By the time I finally get the thing, IF I ever get it, it's going to be ruined beyond repair and all because of MIL's stupidity.


Note: In re-reading my second gripe, I'm sure I come across as some greedy beyotch. I'm really not that way. I just really appreciate the beauty of a nice antique and I hate to see them ruined or otherwise wasted by thoughtlessness, even if it is the owner's right to do so. :o)


  1. What utter nonsense. Your MIL says she doesn't want her hutch painted, yet she's fine with her own husband storing paints, stains and tools on it?! She obviously doesn't so much care about the hutch, as she does tormenting you by dangling it under your nose. Her behavior seems cruel to me:(

    I never once thought you sounded like a greedy beyotch, DA. You are a caring, decent person. Your MIL, on the other-hand, sounds very petty, selfish and unfeeling toward a narcissist?!

    If I were in your situation, I'd start a serious hunt for a lovely, antique hutch of my very own WITHOUT ANY STRINGS ATTACHED, refinish it to perfection and say NOTHING to MIL about it. Let her eyeballs turn red the next time she visits and spies your prize possession:) You could say, Oh, *that*. It's just a little thing I picked up a while back:)...then cheerfully change the subject.

    Personally, I would want nothing to do with her hutch after the way she's mistreated you. I thought she gave it to you!! Once you give someone something, they have the right to do with it as they please.

    IMHO, *If* you do receive it at some point, you'll feel icky every time you walk by it or use it, don't you think? Can any amount of refinishing erase the abuse she heaped on you before you got it? If part of why you want this hutch is sentimental value (ie. did you or DH feel close to your FIL's mother? or some other feeling...), I suggest you place a lovely framed picture of that person on the hutch you find at an estate sale, garage sale, antique store...

    If you were my DIL in this "hutch decision", I would have given in to you, no strings attached, and felt you deserved to refinish it however you like (or I wouldn't have parted with it in the first place!).

    This ridiculous tension your MIL has aided and abetted over A PIECE OF FURNITURE (don't get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoy antique furniture that's lovingly cared for), leads me to wonder what other unkind things she's done to you and DH over the years. Nosy of me to bring up...feel free to ignore this comment. I'll follow wherever you lead with this stuff:)


    @ Jasmine - There are other posts on here about MIL and her antics, I'm sure. In the beginning of my married life with dh, my relationship with my MIL could be summed up as "pure hell". I felt MIL was WAAAAAYYYYYYYYY too attached to dh. For example, once (when dh and I were still dating but engaged) MIL and I went to pick up dh at the airport while he was home on break from college. As they announced the arrival of his plane, she looked at me and said, "I get to hug him first okay, because I'M his MOTHER." I felt gutpunched after the comment but it was quickly made up for when dh ran past his mother to ME and scooped me up into his arms and kissed me, telling me how much he'd missed me!

    When we got pregnant with ds, it got even worse. Both my MIL and FIL called multiple times a day - sometimes as many as 10 times a day, I'd swear - to see how "THEIR" baby was doing. It got so that I stopped answering the phone and let either dh or the machine pick it up. Then, when I was in labor, they kept calling the delivery room to check up on my progress. I finally yelled at dh to hang up the f**king phone as I needed him more than them at the moment!

    It took me about two to three years after ds was born before MIL and I finally started getting along better. Now, for the most part, we get along pretty well but there are moments where we have problems. Like when she told me she'd pay for half of ds' school pictures only to balk and back out on her promise when she found out the total was just over $80. Or like this thing with the stupid hutch.

    The more I think about it, the more I think you're right and I don't want the stupid thing. Even if MIL did give it to me now and said I could refinish it, I'm sure she'd give me that stupid wrinkled nose look of disapproval every time she came over and saw it.

    Personally, I think she's very jealous of me and my life. MIL is extremely subservient to her dh and sons (though much less now with dh after I've had my effect on him, LOL). Actually, she's pretty much a doormat to everyone which is why I think she treats me the way she does sometimes. It's her way of taking back a bit of her power that she's constantly giving away. Not that that means it's okay for her to treat me the way she does however.

    But dh and I have a wonderful, loving relationship that is very give and take both ways. We do things for each other and we have wonderful communication, unlike MIL and FIL. (And for the record, I'm not trying to make FIL out to be some bad guy. He's actually a pretty decent guy, just raised in the South and brought up to think the woman serves her man and all that.)

    My house is also nicely decorated - if I may toot my own horn for just a sec! - and MIL has said many times how she wishes her house could look more like mine. I've actually tried to help her out in that regard in the past. Once I spent hours and days helping her pick stuff. When we'd finally finished, she went to order and promptly disregarded everything I'd spent all that time putting together! As it turned out, the result looked like crap and even MIL hated it. Serves her right for abusing my time I feel. Like I don't have better stuff to do with my time.


    @ Jasmine - Overall, I wouldn't say MIL is a narcissist but she certain can exhibit some narcissistic tendencies here and there. She portrays herself as this saintly, martyred supermom who apparently did it all and then some for her dh and two sons (though unlike most NM's I could mention, dh actually confirms what his mom says), who is a perfect Christian Baptist (she goes to church no less than 3 times a week, TWICE on Sundays) and just an all around perfectly behaved southern belle. The truth however is that MIL is a rather vicious gossip who can be quite the bitch on occasion. I've learned to mostly ignore her and step away for a few days as needed to give myself some space when I'm especially pissed with her.

    Even with all her flaws though, MIL is a whole ton better woman and mother than my NM, which is kind of sad given all that I've just written about her.

    And, for the record, I totally agree with you about the hutch. I even said to dh that you don't give something to someone and then demand how they can use it. You give it freely for them to do with as they please, which is why I told them to come pick it back up, that I didn't want it as was.

    I actually found an antique hutch and sideboard by the curb a couple months ago. It's in REALLY bad shape though and needs a TON of work which is why it's still sitting on my front porch. (I don't have a garage, sadly.) It's solid oak and I imagine it would be beautiful if redone. (It'd put MIL's cheaper maple piece of crap to shame, I can tell you.) I just don't know if I have the physical capabilities to re-do a piece of that magnitude given my bad back and limited space in which to work.

    If I do refinish it though, I'll be sure to post a pic! ;o)

  4. Just wondering if someone who lives nearby would be willing and able to help you refinish the hutch you found by the curb(LOVE LOVE LOVE that it practically leaped into your arms, hee, hee, hee).

    Maybe a friendly, capable neighbor or a handy H.S. or college student taking advanced wood working classes??? Could you barter with someone who'd actually appreciate your interior decorating abilities (unlike MIL)?

    Whoever you pick might also be able to transport your hutch to and from your home to their own garage or shop where you could meet to work on it (perhaps with DH and DS nearby playing in the yard, or such, so you feel safe).

    Hope this helps. YES, I'd love to see a picture of your hutch. How about before and after shots?

    Quick aside about your MIL. I'm glad you've figured out how to *work* with her and are watching out for your sanity (as in staying away for a few days after she *really* blows it).

    Her over the top martyr shtick, BTW, is a classic N way of life, for sure, as you probably know:) I bet you'll never go around telling everyone how much you sacrificed as a mother! Personally, I'm sick to my stomach everytime an NM says that phrase. My son's 25...I keep wishing I could have done *even more* for him than I did. HELLO!!!

    Oh, and last but not least, thanks for your comments on my comments. It feels so good to help a nice person like yourself:)