Thursday, September 01, 2005

Can You Say, Alcohol?

Yep. I've decided that is going to be my watchword for the weekend. Alcohol. Lots and lots of alcohol. Why? You ask innocently. Oh, you wicked person... for you know why. Yes. Yes, it's true. MIL is going with us this weekend.

How did this happen? - Wipe that smirk off your face. I mean it. Wipe it off now or I will hunt you down and club you. I will chalk it up to "What Ya Gonna Do?". (Hereafter to be referred to as WYGD). This is a famous character in our family life. Right up there with "Not Me", it ranks when it comes to things that are completely out of our control.

It's like this. FIL was a farmer and Hubby and he farmed together pretty much Hubby's whole life (except when he was drafted into the service). FIL passed away about 10 years ago and ever since Hubby has run the operation basically on his own until the past year when our youngest son decided he'd like to help. The farm shop is located at MIL's house - a huge house in the country. This means Hubby sees his mother every single day. (He's a farmer, except for Sunday, he's working every day - and in the busy seasons on Sundays too). Before we built our house, we asked her if she would be interested in selling hers to us and moving into town to something smaller, but she declined. That was fine, as I'm sure I wouldn't want to give up my dream house even if it is too big for one person - it is my home and I would want to stay there. I have no problem whatsoever with that. We thought she might enjoy being in town where she could have neighbors and be closer to things, but no.

The problem comes in that she sits in the house and basically has no life. She has aquantinces - no close friends. (I can be accused of the same thing, but I have a couple of good friends and I've got "only child syndrome" so can entertain myself just fine, thank you). She golfs, maybe, once a week, but really has no hobbies. She knows how to do various crafts and things, but doesn't choose to do them. She reads romance novels. She occasionally travels. That's it. So when anyone drives in to go to the shop, she shoots out of the house like a horse out of the starting blocks. I mean, literally shoots out. Well, WYGD?

When FIL first passed and we took over the farm operation, I had my farm 'office' there at the shop. I finally had to move it out to our house because every time I went to pay bills or take care of farm business, she was there. Right there, looking over my shoulder. Now, I don't know about you, but I'm not thrilled about ANYONE seeing me paying bills. It drives me nuts! This is MY business, not yours, and I certainly wasn't looking over YOUR shoulder when you paid bills. So, I just gave up and moved out, quietly.

At any rate, Hubby still has a small office there, mainly just for his computer to check grain markets and stuff like that. She does the same thing to him - shoots out of the house and sits there randomly chattering while he's trying to work. It doesn't matter if he's on the computer, or if he's out in the shop, she wants to talk. About Everything. She chatters like a magpie about people he doesn't know, doesn't care to know, and could care less about. He said once she uses more words to say less than anyone he's ever met. That's pretty accurate. But, hey... WYGD?

I understand she's lonely. I do. Honest.

I understand she sits in that big house all alone all day and it drives her crazy.

Hubby's sister who lives out east, and his brother who lives thirty miles away, don't understand why we, who live only five miles away don't enjoy having her around all the time. I mean, I don't mind having her if it's in a structured setting - you know, dinner and planned visiting time - when you aren't trying to do something else at the same time, say, figure out how to market your grain or what seed you are going to use or how to pay $8,000 worth of bills with $5,000... you get the drift. They lay the guilt trip on us. They don't have her looking over their shoulder every single day of the year to see what it is we've spent money on now, or how the crops are doing, or what swear words have we taught our children this week?

His sister sees her at most, three times a year when MIL goes out there or SIL comes here to visit. That's usually about a week at a time. A week when you have to be nice and listen and shop and eat out and do things together. Yeah, that could be arranged. SIL let it slip, though, the last time she was here that MIL isn't all that easy to get along with when they've traveled together. She gets really upset if things don't go just her way. Oh, really...? Hubby and I both grinned.

BIL and his wife kiss up play the role bow to the queen brownnose oh, shit, I can't even say it nicely... Every Sunday they have MIL over for dinner. They invite her to The Boys' ballgames and other events. They go over and pick up sticks in her yard. They let her dog-sit. I eat that stuff up. Me? Anti-social, remember?

But, WYGD? Rock. Hard place. Us - between. Remember...alcohol.