MIL talkathon - AIBU?

(51 Posts)
Dontloookbackinanger Fri 28-Aug-15 21:44:11

MIL talks A LOT. She's a former gym teacher and has a very loud strident voice. She is an authority on every topic.

Any conversation is immediately hijacked and turned into a monologue about her past or she will deliver a lecture on a random topic. Recent examples:

1) dinner with MIL & my cousin. MIL regaled us with her early recollections of her grandmother's house down to positioning of coal hole and antimacassars. This went on for well over an hour with her talking over any attempt to interrupt.

2) Tonight she called as I was getting DS to bed. I said I'd call back. She replied that "It's like the Two Ronnies sketch" then launched in to a detailed lecture on who wrote the Two Ronnies, followed by a story of how she knew one of their relations and the meal they'd had in the relation's pub. WTF - I've never even seen the Two Ronnies. After half an hour I went out and rang my own doorbell to have an excuse to get back to DS.

3) Yesterday she asked how DS was. I said he'd had an accident with his toy lawn mower. Quick as a flash she interrupted to tell me (again - she'd already told me twice) all about DH's 1970s toy lawn mower in graphic detail, and then launched into a description of how to do perfect topiary. This went on for 45 minutes.

She's always been like this but since DS was born I spend much more time alone with her. FIL/DH just tell her to shut up which I am too scared can't do.

AIBU to have dreams that involve gagging her or putting her in a sound proof box? What would you do?

Lilaclily Fri 28-Aug-15 21:46:08

Do you have my MIL ?!
I just pass the phone to dh
Plus we have caller ID so I gnore the phone

Ha ha! Your MIL sounds just like my mum used to be. My SIL once asked mum if she took a breath in the morning which lasted all day (as she never stopped talking long enough to take a breath) - my DH then interrupted with no, she just breathed through her arse. My DM was not impressed grin. Its bloody irritating though isn't it, specially when they're an expert on everything.

Icimoi Fri 28-Aug-15 21:50:10

You need to make a recording of yourself saying "yes ...yes... really? .... mmm" at intervals. When she phones, put the recording on, stick the phone in front of it, go and do something useful.

laffymeal Fri 28-Aug-15 21:50:34

The bit about ringing your own doorbell has caused a snorty guffaw related injury here.

nolongerwaitingfornumber2 Fri 28-Aug-15 21:51:22

She sounds like both my mum and my mil. I have to confess I zone out and make hmm noises at appropriate points without really listening.

Not unreasonable to want to gag her but you need to interrupt her if the timing is inconvenient and talk over her until you get heard too.

Good luck and wine

laffymeal Fri 28-Aug-15 21:54:37

Just to say it's quite typical of a certain generation of teaching staff, I'm a member of a choir made up of retired primary school teachers and the strident anecdotal one upmanship is hilarious.

AlpacaLypse Fri 28-Aug-15 21:57:14

DP and I have a collection of plausible reasons to end a call with his annoying sis. You've already mentioned one - the doorbell.

We also have...

Turn oven timer on, to make a loud tinging noise and need both hands now to get dinner out.

Ring each other's mobile, and tell her it's a business call.

General 'I have to go to work now, I've got a booking in ten minutes that's twelve minutes drive away...' (She knows we run a petcare agency) Handy during office hours.

Bribe a child to scream loudly. Chocolate normally does this. Wave in front of child then remove.

Hassled Fri 28-Aug-15 22:00:30

RInging your own doorbell is genius.

My MIL can talk for Britain - total stream of consciousness stuff. But it's only once a week and I like her so I just potter round the house putting things away while she rambles on. I don't know what you can do except just say "MIL, you've talked for 20 minutes now and I need to get on." Then hang up.

jessiepinkman Fri 28-Aug-15 22:03:52

Ha reading that made me laugh out loud, I have relatives like this so sympathies. Mil is an expert on the origins of words... Fuck me it ain't half irritating grin
You need to learn the art of zoning out...

StormTr00per Fri 28-Aug-15 22:34:31

God it sounds like my DM. A retired primary teacher she just waffles incessantly and about any random shit. It drives me nuts. It's usually about some of her friends' grandchildren. My DH is too polite but I just ignore/tell her to shut up. Not sure I'd mange the same with MIL though, but I feel your pain!

2rebecca Sat 29-Aug-15 00:02:01

I make polite conversation to my in laws if I answer the phone then pass the phone to my husband. He does the same with my relatives. It sounds as though you need to be less available more assertive and to start ending the phone calls after 5 minutes by saying you don't have time to chat at the moment.
You need to take back control of your life and maybe tell her if she's talking too much and jokingly refer to her monologues

Faye12345 Sat 29-Aug-15 08:00:23

She sounds like my mil a boring pain in the arse. Thank God DH doesnt bother with herwink

divafever24 Sat 29-Aug-15 08:09:05

Sounds annoying! Sorry no advice but will be remembering the doorbell trick!

CheddarGorgeous Sat 29-Aug-15 08:18:14

We have programmed our phone with a different ringtone for a certain relative and only answer it occasionally. Highly recommended.

ollieplimsoles Sat 29-Aug-15 08:28:30

I zone out when my mil fucking talks.

Its the same time and time again:

How much all the women she is in charge of at work love and respect her.
How much she does at work and how the place would fall apart without her.
How stressed she is.
How ill she is.
The last holiday she took with 'her boys' before I came along and ruined it.

Same topics time and time again, nothing new because she doesn't have any hobbies or a sense of humour.

SeaCabbage Sat 29-Aug-15 11:19:45

Letting her drone on for half an hour when you are trying to put your ds to bed is crazy. Sorry. You are going to have to practise just interrupting and saying, sorry I have to do xyz and just put the phone down. Better still as others have said, get caller id and don't anwer.

When she is there in person, I would use the time to potter about pretending to listen. I see it as a huge rudeness to just talk like that and so why shouldn't you do a few jobs around her?

2rebecca Sat 29-Aug-15 11:31:34

I could understand letting your own mother witter on for half an hour, but not someone else's. You live with her son I don't understand why you wouldn't just say a few words then say "I'll get x" that's what i do. he may pull a face but she's his mother not mine.
Women don't need to do all the crap people centred jobs just because they are female.
Stop doing it pass the phone over or just say you have to go now when you've had enough. Take back control over your time.

miaowroar Sat 29-Aug-15 11:38:17

I'm not a MIL but I do talk a lot. I don't mind being told to shut up - and I do when I'm told. Just in social situations, if there is an awkward silence, I feel I have to fill it. Silly I know. I make the same New Year resolution every year - and fail.

Is there any hope for me?

2rebecca Sat 29-Aug-15 11:45:20

I think just be aware that some people like silence and make sure that when you are talking you don't monopolise the conversation and do monologues. In a social setting (ie not giving a formal lecture) I don't think anyone should talk for more than a minute or so without stopping and letting other people speak.
I'd pause now and then and think about whether yours has been the main voice speaking for the last 5-10 minutes. If it has sit back a bit and let other people speak. Even introverts and shy people want to be listened to and to have space to express their opinions. Some people need to wait for a gap in conversation before they feel confident to speak.
Also if there's a gap maybe fill it by asking the other person a question not just talking about your own stuff.

WorktoLive Sat 29-Aug-15 11:52:03

My next door neighbour is like this. Summer is hell because she spends most of the time sat in her front garden either talking at her DIL or loud grandparenting her DGDs. She can go on for hours about nothing at all.

MrsGentlyBenevolent Sat 29-Aug-15 11:56:47

I have an aunt like this. Except, instead of a lecture it's like she tries to be as offensive as possible in one conversation, without drawing breath for an hour. Topics range from how she had to re-wash all the nice things she bought from car boot/charity 'in case one of them gypsy's had/touched them', to how fat I am compared to the rest of my family, wondering how that happened, because my mother is so skinny, must be something in mothers genes, probably forrin as she is a shade of brown, wonder where that came from..... You get the idea. Very difficult to say anything as she's elderly and impossible to get a word across anyway. I've long given up on trying to hold a 'conversation' with the mad old bat.

Oh, yabu for not knowing The Two Ronnies by the way. Shame on you shock.

quangotango Sat 29-Aug-15 11:58:54

Both my mother and my MIL are like this. it's exhausting, you have all my sympathies.

BlackAmericanoNoSugar Sat 29-Aug-15 12:22:05

I think you should suddenly have a 'faulty' phone. When she phones make one attempt to politely get her off the line, when that fails just put the phone down in a quiet room and walk away leaving her talking. When you next meet her say " It was very odd, you were talking away and then I just suddenly couldn't hear you anymore. There must be a fault on the line." The best thing about it is that it's not even a lie, you suddenly couldn't hear her (because you walked away from the phone), and being over-bearing is a character flaw so she was the fault on the line. grin

bessarabiantiger Sat 29-Aug-15 12:32:28

I have a relative with similar tendencies (not so much the stories and antimaccassar geography but she does like to talk) If I'm cooking I just put her on speakerphone and say uh-huh. Periodically.

If I'm busy I say I'm busy, but that I'll call back - and I do but gear myself up beforehand and explain I only have ten minutes, remember what she was talking about when I said I was busy & ask about it. I then say loudly that my ten mins are up and it was lovely to catch-up.
Thus I have earned a reputation as a good listener and attentive relative. That said I don't mind much, said relative is lonely and I think she saves up things to tell me about.

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