Omg such anality from pil. Come and share your anal behaviour stories (lighthearted)

(842 Posts)
ledkr Sat 05-Jan-13 11:04:30

We are with pil at present and they are very sweet but so bloody uptight about everything.
Bil has been away for a week so he left car with pil so that it "wasn't left in the street" it has a steering lock on and fil takes it for a drive each day! The car is an old banger worth about two hundred quid.
Kids can't even eat a banana without a table cloth,mat and plate hmm
Leaving the house to walk to shops is a major ordeal. Costs hats gloves change of shoes everything switched off at the wall last minute run upstairs for wallets. I could have been there and back.
So I'm asking you to entertain me with similar stories to help me through the day.

It just took me a while trying to work out why your kids needed a tablecloth in the car confused grin

gallifrey Sat 05-Jan-13 11:08:51

Last christmas when im in laws came to stay for a week my dfil started the car up every day and left it running to charge the battery. It was only a couple of months old!

ledkr Sat 05-Jan-13 11:09:50

Ha ha oh yes that really would have been anal. Though mil does run out to the car with hand held vacuum cleaner as soon as they get back.

ledkr Sat 05-Jan-13 11:10:41

galifrey isn't that odd? It must be exhausting for them

Tee2072 Sat 05-Jan-13 11:15:37

Whenever my father in law pays for anything by card, he then checks his wallet 5 or 6 times to make sure he put it back. So far as I know he has never left it anywhere ever, so it's not to make sure he doesn't do it again or anything.

ledkr Sat 05-Jan-13 11:16:35

I want to walk to the shops to get some decent caffeinated coffee as I'm having withdrawals but can't bear fils wittering and he needs to go up for veg! I

Cantbelieveitsnotbutter Sat 05-Jan-13 11:16:45

It's how cars used to be though, especially in winter. Old habits die hard!

ledkr Sat 05-Jan-13 11:21:23

They are bickering now as they prepare lunch. Fil is counting carrots into a casserole.
I have a long day ahead and now have a migraine coming probably caffeine withdrawal as they have all de caf.
I am also hungry due to having a regimented early and meagre breakfast.
As soon as fil goes out I can remember I need syndol and take dds up for coffee and cake mmmmm

My grandma serves instant coffee from a coffee pot, wheeled through to the sitting room on a hostess trolley with the mugs, jug of milk etc.

So SO much extra work. And the coffee gets cold.

Hassled Sat 05-Jan-13 11:24:44

My FIL refuses to buy anything online (although he uses the internet quite happily) because there is a 100% certainty that his bank account will be emptied by fraudsters as soon as he does. What he does instead is get DIL to order stuff online for him and then posts her a cheque - barking mad.

Hassled Sat 05-Jan-13 11:25:06

SIL, sorry

chocoluvva Sat 05-Jan-13 11:25:20

Sorry to be unhelpful, but grin

Your misery has made me laugh.

But that's because I know what it's like to have nice, but difficult PILs. My MIL would argue that black is white - she's NEVER wrong.

chocoluvva Sat 05-Jan-13 11:25:53

Hope you enjoy your cakes and coffee smile

Euphemia Sat 05-Jan-13 11:28:06

My mum takes an hour to make a meal DH could produce in 20 mins. And she never snacks, so you take Twixes in your handbag are starving by the time a meal appears.

My dad has certain foods he eats on certain days. He told my mum off on 27 Dec as she hadn't got his macaroni cheese in. Thursday is his macaroni cheese day!

We can only ever stand to stay one night!

hmm

TheCrackFox Sat 05-Jan-13 11:30:35

My PILs never turn their mobile phone (yes, they share it) on. Never occurs to them that other people might want to contact them.

Everything is eaten at the table - even a banana or apple.

They are every, er, genteel and I am not and neither is DH. Sometimes I wonder if they really are his parents.

ledkr Sat 05-Jan-13 11:31:37

Still not left. I could take dd1 for a coffee as she's ten I guess but how do I get away with not going with fil as he still hasn't left the blooming house.

ledkr Sat 05-Jan-13 11:34:35

No I'm not genteel either. Me and dh left our nice car in town for two days over Xmas because we were never sober to collect it. Lol

georgedawes Sat 05-Jan-13 11:34:59

It's the teapot that gets me, they keep trying to buy us nasty charity shop ones as well because they're horrified we don't have one (and I keep giving them back to the charity shop).

I have no problem with teapots, but do think that more than 1 teabag should go round 4 people.

ledkr Sat 05-Jan-13 11:35:34

Grandad switches his mobile on once a day to check for messages and save the battery.

Oh I know exactly how you feel!

Everything is so .... organised? .... prescriptive? .... planned?

Nothing can be <<gulp>> done on impulse - god forbid!

My ex PIL were just like this. Even making a sandwich for a quick lunch seemed to turn into a military exercise. I just couldn't get my head around how they made everything seem so, well, difficult! They would go into the lounge and ask who was hungry, if not, when they were likely to be hungry, if so, how hungry, how many slices, white or brown, did they want cheese, ham, a mixture, any pickle etc, crisps or salad .... it went on and on! The table had to be laid, with full settings and table cloth, then everyone needed to be consulted on what drink they wanted, did they want a soft drink now, and tea/coffee later, or did the wat their tea with their sandwich etc!

Meanwhile, I was stood in the kitchen offering to help, thinking, I could have whipped up half a dozen rounds of a selection of fillings and popped some crisps and salad on the side for everyone to help themselves by now! Still makes me smile 10 years later! actually, they were really lovelypeople, but so anal.

I feel your pain smile

ledkr Sat 05-Jan-13 11:37:50

george I leave my bag in the cup lol but it's so decaf here so makes no difference to me

georgedawes Sat 05-Jan-13 11:40:00

It's just because they're tight ledkr! Not for taste reasons. But it's all such a palaver as well, they can't just make a cup of tea, it's very similar to the happycamper's description (except we don't get on that well!). They drive me nuts.

LemonMousse Sat 05-Jan-13 11:40:39

FIL unplugs the wireless router when he's not using the internet, wraps the wires round it and pops it in the bottom of the little cabinet that the phone stands on. It's a special thing, the router - it allows him to access the Google once in a while grin

ledkr Sat 05-Jan-13 11:41:46

happy that sounds just the same. Today they are feeding 16 so bought 16 chicken breasts shock
Last new year fil was shoving take away menus at us around 3 in the afternoon.
They want us to go away with them for a week. I seriously don't think my mental health with cope.

weegiemum Sat 05-Jan-13 11:43:06

In my parents house You Cannot Eat In The Lounge. You Cannot Drink In The Lounge (admittedly this rule came in after dh spilled a cup of black coffee over their new mint-green carpet!).

You Must Clear Your Plate.

Though it's my MILs vague fussing about everything and forgetting our dc are no longer at nursery that gets to me more. And dh!

LaGuerta Sat 05-Jan-13 11:48:51

My mother really struggles to accept that we don't own a gravy boat and serve gravy in a measuring jug.

georgedawes Sat 05-Jan-13 11:52:40

Oh and they have a dishwasher but hardly any of their crockery and pans etc go in the dishwasher, so they have the worst of both worlds by doing loads of washing up and running the dishwasher.

It's not even fancy heirlooms or anything like that, just charity shop type things.

It takes hours to clear up after a meal there.

BeaWheesht Sat 05-Jan-13 11:53:18

Oh my in laws are like this, and my parents to an extent.

What drives me the most mad is the endless faffing at mealtimes - my youngest is 2 and she's expected to sit there for bloody ages meal in front of her waiting for everyone to sit down and then they wash the dishes between each course. It drives me round the twist.

Also we were there at new year - not a bloody sniff of alcohol.

BeaWheesht Sat 05-Jan-13 11:54:41

George - my in laws do that too

marzipanpig Sat 05-Jan-13 12:03:08

I once helped my ex pils by doing the washing up. They both stood horrified as "They had a system!". I honestly thought mil was going to slap me with the 'correct' dishcloth. Drinks were also forbidden when eating as they would 'fill you up unnaturally'.
If you took too long in the shower "Brisk in and out!" then mil would turn the hot tap on downstairs and the shower would run cold.

They were both lovely but hmm

Iheartpasties Sat 05-Jan-13 12:05:16

My mum and dad love their mobile phones but my god using/having them does not make life easier. It's faff central with them. I'm always sighing and screaming in my head that a smart phone should be making things more easy and convenient not more bloody faffy.

Djembe Sat 05-Jan-13 12:06:36

Lol at drinks filling you up unnaturally grin

These are so funny. I think I'm more anal than my in-laws though hmm

drjohnsonscat Sat 05-Jan-13 12:12:57

My mum turns her mobile phone off too because she doesn't like to waste the electricity she used to charge it. Love her.

ledkr Sat 05-Jan-13 12:13:25

Well me and dd1 have found a wimpy and are currently awaiting the and toasties even though dinner is in one hour! We were bloody hank Marvin.
Dd is scared we will get caught

ledkr Sat 05-Jan-13 12:15:11

I have been told to get one cauli and one broccoli for 16 ???

Startail Sat 05-Jan-13 12:18:48

Your PIL remind me of my totally neurotic uncle, he unplugs everything and fusses massively before you can leave the house.

He also rests a spoon, oh so gently, across the book he's reading so as not to bend the spine.

Fortunately he drives my DDad (his big brother) nuts so I don't see him much.

rumbelina Sat 05-Jan-13 12:20:31

Omg my pil seem positively laid back compared to these!

Peniston Sat 05-Jan-13 12:21:52

My anal (and, frankly, barking) mil places a washing up bowl in the shower each morning when she starts running it to catch the cold water before it runs warm. She is not an environmentalist, or on the breadline. Just very, very frugal.

This will be the best wimpy you have ever eaten!

... and I don't think that will be enough veg for 16 grin, best get double.

I think my ex PIL are just of a different generation. Their son who I was with was their youngest chld, I am my parents oldest child. My parents were in their early 50's when ex PIL were mid 60's. They just did things differently eg they never wore jeans, he always wore shirt and tie. They were also aghast that we didn't own a gravy boat and served it in a pyrex measuring jug like LaGuerta grin.

Having said that we went on holiday with them a few times and managed not to kill each other.

ledkr Sat 05-Jan-13 12:24:38

We are now concerned we won't eat our lunch

JaponicaTroggs Sat 05-Jan-13 12:31:35

When my parents last went on holiday (for five weeks)I was asked to go round once a week and print off a test page on their printer "because the ink in the cartridges will dry up if it isn't being used".

drjohnsonscat Sat 05-Jan-13 12:33:21

My friend's stepmother won't let them use the light on the stairs because she doesn't like the upstairs switch and the downstairs switch to be left in different positions.

PeppaPrig Sat 05-Jan-13 12:39:27

Mine wash plates up before putting them in the dishwasher grin.

My DDad checks he's locked the back door a minimum of 3 times, usually more like 6 before he gets tobthe end of the road.

My DNanna insists on having her handbag in the lounge when she visits my DParents. They look after my 2 preschoolers and the bag, and her supply of drugs become an pbsession for them.

georgedawes Sat 05-Jan-13 12:50:22

Oh god that would drive me mad Peppa. What is the point of a dishwasher?!

Katla Sat 05-Jan-13 12:51:51

My gran always switched all electrical appliances off at the wall in her own house and my parents house too when she came to stay. She got a bit forgetful/confused when she got older but old habits die hard. She put the huge chest freezer off in the back kitchen on one occasion when babysitting us when my parents were away the weekend. It was noticed days later when all the food was ruined.

She also had a thing about tidying keys away into drawers if left lying and locking the back door (which we never did) so you could find yourself locked in with no keys to be found where you left them. Generally keys found in a sock drawer or something.

MerryCouthyMows Sat 05-Jan-13 12:53:39

Christ, I use more broccoli and cauliflower than that for FIVE people - four of whom are DC's!!

I use two heads of each for a dinner. We do like our veg here...

I would use one head of each if I was feeding 2-3!

HarkTheHattifattnerSing Sat 05-Jan-13 12:54:07

my FIL has different trousers for different things - so there are trousers for in the house, trousers for going for walks, trousers for cycling, trousers for the allotment.....

He has more button up shirts than could be believed - last count it was around 35. He is retired. Before retiring, he was military, so wore a uniform. I do not know why he needs so many shirts He also has an obsession with rucksacks. (they do like walking). I think he has 15.

he cannot make himself a sandwich, and will stand looking pathetic with a piece of bread until MIL comes to spread some butter on it and miraculously turn it into a sarnie through the medium of ham...

I love him dearly, but he is a PITA at times.

MrsMushroom Sat 05-Jan-13 12:54:45

we're with PIL too ecxept they're divorced but good mates...FIL lives down the road, however....he comes round to MILs every morning IN HIS SPEEDOS shock as he's usually been to the beach for a swim (hot country) and proceeds to water MILS tomatoes (65 year old arse in the air) and then give DH laborious instructions about when to turn the hose off.

He then asks for toast for his two evil dogs which has to be done lightly with butter.

The shithead dogs then crap on MIL's lawn. I don't know how she STANDS IT!

marzipanpig Sat 05-Jan-13 13:00:58

Not relatives but my mother was friends with a retired couple and the man was a time keeper for Vickers. If they said they would visit at 2pm and were a tiny bit early, he used to park round the corner then arrive on the dot of 2pm. Tardiness was not tolerated.

babamummy Sat 05-Jan-13 13:04:05

FIL uses 2 car parking spaces. DH was mortified when he had to go to home base with him recently and used two spaces; don't know what he does if a car park is busy? He has a Golf which must be about 10 years old now and is absolutely immaculate.

ItsOkayItsJustMyBreath Sat 05-Jan-13 13:05:54

I am weeping with laughter, thank you!

JaponicaTroggs that is the best thing I have ever heard maybe an exaggeration!

MIL took an hour to make a picnic for a trip out once. I wouldn't mind but it was only two ham sandwiches and a tub of strawberries to share between 6 of us

NotMostPeople Sat 05-Jan-13 13:06:54

My PIL's have a system for the dishwasher but still wash all cups and glasses by hand - why?
FIL keeps all alcohol locked and only he is allowed the key, this is a hangover from when DH and his brothers were at home and would help themselves as teenagers. DH is the youngest and is 47! and we obviously don't live with them. So MIL can never offer anyone a drink because she can't unlock it, but this is a mans job anyway hmm.
They have also turned the hot water off and only turn it on if you want a bath (must be quick and certainly not every day) - this might make sense if they had a water tank, but they have a combi. You have to wash your hands in cold water and ask for the water to be put on to wash up the glasses and mugs that can't go in the dishwasher.
They worry endlessly about their garden and mowing the lawn etc even though it's pristine.
FIL gets first refusal of all food, puddings, biscuits etc even over non family guests.

ItsOkayItsJustMyBreath Sat 05-Jan-13 13:08:09

ledkr you have been naughty and now must face the consequences, you will eat your lunch young lady grin

ItsOkayItsJustMyBreath Sat 05-Jan-13 13:09:05

I love the fact that I am more uptight than my parents the drunken slobs wink

SoggySummer Sat 05-Jan-13 13:18:36

My FIL once refused to eat dinner because I had cut the carrot into Batons and he can only eat carrots that are cut into discs. I kid you not. Typically he got MIL to explain this to me because he is not "man" enough to explain this to me himself.

It was a sad sad day that my idiot DH tried to introduce them to the computer. We have been paying the price ever since. FIL has a spread sheet and a computer record every sodding thing - even tins in the kitchen cupboard because god forbid if you should need to know if you have any baked beans left you may actually walk from lounge to kitchen and open the cupboard to see. No - why do this when you can go upstairs and fire up the 15yo huge desk top computer (that my kids cant belive PCs ever looked so huge) and look it up on a spread sheet.

That alone would be bad enough BUT - FIL cant always work the PC and forgets what has been filed under what, bearing in mind its not just food but drink, cleaning products, loo roll, music - (that are on LPs not downloads), photos (that are in physical albums not digital) etc etc - You get this picture???

Theres loads more but I would hate to hog the thread.

I love my DM and DF dearly but there are things I don't get that they do. A selection-

Mobile never turned on. Phones are for DF to ring people not for people to ring him.
Nothing that arrives with a handbook/instruction manual can be used until manual is read cover to cover.
One lot of curtains in the lounge never opened due to sun possibly fading the carpet.
Dishwasher never used. At all.

DumSpiroSperHoHoHo Sat 05-Jan-13 13:26:50

My MIL (and Dh has inherited the habit) does the thing of wrapping up like Sherpa Tensing whenever she leaves the house.

Anytime between October and April, leaving the house will necessitate coats, hat, scarf, gloves, waterproof, umbrella...we took our niece to the Zoo with her a few years back and she had the poor kid wrapped up in all of this, sat in her pushchair with a hot water bottle filled from a flask on arrival and wrapped in a tea towel - she could hardly move!

She is also obsessed with slipper wearing and tuts every time she pops in (unfortunately we're on her route to work) because DD is invariably running around barefoot.

nameuschangeus Sat 05-Jan-13 13:35:39

Thank you this thread has cheered me up and served to assure me that I'm not alone in owning anal parents

BlingLoving Sat 05-Jan-13 13:36:08

Oh these are brilliant.

Mil uses her dishwasher... But doesn't trust it so she runs it twice. Every time!

She also is obsessed with small pink sponges and uses them for no longer than a day at a time. I nicked a few last time actually because they are great for bottles! grin

Very sweetly, when we visit, she tries to make sure she has all the treats we like in... But the result is that we have learnt to NEVER comment that we like a particular biscuit or chocolate as we will arrive for a visit and she will have 3 boxes of every great we like.

Right. Are you sitting down? I have a self catering holiday one for you....

When going away for three nights self catering DM takes 6 slices of bread for breakfast each morning, and 6 Weetabix. Not the whole loaf or the whole box. confused They go by quite a large car so not a space issue. confused

Makes me smile.

NotMostPeople Sat 05-Jan-13 13:40:10

Oh and the boxes, if an appliance has come in a box the box must be saved. We recently had to go in the loft and it was almost entirely full of twenty years worth of cardboard boxes.

Also anything of any worth must be marked with their initials in tippex! This includes suitcases, remote controls etc.

My Dad has one of those Dymo? tape machines. That you can print labels with. grin

YY to the boxes-v important. I do keep mine for a year though.

Euphemia Sat 05-Jan-13 14:01:26

miraculously turn it into a sarnie through the medium of ham

grin

Euphemia Sat 05-Jan-13 14:05:21

MIL has to put everything in wee plastic bags, like sandwich bags with the texture of condoms.

She came on holiday with us once and brought the contents of her fridge; every item in one of these bags.

She knits crappy scarves for DD 's dollies, puts them in a wee bag and wraps them in wrapping paper.

At the end of that holiday, she went through all the leftovers and put them in the wee bags. By that time I had developed bag phobia, and took everything back out again!

phantomnamechanger Sat 05-Jan-13 14:05:55

its the amount of serving dishes and spoons MIL used that gets me - it makes twice as much washing up for a roast dinner and there really is no need. Then washing up in one bowl of water which ends up like soup before your half done, and drying with a soggy tea towel. i take over the washing up there now - using lots of clean hot water, but have banned them from washing up in my house, where we dont dry up but leave to air dry

Euphemia Sat 05-Jan-13 14:07:55

MIL also won't drink tap water. (Too plain.) So she buys those awful flavoured waters, and pours herself a glassful to leave sitting on the worktop for when she comes back from shopping, because she needs a drink the moment she gets in the door. hmm

HorsesDogsNails Sat 05-Jan-13 14:08:44

My MIL food shops for the exact number of people she is feeding for the exact number of days...... So, if you drop in unannounced you don't even get offered a biscuit but if it's a planned visit you have to eat the offered cake/biscuit/doughnut because you know she's bought it for you!

When DH lived at home she would buy 10 slices of ham and 10 packets of crisps to do packed lunches...... If anyone ate a packet as a random snack they didn't get it in their lunch the next day!! Tight as she is.....

JellicleCat Sat 05-Jan-13 14:09:17

This has made me howl with laughter, I thought my Dad was the only one who did these things.
Meals only at the table, fully laid. Breakfast laid the night before.
Wash the dishes before they go in the dishwasher, except the pans which were washed by hand.
Kep tthe instuctions, and boxes, for every appliance ever owned
Everything turned off at the wall when not in use
Curtains closed whenever the sun came out in case the carpet faded
Windows shut in the summer in case the flies came in.

Visiting in the summer to a dark, hot house was always fun.

He never owned a mobile or a computer, but would definitely have kept the router in a drawer when not in use - priceless. grin

rechargemybatteries Sat 05-Jan-13 14:11:12

My parents are generally lovely but my father is IN CHARGE of the remote control, the DVD player, the sky tv, he nearly has a heart attack when the kids arrive and just put a DVD on without asking him.

My mother would not change channel without asking him even if he's not watching the television she goes and gets him to change the channel or put a dvd on or put her music back on again on her CD player.

And don't even start me on the dishwasher. Everything must be washed BEFORE it goes in the dishwasher. Then it must be placed in the dishwasher but only my father can put the dishes in the dishwasher in the right order so my mother calls him after she has washed them all and gets him to put them in the dishwasher.

Everything is just such a palaver.

Euphemia Sat 05-Jan-13 14:12:10

MIL shuts the curtains as soon as it starts to get dark, because she doesn't like people looking in. hmm I cannot stand shut curtains, so being away on holiday with her in a location where we looked out onto the sea, and having her shutting out the lovely sunset, was torture.

rechargemybatteries Sat 05-Jan-13 14:13:12

And yes to everything off at the wall and yes to instructions and boxes for every appliance they have ever owned and yes to meals at the table and breakfast laid directly after supper. Always cereal. In round tupperware plastic bowls with lids. Horrible. They make the breakfast taste funny.

Euphemia Sat 05-Jan-13 14:18:55

My dad hides sweeties he wants to keep for himself in the medicine cabinet. There's only him and my mum in the house!

He told me off at his 50th birthday party for opening an "expensive" bottle of wine from his collection. Jacob's Creek? hmm He's 70 now and I swear most of the same bottles of wine and spirits are still there.

rechargemybatteries Sat 05-Jan-13 14:19:08

A conversation in my mother and father's house goes like this (the shop is round the corner it's only a one minute walk it's open 7am til 11pm)

Dave, should we go to the shop for milk?

I don't know Jean how much milk have we got?

I don't know Dave shall I go and look?

I think you maybe should Jean we wouldn't want to run out of milk

(Mother goes to fridge in kitchen)

<shouts through> I don't know Dave there's nearly half a jug will that be enough do you think?

I don't know Jean what do we need it for for the rest of the day?

Well Dave I was going to do macaroni cheese but if there's only half a jug of milk I could do bolognaise?

And then they eventually decide no they will go to the shop for milk.

Dave will I go or do you want to come with me?

I don't know Jean do you want me to come with you?

I don't mind.

No, I''ll come with you.

<much faff with turning off appliances, locating hats, gloves, scarves, keys, purses, wallets>

Shall we take the dog Jean?

<more faffing for lead and poo bags and treats>

It drives me demented.

Willowme Sat 05-Jan-13 14:19:54

My pil are like this too, so regimented, they eat the same things at the same time on a particular day, Sunday eve at 6pm for example is salad sandwich time, Friday eve at 5.15pm is chips and salad. Sunday & Saturday lunch is 12.15pm - thats breakfast to me!

If we are visiting on sunday at 6 we do not get offered tea or sandwiches as we are not normally there at that time. They are that set in their ways my DH can predict where they are at any given time of the day everyday.

It does my head in and DH can't see what the problem is!

My uncle once hoovered during Christmas dinner because my little brother 4 at the time had dropped a bit of bread! And it was freezing because he kept running the heating off. We were sat there with our coats on and he still didn't take the hint!

Inaflap Sat 05-Jan-13 14:25:57

Oh yes to the curtain shutting. The minute it is gloaming shut goes the curtains. Unfortunately DS 1 has got this habit from her now. And a thing about slippers. She goes on and on about slippers. I am partial to them myself but if the kids don't want to wear them so what. She also has a habit of taking the entire biscuit tin with her. Its the size of a cake tin and i had to tell her 'no' last time we went on holiday. She's diabetic, my son's diabetic we do not need a bloody great tin of biscuits! These are all minor things and I know I do things that drive her potty.

JellicleCat Sat 05-Jan-13 14:27:16

Gin for gin and tonic was always measured in a little metal measure thingy kept for the purpose. He was a bit appallled when I just glugged some in the glass. He wasn't mean, it was just "what you did".

He also had a box of bits of used string, all neatly tied. Having been brought up with it I thought this was normal until my dh pointed out how funny it was.

RandallPinkFloyd Sat 05-Jan-13 14:29:01

My mum turns her router off at the wall when she's not using it. She's in her 50's for crying out loud!

I once offered to wash up for xpil's. I didn't make the mistake again.

I washed, xh stood and chatted to me whilst wiping the work tops and drying the big things. All lovely and normal; or so I thought.

They both stood in the doorway staring, their eyes drilling into the backs of our heads! Every time I changed the water they exchanged bizarre glances.

When we'd finished all the big stuff was put away and just the plates, cutlery and glasses left neatly to drain.

They actually sneered then barged passed us sniggering to each other about how we couldn't be seriously going to "leave them like that" hmm

FannyFifer Sat 05-Jan-13 14:32:52

My DS has asthma because he doesn't wear slippers, apparently.
Thanks mil.

RandallPinkFloyd Sat 05-Jan-13 14:33:14

Recarge that's hilarious! But only because it's all too familiar.

Everything is such a big project, their idea of nipping somewhere is very different to mine!

DollyTwat Sat 05-Jan-13 14:35:43

waves to ledkr

Some very funny stories here grin

My DF drives me insane. I've been on holiday with him twice and will never go again. He insisted on cooking breakfast but at the time he was awake, so woke my dc up to tell them they could have one but had to have it NOW. No reason he couldn't have waited. So two tired grumpy dc

Then he'd moan that we needed milk etc and he'd been waiting for us to be ready rather than just going to the shop.

He refused to let me drive but moaned about doing all the driving

At Christmas he insisted that cheese could only be eaten in the dining room. It was like cheesegate. Everyone had to go and eat cheese on their own in another room if they wanted it

BooCanary Sat 05-Jan-13 14:35:51

Oh God my parents are just like this and it drives me potty. Examples:

- complete inability to do things quickly/multitask. For example, DM announces she will cook a frozen quiche but we all agree that we haven't got much time as we are due to go out. Then, rather than putting oven on first, she potters off to the freezer, spends 10 minutes checking the dates on everything in it, rearranges it a bit, then eventually comes back to put oven on (WHY NOT DO THIS BEFORE). Then decides to give (spotless!) oven a wipeover, tidy oven trays etc. Insists on setting an alarm to ensure oven warms up for EXACTLY 15 minutes ffs, then spends ages reading the precise cooking instructions on packet, followed by detailed chat with DF about what oven function to use. By this time I am screaming (in my head) JUST PUT THE FUCKING QUICHE IN THE OVEN!!.

- cleaning every single cooking implement within 2 seconds of meal finishing. Including floor, tablecloth, tablemats, whilst guests are trying to let their fricking dinner go down.

- insistence of following you into rooms after you've been in there to check eveything is 'in order'. So basically, if you go to the toilet, once you have come out, one of them will pop in to check if anything needs a wipe around, if there are any splashes round the sink, or if the hand towel needs replacing.

- as for the level of analness when it comes to the DGCs using toilet, eating food/drinks, etc - it's even worse.

They are lovely DPs and DGPs, but good gried!

Doneinagain Sat 05-Jan-13 14:38:06

Loving these especially the carefully planned out use of bread and weetabix!
My Mil is anal in planning everybody else's lives while making a total shambles of her own. She emailed me to ask me what I was planning to cook for Boxing Day lunch as her, and my sil's family were all joining us. Fair enough you might think except she was asking me on December 2nd!!!
Wouldn't have minded soo much except this is the same mil who only makes one roast chicken for 8 adults and 4 children's dinners if we visit for the weekend and then can't understand why we have to food shop on the Sunday for lunch as she has nothing in the house to feed us! Barking! After years of this I have made it clear she is welcome to visit us but we seem to be unusually busy if we get invited upblush

BooCanary Sat 05-Jan-13 14:40:11

Euphemia my DM does the plastic bag thing too. Except she double or triple bags things 'just in case'. hmm

DollyTwat Sat 05-Jan-13 14:41:56

Oh and if I ask my DF what he's doing next week he wi tell me every thing he's doing every day up til then

Gooseysgirl Sat 05-Jan-13 14:51:28

I love my DMIL but I am beyonnnnnd fed up of freezing my arse off in her house every time we visit. I wear two pairs of socks over tights and leggings, thermal vest, several tops and a woolly jumper. DH asks her can he turn on the gas fire she says no and throws a blanket at us. Her house, her rules and all that but I draw the line when it's New Year's Eve (ffs make an exception!!!!) and we now have a young baby who DMIL says is like Michelin baby... Helloooo if you turned the heating on I wouldn't have to layer all the clothes on her. She banks her winter fuel allowance (is not badly off at all... go figure!!). I've told DH that I have spent my last ever night there, most miserable NYE of my life. She thinks we're going to her for Christmas Eve next year gringringringrin I took one look at DH and the look said 'over my dead body'...

EndoplasmicReticulum Sat 05-Jan-13 14:58:12

I am much more anal than my PILs. They do not have systems for anything. Nothing in the kitchen has "a place". Consequently you can never find anything. Meals are never planned - they wait until everyone is hungry and then go to the shop to get ingredients.

WandaDoff Sat 05-Jan-13 15:03:25

I love this thread.

My parents are dead now, but I treasure the memories of all their daft little quirks & routines, & my parents could faff about with the best of them.

My Dad couldn't work his mobile. He'd managed to put the automatic lock after a few secs on, & by the time he'd squinted at it & dithered about which buttons to press, it would be locked again.

He threw it at me & told me "it was like something out of Star Trek". It was a Nokia 3310.

EndoplasmicReticulum Sat 05-Jan-13 15:08:47

My grandparents were the best for routines.

Grandad would start the day by making tea at 6.15. I have no idea why they needed to get up so flipping early, as they had nothing to do all day.

All meals were at a set time - lunch 11.45, followed by a nap. They would set off for a drive or walk in the afternoon at seven minutes past 2. I know this because we used to live next door, and would wave at them as they went. Seven minutes past 2 every day.

Rest of the day followed the same sort of pattern, until bed at 9.45. My grandma would switch off whatever TV programme she was watching, even if it was due to finish at 10, because bedtime was 9.45.

Grandad is now in a home, he was happy this week as for the first time ever he was allowed to stay up until midnight on NYE!

teamboleyn Sat 05-Jan-13 15:17:25

When I would borrow my dad's car I would be handed a file with all relevant documents (just in case) and instructions on how to put on the lights/ indicators/ radio/ fan. Even if I was only using it for an hour. Everytime.

Sheldonella Sat 05-Jan-13 15:17:38

My DM puts at least two stamps on everything she sends to us, "just in case". Even if it is just a simple birthday card. I've tried pointing her at the dimensions page on the royal mail site for large letters but she still does it confused

needtogetoffsofa Sat 05-Jan-13 15:29:20

lemonmousse that made me grin

My PIL (well mostly my MIL!)

Ice cream is served with all puddings, they dish the ice cream up in the kitchen in individual scoops into a bowl and then they serve the ice cream from that at the table. So it is usually melted by the time you get it!

She cries if you don't eat all of the food at the table, so we end up in this weird begging situation where she is trying to force you to eat some crumbs from the quiche.

They find cooking a roast meal really really hard. Lots of hissing about taking the beef out of the oven.

VenusStarr Sat 05-Jan-13 15:35:10

I didn't think there were people out there like my parents, but there's a whole thread! smile

My parents are so anal it's untrue! Eating a meal at their house take forever! Lunch is at 12.30 (?!) the veg is put on to boil at 12! We eat in silence, until my mom asks anyone want this potato? We all shake our heads, then it will be 'dad, potato? Sister, potato? Sisters boyfriend, potato? Venusstarr, potato? Cats, potato?' every flipping time!

We eventually finish the meal at around 2pm - why it takes this long I'll never know!! when everything is cleared from the table and everything is rinsed clean before loading the dishwasher! I genuinely thought they were the only ones who did this. We leave them to it. I used to help wash up but get so frustrated by the routine abs you cant deviate from the routine! So we are in the living room, then my mom will come in and ask us if we'd like a hot drink. Even if we don't want one, we have to go back to the dining room to sit with everyone while they drink. This is when cake is brought out, if you don't want cake you can have fruit but you must use a plate - again, they aren't the only ones who do this?! Why create mounds of washing up!

Everything with my parents takes so much longer than it should. They aren't the type of people where you can pop in for a coffee because it takes HOURS! Even if you say we can't stay long, 3 hours later, you're just heading out of the door, if you're lucky!

This thread has made me smile smile

DollyTwat Sat 05-Jan-13 15:43:27

Same with my DF Fluffy, lots of faffing about for a roast lunch and mountains of washing up. There's always lots of trying to take the roasting tin out of a hot oven with a tea cloth rather than oven mitts
Use. The. Mitt

mayaswell Sat 05-Jan-13 15:47:19

These are terribly familiar, not wasting anything is a theme! I was always driven mad by my lovely MIL who is OBSESSED with airing washing until its bone dry, I felt hounded by her all the time when she stayed or we were visiting.
Then we visited the village where she grew up and we saw her house and she described how damp it was and how her brother nearly died of bronchitis. I kind of got it then.

needtogetoffsofa Sat 05-Jan-13 15:49:00

recharge - I've just wet myself laughing. Someone could turn that into a sitcom

aJumpedUpPantryBoy Sat 05-Jan-13 16:05:43

My mum whisks plates away to wash up while you are still eating.
She never eats pudding so while you are eating something lovely you feel guilty because she is being a martyr frantically washing up in the kitchen - she has perfectly good dishwasher but refuses to use it 'there is no need - I'm faster than that machine'

She likes everything to be planned, but then tries to make the plans even more complicated

Me: So, we'll meet at 2pm outside Debenhams
Mum: OK, oooh, unless I need to go to Boots - shall we meet at 2.15 outside Boots
Me: That's fine
Mum: On the other hand, Debenhams might be better, cos they might not have what I want in Boots
Me: Right, so 2.15 outside Debenhams
Mum: Ohh, but what if ... etc etc etc

This conversation can go on and on and on.
Ironically, wherever we decide to meet she'll be there 20 minutes early anyway.

JustinMumsnot Sat 05-Jan-13 16:08:28

Back from few days freezing to death at PILs and this thread had cheered me up so much. I had no idea there were so many of them out there with similar habits.
MIL has totally rigid routines and sellotapes notes all over the house stating HOW THINGS ARE DONE so there shall be no divergence. She also has this habit of never saying that she doesn't want to do something, instead she pronounces 'I don't think anyone wants to... insert activity of choice.
EG she walks into room where people are watching TV, announces 'Oh I don't think anyone wants to watch that' and turns off TV.
She is also very anti-alcohol and polices FIL (who isn't) mercilessly.

JustinMumsnot Sat 05-Jan-13 16:09:21

Fluffy - she CRIES if people don't eat all their food. Really, properly cries? shock

starfishmummy Sat 05-Jan-13 16:14:14

Sparkling my pils are the opposite - instruction books are never read and probably thrown away. When they can't get something to work they will ask dh - who will have no idea because he is'nt familiar with it. The item is then declared useless and replaced...

starfishmummy Sat 05-Jan-13 16:14:16

Sparkling my pils are the opposite - instruction books are never read and probably thrown away. When they can't get something to work they will ask dh - who will have no idea because he is'nt familiar with it. The item is then declared useless and replaced...

aJumpedUpPantryBoy Sat 05-Jan-13 16:17:26

My mum also insists on palming of random bits of food onto us.

A single sausage, 3 sprouts, a tiny piece of cheese and other stuff all of dubious vintage.
Never enough to do anything with, and quite often it would be stuff we don't even like

It has taken me years to get DH to understand it is easer to take it and then just bin it at home. He would try and have the we really don't want/need it conversation that would end up with her being quietly hurt and bewildered that someone wouldn't want her second-hand foodstuffs

Sunnywithshowers Sat 05-Jan-13 16:27:15

This thread has made me a bit teary thinking of my late grandparents.

They were sticklers for routine - breakfast at 9, coffee and biscuits at 11 (with a pinch of salt because grandad said it improved the flavour), lunch at 1 etc etc. For their entire retirement together. You could set your clock by what they were doing.

My DM and DSF eat at 5.30 on the dot every evening. I briefly moved back home with them between houses, and dad called me at work to tell me off for not being home for tea grin. I was 26 and married.

They live in Spain these days. When we go out to eat we can occasionally persuade them to eat as late as 8pm, which is a good 2 hours earlier than everyone in the area. We are often the only people in the restaurant. grin

Dad invariably orders spaghetti bolognese. Because he doesn't like Spanish food very much...

drjohnsonscat Sat 05-Jan-13 16:28:47

My stepmother does the food planning thing. If she is making a roast dinner for four she will go and buy four potatoes. If we are having cheese sandwiches she will go and ask at the cheese counter for four slices of cheese. There will not be any variation or surplus or, you know, flexibility. Once when on holiday with her I saw her buy the four potatoes and I then just had to make an excuse to nip to the post office "for some stamps" because I knew they sold sweets in there. I bought four double deckers to hide in my suitcase grin. She basically made me become a compulsive eater for a week just by being so weird.

gallifrey Sat 05-Jan-13 16:29:23

Actually I think I had some of these come through my checkout at Asda over christmas, mainly older people that would have a system of packing their shopping into different bags, freezer, fridge, kitchen cupboard etc, then the husband would be putting things into the wrong bag which would be taken back out again by the wife. One couple was so slow I had to stop scanning things as there was no room on the end of the checkout!!

HarkTheHattifattnerSing Sat 05-Jan-13 16:30:22

My PIL are OBSESSED with their weight. Every conversation will, inevitably, turn to their weight and their various diets, and/or the weight of their daughter and how much she has gained/lost. Im sure that I am a big dissappointmnet to them!

They are both physically active and secret chocoholics. They go on a massive diet in November so they can pig out at Christmas. We usually visit on Boxing Day and its like receiving a food parcel from Fortnums when we leave - all the left over biccies, cheese, cold meat, pickles, olives....(yum)

My FIL is the worlds most fussy eater...strictly meat and potato, no poultry, no spice, no starch other than spuds and bread, no cheese, onions, tomato, garlic, mushrooms.

I once cut the chips the "wrong" way - I had cut enough for 7 people - he repeeled a whole new batch of spuds in order to cut them the RIGHT way. Before cooking in beef dripping [boak].

You obviously don't work in Aldi galifrey! Otherwise you would have just hurtled everything at them till only their heads were visible above the pile! grin

drjohnsonscat Sat 05-Jan-13 16:34:19

My dad has been bullied trained into the same ways. They take electronic scales with them to holiday cottages so that they can measure out precisely the right amount of oats for porridge each morning. You are not permitted to have anything else because the bread has already been allocated to another meal.

Once my dad was weighing out the oats for 6 of us and I took a spoonful out to mix into baby ds's yogurt. He went nuts because I had ruined the measurements.

A holiday picnic on the beach comprises one round of no-butter brown bread and peanut butter sandwiches and an apple each. That was my only holiday last year.

mayaswell Sat 05-Jan-13 16:35:39

My DM is forever telling me health facts she 'read in the paper'. Except she only reads the Daily Mail.

AphraBehn Sat 05-Jan-13 16:36:18

Dave and Jean sound lovely smile

dottyaboutstripes Sat 05-Jan-13 16:50:05

My mother is obsessed with airing clothes. She is horrified that I use a dryer and will wear clothes straight out of it or put the bedding back on fresh from the dryer.
My dad won't let anyone turn on the tv or use the DVD player. Even now I'm 43 I'm not allowed.
My mum makes a pot of tea at night and in the morning, she heats up the leftovers on the hob so as not to waste it confused She also washes up the breakfast dishes, then saves the water to wash up for the rest of the day!
She announced that we clearly didn't know how to take a shower and proceeded to explain that the correct way is to wet yourself a bit, turn off the water, use shampoo/soap and then finally rinse off. Under no circumstance should you stand under running water. Even though there is ice on the window because "it's not cold enough to have the heating on"
We haven't visited them for 2 years now, wonder why?!

YouMakeMeWannaLaLa Sat 05-Jan-13 16:54:57

This thread is making me smile!

DH's family are faffers. Drives me bonkers! Organising anything takes forever, especially anything involving the possibility of car sharing i.e. weddings etc.

Us: 'Would you like a lift?'.

Them: '...well I could go with Lindsey but she might go straight from work...Sue could collect us but she has the carseats in so it might be a squash...why don't I see if Andrew will do two journeys...or you and I could get a taxi and DH could drive Amy and the kids....' AARGH! Followed by weeks of phonecalls and changes of plan!

notcitrus Sat 05-Jan-13 17:00:08

My ILs faff forever like recharge's, so getting a cooked roast dinner from kitchen to table takes up to an hour (seriously!), as they debate which plates to use, which glasses for wine, extra water glasses, plates must be warmed and then discussed whether they are warm enough, and all.veg etc must go on serving platters. By the time it's dished up it's all cold so then they can debate who uses the microwave first... Also they 'save' money by buying reduced food. Daily. Enough for 20. So you get to argue over whether pork pie from Waitrose needs to be eaten before or after the pork and ham one from the butcher or should they first eat the French green cheese, no not that one, that one shouldn't be green, the other green one...
I just ignore them, fill up on fruit and snacks before the meal and go along with FIL who insists I have to try 4 different red wines, pronounce which goes best with the meal (I choose at random. The overcooked gammon won't go with anything.), insist I have more wine, coffee, then tea, then liqueur after.dinner...

Meanwhile MIL will complain they don't have all 50 condiments on the table, buy she can't walk much so FIL has to then fetch the right sauce, no not the Tesco redcurrant jelly, the Lidl one we got on holiday that's in the cupboard with the postcard from Jane, you know Jane, she used to be married to Nigel who worked at the garage round the corner from the house we lived in 20 years ago...

Despite the food, the wine is excellent and they really are lovely if you can ignore the faffing. And mouldy food.

LostInWales Sat 05-Jan-13 17:01:41

When my children were small and needed spoon feeding my mum would sit next to me with one dry cloth, one wet. Every time they inevitably grabbed at the gloopy spoon she would immediately leap into action cleaning each grubby paw with the wet and then drying them before another spoonful could be offered. Now they are bigger she is even worse, DS1 has been told off for getting the bath dirty confused and one time when I jokingly mentioned they were less than pristine she made them sit on the floor not the furniture! My dad and his obsession with the dustpan and brush is a sight to behold.

This thread is great, like the therapy I think I really need but can't afford wink

DF doesn't like to drive on the Motorway on Mondays and Fridays as he says there are more lorries then.

DM likes those little food bags with the wire and paper ties-everything is put into one.

Euphemia Sat 05-Jan-13 17:05:44

My dad spends most of his day in the living room. He's not been well the past couple of years, so he has the place wired and automated for his convenience.

The main light comes on on a timer, followed 30 seconds later by the device that shuts the blinds.

He has a remote control for the lamps and the fire, with numbers on it but no indication of which number corresponds to which gadget.

There are two remotes for the TV - who knows why?

You're terrified to start pressing any buttons! I sit in the dark reading my Kindle with its own wee light! grin

Gooseysgirl Sat 05-Jan-13 17:08:34

My Granny used to air every single item of clothing, bedding etc in the airing cupboard. This included shrouds for the corpses at her funeral home, I kid you not!!

oldraver Sat 05-Jan-13 17:09:23

I'm laughing at this thread as I have my parents visiting at the moment. They have just returned from a three week holiday and I am getting ALL the details of ALL the conversations they had, ALL the food they had, what ALL the staff said and friends. If I hear Alvin did/said etc I will scream. Alvin served the tomatoes at breakfast

I think we have only got to the end of week one

<sorry nothing to do with anality at the moment but had to get it all off me chest....OH and DS managed to escape for a while>

oldraver Sat 05-Jan-13 17:11:27

Oh and we have just had a disagreement as I wouldn't feel her knickers....she was wearing them at the time

Vagaceratops Sat 05-Jan-13 17:11:32

My DGM is like this.

She buys brands - if that brand and size is not available she wont but an alternative, she will go without.

FarelyKnuts Sat 05-Jan-13 17:15:36

When going for dinner at my parents house one must give ones arrival time to the second. one must then sit and have exactly one drink before dinner is served.
Dinner is carefully measured out portions such as exactly two roast potatoes per person (no extras made if anyone wanted more) and one piece of brocolli etc.
Drives me bananas!!

I am heartened to hear about the food counting thing TBH. Maybe it will come to us all.

FarelyKnuts Sat 05-Jan-13 17:16:53

They did the above for xmas dinner one year. No leftovers!!! We have had xmas dinner at ours ever since

Vagaceratops Sat 05-Jan-13 17:17:29

My DGM Weighs her peas. She weighs out a precise amount, then weights the bag and writes on it how much is left.

Do they think you are very wasteful Farely? We have a food waste caddy for the recycling and it gets filled up, my parents never have anything in theirs. confused

RandallPinkFloyd Sat 05-Jan-13 17:19:54

Now XH has moved back in with his parents all spontaneity has gone from his life. He used to get so wound up by me and my maverick ways but not any more!

If we ever decided to go out he would always need to ask when, where and how mealtimes would be catered to. Each and every time I would say "can we not just decide that when we get hungry?". He would then do a run down of all the potential options available just to re-assure himself that panic wouldn't arise hmm

His days now revolve around meals and the planning thereof. If he's here visiting DS he gets a phone call at about 2 o'clock asking if he'll be home for tea. If he says no, one is still made for him but plated up and left in the oven to be re-heated. He's 42!

The suggestion of him making his own is met with baffled silence.

Euphemia Sat 05-Jan-13 17:20:26

oldraver My dad likes nothing better than going on holiday and finding himself a couple of American fellow-travellers and pointing out to them their ignorance of their own country. hmm He watches Fox News obsessively, and any US documentaries, less because he enjoys them but more to really be able to show up any Americans he meets! confused

rubyrubyruby Sat 05-Jan-13 17:20:26

grin at weighing peas!

I just pour them out of the bag and those that miss the pan I scoop onto the floor for the dog to eat blush

EggRules Sat 05-Jan-13 17:21:23

# We will never, ever, ever, go on holiday together... with ils. The least relaxing experience of my life. Food and drink had to be taken at specific times and from the same four approved places for designated sustenance event - meals at hotel, 11ses, coffee and cake at 3pm, drink in an English bar <shudder>. Obviously playing around the pool and on the beach were disprupted by frequent costume/outfit changes. They had never had drinks on the beautiful harbour front; despite going twice a year for more than 20 years. For 15 of those years, they stayed at the same hotel and even in the same room, despite not liking the food, location, pool, how run down it had become, etc.

Staying at their home is like entering a different space time continuum; one where Christmas dinner is cooked in October and frozen. This is cooked 'fresh' on Christmas eve, plated up and reheated in the microwave on CD. Plates are cleared IMMEDIATLY and then MIL must say 'there that doesn't take long, so much easy to do it right away' every time and you must agree woleheartedly. Don't say 'it would take the same time to clear away if you waited a little while'. wink

HyvaPaiva Sat 05-Jan-13 17:23:41

I love this thread! My contribution is itineraries. My DP's father sends us a fully-detailed plan of any trip they make:

Depart home via taxi: 0600 hours (due to 0900 hours flight departure and necessity of 2hrs attendance prior)
Arrive LHR airport: circa 0630 hours. Proceed to baggage drop due to having checked-in via the internet. Our allocated seats are currently 21E and 21F (subject to change; attached is a photocopy of our check-in confirmation)
DEPART LHR 0900 on FLIGHT NUMBER xxxx, PLANE MODEL xxxx. ARRIVE PARIS CDG 1021 (SUBJECT TO CHANGE).
Our passport numbers: xxxxx
CRUCIAL: AIRLINE CONTACT INFO: xxxxx

Our insurance company telephone number: xxxxx
Our insurance policy details: xxxxx

Our hotel address, telephone number, email: xxxx (attached is a copy of our reservation email, a map of Paris, and key French phrases should you require to contact hotel). We will be collected by the owners, Claude and Jeanne, who have a dog.
CRUCIAL: THE BRITISH EMBASSY IN PARIS CONTACT INFO: xxxxxx

Depart hotel: 0800 hours via hotel transfer (at a cost of circa 15Euros, GBP12.17 subject to exchange rate fluctuation)

Arrive CDG airport: circa 0830 hours. Proceed to check-in. NOTA BENE: AT PRESENT WE HAVE NO SEAT NUMBERS TO PROVIDE YOU WITH.
DEPART CDG 1100. ARRIVE LHR 1221 (SUBJECT TO CHANGE).

On disembarking: to passport control and on to baggage claim. Please note, this can take some time due to volume of both baggage and passengers.
Arrival home: TBC upon sourcing a taxi.

grin

MIL always cooks the joint the day before, lets in go cold in the kitchen overnight then re-heats it the following day. I've no idea why!

MousyMouse Sat 05-Jan-13 17:24:57

my parents are obsessed with brands.
if a shop runs out of one thing in their brand a sustitute will not be bought even if it would mean roast dinner without gravy hmm
and they are afraid to go hungry having grown up after the war when going hungry was normal. the tables a so full of stuff it is hard to stick to a normal size meal.

FarelyKnuts Sat 05-Jan-13 17:25:53

Sparkling I am sure they do. They are agog at us saying things like what would you like for dinner to each other (dp and I) as they would have their meals planned a week in advance and carefully measured amounts of ingredients at the standby grin
We love winding them up with "dunno check the fridge and see what we can throw together"

BooCanary Sat 05-Jan-13 17:26:02

My parents do the weighing thing. They buy me at, then weigh it all, then pack weighed portions into freezer bags, then into another freezer bag (just in case), then put all double bagged portions all together into one big bag. Each seperate bag is dated. It takes them bloody hours to put away their shopping.

They then need to wipe, wipe and thrice wipe any surface that the raw meat may possibly have touched - including distant part of the kitchen that apparently may have been splashed by flying chicken juice hmm.

I try to remember if they've always been like this. I think maybe a bit, but have got worse since retirement.

grin Farely. My DF thinks it's terrible that I ask the DC what they want for dinner. He says they should have what they are given. sad

Mum has a meal planner for the week. No deviations allowed.

rechargemybatteries Sat 05-Jan-13 17:29:07

Hahaha we went to Dave and Jean for Christmas dinner this year. Jean counted the spuds and Brussel sprouts and stuffing balls.

Suffice to say her estimation of the appetites of 3 young men in their early 20's was slightly off. There was nothing left. Not even a cocktail sausage and they were hungry when we came home and i had to rustle up grub. I have been informed Christmas dinner better be here this year grin

EndoplasmicReticulum Sat 05-Jan-13 17:30:34

Hyva - I'd like to go on holiday with your relatives. When we went with in-laws it caused me stress - they think things like check in times and the necessity of having tickets with you only apply to other people.

rechargemybatteries Sat 05-Jan-13 17:31:04

Sauvignon - I can answer that!!!

If you are slicing a joint with an electric carving knife a la 1970-something, it is much easier to slice into thin slices when it is cold. And of course, the addition of hot gravy will warm the meat.

Claude and jeanne who have a dog, brilliant. smile

drjohnsonscat Sat 05-Jan-13 17:31:35

Hyva that's brilliant. Love the idea that you are on standby ready to update the itinerary with their inbound seat numbers once this data is available grin

I wonder if he is haunted by those announcements they used to make on R4 in the old days "this is a message for Clive Smith, thought to be on a motoring holiday on the Isle of Wight. Please make contact with St Whatnots Hospital in Kettering where your mother is dangerously ill".

EndoplasmicReticulum Sat 05-Jan-13 17:32:09

I'm going to be like the people on this thread when I'm old, I can tell. I think I might be heading that way already (eyes meal plan...)

There should be a C4 show where the vegetable counting meal planners have to live by the rules of the 'no idea' people for a week. And vice versa. I would watch that. grin

NotMostPeople Sat 05-Jan-13 17:33:06

Another one is the kettle, it must only be filled for the precise number of cups of tea required. Ok - ish but when I was bottle feeding any of my three I'd fill it up to boil and then cool and before I knew it the water had be tipped away - I never understood that one.

drjohnsonscat Sat 05-Jan-13 17:35:39

Sparklingbrook I'll send C4 a video of my week in Devon with dad and stepmum. That will save them on production costs.

Another weird foible is not keeping beer/lager in the fridge. confused Warm lager anyone?

grin drjohnson it would be a ratings hit.

EggRules Sat 05-Jan-13 17:36:53

If you want a lift to the airport FIL would try to move heaven and earth to make sure he can take us (very kind). If flying to Europe, you must get to airport 6 hours before the flight.

Lack of slippers causes colds and sniffles <fact> hmm

Thanks recharge, it still tastes shit though.

Doinmummy Sat 05-Jan-13 17:38:52

This thread is so funny.

My ex MIL used to produce these elasticated sleeve things that she'd made for us to put on our lower arms when we washed up ' to keep our arms clean' confused.

Watching my parents dish up a meal gives me the screaming ab dabs . Each plate is named after us by Dad, then Mum will repeat the names and always gets them in the wrong order. Cue much huffing from Dad who goes over the names in the 'correct' order.

Dad (pointing at each plate). me, you, Doin , Doin daughter , Doin partner.

Mum: you, me, Doin partner, Doin, Doin daughter.

Then there's the great song and dance of who wants what veg which is always put on the wrong plate anyway. We have to suppress our giggles now.

rechargemybatteries Sat 05-Jan-13 17:41:20

Oh Sauvignon it is foul. Dry. And cold. Because the gravy is fucking useless.

EggRules Sat 05-Jan-13 17:41:57

I have no idea what airing is confused. Is this exposing washed and dried clothes to warm air for the purpose of what? How dry can laundry get? Oh oh, is MINE dry enough? Is there a special device that I can use to check?

If washing isn't totally dry, it goes in the dryer for 5 mins. Slatternly fluff and folds means washing is dry. Isn't it?

RandallPinkFloyd Sat 05-Jan-13 17:42:29

Pil's are exactly the same with brands and usual shops.

They shop in Asda and farmfoods, thats it. Now I know lots of people have a preferred supermarket but they literally don't set foot anywhere else ever. Not even for a pint if milk. Regardless of the fact that there is a tesco, Iceland, sainsburys, aldi, morrisons, lidl, 3 co-ops, and a spar all within a 3 mile radius.

I happened to mention that I liked the new morrisons (it's one of the fancy new ones with the mist things over the veg!)

They declared it "far too dear" as they'd been for a look round when it first opened and the Clover was £2 a tub hmm

ShatnersBassoon Sat 05-Jan-13 17:47:25

FIL has drawn a line on their kettle so the exact amount of water is boiled for their favourite mugs ("I'll have to pour this into my mug, this one makes me wee"). They boil the kettle separately for their two drinks even if 4 hot drinks need making, simply to enjoy the satisfaction of being spot on and be able to say "Yessssss, got it right" grin

DM turns everything off at the socket, and then complains that her Sky+ failed to record again when she was out/in bed. She seems to think her presence powers electrical items, not what comes through the sockets.

They go to Morrisons at 8am, even though they are retired. Dad has to take the cool bags for the frozen stuff even though the trip home is a mile. In the car.

DoIgetastickerforthat Sat 05-Jan-13 17:50:34

My dad always has to put his sat mac on even for journeys that he knows like the back of his hand. He faffs and faffs on getting the wires in just the right place, polishing the screen and programming it in. I once suggested that he possibly didn't need to bother putting it on to drive back to his house from mine ( we've been living in the same place for 7 years and P's visit regulally) as the kids were getting antsy but he insists that he needs it on so he knows what the traffic is like... Not that it would make any difference to the route as he wouldn't take an alternative route even if it was predicting 5hr delays.

Not my relations but a friends parents regulally do an inventory of the kitchen cuboards and have a list taped to the inside of the door with what they have and their use by dates. Food must be eaten according to date order and they get very upset if a tin of soup that goes off in May is eaten before a tin that goes off in March even if we were talking about 2020. Nowt queer as folk!

Tee2072 Sat 05-Jan-13 17:53:51

My mother lives with the dustbuster in her hand.

Last time we were at her house, pre-children so years ago, we had more or less just arrived from the UK (she lives in Florida) and my husband had gone to lie down and she starts hoovering. A bare floor that was so clean you could eat off it. I actually had to say 'Mom, husband is trying to sleep!'

And she still didn't stop until the small amount of dust she had spied was gone.

Haha Tee my DM has a trusty Ewbank carpet sweeper and a dustbuster. grin

starfishmummy Sat 05-Jan-13 17:57:28

Sauvignon - do we share pils?
Also MIL will be up and down all meal rewarding the gravy because it has gone cold.
That everything else was stone cold because she took so long faffing around seems to escape her

BooCanary Sat 05-Jan-13 17:59:26

Eggrules - you must have an airing cupboard. My DM is still AGHAST that we bought a house without an airing cupboard. She simply cannot compute how we can possibly manage without one (tumble dryer, radiators, cupboards....).

My DM also does the socket switching off... after every time she uses the kettle it is switched off at the wall. Really annoying!

Every now and again my DH snaps with the food weighing/counting (normally towards the end of our annual holiday with DM & DF), and starts questionning why my DM is in charge of deciding how many potatoes he is allowed - SACRE BLEU! My DM just looks completely baffled that anyone may want anymore than has been specifically allocated/planned for.

EggRules Sat 05-Jan-13 18:00:25

Sparklingbrook Another weird foible is not keeping beer/lager in the fridge. Noted and agreed. smile Red wine DOES go in the fridge??? confused

After 25 years, I do not understand my PILs bathroom use/ shower schedule. I know they involve:
Priority pecking order(most important, maybe you shouldn't be getting washed?);
If the bath or the shower is used;
Tile drying protocol;
Volume of hot water usage;
Which towel are to be used and how they are left afterwards;
etc.

The only one I follow is the one I [now] fully understand; toothbrush and toiletries must NOT be left in the bathroom in between daily usage. They have thin lips and about it but we really can't understand what the feck is going on.

BooCanary Sat 05-Jan-13 18:00:53

I realise I am ranting now, but this thread is seriously cathartic!

EggRules Sat 05-Jan-13 18:02:47

BooCanary - an airing cupboard! I have vaguely heard of them but don't know what it is. I don't think I have one.

mayaswell Sat 05-Jan-13 18:03:02

egg airing, according to MIL means going outside on the line, then in tumble dryer for an hour on high, then ironed on max, then hung on hangers in airing cupboard. You then can't wear it for about 12 hours.

Jelly15 Sat 05-Jan-13 18:03:28

My MIL, when invited for Sunday lunch or Christmas dinner would turn up at 11.30 as lunch should be on the table at 12pm on the dot in her opinin.I started making sure it was ready later and later but she would sit at her seat until it was ready, even though she was encouraged to play with her DGC until it was ready. She would then leave half an hour after finishing the meal, she lived alone and had nothing to rush home for and the DC beg her to stay and play.

When we went there for a meal she would be so anxious and refuse help that it was uncomortable to watch.

starfishmummy Sat 05-Jan-13 18:03:33

Rewarming the gravy blush

mayaswell Sat 05-Jan-13 18:04:55

Aaargh! Room temp beer and lager! Yes! I thought it was just us that suffered this at the hands of my DF!

EggRules Sat 05-Jan-13 18:08:22

thanksmayaswell it is not just the cupboard I am missing; I had no idea there was a drying ritual and period of abstinence ritual. Is this what happened before central heating?

Maryz Sat 05-Jan-13 18:12:10

I am getting slightly worried by this thread, as my parents (though very nice) do an awful lot of these things.

Their faffing is due to having too much time and being set in their ways, I think.

The trouble is, they are just like my grandparents. And my mum used to look at her parents the way I now look at mine.

My children are going to hate me, aren't they sad?

ShatnersBassoon Sat 05-Jan-13 18:12:24

FIL once spent an entire Christmas sulking because we'd kept beer in the garage, when we knew he likes it at room temperature. There was no option of just waiting for it to warm up, he knew he would have no longer fancied a beer by then. MIL was disappointed with me and whispered 'You know he won't have it cold like the youngsters'. He was in his early 50s then, so not exactly at the point that doing anything out of the ordinary might have been the last thing he did.

rechargemybatteries Sat 05-Jan-13 18:15:11

Omg. Jean has a ewbank. It lives in the same cupboard as the proper Hoover. If there is dirt on the carpet and it is not one of the days on which proper hoovering is allowed (Tuesdays and Fridays) then the ewbank comes out and it's rubbish. Why not just get the Hoover out and do the job properly?

FellatioNelson Sat 05-Jan-13 18:15:58

*We are with pil at present and they are very sweet but so bloody uptight about everything.
Bil has been away for a week so he left car with pil so that it "wasn't left in the street" it has a steering lock on and fil takes it for a drive each day! The car is an old banger worth about two hundred quid.
Kids can't even eat a banana without a table cloth,mat and plate
Leaving the house to walk to shops is a major ordeal. Costs hats gloves change of shoes everything switched off at the wall last minute run upstairs for wallets. I could have been there and back.*

Ledkr, are we related? Are you actually staying with my BIL and SIL? Sure must be. Surely.

My mum is like this. Everything is planned, dinner is always at 5pm etc etc.

She is horrified that i dont iron my bedsheets and my pjs. She is even more horrified that i dont own an iron at all.

Gets up early then moans that shes tired because "she had a bad night". Shes retired and could lie in til midday if she wanted.

Set days for doing the food shopping , specific days to wash items eg a towels day, a bedding day and so on.

Shes getting worse as she gets older im sure of it.

Good Lord no recharge the Ewbank is just so handy you see, no plugging in or anything. grin

rechargemybatteries Sat 05-Jan-13 18:18:36

grin are you my secret sister Sparklingbrook?

FellatioNelson Sat 05-Jan-13 18:19:50

My SIL and BIL have for the last 25 years gone food shopping on the same day of the week, at the same time of day, to the same supermarket, and bought exactly the same things and spent the same amount of money (allowing for inflation.) They never deviate from their routine and can tell you practically to the penny what they will spend, and exactly what they will eat Monday through to Sunday.

I would have slit my own throat by now, just to relieve the monotony. shock

ElectricSheep Sat 05-Jan-13 18:23:45

My DMIL once brought round a 3 day old chicken carcase for me. confused

Turned out it was to make stock with. EEuww.

My DF is very much of the count the sprouts out type person but even then eats so very little that there is often waste which must never be thrown out

If you foolishly agree to stay for an impromptu lunch, as I did a few weeks ago, you will be served soft crackers, mouldy cheese, curling ham, off yoghurt, mouldy cake and black bananas. YUM.

All washed down with luke warm coffee - there's no need to actually let the kettle boil because you just have to let the drink cool down anyway. Come on, everyone knows that!

silverten Sat 05-Jan-13 18:24:12

Haha I thought my parents were the only ones who did this stuff....

We find staying with DH's mum really hard work because of all the rules. No one is allowed to use the kitchen without supervision, not even to get a drink of water- either the wrong container is selected (we are none of us permitted to use a glass because we might break it) and the water has to come from the tap in the utility room (I have given up trying to understand why the kitchen sink does not dispense potable water).

MIL is currently fretting about the fact that I have started taking my own coffee and caffetiere. I started because she tried to serve me decaf, on the grounds that 'no one drinks caffeinated any more', and I just couldn't handle the mornings without a decent brew. I'm afraid that now I find a certain evil satisfaction in quietly making myself a drink in my own pot, knowing that she is trying to work out what is so special about it, so that she can get one and then insist that I use it. She has to satisfy herself with reminding me every single bleeding time about the rather involved arrangements for the disposal of used grounds, with a short riff on her terror of sink blockages, but as long as I get my coffee I can deal with that. I have to smuggle the sugar in in those single shot packets though as she is permanently on a diet and treats it like crack cocaine, but that's OK as long as I hide the wrappers.....

dottyaboutstripes Sat 05-Jan-13 18:24:27

My mum told me carpets must not be hoovered for a full year after being fitted. And expected me to leave mine well alone when I moved into a new build with its cream carpet throughout. Can you imagine?!

PepeLePew Sat 05-Jan-13 18:25:22

This makes my parents sound comparatively normal.

Although they do turn off everything, at the wall, all the time. Last time I was there, I went into my bedroom to read a book, and turned on the bedside light. Unplugged. I plugged it in, read for a while, turned it off, left the room. One hour later, I go back in, turn on the bedside light...DM had sneaked in and unplugged it.

I found, by accident, my parents' "we are leaving the house for longer than three hours" list the other day. It is two pages long, and says things like "check front door is locked", and you tick it when you've checked it. I asked DF how that worked when you'd be outside before you could check it. He said they post it back through the letter box.

timidviper Sat 05-Jan-13 18:25:44

My ILs are becoming obsessed by waste as they get older so cook exactly the amount they think is needed for a meal, but it is never enough. You will have a Sunday dinner with 2 roast potatoes the size of marbles per person and a dessertspoonful of peas each. We smuggle in chocolate biscuits as emergency rations.

When DCs were small, MIL produced some plastic cups that DH and DBIL had when they were kids. They were still being given drinks in them when they were about 12, only allowed mugs when they and nephew all protested. The plastic cups are still in the cupboard though, ready for the next generation presumably.

They use stuff not just out of date, but very out of date. They got some cans of Coke out at Xmas, expiry date 2009. When they moved house we found tinned foods over 10 years old and they protested when we wanted to chuck them!

rechargemybatteries Sat 05-Jan-13 18:25:57

OMG. Dave only allows me plastic Lidl tumblers. Proper glasses are for the grown-ups. Clearly, I am still a child. I am nearly 50.

Badvoc Sat 05-Jan-13 18:27:25

My pils bring their slippers with them (not their proper slippers, they have special fold away travel slippers) whenever they come over.
In a way I suppose it's nice that they feel so comfortable here but part of me just thinks..."wtf?"

aJumpedUpPantryBoy Sat 05-Jan-13 18:28:27

PepeLePew posting the list through the door is hilarious

rechargemybatteries Sat 05-Jan-13 18:28:41

I am going to print this thread out and read it when I am 70. And then if I am doing any of the things on it, I shall nobly fall on my sword.

TeaOneSugar Sat 05-Jan-13 18:30:36

MIL would be able to tell you exactly how many minutes DBIL spent in the shower this morning, bless him.

The TV volume has to be on at a set number (which I believe is 33), they can't bear the little light on the sky box to be going around, when you turn the TV off you have to press SKY so it stops, I assume otherwise it will blow up while they're in bed.

They are also obsessed with turning everything off at the plug, they used to look after our dog when we went away, we'd come back to find everything in the kitchen unplugged and all the sockets turned off, one time this included the pump for the fish tank sad.

If the phone goes and theres no one there, or it's an off shore call centre and they can't understand the call, they will tell you about it the next three times you visit.

Two weeks before they go on holiday the suitcases will be out on the "front room" floor, she washes, dries and irons everything and puts it away as it's done, when they get back from holiday their "holiday Clothes" go away unwashed, and the cycle begins again, I find this very odd, but then again I don't have a complete "holiday only" set of clothes.

She takes enough "pants" for 2 weeks, but washes the same pair every night in the bathroom sink, dries it on the balcony/radiator and wears it again the next day, the same pair for 2 weeks.

MIL doesn't allow drinks or food upstairs and finds it most strange that I do, we've been known to eat a curry in bed smile

Me too recharge. grin it must come to us all eventually. grin <goes to look at carpet sweepers in Argos catalogue>

FellatioNelson Sat 05-Jan-13 18:31:40

My ex PIL were just like this. Even making a sandwich for a quick lunch seemed to turn into a military exercise. I just couldn't get my head around how they made everything seem so, well, difficult!

YYYY! This is my SIL to a tee! (and to a slightly lesser extent BIL. He had the potential to be more normal but her married her and became institutionalized.) Un-fucking-believable that there is more than one person in the UK like this alive and well right now, and sending their relatives insane.

We went there to stay for a few days last year, and watching the two of them turn making a batch of boring sandwiches into something akin to emergency brain surgery was a sight to behold.

We must surely all be talking about the same person. PLEASE. The alternative is too depressing.

Tee2072 Sat 05-Jan-13 18:34:45

We turn the kettle off at the wall as it has this weird stand by light that makes it glow. I don't really get the point of it so I flip the switch.

My PILs un

Tee2072 Sat 05-Jan-13 18:35:16

Sorry... Unplug everything in their kitchen after they use it.

Euphemia Sat 05-Jan-13 18:35:27

This Jean and Dave thing needs to stop, because my PILs are actually called Jean and Dave! Really! grin

I love the way my parents get up at 6am to 'seize the day' but are spark out on the sofa by 7.30pm. grin

rechargemybatteries Sat 05-Jan-13 18:37:07

grin sorry Euphemia

I feel weirdly content that I am not the only one suffering with parents/relations like this.

Pepe thanks you've just reminded me to do my pelvic floor exercises. I just laughed so hard a little bit of pee came out blush.

Why do people unplug things at the wall anyway ? What will happen ?

Euphemia Sat 05-Jan-13 18:43:03

House fires, Somebody! House fires! shock

Salmotrutta Sat 05-Jan-13 18:44:59

This is so funny.

My lovely parents are quite routine driven too - more mum than dad but they always eat at the same times every day. Always have a cooked breakfast on a Sunday. Always descend on garden weeds like avenging angels. Must go for saturday trips between set hours of 9.00 and 12.00 otherwise the traffic (of three cars and a tractor) will get too busy. And mum irons dads pants.

My MIL never answers her door after its dark unless its an expected visitor (possibly quite sensible to be fair). Never chucks away half a cake or a leftover bit of anything but tries to palm them off on us. Lives by her TV schedule. Insists on rigid gardening routines which are all marked on her calendar in advance!

Suitcases must be put into the car in the garage due to burglars.

FellatioNelson Sat 05-Jan-13 18:45:33

My ex-PILs would always do their food shopping on a Thursday night. Because this very strenuous exercise took them out of the house for an hour and half it was necessary to plan ahead for dinner; something quick and reliable. So for the eight years that I knew them they always had bacon and egg for dinner on a Thursday. ALWAYS. hmm Bacon. And egg. Never a sausage. Never a bit of black pud, or a side of tomato. Just bacon and egg. I bet they are still doing it now, 25 years later. Sad fuckers.

*when holidaying obvs.

Ooh Fellatio Thursday night was Bejam night in our house circa 1980. grin

FIL won't chill white wine. shock

Salmotrutta Sat 05-Jan-13 18:48:47

I do think some of this may be due to being war kids and rationing etc. both my folks and DHs mum grew up when wasting things marked you out as a profligate ne'er do well.

Euphemia Sat 05-Jan-13 18:49:12

Fellatio My dad started having beef burgers for lunch on Saturdays when my mum went back work in 1977. He still does. confused If they're away on holiday on a Saturday he goes to McD's! grin

I agree Salmo. My Nan had an understairs cupboard full of tins and bottles (separate to the pantry) due to the war, and carried on after. This must have rubbed off on my DM because if she has less than 2 of anything stock has to be replenished.

Salmotrutta Sat 05-Jan-13 18:51:01

Oh god, yes, my folks go on "secret" holidays that are only advertised to me and my sibs.

... In case the local burglars find out.

Salmotrutta Sat 05-Jan-13 18:52:03

My gran had a pantry too. And she horder all sorts of shituseful stuff.

I think my DF thinks the local burglars have his house under surveillance for some reason. Bit like in Home Alone. But he has a cunning system of lights on timers. wink

PeppaPrig Sat 05-Jan-13 18:53:54

Oh badvoc I thought it was just my ILs that had travel slippers.

rubyrubyruby Sat 05-Jan-13 18:55:12

I remember years ago the couple who lived next door wouldn't join the video hire shop because - 'if the shop was broken into the burglars would know they had a video machine AND have their address so may then come round and pinch it'

...... madness

Euphemia Sat 05-Jan-13 19:00:13

he has a cunning system of lights on timers

My parents were burgled a few years ago, so as I mentioned above their living room light comes on on a timer, closely followed by this device that winds round and round to shut the blinds. confused It's supposed to make burglars, sitting in the street watching the front of the house, think that someone is home.

The fact that the burglars came in the back, and indeed would be well advised to try that way again as it's not overlooked at all, is of course irrelevant. hmm

Badvoc Sat 05-Jan-13 19:00:52

Nope smile
Mils are particularly lovely flannelette flowery ones that come in their own little pouch.
I love them really, but, good grief, some of things they do drive me insane.
Monday is cook pot day. It's the LAW. Whatever bits of whatever is left in the fridge gets out into the cook pot and they hope for the best smile
Meat is cooked till its like leather, unless its chicken and then it's still pink inside sad
I dread it when she makes cakes. You could wedge a door open with them...they are so dense and heavy! I try to eat them, I really do...

Marking my place to come back and read more later, after the children's bedtime. I am chuckling away at these grin

earthpixie Sat 05-Jan-13 19:02:55

I actually like my PILs but MY GOD they are so different to my parents. FIL in particular is a total control freak. he knows where every plate, spoon, knife goes, etc. woe betide you if it goes back in the wrong place. He nearly exploded from worry on new year's day because the 'spigot' from the pressure cooker went missing for, oooh, 5 minutes. Def con one. I count the hours until we leave - they live miles away so have to stay at least two nights

EndoplasmicReticulum Sat 05-Jan-13 19:03:39

My parents have specific mugs. Once I made a cup of tea in the "wrong mug" so I haven't bothered since. They have different specific mugs in the caravan.

My mum keeps a pair of slippers at my house in case her feet are cold when visiting.

She also keeps an apron at my house in case she needs it - she wears one for washing up or eating any meal, even a sandwich. Because I don't own an apron she bought one for my kitchen.

NoelHeadbands Sat 05-Jan-13 19:05:47

Love this thread grin

My PILs are fab but I recognise them in so many of these posts. Usually the big trauma when we go to theirs is temperature.
The heating goes on full blast until everyone is maroon, and comatose. Someone will then weakly ask if the heating can be turned down, so it goes off, and every window in the house will be flung open to 'let a bit of air in'. An hour later, teeth chattering, someone will suggest it could possibly be a tad warmer? Cue windows closed, heating goes full blast.

Repeat until end of stay. The concept of say, a constant not too hot/ not too cold temperature is seemingly lost on them.

They also will have at least one barney per visit, usually conducted in the next room through gritted teeth, and usually concerning whether one of them told the other that they needed to buy something THAT THEY NOW HAVEN'T GOT. One such incident resulted in 'pickled egg gate' grin

They are ace though

FellatioNelson Sat 05-Jan-13 19:07:32

We once went to stay with my SIL and BIL's overnight; we went out for lunch and they gave us 'tea'.

We had a plate of sandwiches. There was cheese, or ham, and for the adventurous there was cheese and ham. And one pudding bowl of Pringles. We all had to sit up at the table with much ado for this feast. Now don't get me wrong, I'm all for sitting at the table, but that I could have managed do dispose of by standing at the kitchen counter - it was barely worth dirtying a plate for.

That was for four adults and three children.

That was it. confused

TeaOneSugar Sat 05-Jan-13 19:08:24

Christmas Day dd asked why I was taking my slippers to PIL, I told her otherwise MIL would try to get me to wear her new christmas slippers and I'd rather wear my own.

As we arrived in their kitchen MIL appeared taking the label off her new slippers, Predictable !

FellatioNelson Sat 05-Jan-13 19:09:19

iirc we all had to say in advance whether we wanted cheese, or ham, or cheese and ham, so they could be sure they were not wasting the tiniest scrap of unrequested cheese or ham unnecessarily. confused

TeaOneSugar Sat 05-Jan-13 19:13:19

MIL once asked DH if her wanted butter or cheese on a jacket potato!

We still chuckle about it now, if we have jackets DH will raise an eyebrow and say "butter AND cheese".

MuchBrighterNow Sat 05-Jan-13 19:15:28

My Pil live with their dp. Two generations of nutters. We have to risk tall flights of stairs in the dark and all be sitting down at the table before the light can go on to save electricity.

If you want to use the cooker you have to go down 3 flight of stairs to the basement to turn the gas on and then back again to turn it off.

EndoplasmicReticulum Sat 05-Jan-13 19:15:52

I'm getting worried now - Thursday night is "pasta night" at our house. I think I may have to have pasta on a Wednesday next week. Just to break the routine.

OMG Endo it's starting. The sllippery slope of inflexibility and regime. Why not skip pasta night altogether for a week or so. shock

MousyMouse Sat 05-Jan-13 19:19:32

my mil is lovely.
she is pretty laid back about a lot of things but is a bit ocd, everything has it's place, the clothes on her porcelain dolls (she collects) are washed and ironed regularly and her house is pristine. she has at least 5 different sets of themed plates and cuttlery for birthdays, christmas, easter...any occasion.

FellatioNelson Sat 05-Jan-13 19:19:50

That would drive me freaking nuts TeaOneSugar. Like people who insist you don't need butter on bread if you are having peanut butter. hmm WHY NOT? angry It's not actually butter is it, you morons? It's called peanut butter but it's not actual butter FFS. What is wrong with these people? shock

LemonMousse Sat 05-Jan-13 19:22:11

My late Mother (bless her she was lovely) was a bit anal about the house catching fire or being burgled. If she used a chip pan the minute the chips were served it went out on the back step incase it somehow managed to ignite itself while we were having our meal.

Every plug in the house was removed at bedtime - I'm sure she was never really comfortable about having a freezer and needing to leave it plugged in all the time.

At night she used to stuff blutac in the keyhole in the back door. She said this was to stop draughts but I really think it was to stop a burgler with an exact replica of her back door key gaining access. Not sure that the blutac would have worked hmm

ShatnersBassoon Sat 05-Jan-13 19:22:38

Butter with peanut butter?! Bread only needs one source of summat moist. I would definitely raise an eyebrow at a multi-butterer grin

edam Sat 05-Jan-13 19:22:45

Oh, my stepmother used to bang on about that one, Fellatio. Drove me batty. Fortunately my father eventually divorced her, which was only right and proper (although I suspect the butter issue may not have actually been cited in the divorce papers). grin

FellatioNelson Sat 05-Jan-13 19:23:53

There is nothing wrong with household items having a place - that makes sense. Everyone knows where it fits and where to find it, saving time and hassle. Fine.

But there is no benefit whatsoever to having stupid uptight routines that involve eating the same foods at the same times in a totally regimented way, that saps all the fun and spontaneity out of life. Urrgh.

Allalonenow Sat 05-Jan-13 19:24:58

Oh no! I make a travel itinerary, but mine is just for fun, natch.

FellatioNelson Sat 05-Jan-13 19:25:58

But peanut butter is not moist! It will glue your jaws together! It is probably a good deal less moist than jam, but I bet you have butter with jam? (assuming you like butter at all and if you do not then you are just weird.) grin

bitsnbobs Sat 05-Jan-13 19:26:11

These are hilarious.

My dear Mum does so many of these and since my Dad retired they have both got worse.
Tea HAS to be made in a pot which must be prewarmed with water and only one teabag in teapot.
No to oven chips, they have to be real potatoes cut with a crinkle cutter and be a certain size. She spends ages preparing veg, sprouts must be meticulously chopped at one end, outer leaves removed and a cross on the bottom. Apples have to be peeled as the wax may give you indigestion.
Only Dad can operate the TV and DVD player, he nearly died of shock when ds tried to attach his X Box to it on Xmas Day, he also has a small notebook with everything he has recorded on.
There was a sketch a while back on French & Saunders where Jennifer is a harrried housewife fretting over a meal for a dinner party and getting so stressed that it has to be perfect, reminds me of my Mum grin

MulledWineAndScully Sat 05-Jan-13 19:26:23

My mum reads full Ts and Cs for every app or programme she downloads. Some of them run to 40pages or something! She usually doesn't get through them so won't download the app.

ErikNorseman Sat 05-Jan-13 19:27:43

Butter and peanut butter is indulgently delish. Peanut butter on its own is dry and claggy. I do buy decent whole nut crunchy though, maybe that smooth shite stuff doesn't need butter.

Is this it? bitsnbobs. I love that sketch so much. grin

rechargemybatteries Sat 05-Jan-13 19:32:10

OMG that is so true. grin

MuchBrighterNow Sat 05-Jan-13 19:33:24

peanut butter and marmite every time.. and definitely butter to avoid a Gobi desert mouth.

Euphemia Sat 05-Jan-13 19:33:52

I don't have butter and jam together. Yuk! grin

Notmyidea Sat 05-Jan-13 19:34:08

not my parents or in-laws, but we once bought a second hand car from an elderly gentleman who kept a notebook in the glove compartment in which he'd recorded every time he'd filled up with petrol, how much it had cost, and the mileage, every journey he'd made in it.
Lovely car though!

MuchBrighterNow Sat 05-Jan-13 19:35:19

We bought a car that had a note selotaped to the indicators saying which way for left and right !

AmandinePoulain Sat 05-Jan-13 19:36:13

My PILs lay out their breakfast dishes the night before - I think it's quite sweet really smile.

MulledWineAndScully Sat 05-Jan-13 19:37:33

By god the routines!! My mum and dad have the same meals on the same nights of the week EVERY night except Saturday. Saturday is dad's turn to cook something (which is usually lasagne but is allowed to not be lasagne, just that one night).

I can't go stay on a weekday with DD any more because my dad must watch emmerdale before he commences work in the study. As her bedtime is 7pm and she sleeps in the study he had a total meltdown about it (refused to work first and watch emmerdale later) and she had to sleep in with me. Neither of us slept a bloody wink.

They don't pursue hobbies together any more because it becomes hard work eg. They started going swimming but my dad said they had to do x lengths each and was counting my mums as well as his own and accusing her of lying about how many she'd done.

I'm not sure if this is anal behaviour or controlling behaviour now I'm reading it back. She should probably LTB.

MuchBrighterNow Sat 05-Jan-13 19:40:17

My dp cancelled a long awaited city break in case they caught novovirus whilst away...

DoIgetastickerforthat Sat 05-Jan-13 19:42:36

Notmyidea - My dad does that. He can't switch the engine back on until it has all been noted and mileage calculated, argh!

ledkr Sat 05-Jan-13 19:43:56

felatio you made me properly scared then. We are driving back and I had to stop and think if any of the rellies might be mnetters hmm I have a feeling that sil and bil partners get a bit irritated too.
It took ages to leave as usual. We have to kiss everyone goodbye that we kissed hello four hours previously grin
Looking forward to getting home and having a nice glass of wine.
Dry January can fuck off.

EndoplasmicReticulum Sat 05-Jan-13 19:43:56

Sparkling - I like pasta.

It's easy to see myself going down this path though, I think I have a gene, given parents / grandparents and their ways.

Also I think being a teacher doesn't help, I am conditioned to work to a timetable and respond to bells.

cannot make himself a sandwich, and will stand looking pathetic with a piece of bread until MIL comes to spread some butter on it and miraculously turn it into a sarnie through the medium of ham...

This is my most favourite thinng I have ever read on here grin

FellatioNelson Sat 05-Jan-13 19:50:01

dry january can fuck off

Yup. I know that feeling. grin

bbface Sat 05-Jan-13 19:50:28

More than three years ago my FIL came to stay.

He mislaid a sock whilst here.

He continues to ask me if I have found his sock. Three. Years. Ago.

Oh dear, and we all get to turn into them.

ChippingInLovesChristmasLights Sat 05-Jan-13 19:52:30

Well - I am relieved on two levels and worried on another.

I am relieved that I am not alone in my suffering grin

I am relieved that my pelvic floor is still doing it's job well grin

I am worried that one day I will be the subject of a thread like this grin

Please, keep them coming!!

ledkr Sat 05-Jan-13 19:52:55

My parents leave their cups out for drinks in the morning with tea bags in ready and spoons too.
They do various supermarket trips a week and eat similar meals each day. Chops Friday steak Saturday and roast Sunday with meat sarnies for tea.
I told her I called her one morning And she snapped "we were in asda . You know we go to asda on Thursday morning"
Before they or we drive anywhere we have to discuss traffic and where we will park when we get there.
If any of us get a parking ticket or stuck in a jan we have to keep quiet for fear of much head shaking and smug disbelief.
Also oil and water should be checked daily hmm

ChippingInLovesChristmasLights Sat 05-Jan-13 19:53:25

GPND - you have permission to shoot me if I do!

JellicleCat Sat 05-Jan-13 19:56:54

MIL has the thing about airing clothes. They go out on the line for 10 minutes a short while and are brought in practically dripping to "air". Why not leave them blowing on the line (in the actual air) until they are dry? confused

FellatioNelson Sat 05-Jan-13 19:57:19

My SIL once brought a small cake tin to my house to make her cheesecake in, as a Christmas offering. It was one of those thin non-stick victoria sandwich type tins that cost about a fiver. When she was ready to go home she couldn't find her cake tin - I think MIL had washed up and put it away in one of my cupboards or something.

OMG the fuss that was made of finding this fucking cake tin. shock My bin was practically emptied out on to the floor, both my fridges given a thorough going over, my cupboards and dishwasher frisked, I'm sure I was given an internal body-search at some point. Thank God she found it in the end otherwise I fear the police may have been called.

ipswichwitch Sat 05-Jan-13 19:58:27

eggeules my parents have a post-shower tile drying protocol! You also have to dry the edge of the bath, the floor, the towel rail (all with special towel) then arrange all the towels on the towel rail correctly so nobody (god forbid) should use tile drying towel to dry their hands. In case of tile contamination, presumably confused

tiffinbaker Sat 05-Jan-13 19:59:14

I love this thread, I've just read it all the way through.

I have lovely lovely inlaws who are only a teeny tiny bit mad. In this thread I can see how much more so they could be, they are practically normal by comparrison.

I think they would like to be like the other ILs on this thread, but don't quite have enough bossiness to make it work. So they try to stick to their regular mealtimes and plan their schedules in advance when we are visiting, but have given up trying to get us to eat at 6 or specify our sandwich contents in advance. They do insist on us looking at the takeaway menu at 3pm if we are having curry though. Because they need to place the order in plenty of time.

Euphemia Sat 05-Jan-13 20:01:07

You can see how it starts.

I make the packed lunches at night. Once DD is all grown, it's going to be the breakfast dishes, isn't it? To give life some purpose? confused

Monday will be washing day. To make there a reason to get out of bed.

Thursday will be macaroni cheese night. To give me something to look forward to.

I'll be too frail to tackle burglars, or jump out of a window in the event of a fire, so I will do what I can to try to stop those things happening.

confused

Then DD won't come to visit any more because we're bonkers, and so our crazy habits will become entrenched!

Aaarrrgghhh!

Unfortunately my own flesh and blood, my parents have a date on their calendar when one of them turns on their PAYG mobile in the kitchen, and rings the other one in the hall to make sure that they don't lose their mobile number.

My FIL has too many obessions/routines to list!

Oodhousekeeping Sat 05-Jan-13 20:05:09

My grandparents used to do the eating at set times thing. I used to go for lunch from school sometimes so I could use my dinner money for sweets and used to get there 12:15 and mine would be plated up as Grandad ate at 12 on the dot!

My mum does the travel itinery thing. Even if she leaves my Dad at home I get it though dad is a bit scatterbrained

My BIL/SIL change clothes 7 or 8 times a day. Pjs, house clothes, dog walking clothes, house clothes, work clothes, house clothes , going out clothes etc... Dh warned me before I stayed with them but I spent the whole weekend soooo frustrated waiting to go out.

HyvaPaiva Sat 05-Jan-13 20:05:19

Allalonenow, don't worry it's not the itinerary itself that makes me laugh and I see why you might leave contact information. The grin is for the way it is written and the overboard detailing ('NB: CRUCIAL'/0600 hours bits/seat numbers/the embassy) that is provided to family members ...about 6 couples received a 'pack' of itinerary, photocopies and documents grin

Euphemia Sat 05-Jan-13 20:05:26

OMG 3 my dad does that!

ledkr Sat 05-Jan-13 20:05:40

tiffin I posted earlier about the takeaway panic grin
One year we had planned to go ice skating from pils. There was so much faffing and I mean hours of discussion indecision peppered with coffee breaks and me trying to get a decision made. I then realised that the ice rink closed at 4 and it was about 2 so I took dd1 and we went ourselves.
I think pil were still like this shock when we got back. We had also been for pizza do fils head nearly fell off as he had been planning for us to eat an Indian at about 7.22 and we weren't hungry.

timidviper Sat 05-Jan-13 20:07:17

notmy idea DH records petrol and mileage every time he fills up and thinks I am mad because I laugh at him for it.

It will probably short circuit his brain tomorrow when he doesn't get his bacon and egg brunch because I'm scared I'm going to turn as batty as the rest of his family if i cook one every week

My Dad cannot get his head round buying a take out coffee at all. You make coffee at home, and certainly don't wander round glugging it-that's uncouth apparently.

namechanger11111 Sat 05-Jan-13 20:08:31

I have. an ex who was like that when he was 28.

He cleaned his house on the same day each week even though it was never dirty, went food shopping on the same day and filled his car up with petrol on the same day.

He had to have bread and butter with every meal no matter what it was.

He never used his debit card to pay for anything, he'd decide the night before how much he'd need to spend then take it out of the cash point. Then he'd phone his mum and she would write down what he'd withdrawn and how much he had left in a little book. Sometimes he'd phone his mum first to make sure he could afford what he was planning to spend.

I stayed at his house one night and the 2 coffee cups we'd used had to be washed, dried and put away and the sink rinsed and dried with a cover over it before we could go to bed.

He lasted 4 weeks before i ran away screaming!

FellatioNelson Sat 05-Jan-13 20:09:33

YYY! SIL and BIL have a post shower drying protocol as well! When we stayed there recently we found a brand new squeegee scraper thing like window cleaners use, and a brand new chamois leather placed strategically in the shower cubicle of the guest bathroom, just for us. We both took great delight in ignoring them.

At my parents all shower gels, shampoos etc are dried and put into a cupboard after showering. wink

Agent64 Sat 05-Jan-13 20:13:57

My dad nearly had a heart attack once because my DDs were baking. Watching them cracking eggs was more stress than he could bear.

Him (covering his eyes with one hand, clutching his chest with the other) - I can't look, oh I can't look.

Me - It's only an egg.

Him - No, I can't take it.

He left. They baked. Yum.

As an aside - I was never allowed to help my mum in the kitchen, never mind being let loose with eggs n flour n stuff.

FellatioNelson Sat 05-Jan-13 20:15:31

My SIL wipes her oven out after very use.

MulledWineAndScully Sat 05-Jan-13 20:16:08

When we go visit we have to text when we come off the motorway so they can 'swap the cars around' (this involves parking one car in the street so we can park in the drive). I cannot for the life of me work out why they can't move the car when they feel like it or when a space becomes available in the street, because sometimes it's all too late and all the street places are full.

littlemisssarcastic Sat 05-Jan-13 20:19:54

SoggySummer Your post at 13.18 has me in stitches!! grin

My xMIL has been through countless mobile phones and cordless phones by insisting on leaving them permanently on charge. She never allows them to discharge before recharging, just keeps on recharging them. Inevitably, the battery dies and then she wonders why, once again, they haven't lasted, despite everyone explaining to her a thousand times.

I know you can get phones that can be left permanently on charge now, but xMIL refuses to buy any of those which are suggested to her, because she doesn't like the look of them.

Over christmas, both her cordless phone and her mobile batteries have died again. She has had both phones no more than 6 months.

She also plugged all of our phones, laptops and mobiles in when she visited. grin

Oh yes, ILs also have a shower drying protocol with a squeegee thingy. I always have a shower immediately before Dh so he has to sort it out. By the flipping time I've done it I need another bloody shower grin

And making cups of tea. OMG I try to make it while they're not around so I can just stick the bag in a mug. If they're around you have to follow the tea making rules:
Fill kettle with fresh water and boil
Pour water into teapot "to warm the pot"
Empty rest of water down sink, fill kettle with fresh water and boil
Empty water from teapot
Add teabag to tea pot and pour freshly boiled water on
Set oven timer for 3 minutes
When oven beeps, pour into mug and add milk
By the time it's ready I'm wishing I hadn't bothered saying I'd have one, especially as I'm only allwed 'normal' tea or FIL's Earl Grey. MIL won't share her fruit teas with me confused

pumpkinsweetieMasPudding Sat 05-Jan-13 20:20:23

Lol at some of thesegrin
My ils aren't funny, just toxic, but my dm on the other hand cracks me up.
dm won't purchase anything online as she thinks fraudsters will fleece her, so gets me to use my card insteadgrin
She constantly charges her mobile, if it goes anything below 0 back on charge it goes grin
She also wears a wooly hat indoors if i'm cooking and an overtop as she can't stand the smell of food on hergrin
I feel mean putting these, but it's so funny...

Euphemia Sat 05-Jan-13 20:20:33

MIL has us give her "two rings" when we get home. We used to do this with my GPs in the 1970s, when phone calls were really expensive!

We have to do 3 Euphemia wink

Euphemia Sat 05-Jan-13 20:23:33

grin

ginmakesitallok Sat 05-Jan-13 20:24:30

My mil goes through all of her junk mail and cuts off her name and address before binning them....

rechargemybatteries Sat 05-Jan-13 20:24:47

I have to text when I get home. But only my father because mother cannot use her very basic phone. They live 15 minutes away by car on good roads.

Adversecamber Sat 05-Jan-13 20:25:11

Oh dear I see a bit of me on this thread.

Dinner always at the table, I loathe mobile phones and quite often will find when bothering to check after maybe five days that I have three text messages. I often switch the modem off overnight. I also never drink coffee in the street walking about. I have never bought a drink in a motorway service station as I always make a flask. I'm only 46 but was like this at 26.

I think some of the oddness on this thread is to do with post war austerity.

tubsywubsy Sat 05-Jan-13 20:25:47

My DPs once stayed at our house to babysit overnight one Saturday. They were security obsessed and decided to put DH's wallet somewhere safe rather than leave it out overnight for the (non existent) burglars to find. Monday morning saw a frantic search for said wallet as a taxi waited outside to take DH to the airport. DPs had forgotten to put it back. It was located after a rather tense early morning phone call to DPs.
DF now no longer with us, but DM still driving me mad with door closing, locking, unlocking, checking, rechecking etc before leaving the house.

littlemisssarcastic Sat 05-Jan-13 20:27:10

My mother also gets very anxious at the thought of buying anything online, because of course, as soon as she clicks 'place order', a beacon flashes across the internet to all of the fraudsters and she will definitely have her account cleaned out. hmm

She is perfectly ok to do her banking online though, because you can trust banks can't you?

My brother tried explaining that even banking online is targeted by fraudsters occasionally, and that it always paid to proceed with caution, but mother says that is scaremongering.

ginmakesitallok Sat 05-Jan-13 20:27:25

Oh and she puts her iron back in the original box (in original plastic bag, with original plastic tie thing) after she uses it. Iron is at least 5 years old.

Euphemia Sat 05-Jan-13 20:28:03

I think some of the oddness on this thread is to do with post war austerity.

What, the Falklands, Adverse? wink

My Dad gets very worried if he finds an odd screw/nail/washer random bit of plastic on the floor. He goes all round the house, wondering where it could have come from. It really bothers him if he can't reunite the lost 'bit' with it's rightful home. Lots of head scratching and 'I can't understand it, do you know what it's off?' to my poor DM. sad

aJumpedUpPantryBoy Sat 05-Jan-13 20:29:45

littlemisssarcastic - those fraudsters arewatching my mum too, although apparantly my credit card is imune to possble fraud so I can buy stuff on her behalf, she then transfers the money via her on-line bank account!

littlemisssarcastic Sat 05-Jan-13 20:31:35

Ha ha ha ha ha aJumpedUpPantryBoy

ShatnersBassoon Sat 05-Jan-13 20:32:57

DM won't let me use sharp knives or the potato peeler without close supervision and regular "Ooh be careful, I haven't got time for a trip to casualty today and I can't leave him here with the oven on". Him is my middle-aged husband grin

newstarticus Sat 05-Jan-13 20:33:50

I feel guilty posting as my DPs are so lovely, however has anyone mentioned the weather forecast yet?

Must be watched at least twice a day and duly noted and discussed. Whether they are going out is irrelevant as they never go far and take the car everywhere, however imagine if they missed and got caught in a hurricane..

DM always wants us to squeegee the shower after use too.
She bleaches the dishtowel several times a day.
She wipes kitchen surfaces and floor, bathroom surfaces and dining room table about a million times a day.
Slightly OCD, definitely.

DF saves e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. Milk in Canada comes in bags that you put in a plastic jug. He cuts the tops off, rinses them out and keeps them. There are thousands in a drawer. He also saves the business section of the newspaper with the idea that he will one day go through them all and clip out and save interesting articles. The piles are a serious fire hazard in the garage and basement and date back to probably 1978. Every day.

EggRules Sat 05-Jan-13 20:34:34

FellatioNelson Sparklingbrook ipswichwitch ILs post-shower tile protocol does indeed involve chamios leather, squeegee scraper and drying all thier own toiletry bottles and bar of SOAP with a special micro cloth and then they are place in the cupboard where the water heater is kept. It isn't just that the bathroom must have no evidence of moisture, there are special towels/potions or tools to get to the requisite dry state. FFS.

The only good thing is that it probably isn't my turn to have a shower anyway.

Crazy bunch of bananas.

Ooh Egg the dry bathroom thing is very odd. They must despair when the com here with our wet bottles all on show and water on the shower screen. shock Disgusting really....

EggRules Sat 05-Jan-13 20:39:52

Weather - we live 150 miles away from FIL. Every time he rings he asks what the weather is like and if it's different he seems really shocked. We get a lot more snow but I'm not sure he believes us.

DF presses the mile counter every time he puts petrol in the car. Results are talked about at length.

DM does three rings as her home signal.

LaQueen Sat 05-Jan-13 20:41:30

DH and I met when we were 20 & 21 at university...we graduated, and then lived together for the following 9 years. At no point during those 9 years were we ever allowed to share a bedroom at PIL's house hmm

Finally, just a few months before our wedding, MIL finally relented and we were very grudgingly allowed to sleep together...

One step further - DH's cousin had been married for several months, when she visted PIL's with her new DH. MIL even tried to get them to sleep in separate bedrooms...

Yep, not remotely uptight or anything hmm

Euphemia Sat 05-Jan-13 20:43:15

Egg My mum used to be like that. She lives in the east and we lived in the west, and she would never believe me if I said we had rain if they had sun. hmm

Queenmarigold Sat 05-Jan-13 20:44:00

My parents.
Phones never on. Will send ONE text only ( not to waste 10p) and then turn it off again.
Excess boiled water from kettle kept in flask to save money.
ALL leftovers always eaten even of they are out of date/ stale/ tank and tasting of Tupperware they've been kept in for weeks. Don't put butter or milk in mash- waste.shockshockshock
Shop at Aldi.

However, they own several properties, have better pensions that our generation ever will and have 3 foreign Hols per year.

Tis just mean ness not frugality. Makes me so mad I spend more than I can afford in everyone else to over compensate!

middleagedspread Sat 05-Jan-13 20:44:07

My PIL live an hour away.
They drive over with a rug & flask of coffee in the car. Then they bring clothes to change into.
Before departure they change into their 'driving clothes', apply lipstick (MIL) then do 10 checks on the car. We receive a call to say they have arrived safely.
Weird, how you get used to it.

Yes to shower protocol - you have to open the window and hang towel outside even in winter. I am not completely convinced thatbtheynare washed after we leave but instead simply "dried" and put back in the airing cupboard. There is no heating in the bathroom and the water comes in a dribble. I would never dare to have a bath - that would be totally prolifrigate. Oh and the 'airing' cupboard is in the I heated bathroom... Which seems to be totally pointless from an airing perspective.

Yes to random items of reduced fprice food cooked together.

My Aunt strips the bed you have slept in while you are in the shower and has the sheets on the line by the time you are eating breakfast. sad

abitcoldupnorth Sat 05-Jan-13 20:46:26

My Granny used to air every single item of clothing, bedding etc in the airing cupboard. This included shrouds for the corpses at her funeral home, I kid you not!!

have only got to page 2, but am crying grin

newstarticus YES to weather forecast! PIL even watch the weather in my parent's area. Despite seeing them ooh about once every 2 years! Why?! Then they tell DH "ooh, it's a bit wet/cold/warm/windy in X, isn't it?" - why?

edam Sat 05-Jan-13 20:48:35

This thread makes me feel all cosy and warm because my PILs used to be like this. They had an incredibly vast yet detailed range of tupperware to cater for every left-over, from a single sprout to 9/10ths of a block of cheese or half a roast, whatever. Going out or making a sandwich or putting on/turning off the heating was all incredibly complicated, involving a series of questions and debates... I was amazed as my parents are a decade younger and had never got into this fussiness/saving everything because you grew up during the war stuff.

Only a bit sad too because FIL is deceased and MIL is too frail and elderly and confused to worry about her insulated gravy jug any more, or to press dozens of jars of onions she'd pickled herself that were suspiciously dark brown (I swear some of them were older than dh!) on us as we leave. Was equally hilarious and frustrating at the time but I miss it terribly now MIL is so, I dunno, reduced.

BadDog Sat 05-Jan-13 20:49:56

my in laws WONT USE a cashpoint because foreigners scam them.

FIL is foreign,

dottyaboutstripes Sat 05-Jan-13 20:50:43

My parents have loads of stuff which is "too good to use", for example the mugs which they saved tokens for from McVities biscuits in the 1980s and which are kept on top of a kitchen cabinet, never having been used. Or the hot chocolate I brought back from France when I spent a year living there - in 1990 shock it's still sitting in their kitchen 23 years later!

oldraver Sat 05-Jan-13 20:53:00

notmyidea we have a 50 something friend who does the same with his car. A little book that contains details of everytime he fills up, the mileage where he went, etc. When DH first met him (in the Forces) he had a book that contined dtails of all the clothes he had bought.

It turms out his Fathere used to do the same and also kept every single bank statement and would take them all when he went to the bank

ShatnersBassoon Sat 05-Jan-13 20:54:18

God yes, the everyday items saved 'for best'. Examples include tea towels brought back from holiday 30 years ago. I can't wait for the event they'll get their first airing at, it's going to be amazing grin

I love this thread. Especially the crazy food-weighers.

My parents drive DH nuts. Anything they buy other than food (anything from a new chair to a car) requires several years of discussion and imput from the whole extended family. They actually got me and DH to come and test a mattress for the spare room with them, because they were so worried it might not be 'right'. And they got my brother and his wife and newborn to do the same. They live over 100 miles from all of us.

If anything that is bought doesn't last perfectly for a decade or more, it is deemed a grave disappointment, to be mentioned every time someone suggests throwing caution to the winds and, you know, just splashing out on a new duvet without first canvassing opinions from several sources and averaging with the results of the Which? survey. You are not allowed to decide you just fancy something new/different on the spur of the moment. Consequently, they have decorated/repainted rooms in their house approximately once each in over 20 years but think the paint is bad quality because it now looks a little faded.

They are perfectly well-off but will never consider paying a little more to avoid a massive amount of hassle. DH once got a taxi from the train station to theirs, which resulted in massive amounts of hand-wringing because someone could have gone to pick him up if they'd just rung up the car insurers and put one of us on the insurance temporarily, and if we'd had dinner an hour early, and, and ... it didn't occur to them the taxi was convenient.

Mum makes everything from scratch, and plans meals precisely. Yet, every holiday my dad will say, at around 10am, 'how about you throw us together a picnic now?'. Every time, she doesn't just say 'no', she fumes silently while trying to find food for a meal she (shock!) hasn't planned, which usually means bread, cheddar, and apples.

She will then blow up about what a pain it is, and dad will be very surprised. Every. Single. Time.

We took them out walking in the Cotswolds and introduced them to the concept of 'going to the pub for lunch instead of a picnic', but it's not catching on.

Eskarina Sat 05-Jan-13 20:55:40

My parents sound relatively normal compared to most of these stories BUT good grief the shower squeegee thing. Dad has an electric Kärcher thing that sucks the water off the wall. He's told me about it 90 million times. We should get one apparently. We were even treated to a demonstration when we went up at Xmas. Twice. When baby dd put sticky fingerprints on the patio doors it was an occasion of joy because dad had an excise to use the electric squeegee thing.
They've seen one on offer not as good as the offer they got theirs on and keep asking me If I want them to put in an order so we can have one too!

BadDog Sat 05-Jan-13 20:55:43

plues everything is TINY at their house

tiny fridge - tiny pints of milk, tiny cutlery tiny wine glasses.

The wine glasses are a certain brand of glassware that have a little logo on a sticker, this they leave ON.

NOTHING can happen on the kitchen table without a mat being used

BadDog Sat 05-Jan-13 20:56:14

do your parents all turn mattresses? sheesh

LeonardoAcropolis Sat 05-Jan-13 20:57:31

These are very funny.

MIL keeps everything in a little plastic bag. When visiting my house she will transport her belongings ie slippers, puzzle book, presents for DS in individual tesco carrier bags. Also in a Tesco bag will be a bottle of tap water - from her own home.

I love this thread. I love my Mum and Dad and everyone elses and their annoying ways. grin

I think DH is starting. I went to the car on the drive in my dressing gown and he said you shouldn't go out the front in nightwear. grin

Euphemia Sat 05-Jan-13 20:59:31

BadDog MIL recently decided she needed a new mattress as she's not up to turning hers any more. I told her that you can get ones now that you don't turn, and she was so aghast that she went off the whole idea!

Badvoc Sat 05-Jan-13 21:02:13

My pils will not throw anything away.
Anything.
There is stuff in their loft that dates from the boer war.
My mil has even kept the stitches taken out of my dh's chin (when he was 7) and her dads false teeth.
Do I win? smile

Talking of beds is having a top sheet under the duvet (in cover) an age thing?

my in laws refuse to buy anything unless they can get it from an auction. They are deeply upset because monday is auction day and normally the two auction houses ran on alternate Mondays but Christmas has messed things up so they run now on the same day and then they have <gasp> a two week wait for the next auction. And obv they can't spend the same amount of time at before at either auction.

Tee2072 Sat 05-Jan-13 21:05:30

"We took them out walking in the Cotswolds and introduced them to the concept of 'going to the pub for lunch instead of a picnic', but it's not catching on."

grin

rubyrubyruby Sat 05-Jan-13 21:07:04

MIL moans that DH never goes round to clear out her gutters.

We have lived here 16 years and never cleared out gutters

Euphemia Sat 05-Jan-13 21:07:12

My dad has his first payslip, from the 1950s. That may seem pretty normal, but he also has procedural manuals from his promotion to vehicle inspector in the 1970s.

He has kept the specially moulded mask the hospital made for his radiotherapy. It looks like a fucking death mask. I can't wait until one of us finds that in a cupboard after he's passed. hmm

nkf Sat 05-Jan-13 21:07:54

Funny and kind of sweet. I have no parents or inlaws and I remember this fussiness with fondness.

FIL can't throw anything away. Tbf this is because he he had a v traumatic childhood - adoption in the 40's, plus v bad treatment by the natural children of his DPs when his beloved DPs died.

But there are 3 huge chest of drawers, 3 full height bookcases and an enormous brown wardrobe in DH's old bedroom - they are all full of ,stuff', I've no idea what. It's not DH's things - the other 'spare' room, you can't even get in the door. They have a second bathroom that they use to store apples in the bath. Can't be actually used as a bathroom.

rubyrubyruby Sat 05-Jan-13 21:09:25

Oh god - and my DM and picnics!

There is an infinite supply of Tupperware boxes for various salad/fruit/crisps. She emptys individual packets of crisps into individual Tupperware boxes

NeedlesCuties Sat 05-Jan-13 21:09:33

Not a relation, but a friend.

We were visiting and telling him about a new uni course DH was starting. This was a field of interest for our friend too and he said DH could borrow some books.

He then produced an A4 sized fileblock, it had a page ruled and set out:

Name & author of book borrowed.
Date published.
Name of person who borrowed it.
Date borrowed.
Contact detail of person borrowing.

confused

noelstudios Sat 05-Jan-13 21:13:17

This thread is hilarious. My dad is obsessed with anyone potentially losing their mobile phone, so you cannot leave a phone anywhere really without Dad finding you about 10 mins later, phone in hand, saying, 'is this yours?'. It's become a catchphrase in our house. Ironically, their house is a bloody bombsite, counters covered with recipes from magazines, random bags of tableclothes for the village hall, dozens of ancient biros, countless receipts, boiler maintenance manuals etc. My DH boils as their house is 'club tropicana', whereas his parents' house is bloody freezing and everyone is expected to wear two jumpers and a scarf as a given.

And at both of their houses, hot water is only available at certain undisclosed times of the day.

LaQueen Sat 05-Jan-13 21:14:20

"My Aunt strips the bed you have slept in while you are in the shower and has the sheets on the line by the time you are eating breakfast."

Oh, how I envy you...we often stay at MIL's, pull back the quilt and discover other people's friggin hair on the pillow/sheets shock

There are simply no words...

LegoAcupuncture Sat 05-Jan-13 21:14:38

Some of these are hilarious!

My mil is anal.

When going out, she puts her coat on, squirts her awful minging old lady perfume and puts a humbug in her mouth. Every time! We cant forget the humbug! Even if she is just coming to mine, a 5 minute scooter ride away, in goes the humbug.

She is very frugal with electricity. Refuses to put any lights on in her house until the street lighs go on. Woe betide anyone who puts the lighs on earlier.

She eats the same foods on the same as of the week, and has cups of tea exactly two hours apart.

2anddone Sat 05-Jan-13 21:16:36

Love this thread....very nervous that I can see myself already in some of these posts though blush

LivingInAPinkBauble Sat 05-Jan-13 21:16:58

Both mine and DH's parents seemed to have escaped this so far, but my mum found it hilarious when she went on a golfing weekend with her DP and his club. They stayed near some naice towns but the other golfing wives would not go out whilst their husbands were playing in case they came back early. Mum asked why, the answer was that they had to run baths for their DHs! The shock when DM confessed to never having done this for her DP sounded most amusing!

Oooh *LaQueen that's minging. Are you tempted to take your own bed linen? sad

JKSLtd Sat 05-Jan-13 21:18:21

Love this thread, hilarious grin

FIL is the only one who can open the stair gate in their house.

They have an upside-down house, so the living room is upstairs. Any time you want a wee (I don't fell comfortable using their en-suite), another drink, to get your book, anything, you get up, he jumps up, opens the gate for you, reattaches it.
you do whatever.
then when you come back up the stairs he jumps up and lets you back in.

Drives.Me.Demented.

I'll often just say I'm tired and go to bed (whilst getting another drink on the way) to avoid the issue.

PIL do loads of the other things too, but they aren't bad really.
My parents aren't anal at all. Which can be crazy-inducing in the opposite way.

Does anyone else have the experience of them being massively impressed by 'how-to' books?

Anything you suggest to my dad, he will try to buy you the book - he has multiple copies of 'what to do when someone dies' from the deaths of all of my grandparents and he treasures a 1950s guide to DIY and a 70s car repair manual which he solemly gets out when he wants to change the oil. Which? is his bible. You are not allowed to suggest you'd just google for up-to-date information: the internet is fallible, but printed books are always right.

He also takes so long finding the right how-to book that he got in touch to tell me he had a five-book shortlist of the best books on how to buy a second-hand car several days after I'd gone out and bought the thing.

Btw, I forget who said about their PIL not letting them leave toiletries etc. in the bathroom, but my mum does this too. You may not leave a razor on the side or a box of tampax by the loo (even if it's in a box that hides what it is which mine are). At my place she routinely comes out of the loo with handfulls of things and a prim look, before telling me I've 'left' these 'out' and where should she put them away? hmm

rechargemybatteries Sat 05-Jan-13 21:23:53

My mother believes tampax and towels and the like should be hidden in the hotpress. She is shocked that we have a wicker thing in the bathroom where they live.

They also possess an encyclopedia from about 1960 that they use to look things up and refuse to use google for such things. Same as yours LRD, the actual printed book is trusted so much more, even if it's years out of date.

AliceWChild Sat 05-Jan-13 21:24:13

Oh wow I'm not alone. Can relate to so many of these. grin

The begrudging faffing. Everything is a huge faff to 'be polite' but begrudged so you feel bad for it.

One Xmas the ILs decided to resolve the Xmas dinner faff by having Xmas dinner for Xmas eve tea instead. And you must eat everything on your overloaded plate else it will me repeated to all visitors for years. (One of my ILs friends is identified to me ad the one who didn't eat everything at a meal once). So we were stuffed on Xmas eve, went to bed and couldn't sleep for food sweats, then Xmas day we had nothing to do except stare at each other. It was only us and the ILs. No excited kids who wanted the time to play. confused

Tee2072 Sat 05-Jan-13 21:25:02

My parents and in laws are looking saner and saner all the time.

Except my step-mom who is a total fruit loop to the extent she decorates her house in such a way that she has to put throws over the furniture so no one stains the white couches and you weren't allowed to actually go into the living or dining rooms when I was a child.

Once she moved to FL and had a 'great room' she used to fret that one of the grandchildren would dare to sit on a dining room chair.

I was actually shocked when we went to visit for her daughter's wedding and they had a get together the night before with all of the out of town guests and she had actually removed the covers from the sofas and people were eating pizza while sitting on them! Her face was a picture all night long.

I still remember, and I must have been about 10, when my Pops, my dad's dad, spilt a glass of red wine on the living room sofa. You could tell she wanted to kill him but managed to stay polite!

Nervousfirsttimer Sat 05-Jan-13 21:25:52

Here's a couple for you.. Staying with parents over Xmas, df was aghast I wanted to have a shower as he'd just 'cleaned the bathroom'!! Also Dm put one, yes one, rasher of bacon back in the fridge after making bacon sandwiches!? Just cook the bloody thing!

recharge - we obviously have similar parents.

If I want to really bother my dad, I will send DH out to pick up shopping including tampax. It is Wrong, apparently.

Nervousfirsttimer Sat 05-Jan-13 21:28:41

Oh and plates have to be warmed in the oven or food will get cold!? Wtf?!

whatphididnext Sat 05-Jan-13 21:30:31

Great thread grin

It drives my DM nuts that I use a milk jug for gravy and use the milk straight out of its plastic jug.

She bought me an insulated gravy jug for Xmas this year. But it's tiny so guess I'll still be using the milk jug.

No one except my MIL is allowed to make FIL a coffee. If I try and sneak one to him she snatches it away, pours it down the sink and makes him a proper cup. I kid you not.

JKSLtd Sat 05-Jan-13 21:30:50

Oh another FIL one!

No way can you eat in his car, absolutely not!

But even worse is if you touch the windows when they mist up shock

I did that in the early days, never forgotten.

He would truly shudder at the state of under the DC car seats and our windows grin

rechargemybatteries Sat 05-Jan-13 21:31:17

LRD - I am going to visit them later in the week and find a way to casually drop into the conversation that DP is going to pick me up tampax. grin DF's face would be an absolute picture.

TheProvincialLady Sat 05-Jan-13 21:32:34

My in laws not only switch everything off at the wall and unplug (literally everything is also connected to a circuit breaker), but they DISCONNECT THE WASHING MACHINE FROM THE MAINS EACH AND EVERY TIME THEY USE IT. Sorry to shout, but I don't often get the chance to let this out.

They have a different cloth for every conceivable purpose, including separate arse flannels which are actually brown.

JKSLtd Sat 05-Jan-13 21:32:43

We serve gravy straight from the pan here. Unless there are lots of us (or we're trying to be posh haha) then we serve it from either a teapot (which we never use otherwise) grin or a big plastic juice jug thing.

Drives MIL crackers. She's bought us various gravy boats for the purpose but they're too small. The Christmas-themed one is good though.

grin

It is such a generational thing, isn't it?

elizaregina Sat 05-Jan-13 21:33:52

dont want to be a party pooper but i think we can all learn some frugal tips from this generation.....smile,

1) heavily preggers - v v hot weather - at bar about to buy drinks, FIL insisits he will pay - argy bargy from me - give in to him. I ask for TWO sparkling mineral waters - as v thirsty and HOT and can see only small bottles.

FIl returns to table to table with three drinks only, two spk minerals which HE pointedly drinks one of - and drink for dh.

2) Mil has back door mat - with dish towl like cloth on top - with a smaller dust type rag placed on top of that = I dont step on door mat at all.

3) Specific sinks for handwashing for different guests

4) had heart attack about wood floor warping after spying a " single" drop of tea running down my cup - therein ensued much drama and excitement after DH went to get a cloth to wipe the drip from my cup and he got the wrong cloth.

5) offered to help with dishwasher once too - BIG MISTAKE, spoken to softly and carefully whislt it was explained which plate went where - which cloth to use....and how glasses dont go in....I nealry asked him if he could put his hands on that manual he must have written on how things are done in this PRISON...

6) panic after each meal until plates safley away in dishwasher

7) Panic when a handbag strays into the kitchen or any room of the house - again in very gentle voice - explained - that handbags and all bags MUST stay in the utility room, as he has seen what happens when things get - chaotic....confused

8) mil deeply offended by any dirt of filth you leave her to clean up, such as a stray hair ( just the' one' you missed whilst sweating cleaning up water marks after a shower),

9) the whole upstairs of the house carpets CHANGED - new ones brought after DH sicked up - chicken tika massala on the floor up there....( luckily they didnt know it was after eating too many magic mushrooms smile......even more lucky that when he came round he hadnt - as he thought....taken a bloody spray can and scrawled all over the walls in the fucking "no go zone room" where no is allowed expcept xmas, and even then with no colored liquids...grin

LaQueen Sat 05-Jan-13 21:35:47

A relative by marriage, insists on washing all the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher hmm And, it can take her upwards of 40 minutes to make you a cup of tea...all vegetables must be sliced perfectly equally, and everything has to be thrown away 2 days before its sell-by-date hmm

I once borrowed a t-shirt from her, and mistakenly packed it and brought it home with me...you'd have thought I had nicked one of her kidneys/children/car. Umpteen irrate phone calls followed, she even got her DH (who was abroad on business) to phone me to chase the sacred t-shirt...by which point I thought 'Feck you, you crazed loon...' and deliberately didn't post it back to her. She still remarks on it, 14 years later hmm

My Mum once accidentally spilt a tiny dribble of tea on the lounge carpet...relative reacted with tense fury, much hissing and dabbing with products, and scrubbing, then specialist cleaning powder, hoovering, more dabbing...she couldn't bring herself to speak to poor Mum. She then stormed off to bed in a huff.

And, yet...and yet...you'd think her house would be an immaculate showhome shrine to OCD perfection with behaviour like that??? Except it's really, really not...when you arrive to stay you're expected to put clean sheets on your own bed, there are whole room that you simply can't go in (door won't barely open) because they're filled with boxes, crap, junk and piles of stuff...and she refuses to have the heating on. Ever. Because it might warp/damage her very expensive antique furniture (which you can barely see because it's buried under crap...)

You have to fight your way down the hall, through piles of coats, shoes, bags, junk...but just inside the door there is an incredibly expensive table, which she squeals with alarm if you so much as brush past it...and nothing is allowed to be placed on it, nothing (just an equally expensive glass lamp, which is never switched on).

raaboonah Sat 05-Jan-13 21:40:48

My DPs wash their recycling.

They also have some elaborate shower routine which occurs at the crack of dawn as their power shower 'uses too much water'. On to get wet, off to soap up, on to rinse, off to apply shampoo, on to rinse off all for no more than 30s intervals.

BUT DF will wear a shirt a day and put it in the wash to be laundered and ironed by my DM regrdless of whether it needs it or not. They are both obsessed by us putting a load of washing on whenever we stay with them even if we are only there for one night.

They've been having a butter war for most of their 40 year marriage. DM likes to keep it in the fridge, DF would actually like to spread it on his toast. A wild solution might be to take it out when they get up at he crack of the sparrows wotsit but noooo they just grumble about the other leaving it out/putting it away. DH started microwaving it so he could spread it when we stay with them and now DM leaves it out especially for him. DF is fuming.

Ponders Sat 05-Jan-13 21:46:24

would some of you please give ages for these lunatics?

only I'm 61 & don't do any of this; I want to know when I'm supposed to start

Allalonenow Sat 05-Jan-13 21:46:27

HyvaPaiva
You are setting an old lady's mind at rest now.
Mine are not as detailed as those you receive, but are to make sure sure that I am met at the airport or hotel by my busy son.

Mine often include a list of restaurants he might like, as he has a limited vegetarian who eats fish diet (see another thread!) so I hope I am not too set in my ways.

Thanks for your kind post smile

BooCanary Sat 05-Jan-13 21:48:26

The picnics!
You know those picnic tables overlooking the motorway/dual carriageway, which make you think 'who in gods name would have a picnic there?'.
Answer - my parents.

When they go shopping ( to shopping mall or similar) they eat sandwiches in the car park, and then going for cake in John Lewis hmm.

They are not poor BTW.

My parents are early seventies Ponders, but it was a very gradual thing so you need to be aware. wink

SanityClause Sat 05-Jan-13 21:51:20

PsIL always warm red wine by the fire. It's supposed to be served warm, apparently. confused

But my DF always used to have a glass of "good" brandy (Armagnac or whatever). The women of the family were never offered a glass. This was a luxury only able to be savoured by a man. However, when my DSis brought her BF (now her DH) along, of course, he was offered some. I can still see the discomfort when he asked to mix it with coke! grin

LaQueen Sat 05-Jan-13 21:51:49

MIL used to regularly visit when DDs were tiny. She'd arrive every week with her stuff in a motley collection of used plastic bags and a large (stained) canvas shopper bag...

For her birthday, DH bought her a lovely, quite expensive overnight case...which she dutifully used...but only to place inside it the same motley collection of used plastic bags, and the same stained canvas shopper bag hmm

For another birthday he bought her a nice cream leather handbag, which cost about £65? Not that much, really. This handbag is kept wrapped in a linen cloth, only ever brought out on very special occasions, and is spoken of in hushed tones 'Do you...do you...think I should perhaps use [expectant pause]... my bag ...?' She's had it for nearly 17 years, and it's only been spotted in public about half a dozen times...

She would shit herself into a coma if she knew how much my current handbag cost grin

ISpyPlumPie Sat 05-Jan-13 21:52:19

All visitors to PIL's home MUST park on their driveway even if it is already occupied by their car, SIL's car, FIL's work van and the only available 'space' is so small that it is impossible to open the back doors to remove the DC. If the eminently more sensible option of parking on the road is taken, there is much tutting and pursing of lips while MIL informs FIL that we have walked "all that way" (100 metres tops).

When DH and I were first going out and he still lived at home, we made the mistake of bringing a McDonalds over the threshold (disclaimer - we were young and very hungover). Cue handwringing from MIL about us "eating it out of the papers". Had never occured to me to plate up a Big Mac and fries.

raaboonah Sat 05-Jan-13 21:54:11

shit herself into a coma

Ah Fuck I've got flu and nearly coughed up my entire lungs chuckling at that

ThermalMittens Sat 05-Jan-13 21:56:04

My Dmum is notorious for this kind of behaviour, bless her.

You can never leave her house, or have her visit, and come away empty handed. We joke that she's Teflon coated. Unpacked after our Christmas visit last week and discovered the reason the car was so overloaded was because she'd 'helped' with the packing, and managed to sneak in the entire contents of her fruit bowl - including a large melon and whole pineapple!

She also drove over to Dsis's house one time to leave half a packet of wooden washing pegs on her front doorstep. The other half she posted to me! Neither of us had mentioned needing more pegs...

She's so careful with with food that she often serves up micro portions. We were there for my birthday last year and she made meatballs for tea. Dsis and I were careful to request pasta because they don't eat it (or rice, bread etc). When we got there she'd forgotten the rice and had tried to stretch a pack of 12 meatballs between six people, so we got two each plus some broccoli grin. Poor DH's face was a picture.

She's a huge fan of the Avon and Betterware catalogues and must send a fortune on utter crap that lasts two minutes. Like the notorious onion keeper hmm or the microwave egg poacher that either spills raw egg all over the counter (too small, wobbly) or nukes eggs to rubber. The best thing about her catalogue habit is that fact that it's on collision course with her endless guilt over spending money.

She made herself feel better about all the tat delights she bought before Christmas by wrapping it up and giving it to Dsis and me. I got a lovely set of felt Santa napkin holders...

I luffs my mum smile.

Greensleeves Sat 05-Jan-13 21:57:24

"shit herself into a coma", dh and I are hooting at that grin

Ponders Sat 05-Jan-13 21:57:30

oh thanks, Sparkling

I already soak dirty dishes (from overnight - being an elderly slattern) in the sink before loading the d/w, & complain about people running the shower for 15 mins solid instead of turning it off & on like me, so am I making a good start? wink

rubyrubyruby Sat 05-Jan-13 21:59:51

........ and I bet you take it to the supermarket lequeen grin

Ponders sounds like you are well on your way, but you could just catch it in time. <hopeful> Go and do something very wasteful to even things up maybe? grin

DownyEmerald Sat 05-Jan-13 22:02:35

MIL will bring me flowers (I'm allergic), and won't be happy (drink anything, eat anything, sit down) til I've grovelled to find a vase in the cupboard under the sink. Recently brought me sweet peas (very smelly), and I just thought 'sod it' and put them in a pint glass where they looked very nice.

Next time 'I didn't bring you flowers dear as it seemed to put you out'. I mean why would you say that? How could that not make someone feel uncomfortable?

For 17 years she's been saying 'do you have a teapot?' before she makes a cup of tea. Eventually I suggested she buy me one for Christmas. Big mistake. She got all enthusiastic, bought something totally to her taste (flowery, delicate), with two matching mugs and two little plates for biscuits!

For 17 years she's been saying 'do you have a dishcloth?' when she does bits of washing up. I think dishcloths are minging. We use those spongy things. Why can't she just use what's there. That's what I do in other people's houses.

Thank god she doesn't stay.

I am conditioned to work to a timetable and respond to bells.

grin

LaQueen Sat 05-Jan-13 22:04:15

And...oh God, the Long...Long...Endless...Goodbye...

Back in the beginning, between DH first venturing a tentative 'We should be going soon...' to the moment we finally drove off the In-Laws drive, could be a full 90 minutes of agonisingly slow emotional torture.

Much commenting on the fact we would have to leave soon (but clearly weren't), much checking to see we we wearing the correct coats, shoes, bags, hats (yes, just friggin look at me, I've been standing dressed in my outdoor clothes for the best part of half an hour already) much speculation on the next time we would visit (a moot point, because the Law of Physics dictated that the universe is expanding but will eventually contract again, so it was likely we'd still be standing in their hall when time finally reverted on itself, thus meaning we'd have arrived before we'd ever had chance to leave).

And, then just as we were about to step out their front door, MIL (who had only imparted inane conversation for the previous 7 hours) would drop a bombshell like 'It looks like your Dad might have diabetes...' Necessitating a further hour of shocked, stilted conversation, standing in the hall, wearing our coats with the front foor wide open...

There were times I'd be so wound up by our catastrophic failure to leave in-laws house within the same hour that I'd first put on my coat and shoes, that I'd be unable to speak to DH for the entire 1.30 minute drive home, and would get home, run upstairs, stand in the bathroom and bite down hard on a thick towel...

Ponders Sat 05-Jan-13 22:05:08

I could go & run my engine for a while to charge my battery, Sparkling!

oh, wait...

JKSLtd Sat 05-Jan-13 22:06:37

MIL is always buying stuff for our house, as we 'didn't have one in so we must need it' hmm

Latest items:
- huge wine glasses (a good point about PIL is they like to knock it back with the best of them)
which annoyingly don't fit properly in the dishwasher, grr
- a brush thing for washing up when we have a plentiful supply of sponges & cloths
- a steamer (well she's promised to get one) as we gave away the last one she gave to us as we never used it. But she wants one here to use when she cooks.

Ah well, she does cook brilliantly and lots when she's here smile

LisaMed Sat 05-Jan-13 22:10:44

blush I am so disorganised that I am taking some of these posts as aspirational.

grin Ponders

Hidinginthewoods Sat 05-Jan-13 22:20:17

This thread has almost made me miss my Ex-IL's confused
When going away for a few days the fridge & freezer would be emptied , cleaned & switched off... all food they used to bring to me
usually half a bottle of salad cream and scrapings of low-fat margarine!

superfluouscurves Sat 05-Jan-13 22:27:29

this thread has got to be moved to classics

Labradorlover Sat 05-Jan-13 22:31:40

I'm howling with laughter and desperatly trying to repress childhood memories at this.....(very old parents in their 80's now).....
saving crisp packets to reuse.....

aJumpedUpPantryBoy Sat 05-Jan-13 22:38:20

While I'm laughing there are one or two on here that are making me wince because I fear DH and I could be slowly becoming guilty of them.

DH definately has a dishwasher laoding protocol and he does turn the mattress over when he changes the sheets.

Mind you, I take comfort in the fact that my mother believes we are beyond redemption because we use the tumble dryer in the winter (rather than playing the in-out-in-out game all day long) and if we don't like a food-stuff we just don't eat it.
Mum: I bought these melons but they aren't very nice - dry and sour
Me: Oh dear - shall I throw them out for you
Mum: horrified No, I thought you might want to take them (Why, you just said they were horrid?) but if you won't (injured voice) I'll have to eat them

curryeater Sat 05-Jan-13 22:38:21

I love love love this thread, and recognise lots of it.

but it is a very strange companion piece to the "lax parenting of the 60s and 70s" one, isn't it? How can those crazy, drink-driving, chain-smoking, bar-fly hell-raisers have turned into these people?

My parents do the thing where tea must always be made properly in the "heated" pot. But there is a whole thing where you will be asked at the beginning of the process if you want some, and you say no, because you have forgotten how long it takes, and that it is always safer to say yes, as who knows by then. By the time the tea is ready (and has "drawn" properly) you might quite fancy a cup. But NO! You can't say that now! They have only made a small pot! There are exactly two cups of tea in the pot and if you have one, one of the parents can't. Which is what will happen, because you have forgotten how this all works, and will be muttered and moaned about just enough for you to notice, but too late.

DP really struggles with all this.

I have really enjoyed reading this thread because the behaviour that is only slightly more extreme that my parents', but is clearly ridiculous, has helped me to stop worrying about all the things I don't do that my mum does. I usually beat myself up a lot about being slatternly and prodigal, but this is helping.

zapotek Sat 05-Jan-13 22:38:52

I'm going to be one of these anal people- I already am!

I have a 2 towel strategy at home.
One on the radiator in the bathroom for drying hands (there's no where else to hang it) However, I always have to use a second towel which I drape over a bannister outside the toilet. Reason being I once saw a film about spray leaping up several feet from the toilet during a flush, the radiator is next to the toilet, therefore, I always feel the most hygenic option is a towel outside the bathroom.

NetworkGuy Sat 05-Jan-13 22:40:45

Euphemia - "Thursday is his macaroni cheese day!"

OMG. Sorry but I cannot imagine what would happen if he had to go into hospital (heaven forbid) for a week! Similarly for HarkTheHattifattnerSing's FiL if MiL was in hospital for a week...

"stand looking pathetic with a piece of bread until MIL comes to spread some butter on it and miraculously turn it into a sarnie"

bitsnbobs Sat 05-Jan-13 22:43:20

sparklingbrook yes that is the clip grin

gotthemoononastick Sat 05-Jan-13 22:44:24

I dont like children eating stuff ,especially bananas,away from the table,but then I dont have wipeable plastic/leather sofas .Don't like ornamental Tampon baskets in bathrooms either.DH and I each have our own remote for same TV. Quite disconcerting when a program skips from sport to Midsummer murders ...can take a while to clock on.We are very anal.

EndoplasmicReticulum Sat 05-Jan-13 22:45:29

Oh yes to weather forecast. My mum is also obsessed with the temperature. She doesn't like travelling in my car as it doesn't have a temperature gauge so she can't comment.

Sparklingbrook - duvet? What is this new-fangled bedding that you speak of. No, parents have bottom sheet, top sheet, various number of blankets and then a throw thing on top. When changing beds, the bottom sheet is taken off for washing and last week's top sheet becomes this week's bottom sheet.

NetworkGuy Sat 05-Jan-13 22:46:06

zapotek - so do you mean the rest of the family are welcome to get bacteria while you will be the healthy one looking after them if there's any Norovirus going round ?

EndoplasmicReticulum Sat 05-Jan-13 22:46:55

NetworkGuy - my Grandma-in-law went on holiday recently, leaving Grandad-in-law at home. He is "man who cannot cook". She arranged a rota of friends to feed him daily. In his defence he reckons 90 is too late to start learning!

zapotek Just close the lid confused

Some of these seem so familiar, from my dads overly details holiday itineraries and travel arrangements you're going to the Lake District which always sadly end with details of where I should find their wills, to the pils insistence on wearing slippers wherever they are and frugality with vegetables. Six people - bucket of meat etc but probably two carrots, eight sprouts and ten roast potatoes. I don't understand it, I think maybe to them veg are 'trimmings' not actual food. My parents who set the breakfast table the night before with the instant coffee measured into the mugs. My mum, who if one of the children has lost a cheap plastic toy at their house will insist on turning it upside down, emptying the bins, kids not bothered in the slightest and then will call me three hours later to say she's found it. Hmm there must be more. Oh the tv. Neither of the pils is deaf but the tv must been LOUD SO AS TO STIFLE ANY NORMAL CONVERSATION or indeed thinking.

Euphemia Sat 05-Jan-13 22:51:04

Lisa grin

NetworkGuy Sat 05-Jan-13 22:53:21

Almost had coffee coming down my nose with some of these observations.

I really do hope none of my sisters are seen as having such strange 'quirks' or preferences when they are hosts...

Ponders Sat 05-Jan-13 22:54:30

When changing beds, the bottom sheet is taken off for washing and last week's top sheet becomes this week's bottom sheet

oooh, ER, my mum (born 1922) used to do that. (she used to sides-to-middle the worn ones too)

But that was when there were only flat sheets... confused

zapotek Sat 05-Jan-13 22:54:34

zapotek - so do you mean the rest of the family are welcome to get bacteria while you will be the healthy one looking after them if there's any Norovirus going round ?

Ah so I'm right it is gross- DP thinks I'm nuts.

I get the DC to use the 2nd towel and make sure they handwash regularly.

Fingers crossed we haven't come down with anything yet.

And yes I think I'm probably paranoid ( I'm not sure the towel is really that close to the loo to get affected- isn't it me anal or do you really think I'm being rational about this?)

Euphemia Sat 05-Jan-13 22:55:31

NetworkGuy He's been in hospital a lot in the past few years, and complains constantly! He expects 5* service! He "jokes" with the staff about things like macaroni cheese night! Only we know he's serious, and if someone had brought him a bowl of macaroni he'd have been like a dog with two tails, and would praise that hospital to the skies forever!

But no, he moans constantly that he asks for a drink, someone says they'll get him one, then they disappear and he never gets his drink! (Bloody bastards going off saving lives, instead of waiting on Himself!)

Ponders Sat 05-Jan-13 22:57:19

zapotek, as TC said, just close the lid before flushing

your toothbrush is much more of a risk than your towel anyway (just sayin...grin)

Sunnywithshowers Sat 05-Jan-13 22:57:29

My MIL is unlike many on here - she cooks a lot of food. And then gives it to DH and I.

She turned up at ours a couple of days after Christmas with Xmas pudding, brandy sauce, a melon and various sundry foodstuffs. Most of which were binned as I had norovirus and couldn't eat a damn thing.

DH has just reminded me that he has a dishwasher loading protocol. Oh arse.

NetworkGuy Sat 05-Jan-13 22:57:49

Necessitating a further hour of shocked, stilted conversation, standing in the hall, wearing our coats with the front door wide open...

Poor you, LaQueen. As for the towel to bite on....

At least it seems to have reduced a smidgen, or has it (?)

EndoplasmicReticulum Sat 05-Jan-13 22:59:00

curry-eater makes a very good point:

but it is a very strange companion piece to the "lax parenting of the 60s and 70s" one, isn't it? How can those crazy, drink-driving, chain-smoking, bar-fly hell-raisers have turned into these people?

It's age, isn't it. It's going to happen to us all.

BadDog Sat 05-Jan-13 22:59:35

My mil has to leave the microwave door open when not in use. No idea.

And they'd rather have a kitchen freezing because the back doors open than have FOOD SMELLS

exexpat Sat 05-Jan-13 22:59:44

Are we all related? Surely there can't be thousands of elderly couples like this? Or was I wrong to find my PiLs' behaviour odd?

They tick lots of the boxes: stinginess with vegetables, obsession with routine, inability to leave anything unwashed-up for five seconds, ability to make the simplest decision (what to eat, where to go) into an hour-long conversation...

Luckily my parents do very little of this, so I'm hoping I'll escape.

raaboonah Sat 05-Jan-13 23:00:04

Slippers how could forget the slippers which they now bring every time they come (even if its just for the day). Just because I once said my dad was rather heavy on his foot...

And there was something else... The tones on their mobile phones. Every time they send a text, DH or I suggest they turn them off but they are not keen, they need to know they've pressed the button. Apparently seeing a letter appearing isn't enough

zapotek Sat 05-Jan-13 23:00:12

"zapotek, as TC said, just close the lid before flushing"

That would mean touching the lid (I'm joking- I think).

I don't really know if I'm that worried about it I've just got into a habit.

DP wipes his hands on tea towels and I hate that. I have to have a towel in the kitchen. MInd you he uses that for wiping the floor and if I catch him it goes in the wash- that's not unreasonable is it?

Consider this, laydeez! grin 3 years ago, 30 years after I first left home, DH, DS and I moved back in with my Aged Mama. Yup, it's my childhood home as well, complete with my dollies and 1960s schoolbooks books in the attic.

DM and lovely DF (who died nearly 20 years ago) were both born in the 1920s and from the wartime/rationing generation. When we moved in, nothing had been thrown out for 20 years and nothing had been renovated/decorated or repaired for 30 years. It's a v.v. large house with masses of storage space. I can relate to EVERY ONE of the above posts! grin

It still drives me dotty - the saving of crisp packets, the mouldy shite in the fridge, the hoarding of, well, everything that can possibly be hoarded hmm - and the obstinate absolute refusal to engage with any post-1960s technology, (such as cassette players and VCRs anyone?) far less 21st century witchcraft such as mobile phones and DVDs shock.

Sadly, Mum is becoming v. frail and forgetful, so the balance of power has shifted. She can't remember what she's put in the fridge so I can swoop and discard without too much grief. We can also insist that houshold stuff gets repaired/replaced now on Elf and Safety grounds because DH does a good line in Pseudo-Authoritative 1950s Bloke-Talk which generates a sort of Pavlovian-Submissive response. (She won't listen to me because I am, apparently, still only about 15 and hormonal. I am really 51 and menopausal, but whatever.)

BadDog Sat 05-Jan-13 23:00:45

Who was it who had in laws who demanded soup as a starter every time they came?
Made me laugh

EndoplasmicReticulum Sat 05-Jan-13 23:00:55

Ponders, in my mum's world there are only flat sheets.

MrsPennyapple Sat 05-Jan-13 23:02:47

My grandad used to be convinced we would lose anything not surgically attached to us. He used to enter lots of competitions and he once won a hold-all type bag from Kit Kat, which he gave to me - after he had written my full name across it in three inch high letters, in black marker. My mum has inherited this though, when she goes on holiday she has her name on her suitcase in huge letters.

GetWhatYouNeed Sat 05-Jan-13 23:02:53

This thread is hysterical and has stopped me doing exam revision which I really need to do as the brain doesn't seem to work as well as it once did (I'm a very old student!)
My 75 year old DPs have some funny little ways:-
Dishwasher and washing machine must be turned off at the mains and the water turned off every time, just in case there is a flood.
A record must be kept of the cost of petrol, how many litres etc so that a running average of the mpg can be calculated. My DF recently asked the mpg of my car and I thought he would have apoplexy when I said I didn't know and what's more I didn't care!
Old rubber gloves must be cut up to make rubber bands, large ones from the hand parts and tiny ones from fingers.
Every household purchase eg kettle, toaster, mattress must have date bought written on it so when a replacement is needed detailed explanations can be given to all and sundry about how good/useless it was, all of these things would have only been bought after lengthy consultations of the bible Which magazine.
A couple of weeks ago I was moaning to my DM about how I hated that you can't buy normal tungsten lightbulbs anymore, she then produced a bag of bulbs which she had taken out and replaced with energy savers, god knows why she kept them if she was never going to use them again, and EVERY bulb had the date it was first used written on it, some from 1999. Still work fine though!
The funny old thingssmile

My dad has a spreadsheet for his CDs

Oh no, dh has to brush his teeth before having his pre bed wee. I have just noticed this. Is it the start? He's 34

Ponders Sat 05-Jan-13 23:03:45

My mil has to leave the microwave door open when not in use. No idea

my BIL used to be a microwave service engineer in the very early days. he once arrived at some kind of catering establishment to find the microwave door open & a member of staff glued to the wall (because the microwaves were escaping...)

He's brushing his damn teeth again
Do we need to go clubbing or something

NetworkGuy Sat 05-Jan-13 23:07:19

Hope you got over it quickly, Sunnywithshowers...

zapotek - have probably seen the same info film - just don't get so paranoid as the stress might be worse for you than any minor infection.

Have to admit my toothbrush, toothpaste, and shaving items are away in a cupboard (it is a small bathroom, only about 10 by 4, in a 3 up {3 includes bathroom!}, 2 down with no hall, and a landing that's about 10 by 3).

Euphemia Sat 05-Jan-13 23:08:16

My dad has a wordprocessed shopping list, typed up from the one he wrote walking round Tescos, so that everything's written in the order you'd find it in the shop.

Each week he edits out the stuff they don't need, and prints the shopping list. grin

EggRules Sat 05-Jan-13 23:09:57

Bedding on their bed is washed twice a week. Bedding in other rooms, who knows? Once a year. Top and bottom sheets are made out of Velcro or post it glue. Shiney single duvet with a king size, shiney ornamental top cover. Very complicated pillow and cushion arrangement that mean you would have to sleep sitting up if you left them on the bed at night. Bed looks lovely in a Babs Cartland way but smells of uncle x's aftershave.

Met oh when I was a teen. Not allowed to stay in the same room until we were married at 34. We live in a different city. They didn't visit for 10 years because we weren't married and/or rented. Visit now we married and own our own home. We still start in separate rooms in their house. They only have single beds and I am bloody minded. Ffs at 34 I had known dh 20 years. They are not religious. They were lax 70/80s parents grin .

My mum keeps a mug of water in the microwave when not in use after being told 20 odd years ago when microwaves were new, that if they were switched on with nothing in it some sort of nuclear fusion/hadron collider thing would happen and the street would have to be evacuated!

She is only 52!

Panzee Sat 05-Jan-13 23:10:24

The special towels...are you related to the Dentons?

White for hands, Brown for feet, green for torso, thighs and seat, And in the cupboard Neath the stair, you'll find the red. For pubic hair....

Loving this thread btw. Only slightly recognise in laws, fortunately! smile

When DF died in 1994, we found 25 years worth of 'Which' magazines tied up in bundles in the attic. For consultation purposes whenever the purchase of new White Goods was required (every 30 years or so...)

edam Sat 05-Jan-13 23:15:12

Oh, this is the thread that keeps on giving. Brown ^arse flannels? <guffaw>
Butter war? grin

But LeQueen's endless goodbye ritual is another reminder of my PILs. It used to take us 90 minutes to get out of the house, with endless wittering and fussing about goodness knows what and multiple trips to the fridge (or the 'freezer room' - yes, they really had a whole room dedicated to the freezer that they had built for that purpose when they extended the house...) for various left-over food odds and ends each in specialised tupperware boxes. MUCH discussion of the route (um, we live in the same place we did before PIL, we know how to get there...), the weather, whether we needed sandwiches for the journey (it's 20 miles away, I think we'll survive!).

But bless him, my FIL often used to give us a lift home before we had our own car, even though the traffic was completely unpredictable and could be nightmarish (West London), then would refuse to come in for a drink or anything and turn round and head home. He was lovely. smile

Ponders Sat 05-Jan-13 23:15:14

My dad has a wordprocessed shopping list, typed up from the one he wrote walking round Tescos, so that everything's written in the order you'd find it in the shop

what does he do when they move things??? shock

LesserOfTwoWeevils Sat 05-Jan-13 23:17:24

DM lives alone, and when she stays with us occasionally offers to cook.
She asks what we would like.
Me: Dunno, how about chicken?
DM (wearing startled expression) Chickun? What sort of chickun?
Me: Doesn't matter, how about stewed?
DM: Do you have a recipe?
Me: No.
Baffled DM then consults several cookbooks for half an hour.
Then she checks to see if we have all the exact ingredients, which means getting everything out of the fridge and leaving it out.
Then comes the actual cooking, which requires weighing and measuring everything.
Then she decants everything she took out of the fridge into little plastic containers.
Three hours later, by which time everyone is starving and bad-tempered, she will produce—for four adults and a teenager—one teeny dish of mashed potato.

Ponders Sat 05-Jan-13 23:18:13

LapsedPacifist, I currently have more than 25 years worth of Which magazines!

I never look at them (honest) but can't bring myself to put them in the recycling sack either.

I may inflict them on the Health Centre waiting room instead

Euphemia Sat 05-Jan-13 23:19:36

Oh Ponders it was a major exercise when they knocked Tesco down and built a Tesco Extra! shock

I think he just wanders about confused when he can't find stuff. Or sends my mum to look for it. grin

NetworkGuy Sat 05-Jan-13 23:21:49

"Mobile never turned on. Phones are for DF to ring people not for people to ring him."

My dear brother used to keep his mobile off, even when driving 200 miles to visit Mum, who would want to ring at some point in his journey to get some idea of when she would best start cooking, so he could eat soon after arrival.

My BiL (admittedly until recently on parish council) also kept his mobile off more than on. Perhaps now my sister has retired they might both keep them on (however, logic dictates that as they may be out together, odds are they 'will not need them' so phones might be off, or in car, or at home, anyway!)

My eldest sister (new to a contract mobile with hundreds of minutes) now seems to ring at any time after 20:00. The most recent call started at 22:15 and went on to 00:30 (I was in bed snuggled up by then!). Ring her and 99 of 100 times it goes to voicemail, with no guesses at how many hours or days before she may ring back.

She has rung up before now at 23:30 ... and to be fair, one of my clients rang around the same time on a Saturday night a couple of years ago, desperate for me to remove a virus that was preventing him from printing flight documents needed for a flight on the Sunday after lunch!!

Ponders Sat 05-Jan-13 23:22:20

I wander around confused in Tesco Extra myself, Euphemia, must be a nightmare for a man wink

Ponders! grin grin

We only disposed of them because there were signs of (ahem) vermin wildlife infestation. Not exclusively amongst the 'Which's of course - I personally blame the 35 years worth of 'Gramophone' magazines which were also up there....

Ponders Sat 05-Jan-13 23:27:28

grin LP

no wildlife infestations in the magazine collection here yet

why do some old people's houses smell like old people's houses?

we have a neighbour who retired more than 20 years ago, when she was the age I am now. she lived then with her aged mother, but her aged mother died many years ago, & her house still smells the same

confused

smugmumofboys Sat 05-Jan-13 23:27:34

This thread is hilarious. My PILs are lovely and kind but have certain things which drive me crackers and have me and DH eye-rolling furiously.

MiL has a thing about leftovers. Everything has to be served in proper serving dishes. She always over caters so there's always leftovers, which have to be decanted into a million tupperware pots or little bowls with cling film on. They then get re-decanted into serving dishes for their next incarnation.

PILs are super fussy about about what goes into their dishwasher - no glasses, pans, knives etc, so there's always loads of washing-up to do. Which has to be done immediately after a meal has finished.

Cutlery. Fuck me, they have no less than three storage zones for their various canteens of cutlery: some in the kitchen drawer, some in the dresser drawer (complete with little sticky labels S and L for small forks/knives or large forks/knives) and another one in a built-in cupboard in the dining-room (alsowith sticky labels). It's labyrinthine. I admitted defeat last visit and left it on a tray in the kitchen after washing-up. Life's too short.

EndoplasmicReticulum Sat 05-Jan-13 23:27:50

I never have my mobile turned on either. Getting more and more concerned now that It Has Started.

Ponders with the extra info re magazine hoarding I wonder if you are already a lost cause. shock

Aged Mama flatly refuses to replace any of the carpets or curtains in the house. Some of them pre-date our moving in - 1972, IIRC! The rooms are huge with high ceilings so replacements are spendy. We are getting there v. slowly hmm.

That might explain the smell - all those (long deceased) former residents including smokers, cats, incontinent smoking cats etc.

BuiltForComfort Sat 05-Jan-13 23:32:53

Fantastic thread.

FIL told me today the other day that he has bought a gizmo for transferring all his "audio tapes" (ie cassettes) onto his PC. Not been listened to in over five years since they last changed the car, as newer car doesn't have a tape slot. I don't think he has yet thought through how transferring these audio gems to his PC will enable him to listen to them in the car. Or how long it's going to take to transfer them given that he finds all computer software and connections incomprehensible. Or that as they haven't been listened to in five years he can't have missed them much. Or that as they all date from circa 1985 the quality is going to be a bit shit. As with everything else in life, throwing them away is Not. An. Option.

BreconBeBuggered Sat 05-Jan-13 23:33:53

My ILs will ring me up on my mobile to demand to know where the heck I am if they turn up unexpectedly when I'm out. They cannot fathom any reason why I should divert from my usual routine without several days' notice to every family member, as this is what 'normal' people would do.

DF always replies to an email by ringing me on the phone. grin

SenClayDavis Sat 05-Jan-13 23:39:55

Nobody's mentioned hearing aids yet. More specifically, not turning them on in case the batteries run down. There are at least one set of spare batteries in the case. But no, these are for emergencies.

Shortly after we moved in with mum, we had to have the entire kitchen refurbished when the gas cooker (circa 1968) was condemned. Well actually, the gas engineer cut off the entire gas supply to the first floor because it was such a hazard, but that's another saga...

Anyhoo, we boxed up no fewer than 8 packing cases of kitchenware, along with 6 packing cases of cleaning materials and equipment of every description - some of which actually pre-dated barcodes.

Every fecking blunt knife, broken sieve and handleless saucepan since the 1950s had been hoarded in that damn kitchen.

Shall I share what we found lurking in the walk-in pantry and at the bottom of the coffin-sized chest freezer?

I never have my mobile switched off - because I don't know how blush

(My work mobile I can switch off.)

My Dear Old Dad hates to waste food (throwback to his years as a child in the post war rationing).
So he'll put a couple of leftover fishfingers on a plate in the fridge. And has no truck with Use By dates.
We went on holiday a few years back (DF,DM, Ds ,DD and me. DH had the good sense to stay at home, he was working).
My DF had the leftovers for the previous meal each day.Some very odd combinations too.
I told him he had to cover the leftovers (I even bought foil dishes). Otherwise I'd open the fridge to find goodness knows what sitting there grin

rubyrubyruby Sat 05-Jan-13 23:41:28

Am I the only one plotting my own future idiosyncrasies?

I'm thinking chocolate served with a cappuccino at 11am on the dot
Wine with every evening meal, clean sheets every night and champagne breakfast in bed on a Sunday.
wink

EndoplasmicReticulum Sat 05-Jan-13 23:42:25

Oh I had a conversation with my mum the other day about "how you record television programmes now".

She still has a TV with a video player, they are thinking of replacing it "what about one of those iPlayer things?"

Well possibly mother, but you'd need the internet. "Ooh no, we don't want that".

They don't have a computer. They just use me as Google.

Brecon - Grandma-in-law does this too - she will ring and say, all accusing "I phoned you twice at the weekend, you didn't answer". Well no, we were away. She won't leave messages asking for a call back, either - so psychic powers are clearly needed.

Lapsed - yes. You can't tell us about coffin sized freezers and not tell us what's in them.

Maryz Sat 05-Jan-13 23:43:35

Hearing aids, SenClayDavis shock

Fucking hearing aids <spits>

My mum won't wear hers because, guess what, it makes everything too loud.

ffs, what does she expect. She hasn't been able to hear properly since the turn of the century, of course wearing a hearing aid will make things loud.

<spits more>

Maryz Sat 05-Jan-13 23:44:23

ruby, I know I'm going to be just like my mum.

I'm already pretty set in my ways.

BasketzatDawn Sat 05-Jan-13 23:45:46

70isaLimit - your dd is like my DH. We call him the 'dustbin' and we do a great pedal bin imitation when he gets really 'bad'.

My mother has a washing line full of little plastic bags gaily drying in the wind. These range from bread bags to very expensive bought sandwhich ones that are re- used for years.She won't let us take the plastic screen protector of anything including a five year old walkabout house phone that she still hasn't learnt to program.
I feel a bit mean as its environmentally friendly but by Jove she is so mean and like many others on the thread, very wealthy,

<Sigh> - Well, we cleared the coffin freezer out in 2010. I had a wee bet on with DB. He reckoned there would be stuff from the previous millenium in there.

He won. A packet of stewed apple (from our own trees, natch) dated 1998 grin

Oh and she calls the sat nav 'the other women' and waits expectantly for a laugh every time. I just ignore it now,

BeaWheesht Sat 05-Jan-13 23:49:48

My mum and dad are in their 70s and have always done 3 loads of washing A DAY. They live in a big house but there's just the two of them. If she is carrying the washing through to the other end of the house and drops a sock / jumper on the (usually just washed) floor then she washes the whole lot again. It drives me mental.

Also when we were growing up we had to wear shoes at all times - not even slippers - shoes - even if walking from bed to loo in the night. Needless to say I can't bear to wear shoes indoors nowadays and not can my kids. This is ok because they are the grandchildren and can therefore do exactly as they wish.

Dh already rolls his eyes that I can't go to bed until the dishwasher, washing machine and tumble dryer have all been attended to, the downstairs light is on (for the nocturnal wanderers), the thermostat has been turned down. Oh and for washing I have a spare sock drawer and I put the bedding into a pillowcase, I of course know that my ways are just more efficient! Heaven knows what my SIL/DIL will think of me!

Drying soap. Brown arse flannels. Posting lists back through the letterbox to yourself. This is gold. I have been meaning to go to bed for an hour and just can't. stop. reading!

Yup - they are so fecking RICH. My mum had DF to ferry her around in a huge car all her married life, and NEVER learned to drive herself, but berated us (skin, non-car-owning, bus-using Londoners) for using a taxi for a £5.00 trip from the railway station, when we had a toddler and luggage for a 2 week Xmas visit!

Maryz Sat 05-Jan-13 23:54:32

Having said all that, my parents are now in their '80s, and my mum isn't particularly well atm, and I know I'm going to really miss their idiosynchronies when they are gone.

There will then be a five year gap, and dh and I will have turned into them and the cycle can start again.

BasketzatDawn Sat 05-Jan-13 23:54:36

Years ago my otherwise very lovely SIL refused some real coffee we had brought as a present to her house because it is carcinogenic shock. This woman has a 40 a day fag habit so it seemed a bit rich coming from her. At that time she was about 30 years in, and very well so it seemed. It did make me laugh and we took said coffee back home where we enjoyed it.

BasketzatDawn Sat 05-Jan-13 23:55:14

30 yrs in to her 40 a day habit, I meant

Sunnywithshowers Sat 05-Jan-13 23:57:31

My dad won't wear his hearing aids. It drives me mad. The TV is insanely loud.

And he lies about it...

LisaMed Sat 05-Jan-13 23:57:41

My dad lives with us, he is eighty one. To put it in perspective, before Christmas he painted the windows for me.

We have too many takeaways. On a good footy night he will take his upstairs and watch the footy in his room. He will have the second half of the takeaway (which has been unrefridgerated in a warm room) for breakfast. Or some pieces of ham he brought in from a meal he had out yesterday, similarly unrefridgerated. How about the times he gets a Kentucky while out, brings it home, eats some out, some for lunch and some for the following breakfast. I don't know how he has survived! Bringing food home so it isn't wasted - no problem. Bringing home food so that sit until it has created a tenancy - problem.

He sometimes complains he has tummy problems. No kidding!

(my dad is lovely, though, and he puts up with me)

In many respects though, the pre-war generation were environmentalists ^ avant la jour^, even if they think it's all 'hippy nonsense' now. Those habits have stuck, my mum was (and is) a devoted recycler.

And I really hate to admit this, but the portion control thing - well, very few of that generation are particularly overweight. I'd rather risk being porky myself though than deprive my guests of a few roasties at lunch or have visitors leave the house feeling hungry!

peedoffbird Sat 05-Jan-13 23:59:41

xfil used to make dynamo labels to put on every battery ever used which showed the date battery was inserted into the appliance. When asked why he told me that he liked to see how long they had lasted.

He used to keep a battery cupboard with new and used ones in. He used to like to test them with his battery charge checker of a Sunday.

LisaMed Sun 06-Jan-13 00:00:22

My elderly uncle won't believe that an automatic washing machine can be easier to use than a twin tub.

SenClayDavis Sun 06-Jan-13 00:01:36

Maryz, this will probably out me to any family members on here, but several years ago, my aunt invited my DM, DSDad and DGF for Xmas dinner. After about an hr of sitting round talking my grandfather announces whilst this must be fun for everyone else he can't hear a thing because his hearing aids are at home. My DSD then very kindly offers to make the 45min round trip home to pick up the hearing aids.

DGF then spends the rest of the morning not wearing them because he's only got 1 set of spare batteries with him. By the time dinner is served DSD is looking a bit like this angry. At which point DGF announces that it all looks and smells very nice but he'll be unable to enjoy any of it because...

... he's left his insulin at home.

exexpat Sun 06-Jan-13 00:03:03

A worrying thought has just occurred to me. I discovered the other day that DS (14) keeps a list of dates he starts using new biros and how long they last (he only has one in use at a time). Do you think he is already turning into One Of Them?

Maryz Sun 06-Jan-13 00:06:38

My dad has a battery checker as well, and insists on bringing it here, checking all our old ones, and taking them home if they have even a sign of life.

He also has a cupboard with every possible size and shape of screw, nail, bolt, nut, washer, fuse, wire, plug, battery, rawl plug, hook or anything you could ever dream of wanting, which he can produce at a moments notice.

I like that Sen. My dad would do that. Except he doesn't take insulin, he controls his diabetes (admirably I might add) through diet. Which involves him taking blook samples about a hundred times a day, and weighing all his food, as well as discussing recipes at length. Needless to say, he's a doctor hmm.

Maryz Sun 06-Jan-13 00:07:10

exexpat.

Yes.

It is skipping a generation in your family, hopefully.

timidviper Sun 06-Jan-13 00:08:27

ponders How could you point that out? While zapotek was busy worrying about poo germs on the towel, she had forgotten about the toothbrushes grin

LaQueen Hope the towel you were biting on was out of aerosolised poo range!!

DMIL also has a thing about leftovers and Tupperware and food storage. Nothing is ever allowed to stay in the original packaging from the supermarket, it all gets decanted into various bowls/tins/different size and colour Tupperware. She rearranges her fridge and does the Decanting Dance several times a day.

Not allowed to sit on the edge of the bed at their house either - her own DMum had a rule about it - I hesitate to hint that mattress technology might have moved on since the 1950's grin

NetworkGuy Sun 06-Jan-13 00:28:05

"A packet of stewed apple (from our own trees, natch) dated 1998"

Oh, shame, had been expecting the dear departed family moggy or something equally unpleasant in the freezer.

As for old foodstuffs... in my late Mum's kitchen I eventually threw out (2010) a can of Curry Powder from Bombay, from the 40s, which was only half used (a small teaspoon to two cans of beans was quite sufficient and still took your head off if you forgot lots of water). Definitely an 'acquired taste' and while I like various Indian and Chinese food, that stuff was simply too dangerous to test out!

My DF brought it back after active service, and then married Mum.

narmada Sun 06-Jan-13 00:30:54

It's slippers or be damned at my in-laws' house. I had my own dedicated pair bought for me on only my second visit to their house with DP. Bless 'em.

Unsolicited teapot-buying - check. We just put em in the back of the cupboard.
Kitchen systems and dishwasher-loading protocol - oh yes. Not to be interfered with.

Cup of tea? Let's hope you're not actually thirsty as it could take up to an hour to materialise (why, oh why, oh why!?!?!?!?)

I love em tho, their hearts are in the right places.

My own father has his very own idiosyncracies - why oh why would one ever park in a paying car park when there is massively inconvenient but crucially, FREE, car-parking space about 3 miles away from where you actually want to park? Why would you want to go to a restaurant where the meals cost over £5 per head -not enjoyable even if the food's manna from heaven. Honestly, you can't really beat an all-you-can-eat carvery for £3 - that's value .....

My mum is far less OCD and I attribute this to the

narmada Sun 06-Jan-13 00:32:44

oops, posted too soon.

.... vast quanitities of wine she drinks and a good ol' daily dose of prozac. Oh, and a markedly less victorian upbringing.

Maryz Sun 06-Jan-13 00:32:44

I've just cleared out my cupboards and found a few out of date things.

Vanilla essence dated 2000, for example.

I am 50 - so I will join ponders on the slippery slope.

Sunnywithshowers Sun 06-Jan-13 00:36:29

My XBF's mum was absolutely lovely, but quite concerned about cleanliness in a way I don't understand.

Plates were washed, then put in a 'rack in a box' thingy on the drainer to dry. And the toaster was covered (when not in use) with a teatowel. Both of these were protection against floating dust or something.

LilyVonSchtupp Sun 06-Jan-13 00:37:03

Thermos flasks of coffee, meal-planning, tupperware, turning the lights off. It would be good to cross-reference this thread with the New Year Money Saving Tips one.

I have anxiety and mild OCD so I recognise a lot of the behaviour here (especially turning things off and unplugging) however this is what drive me mad about my DM/MIL/ILs:

1. Boiling vegetables and over-cooking. Once when I was cooking Xmas dinner I told my mum that I would be putting the carrots on 20 minutes before the Turkey was ready. She thought I was trying to poison / choke everyone. Everyone KNOWS you need to put vegetables on a rolling boil for at least 2 hours before they are safe to eat.

2. AOL: news to old people. There are now other internet providers.

3. Satnav. Lone among other technologies, Satnavs are Sacred and Magical to baby boomers. A gathering of in-laws must begin with an hour long devotions to The Satnav and how it transported them to this place. They talk about 'Tom-Tom' as if it's a family dog.

My MIL uses it to come to our house. She lives on one part of the A1, we live an hour south on the A1. As we have for 15 years.

4. Gadgets. If you need to coddle a watermelon or crinkle-cut a potato cake or cinderise a Findus Crispy Pancake, my MIL will get out her special watermelon-coddler (tm) / potato cake crinkle cutter (tm) / Findus Crispy Pancake Cinder Torch (tm). She has a gadget for everything. But she cannot text.

Notmyidea Sun 06-Jan-13 00:37:09

my parents have been gone a while but I've just woken up giggling because I've remembered the milk jugs.
They always kept one out on the kitchen counter, next to the kettle, whatever the weather. Dad would fill it up when he got up at stupid o'clock every morning and it would be used throughout the day.
Nobody was allowed to get milk out of the fridge because that involved opening the fridge door and would waste electricity.
No wonder I stopped eating cereal and started taking my coffee black in my early teens.

MrsMushroom Sun 06-Jan-13 00:40:30

DMIL has the post war child thing about ensuring the cupboards and freezer are full....every day she lists out loud what's available....a looooong list which she stores in her head.

"There's shrimp and steak, white fish and some frozen mince....there's bacon and eggs and a tupperware bowl of leftover hamburgers....cheese and cereal....I might buy more cereal, there's only 2 boxes in the larder..."

It does DH's head in but I listen with glee for some reason...she also has at least three of everything such as soap powder and boxes of loo roll.

BreconBeBuggered Sun 06-Jan-13 00:44:03

Ooooh, have just remembered that PILs will dismantle their hob and clean the inside of the oven till it gleams after every single meal, but they think I have OCD because I like to wash soft fruit before I eat it.

To be fair, their cooker is bloody lovely.

My ILs are crazy. Lovely but crazy.

They check the prices of everything at every supermarket and visit about 7 different different shops to make their savings. Whenever we point out that they spend more on fuel and parking than they save they just look perplexed.

The day a visit is over the bed is stripped and washing is on less than five minutes after getting up. Nothing to make you feel unwelcome. But tidying up is the most important thing in MiL's life. She almost had a panic attack on New Year's Day after taking down all the Christmas decorations when realising that she still had the Christmas tablecloth on.

Faffing is a big thing in PILs lifes. I can't understand why everything takes so long. Lunch at 1pm will go on at 7am. Why does it take so long to cook a bit of meat and a few veggies?

Maryz Sun 06-Jan-13 00:47:16

Personally I don't think anyone over 60 should be allowed to use a sat nav.

My dad spends hours trying to confuse his [baffled]. He'll turn right when it says left and say "ha, let's see how it copes with this".

Which would be fine, but he does it in the middle of Dublin, where the one-way streets seem to change direction periodically, leaving an 80 year old in a volvo, with a confused sat nav, causing chaos.

shesariver Sun 06-Jan-13 00:52:43

HyvaPaiva loving the holiday itinary list, can so identify with this as this is what we get from MIL and step FIL, really its just him. Full of boring exact details to of exactly what they plan to do on each and every day of their holiday...e.g 0830 breakfast 0900 return to hotel room 0930 read 1000 go out a walk...and so it goes on, for 7 days! And the piece de resistance - he laminates the damn thing!

RainbowsFriend Sun 06-Jan-13 00:56:51

OMG I think my DP is turning into one of these.... some I have managed to train him out of - like unplugging the TV aerial every time we stay overnight somewhere (but he trusts it when we are at work eh?)

But he:

Has a little book in the glove compartment for noting down journeys, petrol, mileage etc
Has a set way of doing the washing up that takes 3 times as long and tells me off for running the hot tap filling up the bowl for rinsing as I go.
Insists on thoroughly washing and de-labelling all recycling - will even dig out stuff that I have just rinsed to peel labels off and wash properly.
Saves every damn screw/nail/inch long piece of wood etc etc in separate jam jars in the garage
Saves the cardboard boxes for electrical appliances in the loft for when we move. I have at least managed to persuade him to collapse these now though.
Keeps all his most ancient and holey T-shirts for sleeping in. FFS just buy a new T shirt.
Has a special "cheese" tupperware box in the fridge
Takes a bottle of tap water everywhere he goes.

Bless him. I do luffs him - we are both mad in our separate ways (I am a slightly OCD -offically diagnosed BTW - anxiety disorder germophobe who drives him potty with my cleaning and handwashing and use-by-date-checking)
We are truly a match made in heaven, but I pity our poor offspring-in-laws to be! grin

Oh and we're both in our 30s! So not necessarily an age thing.

LilyVonSchtupp Sun 06-Jan-13 01:03:15

I have a cheese tupperware fridge box! It is normal, healthy behaviour!!! grin

RainbowsFriend Sun 06-Jan-13 01:07:38

I hate to break it to you Lily, but did you know that cheese actually comes in its own wrapping - especially the resealable cheddar blocks - so you don't need to? It just takes space!

Mind you - I have to re-write the shopping list in the order it is on the shelves, and get all discombobulated when they move stuff... grin

... did I mention that I'm only in my 30s? There's no hope for me is there? sad

About the coffin-sized freezers ... my parents have these. They have three freezers and two fridges, all full size. Two are referred to as 'the spare fridge' and 'the spare freezer' but are used at Christmas (when, as everyone knows, the shops shut for a full month and it requires the tactical skill of Wellington at Waterloo to feed a family).

There are only the two of them in the house. I'm thinking stewed apple from 1998 is going to be the least of it! My mum still has food colouring from when she made birthday cakes when we were little.

Yamyoid Sun 06-Jan-13 01:31:54

Fil isn't bad at all compared to these stories but his washing up technique drives me mad! He places all importance on the rinsing of the soap suds off the dishes, so items get a quick dunk in the bubbles, including a whole handful of cutlery, then meticulously rinsed.

My parents are also very laid back but are unable to get out of the house before 3pm, even if they need to get somewhere, they have to have their after lunch cup of tea first and then partly do the washing up. Trying to get a meal to fit in with dcs early routines is a challenge.

BlueyDragon Sun 06-Jan-13 02:24:49

This thread has brightened my insomnia no end!

My Dad does the holiday itinerary thing and is famous amongst my friends for the clipboard that contained all the lists to do with my wedding. But I think I'll suggest a laminator after shesariver's post. He would love one of those.

I meal plan (though deviation is permitted), make lists and holiday itineraries and my CD collection is alphabetised. Things go back In Their Proper Place. I am 37. My future children-in-law are in for a right treat.

BlueyDragon Sun 06-Jan-13 02:30:20

I tease my PIL when they come to stay (which is often, bless them, I love them dearly) that I have have to get in extra tea, white wine and washing up liquid as they use all three in roughly equal amounts. DFIL can get through a bottle of washing up liquid in a 4 day stay. He doesn't drink it, obviously, that's what the tea and white wine is for.

80sMum Sun 06-Jan-13 02:38:42

What a fabulously entertaining thread this is! Has had me laughing out loud.

However, I confess to embracing many of these quirky idiosyncrasies myself! It must be an age thing, as I used to laugh heartily at the daft behaviors of my parents and in-laws but now find myself turning into them! Now I'm wondering if my DD and DDil might be among the posters on here!

My ils are a bit JeanAndDave too. <this must now become a mumsnet expression for anal behaviour>

Mil, up until a few months ago would put my children in pull up nappies for bed when they stayed at her house despite the fact she has a waterproof sheet on the bed. They are 5 and 4 and have (between them) only wet the bed twice and they were ill at the time. She also only recently stopped putting the 4 year old in a high chair! They still both must wear a bib at meal times in case they spill anything on their clothes which wouldnt matter anyway as she washes all their clothes at the end of the day even when they dont really need washing. She also washes their jackets and SHOES every time they go to her house (which is usually at least once week).

When cooking chicken she leaves it cooking for an extra 20 mins on purpose so that it is dry as fuck cooked properly but will only make enough gravy for a dessert spoonful each.

I could go on... hmm grin

YokoUhOh Sun 06-Jan-13 03:07:50

This thread has me convinced that DH is a bigamist and married to all of you lot. My extremely JeanAndDave MIL serves Sunday fry-up on the world's tiniest side plates resulting in beanjuice level: critical (woe betide you if the beanjuice should spill over the side of the miniature plate, it's an exercise in extreme cutlery control). She also told me that I should 'control DH's portions'. I'm sorry, I wasn't aware it was 1955, now where did I put that pin money...? I could go on... For hours.

YokoUhOh Sun 06-Jan-13 03:10:17

Btw, on a slightly different note, I thought I was the only living person who served gravy in a measuring jug. Is this the new benchmark for slatternly shortcomings? smile

BlueyDragon Sun 06-Jan-13 03:27:45

Surely not by the standards of this thread, Yoko, as you've at least bothered to put it in a jug.

YokoUhOh Sun 06-Jan-13 03:47:00

Yes, Bluey, it has a spout and everything... smile

I once had to buy MIL a £20 bunch of flowers (thanks, DH, for the suggestion, and your support in this extremely trifling matter) because I made her cry by repositioning her face flannel in the bathroom. That is no word of an exaggeration.

BlueyDragon Sun 06-Jan-13 03:53:08

See, you can lower the standards and use a sippy cup next time grin.

Can't believe the face flannel flowers though.

YokoUhOh Sun 06-Jan-13 03:58:24

It's the god-honest truth, Bluey, it made her 'feel as if you wanted me gone'. hmm

YY to MIL ironing the porcelain dolls' dresses. And everything in sight. Also to the 18 hour picnic prep for a couple of sarongs and a bag of Seabrooks. Why? WHYYYY???

YokoUhOh Sun 06-Jan-13 03:59:31

Haha sarnies. Sarongs repeat on me.

WandaDoff Sun 06-Jan-13 05:20:50

Without trying to put a downer on anyone, please make sure you make a fuss of the pernickety old bastards. smile

I treasure every moment that I wasted, moaning about wee quirks & idiosyncrasies that my parents had.

They are gone now, & by fuck, it's a quiet life without them grin

they will be recalled in so many ways in so many generations to come though.

Some of their daft wee habits are the things that I treasure the most now.

echt Sun 06-Jan-13 05:46:41

I'd just like to lob THIS particular hand grenade into the thread.

People who know how to pack. Suitcases, cars for the holiday...

<DH is heading this way>grin

My ILs are mild compared to some of you guys.

FIL insists on sending us warning emails of current scams going on by phone or email, totally weird things always perpetrated by someone on a country I have never heard of who are apparently targeting people just like me!! Like I have a special demographic called thick as shit.

Food at their house is always Luke warm and sliced or chopped very small/thinly, it's like they are preparing themselves for the retirement home. And there is never enough, DH could easily finish off what they cook for all of us put together.

FIL makes soup with leftovers (of which there are few) and will think nothing of scraping what you didn't eat into an old ice team carton to mush up into soup once they get enough detritus to do so. Chicken bone and half eaten roast potato soup anyone. They even freeze leftover Chinese takeaway!

He also uses one tea bag for about 4 cups of tea and you can't fox him by having coffee as that always comes in a shade of very pale gnats wee, I think it's a granule a cup!

And they don't have big glasses so you have to make yourself about 6 drinks to the equivalent of one you would have at home or try and quench your thirst with the lukewarm water/tea concoction.

Oh and you don't eat certain things together, god the issue when I even thought of serving carrots and fish at the same meal!

I do love them dearly though and think they just don't like waste. Mind you the hovering when you are doing anything, knowing in their mind they are horrified you are doing it that way but are far too middle class to comment gets to me and the time when a tap had been dripping and he taped a ruler to the side of dh's old baby bath to show me just how much water was being wasted did do my head in.

I am already storing up barminess from this thread to use to persecute DCs when I am old.

We have a cheese box, started it just before Christmas when the fridge/kitchen smelt like something had died (dh had bought Camembert).
So pleased to know these are normal. Though I should point out to the people saying "it's the war" that my pils are just over 60 and my own parents just under.

PeppaPrig Sun 06-Jan-13 07:36:30

We have a cheese box and its lid is a grater.
<books self onto saga cruise>

At 7.25 I was pouring a glass of wine...to clingfilm, so I could take the bottle to the tip with the rest
It has started, officially

Dozer Sun 06-Jan-13 07:59:09

grin beanjuice and "extreme cutlery control"! Your DH / MIL were way out of line demanding flowers for the ridiculous flannel incident, don't stand for any more of that!

DH is anal. IMO this comes from PIL and boarding school!

Hanging clothes on clothes horse and folding clothes towels etc a certain way. Packing. Doesn't like me to do these things - I do it "wrong".

Squeegying the shower. opening window (even when freezing) when and after showering. Tbf the bathroom is damp: I want to put in an extractor fan but he prefers the window solution!

Cleaning / tidying living room and kitchen every evening. ido a general tidy, clear dishes, wipe etc and we have a cleaner. He puts everything in its place, cleans under toaster etc. Takes about 30 mins each eve.

Putting stuff away tidily rather than functionally, eg paper admin that needs action will be piles with junk mail, magazines etc to look neat. In kitchen, fruit squash so high up need to use a chair, for example. if I move things to my liking, they will be put back.

Tiny kitchen, short on cupboards, so he built some shelves in the living room (in need of decoration, currently old-lady style from previoous house owner) is now annoyed because am using it for "unsightly" things like pans and plastic, not just glass and china.

Car is immaculate (eg yesterday was annoyed as I'd left a pay and display ticket on dashboard and brought a cloth in to wipe mirrors then left it there). Major drama if I mark it, eg dragging stuff over bumper from boot, scratching on kerb etc.

Food pickiness and inflexibility: he will cook something with potatoes and veg taking 45 mins even if it means he doesn't eat til 10pm (after he's done cleaning etc). (I don't cook for him anymore in the week as he wouldn't eat quick stuff that do for the DC like pasta, stir-fry etc)

wants DC to eat everything at the table, even snacks etc, gets cross if finds mess. Would understand if living room / furniture / carpet was new but as mentioned they are old-lady style and already a mess.

It is depressing and time-consuming tbh. If he could live and let live it would be easier, but he wants me to do stuff like him and is critical sad

Argh, sorry for moaning on the funny thread blush

BadDog Sun 06-Jan-13 08:19:59

Oh tidy cars. That's a good one. The boot is lined somehow and NO PARKING TICKETS , rugby balls cricket bats empty bottles of water sticks or crisp wrappers.

Tee2072 Sun 06-Jan-13 08:22:58

Ah, hearing aides. My step father only agreed to finally wear his when he backed into my aunt's brand new, as in she had just driven it home that day, car because she was in his blind spot and he couldn't hear her honk.

My mother falling and him not hearing her wasn't enough reason, oh no. But damage to a new car? Get those hearing aides in now!

Now if I could only get my father in law and father to get some my life would be complete.

BarnYardCow Sun 06-Jan-13 08:37:05

After years of " turn the lights off" still amazes me that Dm and Dd refuse to swop to energy savers, the brightness is different. Also, nearly had a fit when first with Dh and he ripped a huge sheet of silver foil to wrap some sandwiches, as had be brought up with using just enough to cover it! Am ok with it now, and take great delight at using fresh plastic bags and not an old mothers pride to freeze something in. Do have the checking the door is locked thing as it is ingrained, but when we did get burgled, they got in through a window anyway!

CailinDana Sun 06-Jan-13 08:42:50

That sounds hard going Dozer, I don't think I'd be able to put up with it.

My parents have always been set in their ways. Growing up it was actually quite nice in some ways as it was very stable and predictable. Dinner was always always always at 6 no matter what, even if mum was at a meeting and we (as teens) were out for the evening, dad would still cook for 6, eat on his own (always at the table) and keep plates for all of us. We didn't have to be home at 6, that was no problem, but dinner was at 6 regardless.

They had and still have a set repertoire of meals which expanded very very slowly over the years but then seemed to reach a critical mass and could expand no more. So lasagne never made it no matter how much we asked for it - too exotic for mum. Also, mum hates rice and dad hates mashed potato - what has inspired such feelings for such bland foodstuffs I will never know, but neither of them will go near their hated food.

Dad loves spicy food and makes a fantastic curry but still hankers for the utter shit he had to eat as a very very poor child. So he makes the most disgusting stew which involves boiling the cheapest possible cut of meat with vegetables for hours until you get a greasy mush. Mum couldn't force us to eat it when we mutinied aged about 10 - she hates it herself. He has longed for tripe and drisheen (fellow Irish people will understand) for years but my mother will absolutely not allow it in the house. Bacon and cabbage is another favourite, but I must admit that is lovely.

PILs have an obsession with the weather forecast and with driving routes and traffic. Every single time they arrive they talk about what the weather will be like later that day/tomorrow (which is invariably wrong, but that seems to pass them by) and go on and on and on and on about what roads they took, what the traffic was like etc. Leaving the house is pre-empted by another in depth discussion of routes and traffic, despite the fact that there are only two routes they can possibly take and there is absolutely no way to predict the traffic.

Growing up there was always a tonne of food in my house - you could have seconds or thirds if you liked. PILs only cook the bare minimum. It drives me mad.

I think FIL has an eating disorder. It's not serious, but it is stable and long lasting - he worries terribly about his weight and often misses meals, comments constantly on my eating (I enjoy my food, but I am not overweight at all) and still mentions the fact that MIL was fat when he married her over 30 years ago (she's very thin now). I just ignore it because I feel sorry for him, I think he really struggles with food.

MIL always turns up with random food, which I then throw in the bin. This is down to my anality rather than hers really - I have bought the food I need so extra things like potatoes etc just go off, and other things like carrot soup don't get eaten because no one except MIL likes it.

MIL had a bib obsession when DS was small. She still puts a bib on him when he's at her house and I'm not around.

MIL also has a slipper obsession - where did this come from in the older generation?? I never wear slippers but every time I go to their house there's a pair waiting for me, which I ignore every time. MIL also obsesses about coats - the last time she was here she asked "Does DS have a coat?" That was a bit too much for me, and I rather rudely said "MIL are you seriously asking me if DS has a coat, do you think I didn't get him one in the middle of winter?" She laughed, but she will ask it again. She bought him a (hideous) coat for Christmas. Every time I'm at their house she tries to give me one of her coats to wear - for some reason my own coat is never good enough.

EggRules Sun 06-Jan-13 09:04:23

For all the costs saving they are massively wasting huge amounts of time. They are so far ahead of themselves they do things twice - hardly efficient. The amount they waste in water running the washing machine twice a day, even with one shirt in if that is all that is dirty.

I have no idea what they do with toilet roll; they use huge amounts. If they visit for a few hours they use at least one full one. They also rearrange the towels in the bathroom.

I have a cheese box - we luffs cheese and otherwise the fridge smells of camembert and stilton etc.