Five irritating things about staying with my inlaws

(182 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

JustOneMoreBite Tue 03-Sep-13 18:42:52

Sigh. Am four days into a visit to the PILs and am at the point of maximum irritation. They are lovely people, and I realise I am very lucky not to have married into one of the toxic families I read about on here, but nonetheless every visit results in my inevitable descent into tetchy madness by about this point. So for the purposes of catharsis, here are just some of the minor annoyances which are currently elevating my blood pressure:

1. They live in a three-bedroom house, but due to a moderate-level hoarding tendency, only their bedroom actually contains a usable bed. Me and DH have to sleep on a sofa bed downstairs, which is completely open plan. No privacy, no space to put any stuff, and the hum of the fridge all night. Just this lack of a cave to retreat to when it all gets too much is enough to make me a bit stabby by day two.

2. MIL serves up exactly the same meal every night, just with different meat at varying levels of cremation. She started boiling the veg thirty minutes ago and it isn't done yet. I would offer to cook but the kitchen is a total nightmare due to the aforementioned hoarding.

3. The shower is lukewarm and dribbly.

4. No mirrors, anywhere. Probably for the best as I am in dire need of a proper hot shower.

5. I'm made to feel like some kind of weirdo for wanting a glass of water with my dinner (or indeed at any time - tea is offered at 20 minute intervals from breakfast until bedtime). I have to drink my water from a mug because they appear to have no tumblers, despite their kitchen cupboards being stuffed with every other conceivable object known to man.

Thank fuck we are going home tomorrow. Anyone else want to vent about the small things that make you want to murder your relatives?

nomorecrumbs Tue 03-Sep-13 18:46:13

Sounds like my mum's place grin I'll put up with it though, cos I only see her two weeks a year!

The drinking water out of tannin-stained mugs gets on my tits a bit. Plus how she never has a decent washing up sponge/brush. Aaargh

CaptainSweatPants Tue 03-Sep-13 18:48:50

God why do you go?? I take it you have no kids to take with you?

I have a 2 night rule no longer grin

MrsHoratioNelson Tue 03-Sep-13 18:53:22

What is it about overdone vegetables? My mum's veggies tend to be on the raw side of al dente, but MIL are sparse and cooked to death. She comes to my house and makes snide comments about cracking her teeth.

They also have a lukewarm dribbly shower. They had their bathroom done a few years ago and, rather than getting in a proper shower, replaced the old crap electric shower with a new crap electric shower.

However, we have the opposite problem on cups and glasses. MIL has glasses for everything and rushes around getting you the right kind of glass to drink out of. So you have to have what amounts to a glass egg cup for juice in the morning or your orange juice starter and sometiing else for all other sorts of drinks.

Sounds painful. DM is a bit of a hoarder but is now selling/giving away a lot of stuff that she would never have worn/used. Fortunately she has a reasonable eye so it isn't total tat.

I will add to the general list:

* they eat at very odd times
* their sofa isn't comfortable to sit on
* FIL has sports telly on all day

LRDMaguliYaPomochTebeSRaboti Tue 03-Sep-13 18:57:01

I feel your pain.

That sounds dire, especially the hoarding. Sad for you to see and depressing to put up with.

My parents are the same with the mirrors. Until I was 14 there were two mirrors in the house, one for dad to shave in and a 3/4 (=useless) length one in their room.

My lovely MIL came to stay with my mum before I got married (she doesn't speak much English) and came out of her room bemused asking where was the mirror, please? She has now gone home to her tiny one-bed flat thinking that English people are bizarrely impoverished because they live in houses with spare rooms, but do not have the money for a mirror.

I overcompensate and have a huge one over the chimney. smile

JustOneMoreBite Tue 03-Sep-13 19:00:26

CaptainSweatPants literally the only reason I am here, and for so long, is because of our two DDs, who love MIL to bits and have the time of their lives when we visit. They have to sleep on a single mattress on the floor and in a travel cot crammed in with FIL's computer stuff in the second bedroom. Who knows what we'll do when DD2 is too big for the cot?

ZingWantsCake Tue 03-Sep-13 19:04:36

I don't tend to want to murder people in general but, yes I have a list that got updated when we lived with ILs for 2 months.
just yesterday I reminded myself that I never want that to happen. never again.

I can't stand:

- passive-aggressive games in general
- being judged and critised about anything really
- having to listen to endless repetitions of the same boring stories about people I don't know
- having to confer plans

there are more but I started to feel a bit ill from the memories

BonaDea Tue 03-Sep-13 19:10:46

In the winter, my MiL has a lovely open fire. Which she then sits right in front of letting bvgger all heat out for the rest of us.

Kitchen so shabby and cluttered it sets my teeth on edge.

Crap on every conceivable surface

FrauMoose Tue 03-Sep-13 19:10:56

Even a few hours with my mother is weird. (No water with meals there, either.) No washing up rack or brushes, though there is a single tiny orange scouring cloth. I think the idea is you have to hand wash and dry each plate immediately and put it away - nothing should be left around.

Also there is no chopping board. Anything that is cut up is cut directly onto the metal draining board of the sink.

Everything is very, very clean and tidy indeed - it's like the hoarding problem in reverse.

There is near hysteria if a crumb should fall on the carpet!

impecuniousmarmoset Tue 03-Sep-13 19:12:17

Top of current list: shower off bath that is reduced to trickly dribble, that randomly cuts out unless you physically hold the thing, goes boiling and freezing 13 times in the course of a 5 minute shower, and a tap that needs turning on with a large spanner.

When DH suggested they might invest in a new tap/shower attachment for the bath, PIL looked at him as if he'd gone insane. MIL said 'well we don't run to power showers here in the countryside'... She thinks we live in the lap of luxury because I buy lunchboxes from sainsburys rather than using old ice-cream tubs.

runningonwillpower Tue 03-Sep-13 19:14:12

I would be very happy to put up with all of those things whilst visiting relatives - after all, I am the guest - if only;

they didn't come to my house and expect me to do everything like they do. To the point of telling me when to 'put the carrots on'. Cos that's how they like it. And commandeering my remote control. I don't even get asked in their house what I would like to watch!!!!!

PiperMaru Tue 03-Sep-13 19:17:27

Only five?!

Mine live in a perfect house which is constantly maintained to within an inch of its 400 year old life. Hearing about this really messes with my melon, since we live in a hovel. Plus, talk of rendering and repainting is boring. This is just a fact.

There is no peace. If i am sitting quietly, MIL seems to seek me out and let me know that another quiet spot is available. But this spot was quiet until you came to bother me, I think, stabbily.

If there is a lot of jolly laughter in the main room, where people are getting dinner ready and generally being nice, she will flounce in and flounce out, having totally ruined the mood with some utterly pointless and brain-achy comment about nothing. She likes attention.

Dinner never arrives until after nine. I would quite simply not be allowed to cook it myself, or upset the status quo, and I do accept that they are the hosts. I just can't eat at that time of night.

By ten, they are drunk. Cue some sort of semi-rant from MIL, the nature of which I have never divined.

There are always lie-ins and this is a good thing. But if I wake early then it is somehow made significant and talked about as though I'm obliquely trying to show everyone up. I could not be arsed.

MIL often pretends not to hear. Or, if one person is talking and another one is talking at the same time to another person within earshot, she interrupts to grab hold of the other conversation as if the one she is actually having doesn't matter. She just cannot be in the presence of anyone and have them not focusing on her.

I could go on. It's not healthy though.

petalsandstars Tue 03-Sep-13 19:17:43

Every drink at my PILs bar tea or coffee is served in plastic tumblers, no matter how old you are. I rebel and get a glass out of the cupboard.

The shower is also a dribble.

The clean towels smell of smoke boak!!

only PILS should get food/drink from the kitchen. I rebel this one too for a glass of water.

ZingWantsCake Tue 03-Sep-13 19:18:30


is your mum Monica from Friends?grin

Watto1 Tue 03-Sep-13 19:22:04

I love MIL to bits but I also have gripes about staying at her house.

1. The loo. For some odd reason, the flush is on the left hand side. The left hand side is also the side jammed up against the wall so I can't get enough oomph behind my flush (I am right handed).

2. She's another one with a dribbly shower. I took 'scale-away' with me last time but with limited effect.

3. She is a great cook but very traditional. No rice or pasta or anything remotely 'forrin'.

On the plus side, she is a lovely lady and we always end up taking home a food parcel of delicious home made cakes!

nomorecrumbs Tue 03-Sep-13 19:23:07

Oh PiperMaru, I think everyone knows someone like your MIL! Poor you. My former boss was like that. She threw a tantrum if I didn't make her the centre of attention, even if we had clients to drill entertain!

jimijack Tue 03-Sep-13 19:24:37

1 sports on tv all the time, on loudly so you can't talk or hear each other.

2 they are incapable of going anywhere or doing anything without a cup of tea first, even if it makes them late.

3 incapable of making decisions about anything. We have to decide and plan everything.

4 mil runs round after fil like he is a child. Whatever he says goes. No argument.

5 they don't get up until after 10am. Then have a cup of tea or 10.

a whole other thread but they have no interest in their only grandchild. Fil loves zoo's and trains, they often go to both and never offer to take ds, despite heavy hints.

wordfactory Tue 03-Sep-13 19:25:48

When I visit my Mum it's the heat that does for us all.

Tropical temperatures twenty four seven. Sometimes when DH does a bit of DIY for her, he strips to his boxers grin.

Needalifeagain Tue 03-Sep-13 19:28:48

Vegetables boiled to within an inch of their lives and them mashed with copious amounts of butter salt and pepper.
Food in fridge ie salmon and eggs are actually for the dogs.
Back door open all year round for aforementioned dogs even when snowing outside. You are expected to wear multiple layers.

MusieB Tue 03-Sep-13 19:30:10

DH's family are fun but bonkers and not remotely concerned about hygeine or tidiness.

The thing that upsets me most is that the carpets in the bathrooms and loo were very old when I first met DH 20 years ago and they don't bother with loo mats. You can imagine what the carpets round the loos are like now...

Cooked meat/fish is regularly left out overnight in the very warm (Aga heated) kitchen and served up for lunch next day.

Sheets are rarely clean on arrival (think stains, pubes and DOG HAIRS INSIDE THE BED). Stripping the beds discloses eyewateringly stained duvets, pillows and mattresses. Beds are ancient and lumpy.

The fridge doesn't get cleaned from year to year, is very smelly and contains bacterial cultures unknown to science.

The first Christmas I spent with them I caused great consternation when I asked for a glass of water (along with wine, not instead of). But I seem to have converted them over the years...

pawnstar Tue 03-Sep-13 19:31:24

Refuse to stay in their 2 bedroom apartment .... well 1 bedroom and one room packed to the rafters with shit. (their house , their shit,their business) but last time we stayed 3 of us had to sleep on awful sofa bed and you couldnt even stick a leg out the bed with the rest of the clutter. Now we have increased to 5 so its truly out of the question.

But the last time we went we got whisked away to their summer house , in the middle of boredam. And the house was full of an insane amount of dust and i am asthmatic and allergic to dust , so I felt awful for the whole time (3 days) and swore i wouldnt go back again.

MIL laughs at everything I have no idea why but every single sentence begins and ends with a little giggle.

Sports is always on and I get asked my opinion on whichever sport they are watching. They seem upset that I don't watch or like sports very much.

the lock on the bathroom door doesnt work and PIL ALWAYS walks in on me in the bath/shower despite me telling them I will be in the shower and will let them know when it's free.

There are no mirrors in the house apart from a tiny weird eye shaped on on the wall next to the sink.

It smells faintly of sugar or something sweet and it gives me a headache.

I get woken up at 6am to ask if I want a cup of tea when I come down. I don't really understand why she has to check in advance.

ZingWantsCake Tue 03-Sep-13 23:07:40


does she put sugar in your tea?grin

Crumbledwalnuts Tue 03-Sep-13 23:11:00

What's with the older generation and not drinking with meals? Very odd. Same here.

she does not put sugar in my tea zing I make sure of it grin

OP and others, why do you stay in such inhospitable houses? What has your DHs got to say for themselves?! My mums house is horrible - dog hairs and stinks of smoke. No way would I stay there and no way would I inflict it on DH or the kids.

Silverfoxballs Tue 03-Sep-13 23:34:47

Your actually staying at my MIL house, the description is exactly the same.

Is her bath pink with grey 1980's wall tiles and a very weird special heat lightbulb. It is supposed to heat up the room but sure it must be illegal now and is the least Eco lightbulb ever I'm convinced it drains the entire national grid when I pop for a wee.

MousyMouse Tue 03-Sep-13 23:35:24

- kaffee und kuchen at 4o'clock on the dot, then huge ploughman type dinner at 6 <bursts at seams>
- fil is a bit hard at hearing so repeats everything mil says about 2 minutes later
- mil (also nicknamed granny shopaholic) buys the dc enourmous amounts of toys plastic tat
- veg are cooked to mush, food is quite bland (as in no herbs, just vast amounts of salt)
- fil pretends to doesn't like forrin food, however we got him some indian take away once and he loved it.

not pil but my parents: guest bedding smells of damp cupboard and the sweat of many many people <boak>.

My gran had one of those bathroom lightbulbs silverfoxballs. My dad used to mutter that its sole purpose was to singe the top of his head whilst he brushed his teeth.

Shodan Tue 03-Sep-13 23:43:59

Fortunately for good relations between all parties I have only had to share a house with my PILs on two occasions, the second of which was a week's holiday in Wales.

They snored. Loudly and consistently. As I have insomnia, at that point I was on sleeping pills. Even with those and industrial-strength earplugs, it still took hours to drop off. Consequently I would stumble out of bed, after four hours' sleep, at around half eight/nine. Every morning they chirpily bellowed 'Good afternoon!' like it was the funniest and most original witticism ever.

Days were spent not enjoying the beauty of Wales but trawling around the small supermarkets/grocers on offer in search of particular fruit for FIL, without which, it appeared, he couldn't possibly survive.

Evenings were spent watching/listening to FIL noisily crunch his way through bowl after bowl of snacks, always balanced on his (large) stomach. Then of course we had the Snoring Symphony to look forward to...

Driving anywhere was planned with military precision because FIL drives like a bat out of hell, slamming on the brakes every five hundred yards or so. Therefore MIL wouldn't drive down any country lanes with him as she was 'too nervous'. Bear in mind we were in rural Wales...

They are nice people, they really are, and would do anything for you, but dear God. I am never staying with them again. grin

MammaTJ Tue 03-Sep-13 23:44:21

I no longer visit the in laws, but in the past-

If I showed even a minor interest in any programme on TV, then FIL would be compelled to turn it over, even if was a programme he had previously expressed an interest in watching.

MIL would never let me cook or help in the kitchen, the DP would moan that I didn't do enough to help, I should 'make her let me'. (NOT MILs fault, DPs)

Three bedroom, two living room house. BILs house. Him and his (lovely) wife got their massive bedroom, and the larger lounge, fair enough, their house. We had to squeeze in the remaining bedrooms with MIL, FIL, DNephew and our 2 DC. This usually meant DP and I sharing a single bed each with one of our DC. Hellish. Again, noones fault but annoying all the same.

Dog walking takes priority over EVERYTHING!!

exexpat Tue 03-Sep-13 23:51:17

I am not a morning person. I do not do conversation at breakfast-time. MiL has known me 25 years, and even when she has already eaten by the time I come down, still insists on coming to sit and watch me eat my bowl of cereal and ask me inane questions when I have my mouth full.

There is also endless faffing around over any decision regarding meals, shopping, timing of journeys (even a 5-minute drive to the supermarket), and anecdotes about the health/educational achievements/reproductive successes etc of people I have never met.

MrsMc82 Wed 04-Sep-13 00:04:13

What is it with not having juice or water with meals? It's odd! My nana and mum seem to think its highly extravagant!

My MIL has to say everything twice too which irritates me.....

MsJupiterJones Wed 04-Sep-13 00:20:26

Oh I nearly wrote this AIBU a few days ago!

My ILs are lovely. They are thoughtful, kind, intelligent, remember birthdays and anniversaries, recycle, talk politics and books, have a beautiful, impeccably decorated house, beautiful, well-adjusted children, eat healthily, throw great parties. I cannot possibly find anything to complain about them.


They wash everything up before putting it in the dishwasher. Not just rinse; proper soapy wash.

They unplug everything. All the time. You go to boil the kettle and twenty minutes later realise it never boiled. Yep. That's because it's not plugged in.

They like to point out that they don't watch tv, use smartphones or know about popular culture. Not heavy-handedly, but they say things like 'oh that's a novelty' or 'oh we wouldn't know about that'.

Once, I went to get them a clean plate for their salad and they said, oh no we'll keep our plates from the main course, we're very European.

They drink hot water instead of tea or coffee as a treat.

I mean, really. The things I have to put up with.

CharityFunDay Wed 04-Sep-13 00:36:43

They drink hot water instead of tea or coffee as a treat.

Christ, that's grim!

ZingWantsCake Wed 04-Sep-13 00:50:24

charity I knew a very old lady who once asked for "wilk" - that is hot water with milk. (she had to explain it.)

I didn't want to ask her but I do wonder if it was a WW2 thing.
so hot water as treat might be in the same vein.

If my ds had his way, he'd be filling himself up with juice/water/milk during a meal rather than with food - maybe this no drinks with a meal thing is something to do with that?

FondantNancy Wed 04-Sep-13 03:16:53

MusieB also get the refrigeration thing at the ILs house.

At Christmas the turkey gets left uncovered on the dining room table overnight and then on Boxing Day everyone goes in to get leftovers. Everyone except for me.

SIL is a vegetarian. MIL cooked a vegetarian meal that consisted of: boiled potatoes, boiled carrots, boiled parsnip, boiled peas - you get the idea. No sauce (because gravy is not vegetarian). I finally understood why my ILs "didn't understand why anyone would be a vegetarian."

FondantNancy Wed 04-Sep-13 03:27:01

Oh yeah, and I started a thread about this a couple of months ago - the insistence that they are simply so incredibly busy, all the time. This is despite being retired. "I just don't have time!" is repeated like a mantra.

They do have time to walk the dog, go to the cafe for croissants and coffee, drop in on friends, have a 2-hour lunch followed by a nap, drink copiously every evening etc etc etc. When something out of the ordinary is factored in like a trip to buy a pair of shoes it is a major operation and will be talked about for days afterwards.

I don't actually care what they do with their day but it is a bit galling to be told wistfully "oh I wish I had time to read like you do," when you've grabbed 10 minutes in between the latest nappy change/skinned knee/tantrum etc to finally sit down!

Need to step away from this thread now...

runawaysimba Wed 04-Sep-13 03:51:47

We used to live near PILs, so haven't stayed with them as we saw them regularly anyway. We've moved though, and DP said the other day MIL is dying to have us to stay overnight next time we're in the area. Dear Christ.
They live in a tiny, dirty three-bedroom with SIL and her DD.
MIL is mostly nice, but a passive aggressive drama queen. When she dishes up meals, instead of doing it like a sane person - line up the plates, put meat on each one, veg on each one, etc - she gets a plate, puts a piece of chicken on it, some potatoes, some salad, some bread, brings it out. Gets another plate, puts some chicken on it, some potatoes... On and on. I'm always served first, as the guest. I used to wait until everyone was served, so it was cold when I ate. Now I eat straight away, per her insistence, so she's left eating by herself. So she can say passive aggressive things about finally getting to sit down.
I just can't do that for several days. My parents live near her, and have plenty of space, but that would be favouritism. Sigh.

chickenschicken Wed 04-Sep-13 03:56:22

My mil puts the electric blanket on at around 4pm so the bed is the same temperature as the sun., DH protests and switches it off, but has same conversation about it every day.
I also get woken up at 6/7am to ask if I would like tea when I get up. If she is going to work she comes in and says don't wake up I'm just leaving. Hoarding levels are limited by FIL but you can't shut any doors properly for all the clothes on the handles. She buys all the bras in the m&s sales because they are 50p. Chicken are you a 28aa or a 38h?

MrsHoratioNelson Wed 04-Sep-13 04:43:21

Fondant my in laws are like this too. They are just so terribly busy and are always moaning about how wrung out they are from it all. Except that none of it is compulsory (they are retired) and its all stuff like spending hours researching the history of MIL's choir (that no-one is interested in) or going to the local records office to look up some distant illustrious relatives when she could have spent ten minutes on the Internet doing the same thing.

DH and I both work full time ++ in very demanding jobs and we've been renovating our house for the past two years so anything else has to be fitted around that. MIL switches between telling us that we need a break from time to time and that work will just have to employ some more people hmm to suggesting that they know just how we feel because they're very busy too...

LadyFlumpalot Wed 04-Sep-13 05:01:02

1) They are both grossly overweight so do not feel the cold. Their thermostat is set to come on when the house reaches 7c.

2) Because they don't feel the cold their guest duvet is like a sheet in thickness and warmth

3) DH and I sleep on a lumpy leaky air mattress on the floor of the living room. There is a clock that ticks and chimes on the half hour and plays a merry little tune on the hour. I now deliberately stop the pendulum when I go to bed and re set it each morning.

4) They don't go to bed until 3 or 4 am. They like to sit in the living room (where I am supposed to be sleeping) watching films til then.

5) When it comes to going home time MIL will suddenly.remember 600 little things she wants DH to do or look at. I am sure this is deliberate to keep us there for as long as possible. This is fine, only I have a grumpy and tired toddler to entertain and a 3 hour car ride home on a Sunday evening.

Don't even ask about when they come to our house...

RoadToTuapeka Wed 04-Sep-13 05:48:10

My sympathies! My MIL is lovely but some gripes from an ungrateful me...

The kitchen sink...she is of the school of chuck everything into it when used, fill it to brimming, then sort it into the dishwasher later; when I am putting stuff into the dishwasher I have to plunge hand into vile sink of solidifying grimness to get it out.

Heating set on thermonuclear

Shower head is one of those trendy dinner plate sized ones that hose down on you from up high, tiny shower cubicle and hard to control the temperature; you are blasted with hot/freezing if you test the temperature whilst within its confines or you flood the bathroom if trying to get it right from outside; and are blasted on from atop once in the shower.

Stocks up bigtime on festive crackers, nibbled etc that we then are offered for the rest of the year; Christmas is usually a year in arrears for out of date crackers and the fridge/freezer are horror stories of out if date food. I just close my eyes and hope for the best.

Love her to bits though!

I live 10 minutes from my MiL so ever stay there anymore but before we moved out DP and I would alternate between there and my parents' house.

You couldn't have the tv on after she went to bed as it would wake her no matter how quiet it was. She'd sleep in front of the telly snoring like a trooper from 4pm onwards but once she was upstairs (from 7:30 as she works an early shift) she turned into a noise-based version of the princess and the pea!

She didn't have central heating or double glazing and would never ever put the fires on. We realised why when she went on holiday and found her bed had 2 duvets and 2 horse hair blankets! We had to sleep fully clothed. Last week she told me she was a bit nippy and had the heating on at home. It was 22 degrees outside.

GreetingsFrontBottom Wed 04-Sep-13 06:59:49

These are hilarious!

The main irritating things about my PIL is that - in spite of being quite well off - they are so freaking tight. Everything is judged on the basis of whether it is 'cheap'. Cheap = good; Not Cheap = bad. Honestly, they use the word so much they sound like a couple of budgies.

Due to electricity being Not Cheap, they refuse to have the heating on ever. No matter how cold it is. DH and I ended up with kidney problems after spending 2 weeks with them. This was in spite of us spending our days wandering around random shopping centres in an effort to keep warm.

They also don't speak to me at all if DH isn't there. They just stare serenely into space and sigh a lot. I have no idea what that means.

coughingbeanintheoven Wed 04-Sep-13 07:25:47

I lived with my MIL for about a year, such a lovely woman but by the end I was tearing my hair out.
Little things turn into big things when it happens every day!

The curtains were always closed when she came home from work which was about 4:30 even in the height of summer

There was NO shower

The door to downstairs was locked every night, made me feel very trapped.

No microwave, which actually I learned to live with quite well.

every Tuesday me and DP had to clear out of the house as she had her friends round, which I can kind of understand but still made me angry !

I bet I had a lot few annoying habits that got on her nerves too grin

Crumbledwalnuts Wed 04-Sep-13 07:55:49

"My mil puts the electric blanket on at around 4pm so the bed is the same temperature as the sun."

haha grin

thatsnotmypineapple Wed 04-Sep-13 08:04:42

ILs and DPs are at opposite ends of the irritation scale:

PIL are obsessed by eating vegetables, five with every meal, never mind five a day. Prior to cooking, they must always have a detailed conversation about exactly how long they need to be cooked for. My DM thinks that of a vegetable is still recognisable in its original form, it is undercooked.

PIL house is always cold, despite having not one ounce of fat between them due to their super healthy diet. My parents have an aga and an open fire in the same room, making it just slightly hotter than the sun. It drives DH potty and he ends up stripping off and sitting at one end of the room with the door open.

PIL have a no flush before 8am rule. Drives me mad, as invariably one of them will have used the loo in the night, and being pregnant I am always desperate to go when DD wakes me up at 6.

PIL are not early risers meaning that entertaining DD for 4 hours in the morning is challenging. My parents wake up at the crack of dawn, and frequently make arrangements for us to set off somewhere at 8 or 8.30, and can't possibly understand why we wouldn't want to make the most of our holiday in this way. I can cope with this, for DH it is more of a challenge.

PIL house is locked up at night like Fort Knox. All doors, including internal doors are locked, and bizarrely the keys are then swapped around, so in the morning, you have to go searching and trying out random keys from other doors to gain access to the room of your choice.

PIL also have rather lax standards of food safety. On the hottest day of the year last year they left a joint of meat and bowl of coleslaw from lunch out uncovered on their dining table. I was curious as to how long it would be left for. Needless to say it was still there when they served it up for lunch the next day. Same with the turkey at Christmas. Fortunately I managed to avoid looking rude at boxing day lunch as DH proclaimed that neither he, DD or myself would be eating it.

silverten Wed 04-Sep-13 09:11:27

CryingGivesMeAHeadache You need a doorwedge for the bathroom door. That'll piss him off good and proper.

Oooh staying at my MIL's gives us the RAGE.

1. No heating is the norm, so when we come to stay there is a huge song and dance about turning the thermostat up. I personally prefer houses on the cooler side of things, but last time we stayed DD's baby monitor informed us that the temperature was 11C in her bedroom, which is rather too parky for anyone, I think. It hurt to breathe and I found myself sitting in the lounge wearing all my clothes, plus thick socks and my heavy outdoor coat (and was still cold). Unfortunately, because the house is typically so cold, all the heat emerging from the radiators is immediately sucked into the fabric of the building. So you can have the perverse situation where the radiators are blasting out heat to the point that the hairs on your arms frizzle as you walk past, yet the air and contents of the house are icy cold. Then MIL starts to huff and tut and we all play thermostat bingo (she turns it down, we turn it up...). A comfortable temperature is finally reached after a couple of days of this once the walls have warmed up enough. This is usually when we are due to leave.

2. No comfortable furniture to sit on, at all. MIL believes her stuff is 'antique' (no, it's just old) so will not replace it for something that a) fits the average-size modern adult and b) isn't hard and straight-backed so it feels like you're back at school. Except the sofa, which is normal-sized yet unsupportive for the back and uncomfortable on the arms, so you can't relax on it. We usually sit on the floor.

3. Floors covered in small abandoned things. MIL lives on her own and this is her way of 'organising' ongoing stuff like books to read, things to fix, and stuff to take to the charity shop, which is fair enough I suppose. However I inevitably have to do a sweep to make sure that DD can't get hold of craft knives, hammers and nails for hanging pictures, tiny chokeable glass beads in decorative bowls and prescription medicines.

4. Lots of things that work, but not quite. Eg, doors that don't shut unless you turn the handle just so, crap dribbly shower whose head won't stay in one place on its own, shower screen that doesn't quite reach far enough so that you flood the bathroom however you contort yourself, obscure rules about which tap dispenses drinking water (she has some weird salt system to soften the water)- if you want a cup of tea you have to traipse into the utility room to get the water from the sink there, horrible plug strainer thing which means the water from washing up takes an age to drain and stinks to high heaven, weird mis-matched crockery and plastic glassware with children's cartoons on, old and frankly rather knackered 'antique' cutlery with blunt knives and bent prongs on the forks...

5. The fact that no visitor is never, ever allowed to do simple things for themselves without being followed around and reminded of the correct way to do things. So you can't just get a brew quietly- she'll leap up from whatever she's doing and rush into the kitchen to ensure that you can find everything, are using the correct mug (and tap!), not boiling too much water, oh there's no sugar because I NEVER have it polishes halo cue a frantic emptying of all the cupboards to find a single manky-looking bag of Silver Spoon that looks like it's left over from the war and a tiny china ramekin to pour some into, there you are that's YOUR sugar while you're staying you sweetened-tea-loving JUNKIE you , where's the special milk I bought you roots out the world's tiniest bottle of blue top.....

I have more but I'll stop now.

echt Wed 04-Sep-13 09:29:39

This thread has made me laugh.

My late MIL kept all tins in the fridge, thereby making all fresh stuff warmer as the tiny fridge struggled to keep it all cool. "It's a bit fizzy, but I'm sure it's alright." Tons of salt in everything.

If my parents were alive, I'm sure my dad picking his feet of an evening would have palled after a time.

I miss the mad sods.

friday16 Wed 04-Sep-13 10:05:16

"My late MIL kept all tins in the fridge,"

Ditto. What is all that about? Tinned fish kept in the fridge so that the oil hardens is really very nasty indeed.

MrsHoratioNelson Wed 04-Sep-13 10:57:00

The fact that no visitor is never, ever allowed to do simple things for themselves without being followed around and reminded of the correct way to do things. So you can't just get a brew quietly- she'll leap up from whatever she's doing and rush into the kitchen to ensure that you can find everything, are using the correct mug (and tap!)...

<eyes silverten suspiciously>

Hang on, I thought my DH was an only child?

FrauMoose Wed 04-Sep-13 12:14:22

I feel that I am/we are revving up nicely as inlaws-to-be. Perhaps we are sort of inlaws to my stepdaughter's boyfriend already? (He seems to like us though - and regard as a lot easier than my stepdaughter's Mum.)

- Our house is coolish. Thermotstat around 17/18.
- It is quite scruffy and appliances don't get replaced until they are completely caput.
- We have a shower, but not a high-powered one.
- As my stepdaughter's room is right by the bathroom, we have evolved the habit of not flushing the loo at night. (To us that's more considerate than waking people up by activating plumbing. Clearly for others leaving an unflushed loo after someone has gone for a wee is unspeakably gross...)
- We tend to ask guests questions about whether they will be around for meals, rather than being totally chilled/in the moment. We tend to offer breakfast rather than leaving people entirely to their own devices.
- Our policies on fresh towels/towels being assigned to specific individuals do not meet Mumsnet standards.

On the more positive side, we try to be friendly/interested in anyone who comes to stay, reasonably tolerant of others foibles - and to ensure people do not go hungry!

technosausage Wed 04-Sep-13 13:01:02

Only one from me, my mils tea had to be in a bone China cup, I once made her tea in a normal mug (shock horror) only for her to pull a face, turn to dh and ask him to make her a 'proper' tea. Every time I made tea it was after that it was always mentioned, even to the point of telling her neighbours. She made it sound like I had pissed in her cup. hmm

mylittlesunshine Wed 04-Sep-13 13:13:34

Mine serve trifle with no topping, so basically jellied fruit! It's clearly not a trifle...

If we happen to mention an alcoholic drink we enjoy such as crabbies they will buy OH 1 bottle to enjoy and pass me a can of coke (as I'm a lady)

It doesn't matter how many times we say we drink black coffee it always has milk in it and they won't let us make it ourselves.

Tv and all other forms of background noise goes off the minute we enter until we leave (usually there for a few days) so all we hear is awkward silences and the ticking of the clock.

When FIL has decided it's time for bed he leaps up all of a sudden and switches all lights off announcing its time for bed leaving us in complete darkness.

I've stuck to the lighter stuff (they can also be nasty and a complete nightmare)

chickenschicken Wed 04-Sep-13 13:32:51

My mil is lovely really she is just trying to be the nicest person ever and comes across as overbearing. She's another who doesn't allow me to do anything, tea is offered every 20 mins but rarely appears as she is off half doing the things I said I'd help with. So dishes, ironing etc never finished.
If we mention we like something she has to buy it for us, to the point she was offering to buy our new huge telly, all the nursery furniture. She never actually does. which is fine obviously! she was desperate to pay for my wedding underwear, really didn't want her involved in that!
She brings potatoes when she stays with us. Everytime.

FondantNancy Wed 04-Sep-13 13:37:47

Am loving these. Can I just add one more?

The cheap vs not cheap reminded me. This is also the rule at my ILs' place, too. The cheap stuff always always breaks. One summer they were proudly showing off these chairs they got from Cheapmart. One by one over the week we stayed they all broke, usually spectacularly with someone going over backwards, dinner in hand.

What did they do? They bought replacements. From Cheapmart.

Applefallingfromthetree2 Wed 04-Sep-13 13:42:19

Has anyone ever asked their in laws to list the five most irritating things about staying with them?
I am sure it would be interesting.

FondantNancy Wed 04-Sep-13 13:46:45

Oh I think know what mine would say.

1. Drones on about feminism/how immigrants are people too
2. Tunes out at any mention of gardening/village politics
3. Eats all the chocolate biscuits
4. Gets up too early in a creaky house and wakes everyone up
5. Gets uptight at the slightest parenting critique, real or imagined.

chicaguapa Wed 04-Sep-13 13:53:37

Some of these gripes ring a bell with me.

My MIL has 1 bathroom and will not deviate from her lengthy bathroom routine even when she has visitors. So she has to have a shower, do her hair & make up and god knows what else, while we're all outside queuing up for our turn.

We also hate her shower, which despite being new, is like standing under a tap.

The one about the potatoes made me laugh, because DH and I take tea bags when we go to MIL's as we don't like her tea. No doubt we'll be taking them to DC's too when they're older. grin

Lottapianos Wed 04-Sep-13 14:11:10

Dear god, some of these are utterly insane! I feel very lucky, not least of all because PIL's house is absolutely spotless and the bed we use is relatively comfy and warm.

In the spirit of the thread though, there are a few things that drive me nuts when we stay there:

- MIL is deaf as a doorknob. You have to repeat a good 60% of what you say to her
- MIL is obsessed with birds. She puts out food for them on the kitchen window ledge, which she sits facing at the dinner table. Every time a bird comes anywhere near the garden, she has to comment on it and talk directly to them e.g. 'hello birdie, are you hungry?' It's quite sweet in a way but drives me potty after a day or so
- I don't eat red meat but eat chicken, duck and fish. Every time, every time we stay with them, MIL will ask me at some point 'is everyone else in your family a vegetarian as well?' <screams> She just doesn't get it and never will
- FIL does the following you around thing, and either comments on what you do, or directs you how to do things the 'right' way. He cant' just leave anybody be. No wonder MIL is a nervous wreck hmm
- FIL sometimes comes in and looks at us when we're having breakfast, or will make a big show of 'leaving us in peace', then reappearing about 6 nanoseconds later

They are very sweet in many ways but drive me crackers as well!

pawnstar Wed 04-Sep-13 14:14:46

fandango she turned into a noise-based version of the princess and the pea!

this is me! drives my DH nuts

Some of these are very funny grin Mine are;

1. MIL doesn't think that changing beds is necessity, so I remove the mascara stained pillow cases from bed and bring our own bed linen.

2. MIL serves everything at room temperature.

3. The shower is new but dribbles. The old one dribbled too.

4. MIL believes that if she has the door open in the kitchen then the smoke from her constant fagging will disappear out of the door no matter where she is in the house.

5. Everything must be washed up before it goes in the dishwasher.

6. Her kitchen has never seen bleach or any other cleaning product. I thought that she had a magnolia kitchen for 17 years, until I gave the wall a cursory wipe whilst washing up and it was actually white.

7. She wraps all he silver in cling film so that she doesn't have to clean it, so it resembles Miss Havisham's house.

From MIL's point of view she'd probably say that the most annoying things about us staying are;

1. Children get up at an unreasonably early hour (7 am)

2. Children make noise.

3. DIL covertly cleans kitchen.

4. DS sighs when asked to go into the loft.

exexpat Wed 04-Sep-13 14:28:30

I'm sure my in-laws would have a lot more than five items on the list of irritating things about staying with me. Luckily, it only happens for a few days a couple of times a year.

1) I have a dog, and therefore dog hair, no matter how frantically I Hoover before they arrive. 2) I don't eat meat so there is no meat in the house, not even ham. 3) I don't put every piece of newspaper/magazine in the recycling bin before bedtime. 4) We eat at funny times of day (ie not necessarily at 6pm on the dot). 5) my kitchen looks horribly messy because washing up is not done instantly (at their house, as soon as you have used a single mug/glass, it must immediately be washed up, dried and put back in its allotted place in the cupboard).

Ah, I could go on for ages about this!

1. They keep the house too hot. I say this as someone who feels the cold terribly. I am the person who sleeps with a duvet, quilt and blanket over me and still has toes of ice. At the IL's I am throwing the duvet out of the way and sleeping totally naked and still drenched in sweat. MIL invariably asks every morning "Were you warm enough last night?"

2. I am not allowed to use the fruit teas. Dh once offered me one and MIL took them off him and said "You can just have the ordinary tea" and passed the jar of normal tea bags to Dh. I am allowed to use FIL's Earl Grey tea bags but I still get the fear that I may be told off by MIL.

3. Worse still is when the IL's insist on making me a cup of tea. They are slow at doing things at the best of times but when you're thirsty it's very annoying. It involves boiling the kettle and filling a teapot with the water. Then emptying the kettle, filling with fresh water and boiling again. They then empty the teapot (as it has warmed) add a tea bag and pour over the newly boiled water. They then set the oven timer for what they believe is the ideal brewing time. Then they will pour it, then they invariably add half a jug of milk to it. I like builder's tea - bag in mug, squished against sides, teeny tiny drop of milk.

4. We have to take a picnic whenever we go out for the day. This wouldn't be an issue but MIL insists on making it. Last time it took her an hour and when she served it, it consisted of two sandwiches (to share between 4 of us), a tub of strawberries and a tub of M&S chocolate things. How the fuck she spent an hour making 2 sandwiches I do not know.

5. They are incapable of leaving the house in a timely manner but will repeatedly tell us what time we must be ready for in a patronising manner. "You'll have to be ready to leave at 10.30am, you will be ready won't you? It's very rude to be late." angry. We have generally managed to shower, dress, have breakfast, sort out two kids, sort a bag for the day and MIL & FIL are still thinking about having a shower. At a recent event we repeatedly told them "We are leaving at 9am with or without you " and I can't tell you how amazed I was that we were leaving just after 9am. Dh did admit that MIL seemed rather scared that I would actually just leave them there.

Xiaoxiong Wed 04-Sep-13 14:54:02

I know what mine would say from staying with MIL this summer:

1) House so dusty that DH and I get terrible asthma and have to pretend its a cold or allergies so as not to offend her. I don't know what it is, I know she hoovers regularly and cleans when we come to stay but everything just gives off clouds of dust. DH and I want to get her a cleaner but she won't hear of it, even when she had cancer.

2) She waits on everyone hand and foot and makes me cup after cup after cup of tea - but she always gets in there first before I can offer to make her one, so after cup number 5 I feel so guilty and lazy that I refuse tea just to save her getting me yet another cup.

3) She won't let us do a shop, cook dinner, pay for anything or replace what we use. We've tried bringing groceries with us but we don't know what she's planned to make so sometimes it doesn't fit with her meal plan and gets wasted.

4) She has no money but gives me piles of presents on my birthday, sends me cards all the time and always wants to buy DS things. My family isn't a "card" family so I never think to reciprocate, and she is so lovely and generous but her gifts are sometimes a false economy or cause us major aggro.

eg. We asked her if we could take a nice old bed she had in the loft home with us for DS, she refused and got us a Mothercare gift card for a brand new bed and mattress which has been nothing but a headache from beginning to end because of Mothercare's crap customer service and a month later we still don't have a bed DS can use. Or she buys DS brand new stuff from Next for £££ which I then see BNWT on a FB selling group for £1.

I know it's her money and it's her right to spoil us and DS, but we are more comfortable than she is yet she still buys all this not-great-quality new stuff for DS instead of much cheaper good quality second hand stuff that we would prefer. AND she won't let us help her out financially.

5) She's always telling me and DH what a wonderful job we're doing and what great parents we are and after a while it's hard to accept the compliments gracefully so I start to argue back and try and convince her what crap parents we actually are blush

So basically, she's absolutely wonderful, and by being so wonderful she transforms me into a lazy sullen ungrateful brat blush blush

Xiaoxiong Wed 04-Sep-13 14:56:50

Just have to say how happy I am that so many of everyone else's irritations also involve tea grin

DreamingofSummer Wed 04-Sep-13 15:05:19

To add to the list

TV turned up to maximum
Running commentary on the news
No alcohol in the house
Sheets on the three piece suite to save the cushions from getting dirty and wearing out

Haha. My ILs fancy themselves as born-again self-sufficient hippy types. My main gripes are:

1. No running water or electricity. So no showers, no handwashing facilities, outdoor composting toilet, no fridge.
2. Roof is made of corrugated tin. Freezing at night, boiling during the day.
3. SFIL mends engines and carves things out of wood on the work surfaces where food is prepared (see point one) which hasn't been stored in a fridge anyway.
4. Alcohol consumption. They plead poverty yet get through around two bottles of spirits a night.
5. Isolation of their 'house' and their hatred of driving (partly because doing so means that can't drink, see point 4). So you end up just knocking around in the dirty hovel because they refuse to go anywhere else.

LazyFaire Wed 04-Sep-13 15:23:28

I live close enough to my ILs and Parents that we don't have to stay over. Thank god.

My gripes for day visits are limited;

always being asked how I take my tea. we are there weekly or more and have been for years. I try and tell myself they are just checking so they get it right, but they should know by now! I know how they take theirs!

And their bathroom is always covered in a fine layer of talcum powder. I used it on DS until he came out of nappies, I don't see what other use it has unless you don't/can't dry properly (they can!) and find it sneezy and wasteful. Also if there is a towel in the bathroom, it is usually a wet one from a morning shower, eurgh.

They have a nice garden that DS could play in if it wasn't covered in dog crap that they only pick up once a week!

But they are lovely people and I know from MN how lucky I am to have ILs I don't want to strangle after seeing them for 5 minutes. I go there voluntarily grin

friday16 Wed 04-Sep-13 15:24:02

"No alcohol in the house"

My in-laws do have alcohol in the house. They have a bottle of sherry that was unopened after their wedding reception in 1962. I'm tempted to open it and find out what state it's in.

LadyFlumpalot Wed 04-Sep-13 15:25:07

I suspect that my MILs number one gripe about me is that I'm still alive... grin

For staying at ours it would be:

1) Goes to bed unreasonably early (10:30pmish) - in no way do I expect them to go to bed as well, but MIL always comments on how early it is.

2) I don't like the same films as them and don't watch war films as they upset me and I don't want to be upset. This gives her a very limited selection of DVDs on offer.

3) House is too warm.

4) I'm lazy because I use the dishwasher.

5) The biggy - I get shirty when they are still sat in my house at 11:30 pm on a Sunday evening and DH and I have work the next day. They don't work so have forgotten about getting up early.

PeachesForMe Wed 04-Sep-13 15:39:41

French door open in main room at all times, although there may be a special dispensation if it is blowing an actual gale.

DH commandeered to cook, leaving me to amuse myself and not allowing us to be 'a couple' in their house. I only noticed this when MIL went on for a bit about how BIL and new SIL were clearly so much in love. Yes well BIL isn't immediately whisked off into domestic service hmm therefore can spend time mooning over his wife in front of you.

Talking about the children within their earshot. Things like observations on their behaviour, often not that great. Gah.

A mistrust of puddings, unless it is exquisite local ice cream, which can be talked about in reverential tones. To be fair, I'm not a pudding person, but I've known them to really do people down based on a fondness for cakes. hmm

Constantly asking if we would like things. As a result our house is full of their things. Sometimes I just fill a bag and take them back with a thank you and a grin grin MIL hates that.

TheUglyFuckling Wed 04-Sep-13 16:20:14

1. epic levels of clutter. Open any drawer or cupboard in the house and random items will burst forth eg a broken hairdryer, 2 dozen used envelopes and a pair of DH's school socks from 1984.

2. everything is thick with dust and grimey. MIL only hoovers and changes bedding at Xmas. The bathroom and kitchen are particularly hazardous. Everything crusted with limescale, bars of soap with body hair stuck to them, old flannels and tea towels that look like bandages.

3. FIL is an omnipotent God deity, who must be obeyed without question.

4. MIL only capable of cooking meat with two veg, and all veg irradiated for at least 45 minutes. All food served at room temperature because fil invariably takes himself off for a 15 minute shit-stop just as food is being served, so everyone sits meekly waiting for him to return as their food cools.

5. pil's routine is carved in stone and cannot be changed. Our first DC (their first GC) was born on a Saturday and that's FIL pub day so they couldn't visit until the Sunday.

Shit are we only allowed 5 things? I have so much more.

PeoniesPlease Wed 04-Sep-13 16:27:43

1) The shower - yes! It is not only my ILs then. I have quite thick hair and cannot get the shampoo out when using their shower. It is like a dripping tap which varies between scorching and hypothermic-inducing extremes. It also makes a very loud screaming noise the whole time it is on.

2) PILs are unable to leave the house in time for anything. Even small trips out necessitate FIL running up and down the stairs neurotically while we all wait for him. He never seems to be getting anything either, so what he is actually doing remains a mystery.

3) Not allowing the conversation to flow naturally. We have a bit of a stilted relationship with them because of some past problems, which seem to have improved a lot thankfully. We are still quite anxious before seeing them though, in case there is a strained atmosphere. I'm always really pleased when the conversation is flowing and DH or I will start telling some anecdote or story. Then, "oh, wait til "dad" is here and tell us the whole thing then!" or "tell us that when we have coffee after lunch!" (while we are all sitting and eating together so could easily tell it then.) WHy not just listen to it now?! It always then results in strange silences while everyone wonders about the untold anecdote. confused

4) Sharing one bottle of wine between 4 adults for a whole weekend.

5) Unless you are eating, having a cup of tea, or telling an anecdote at a pre-arranged time, everyone must whisper. Speaking at a normal volume is seen as rude. confused

Of course, I'm sure they'd have just as many about me, not least that I married their DS!

pawnstar Wed 04-Sep-13 16:27:53

WOnder what my In laws will have to say about me when its my turn to be a MIL... my kids are still small but i will be terribly curious when the time comes

EndoplasmicReticulum Wed 04-Sep-13 16:35:26

OP - sounds like my in-laws house. Mine are lovely people too, and I'm very grateful that they like having us to stay, but things do annoy me:

1) Although we do get a bedroom, all the furniture in it is already full (hoarding) so we have to live out of a suitcase.

2) The fridge is full of stuff going off. Nothing gets wrapped, just put in the fridge. E.g. cook chicken, put chicken remains on a plate, put in the fridge, throw out 1 week later. This means if we buy anything there is no room for it, and you have to be a bit careful about accepting food.

3) The TV is always on in the front room, and the radio is always on in the kitchen. At certain points in the house you can hear them both at the same time.

4) The dithering is at epic levels. We don't wait for them now if we are going out somewhere together, we meet them there. Like a PP said, they have to have tea first. Then FIL will go for a poo.

5) If MIL cooks, she has forgotten how to cater for more than two people, so there are never enough potatoes, or gravy. FIL is greedy and will take most of what there is. We try to cook as much as we can (point number 2 aside).

I'd rather stay there than with my mum though, as you always feel as if you are cluttering up the place in some way, or making dust or something - plates are whisked away after meals before the last mouthful has even got into your mouth and she is always wearing a pinny, wiping surfaces and sighing.

TheUglyFuckling Wed 04-Sep-13 16:56:05

why do they all have shit showers? Pil's previous shower was mended with gaffer tape for over ten years and just dribbled. Their new shower actually worked and got you wet but then broke after 5 months, and for the last two years they've been making do with an intermittant dribble again because they don't like to ask their plumber to fix it, because he fitted it and they're worried he'll be offended.

perhaps it is a requirement of being a PIL that you have a shit shower? Perhaps when they welcome a new person into their family they lose their right to a decent shower.

CPtart Wed 04-Sep-13 16:59:04

I have been with my DH for 20 years. My IL's have had the same minging long handled back brush (can you even get them anymore?) sitting on the side of the bath all that time!!

TheUglyFuckling Wed 04-Sep-13 17:08:13

i genuinely think my pils think that having a proper working shower is just too decadent and too luxurious and it might steal a piece of their soul if they use it.

CPtart Wed 04-Sep-13 17:19:22

FIL also collects rainwater and measures the amount daily. He has records going back several years and at any mention of weather the book is produced and discussed in great detail.

FondantNancy Wed 04-Sep-13 17:24:07

"FIL also collects rainwater and measures the amount daily. He has records going back several years and at any mention of weather the book is produced and discussed in great detail."

grin My FIL has a temperature gauge in the garden, it's broken (because it's about 35 years old) but he won't accept that. This summer he was on the phone to all the relatives saying "it's 39 in the shade here!" It wasn't. Not even close.

soverylucky Wed 04-Sep-13 17:26:20

My in laws are completely barmy and I could write a million things that they do that annoy me but they do have a brilliant shower - better than ours.

impecuniousmarmoset Wed 04-Sep-13 17:26:30

The UglyFuckling, yes! That's exactly it. We are soft and spoilt because we have a decent shower. It's nothing special, but it does actually work - water comes out at reasonable pressure and constant temperature. Imagine! As a result, mil calls it a 'power shower' (accompanied by little sneer as she says it). She has no idea what a power shower actually is, it's just her way of saying we live in dangerous and illegitimate luxury.

LazyFaire Wed 04-Sep-13 17:30:38

OMG when I got to Uni and my grotty, tiny shower in my claustrophobic bathroom got hot in 20 seconds and (I think due to being on the ground floor) had amazing pressure. I guess my parents are the ILs with a grotty shower... but it was heaven. My brother concurred when he visited (I actually made him try it!)

Since I've not stayed with ILs I don't know the condition of their shower but if all the Talc is anything to go by, it's pretty clogged and probably shit...

MissDD1971 Wed 04-Sep-13 17:30:58

You lot are making me LOL at work.

I'm single and unmarried so no PIL.

I stay with my brother's PIL's sometimes though... they're great. Only, they relish trips into Bath and wander FOR HOURS round the shops. I don't mind but the MIL is obsessive and SLOW about shopping. In M&S last minute Xmas food shopping last year. The joy. They never fixed their guest bathroom shower cubicle so everyone takes baths (why?!) but I force their shower in the bath to work.

All the blinds are either light coloured or white (I prefer dark) - they're not far from very busy main road either - so I have eye mask and ear plugs in.

but apart from that they're angels and my BIL loves them.

Xiaoxiong Wed 04-Sep-13 17:37:28

The other amazing thing to me about this thread, apart from the fact that 90% of the irritations are about tea-making and the other 10% are about showers, is that there appears to be no one like these sets of PILs in the next generation.

I mean, none of us are posting and saying:

- They always give me waaaay too many potatoes
- They don't understand that I like meat and two veg and none of this forrin muck like curry
- They always undercook the veg so it's tender but crunchy
- Their water pressure is so strong and their shower so powerful that my hair falls out / skin sloughs off

I wonder if in 20 years there will be no threads like this on MN at all because we will all be the PILs grin

TheUglyFuckling Wed 04-Sep-13 17:39:34

impecunious, glad you get me!

We do actually have a power shower with a big shower head. the fact I use it every morning and always use a clean fresh fluffy towel and a (fairly) posh brand of shower gel, makes mil do a cat's bum mouth and avert her head in distaste.

You'd think I was nipping into the shower to get myself a good seeing to from the local rugby team.

FrauMoose Wed 04-Sep-13 17:53:54

But this is why I think I must be an inlaw (despite the fact I have no married children or stephchildren). First shower when we moved in was a pathetic dribbler whose temperature couldn't be controlled. Second was a bit better but never really got hotter than warm. The third one is the best yet... but obviously not up to the torrential standards required by a proper visiting married daughter-in-law. Spouse and I like baths and aren't terribly bothered as a shower is just used now and then for quick hairwashes or when there isn't time for a proper bath. Our children are too defeated to complain.

LadyFlumpalot Wed 04-Sep-13 18:52:25

Ahh you see, my inlaws have a state of the art power shower. It has never been used. They paid an obscene amount pf money for it and will not allow it to be turned on. Ever. In case it gets scaled up and breaks. A bath is permitted as is a shower using the rubber hose on the taps jobby. Woe betide anyone who uses the new shower though...

chocoholic05 Wed 04-Sep-13 19:00:07

My inlaws don't even have a shower!

exexpat Wed 04-Sep-13 19:06:21

My in-laws have three fully-functioning showers, and do provide clean towels. I am now thinking myself very lucky. (Still wish my MiL wouldn't and watch me eat my muesli, though - it makes me self-conscious about every crunch and swallow.)

Parmarella Wed 04-Sep-13 19:30:51

Last weekend at my parents, my dad shouted at me upon his discovery of my having eaten a slice of ham from a packet....without "announcing it"

" who has opened the packet of ham?"
"Oh, yes, that was me, I had a sandwich yesterday evening"
" OH MY GOD! You had ham without ANNOUNCING it to everyone?Why? Now we don't know WHEN it was opened, or when it has to be eaten BY. We will have to throw it out, it may have been open for weeks, OH MY GOD!" He walked out and slammed the kitchen door.i

To my shame, I got quite cross, and during the next conversation when they discussed why they did no longer like to meet friends for dinner, I said they really should see these friends as they needed to get out more.

Am such a bitch.

When people get older they get more set in their ways, they lose flexibility, I need to remember that.

Bahhhhhumbug Wed 04-Sep-13 19:38:23

I get stabby or tearful more like when my BIL and SIL who live in NZ tell me to make myself at home - they cant emphasise this enough. Then when l start to muck in with loading the dishwasher / cleaning/clearing up in the kitchen whatever my BIL has a go at me - and not in a jokey way - he gets a really impatient and bolshie tone with me and ''ffs sit down - what you effing doing ,you're on holiday' etc. Or if l peg out their washing so l can put some of ours in (which they always say is fine, help yourself) he gets shouty when they come in from work or whatever.
Thing is this is making myself at home to me - helping with the pots/mess l have helped to make and as for pegging out their washing when they are out all day some days - that is just logical to me and l would feel rude just taking theirs out the machine and leaving it damp in a basket and just peg ours out.
Last time we went l didn't touch their washing at all and only put ours in when machine was empty to avoid a repeat rant of previous visit and to respect his wishes obv. But one night they had cooked us a lovely meal and l just started clearing the plates and he shouted at me again. I shouted back at him this time though and said l am just making myself at home as you said and it's not in my nature to have people waiting hand and foot.
I just think people get in a routine and find people 'helping' quite intrusive or something - l don't know. But have told DH am not staying there again even though SIL is lovely (she had a go at him last time he did this). DBIL is lovely too usually but does rant at me occasionally in an adult to child kind of way which l hate.
What makes me laugh is they came to the UK last year and stayed at friends in Spain en route in their empty house and re-decorated their lounge for them (apparently wallpaper torn etc by home owners DCs) to 'thank' them for letting them stay. Then they came to UK and stayed at DMILs and wallpapered her kitchen for her because as they said 'you lot do a lot of odd jobs for her etc - we don't get chance living so far away'. Neither MIL or their Spanish friends had any say in choice of décor. hmm

somewherewest Wed 04-Sep-13 19:39:17

No shower
No internet
Nowhere to put stuff as DM is a hoarder and has filled every cupboard and wardrobe with crap
DM's obsession need to use up left over food leads to some distinctly odd combinations at mealtimes
DM digging out thirty year old hoarded toys and clothes to foist on us

bigTillyMint Wed 04-Sep-13 19:42:23

So interesting to see how annoying different IL's can be!
Mine actually seem quite minor gripes, and actually they have become less bothersome over the many years I have known them.

1) The TV is on ALL the time. FIL hogs the flicker and changes channels to whatever he wants (and frequently then goes out of the room) which is usually awful and sometimes unsuitable.
2) MIL used to be very defensive. She is still fairly defensive.
3) MIL tells you the same story, which goes on and on, again and again.
4) MIL likes bargains and cheapness. This frequently applies to food.
5) They are a bit non-PC, FIL in particular, who is a bit of a geezer.

Bahhhhhumbug Wed 04-Sep-13 19:44:20

Oh and btw - when l say l muck in with household stuff l don't mean pulling out furniture or scrubbing the oven or whatever which obviously would be overstepping the mark (not that l'd want to do that stuff anyway) l only mean general clearing away pots when DH and I have eaten/loading them into dishwasher with any other pots nearby and very basic stuff.

Bahhhhhumbug Wed 04-Sep-13 20:04:01

In fact l have just thought of a wonderful retort to BIL (though too late as usual) when he started on one of his 'territorial' rants. l should've said 'At least I'm not decorating the place' grin

EndoplasmicReticulum Wed 04-Sep-13 20:22:00

My inlaws have a reasonable shower. Much less shit than ours.

They do need a plumber though, the kitchen tap only dribbles so it takes about 10 minutes to fill the kettle, and if you flush the downstairs loo it makes a high-pitched whine for ages afterwards.

LazyFaire Wed 04-Sep-13 20:25:23

bahhh you have to go again just so you can say that grin

Viewofthehills Wed 04-Sep-13 20:36:25

Mil does not wash bed linen. Doesn't matter how many different visitors sleep in it. She gets round this by occasionally buying new.

That's the only thing really.

TheUglyFuckling Wed 04-Sep-13 20:47:23

"My inlaws don't even have a shower!"

Yeah but if they did, you know it would be shit Chocoholic05

TheUglyFuckling Wed 04-Sep-13 20:50:10

are we really only limited to 5 things? [sulks]

onetiredmummy Wed 04-Sep-13 20:53:05

I used to live a few hours away from home & come back to my own parents to stay:

1) I have the opposite shower problem. Their shower is in a separate cubicle all of its own, has a radio, a touch screen control panel, its own blue ceiling lights, has a ceiling nozzle, a normal showerhead & a long panel that has jets shooting all over your tummy & boobs. It is also a steamroom & I'm terrified of the thing. I pray for an electric stuck to the wall shower as at least I have an idea of how to use it & won't accidentally scald myself with steam or have needles of water surprising me in the privates.

2) My dad has Apple technology for everything, phone, music, ipad, PC & its different from Windows. So he says go & use the computer & I'm scared of that too, as Windows error messages I can deal with but I've never had an Apple computer so won't know what to do if I bugger it up.

3) When my mum was alive they used to go on very exotic/unusual holidays. When I was a teenager it was rainy Norfolk all the way but since me & sis moved out they have gone on tours of China, Nepal & Tibet, India, Egypt many times, Macchu Picchu & lots more. Its fab at the beginning as you learn about the places & its genuinely interesting, but they take LOADS of photos & after 3 hours of pics of the same holiday it gets a bit wearing. I dreaded the phrase, 'have we shown you the pics from so & so yet'. Cue the evening gone.

4) They drink weird smelly tea, never have normal teabags (called Grandma teabags) or instant coffee. You either have to fart around with grinding beans or drink horrible tea. I take my own instant coffee & its hidden in a cupboard as its an embarrassment I think.

5) They are avid naturalists & birdwatchers & at some point you always have to go & tramp around a cold & dripping bird reserve in unflattering borrowed waterproof trousers, shivering in the hides & feigning an interest in the lesser spotted fuckwit while they look it up in the book & make notes about the fecking thing in a notebook specially for this purpose.

YoniAsOldAsYoFeel Wed 04-Sep-13 20:55:16

As far as showers go my PIL's is ok. However:

Dinner is served at 6.30. On the dot. If you arrive at 7 it will be on a plate in the microwave waiting for you to heat up.

Tea is the only day time drink. You get funny looks if you drink water or squash with your meal.

The dog is allowed to lick cups and plates (boak)

MIL is not allowed to drive the family car (that's a man's job)

They never have time to read or cook from scratch. But have plenty of time to watch all the soaps every evening.

I do love them though grin

FrauMoose Wed 04-Sep-13 20:59:43

There are some in-laws here that I would quite like. Can I volunteer to be taken birdwatching? The smelly tea might be interesting too. (Only have very crumbly ancient father-in-law who is chauffeured over to our place for lunch, falls asleep, gets woken for a cup of tea and is then returned to sheltered flat.)

furfoxsake Wed 04-Sep-13 21:00:41

I have 1) and 2) exactly the same at my SIL's. 5) also but for me it's milk - I love my milk and they never have any so I will always say I'm going to buy some and they will block my path and say "but we HAVE milk!" YES but you only have enough to make tea, not for me to drink pints of it! Let me go buy some goddamn milk ffs.

Bahhhhhumbug Wed 04-Sep-13 21:02:11

Lazyfaire - yeah I think you're right - I so have to say that to him.
We only go every three or four years though so talk about 'revenge is a dish best served cold' - mine'll be positively glacial !!!

exexpat Wed 04-Sep-13 21:02:39

Viewofthehills - ewwwww. Do you take sleeping bags?

exexpat Wed 04-Sep-13 21:03:58

And I wouldn't mind staying at onetiredmummy's parents. I quite like travel photos and fancy teas.

furfoxsake Wed 04-Sep-13 21:05:39

I want onetiredmummy's parents too.
Fight you for them.

TheUglyFuckling Wed 04-Sep-13 21:08:55

I want to know exactly what my mil is doing in the kitchen for three hours at a stretch. God knows she isn't cleaning it and she never cooks anything from scratch. if it doesn't come in cardboard packaging she doesn't cook it.

But she'll be pottering about in the kitchen for literally hours and hours, and never come out but with absolutely nothing to show for it <intrigued>

onetiredmummy Wed 04-Sep-13 21:11:52

I dare you. I fecking dare you! One entire night of Egyptian slideshows of sand & temples & you will never want to see a bloody statue again. You will want to drown yourself in smelly tea if you survive the shower


furfoxsake Wed 04-Sep-13 21:19:29

UglyFuckling I bet she's playing candy crush on her ipad

TheNaughtySausage Wed 04-Sep-13 21:21:08

House hotter than Satan's arse crack

Pathetic dribbling shower

Telly on but so quiet no-one but DF can hear it. Also will be muted during ad breaks so DF can deliver his rant about ad breaks.

Three bedrooms, one of which is smaller than an ant's airing cupboard (was my room before I left home!). Me and dh shared it one Christmas. He was in the short narrow bed which is a steel frame nailed to the wall. I was on the floor with the other luggage, on an air bed. DB and SIL were in the next room. On our old bunk beds. I was jealous until I slept on one. You know that bit in ^ The Return of The King^ when Frodo, Sam and Gollum climb the Stair to Cirith Ungol, and they have to sleep on a tiny ledge of rock about a thousand feet up? It was like that. The mattress was so hard I thought I would wobble off it in my sleep.

Random loud sighs from DM.

No-one is allowed to have a discussion that isn't serious. Dh keeps making the mistake of talking about history to my mum, who has just done a history degree with the OU which is great but now means that she is always right and takes no prisoners. I spend half our visits trying to keep things from turning into an edition of Panorama. As a consequence of this my father thinks I am appallingly shallow, an opinion he first formed back in 1994 when I said I enjoyed watching Friends.

Trivial Pursuit in their house is anything but.

I think that I may be on the way to be onetiredmummys parents grin

joanofarchitrave Wed 04-Sep-13 21:45:24

My PILs are so adorable (especially after reading this thread) that I can only do the list of annoying things they would say about me:

1. Sulks when that nice Mr Gove or that jolly Mr Farage is mentioned.

2. Used to breastfeed at the table, when anyone could see she didn't have enough milk.

3. Is quite grumpy and over strict to her child.

4. Has the housekeeping standards of Fungus the Bogeyman.

They are lovely- but I still quite fancy a PIL-swap next summer - we could do it like a key party...

EndoplasmicReticulum Wed 04-Sep-13 21:50:07

Oh the soaps! Who knew there were so many of them? And Coronation Street is on twice some nights, just when you think you've sat through enough it comes on again!

juniper81 Wed 04-Sep-13 22:03:01

I only have a FIL. My DP is a scientist and my FIL is a scientist.
1 - droning on and on and on about fecking SCIENCE from the moment my DP gets up to the moment we go to bed. I am not a scientist and therefore not part of any conversation.
2 - banging on about his Humax box for at least the first ten minutes of any visit. I don't even know what a Humax box does.
3 - being obsessed with telly to the point he will drone on about how long it took him to get it up on his PC (before iPlayer) and yet...never watches it!
4 - spending one hour in the bathroom every morning...unclear why and apparently even MIL wondered wtf he was doing in there
5 - dribbly shower.

He's a nice man but so so so boring!

jammiedonut Wed 04-Sep-13 22:14:43

1) no tv or radio allowed when on visits. We must converse, even if there is nothing to talk about.
2) without a doubt, mil will always ask probing questions about my life/ childhood prior to dh. This was fine the first time, but after 5 years, the answers haven't changed, yet she still asks the same questions!
3) we are told to lie in, as we are on holiday. We are then criticised for making everyone wait for breakfast, despite being washed and dressed by 8am ourselves, and no plans for big sit down meal inthe first place.
4) mil doesn't do tea. Unfortunately, it's pretty much the only thing I drink. When I visit, I always make my own, bring my own tea etc. She has taken to hiding the kettle as she doesn't like me making it, as it makes her out to be a poor host.

She's not that bad really, these are mild annoyances, and lucky for me she has a lovely strong shower :-)

Inneedoftea Wed 04-Sep-13 22:20:08

These are all very amusing! I feel your pain OP, I've had my PILs with us for a couple of months. They've returned home now. I'm going to preface my 5 points with they are actually very lovely. But still when we're with them...

1) rabid portion control at meal times. So if there's 4 eating we only need 4 teeny tiny potatoes, or 4 slices of carrots and not much meat. After all they aren't as active as they used to be. Starving at end of meal. Grrrr

2) they always put a sheet under a duvet, like having sheet and blankets. I get totally knotted up in this sodding arrangement, ffs. This really pisses me off. I have Scandinavian DM and this is sooooo just, wrong.

3) that I am always made to feel incredibly extravagant. I mean, I wantonly threw away a pair of DH's boxers as the button had come away and ripped the fabric. Clearly I should have repaired. Ditto using shop bought receptacles to keep tea/biscuits/packed lunches when empty coffee jars/ice cream tubs are perfectly acceptable. Ditto baby wipes. Flannels in tuppaware in her day, y'know. And wanton sluttery that is me I have a cleaner...

4) they eat the very same thing every every every lunchtime. Sandwich with naice ham, banana and mug of green tea. If there's no bananas in the fruit bowl then, quite frankly, the four horseman of the apocalypse will be arriving shortly and we will all die.

5) the constant bloody napping. Not my kids. Them. Even when I was a shattered jet lagged with two young kiddies in tow..they never ever ever offered to have them for an hour while I slept. Bastards. angry

JustOneMoreBite Wed 04-Sep-13 22:28:03

Reading all these is making me feel so much cheerier, thanks! Of course the fact that I am home, (power)showered, and full of Chinese takeaway is probably also helping.

I am sure that MIL would have a few things to say about me too. Pickiness about her food, especially what she offers the DDs. Showing her up in church by not going up for communion (I am unchristened and an atheist - I only went because DD1 wanted to go with her cousins to Sunday school). Profligate use of lighting and heating. General moodiness and anti-social attitude by the end of every visit.

Sorry, MIL! I love you really smile

LesserSpottedFuckwit Wed 04-Sep-13 22:31:02

The Naughty Sausage, you made me laugh til I cried.
And onetiredmummy has inspired a name change.

impecuniousmarmoset Wed 04-Sep-13 22:57:05

On the birdwatching front...On being offered a copy of a bird identification book by MIL, I made the mistake of admitting that I wasn't actually that interested in birds. I mean, they look pretty and all, and I'm delighted to have them in my garden. But I am not so fussed about looking up the rare lesser spotted poodle or a double-crested lemming in a special book.

I may as well have admitted that I liked a little smoke of crack while looking after the children. I was informed that for my children's sake, I'd better start getting interested asap. And DH was later informed of my horrendous confession. Because clearly a life devoid of bird identification skills is, in essence, morally abhorrent. Who knew?

MrsRambo Wed 04-Sep-13 22:58:38

Here's my five:

1. Constant setting of the table. Cup of tea and biscuit? FIL gets up mumbling "I'll set the table"... They are incapable of ingesting anything without the accompaniment of tablecloth, cutlery, plates, placemats and condiments tray. The amount of time spent on this activity is insane.

2. They have a shower every morning and a bath last thing at night. Most days they do not leave the house. This is ablutions gone mad. Plus, it means we can never get near that dribbling shower!

3. Bizarre after shower/bath ritual of wiping down shower cubicle and bath tub with designated sponge to remove all drops of water. WTAF? DP had to teach me how to do it....

4. Constant moaning of how busy they are with all the jobs they have to do every week, like 'high' dusting and painting of weathered gnomes. They are retired. It is all self inflicted madness.

5. Inability to go anywhere without a cool box full of egg sandwiches, a bag full of rotting bananas and a massive thermos of tea. Please, for the love of god could we just go to a cafe?

They are well meaning though. Love em wink

AGnu Wed 04-Sep-13 23:07:25

Oh, I do love a good whinge about my lovely PILs!

1) They have no TV so every evening is filled with FIL giving a lecture about politics or history. He's a highly intelligent man but he has no interest in discussing anything, he just seems to feel the need to tell everyone everything anyone has ever discovered about some small rock... Unless BIL is also staying & then we're all ignored while they have a 'good-natured debate' which involves them talking loudly over each other because they'll always have different views on whatever they're debating. Even if it's known facts about the Roman civilisation. Somehow they'll both come up with different ways that the Romans could've 'done it better'. hmm
I regularly have to avoid giggling at his inability to pronounce various words though 'boogie woogie' who even says that anyway?! is apparently boo-jee woo-jee & just recently one of his evening lectures centred on his exciting discovery that if one doesn't start a YouTube video playing until the little bar at the bottom goes all the way across then it'll play more smoothly & doesn't have to keep stopping to catch up with itself... hmm Buffering has only been around basically since the internet was invented but we're all expected to be amazed by his new discovery. DH did try to point out that this is common knowledge but he still went on about it all evening!

2) After FILs lecture he discusses with himself what time breakfast should be based on what time they want to be going out the following morning. It's always at 8.30.

3) Once that's settled he'll suddenly leap up saying, "Right, well it's X o'clock so we won't keep you up any longer." & everyone scurries up the stairs as quickly as possible. This is mostly annoying because I'll have spent the last 2 hours trying not to fall asleep & pretending to be fascinated by the origins of farming in Europe & then all of a sudden he decides we're allowed to go to bed & we must go that second. DH gets sent back down every night to make me a hot chocolate.

4) We must go out for a walk every day. Either to stately gardens or up some random hill where there's a fort or a view of something or we might won't get to see some endangered cricket. These walks consist of PILs marching off in front commenting on the origins of the Latin names for flowers they pass & me desperately trying to keep up & act like it's effortless.

5) They're so desperate to please me that it gets annoying. MIL gives the appearance of planning meals around what she know I like but invariably gets it wrong. We never stay for longer than a weekend but still she can't get her head around me not eating meat other than chicken/fish & not liking courgette or parsnip or cooked tomato/fruit. That's all I dislike & yet she seems to serve at least one of the above at every meal. It's always really fancy food too. She made macaroni & cheese once... Even that was fancy-ified.

Staying with them is just exhausting!

My family have their faults too though:
1) Their ridiculously enormous TV has to be turned on whenever we sit down. You must not talk while it's on, even if you're talking about the programme. Not exactly social!

2) They never plan anything when we visit, just carry on with their normal lives. When I was little I remember family coming to stay & we'd skip swimming/dance lessons on the Saturday & church on Sunday & go on walks or to the beach or to one of the numerous local tourist attractions. We just get asked what we're planning to do. I mentioned this to my DM once & apparently we don't get any special treatment because I used to live there. 6 years ago. She moans if we don't visit regularly enough but no-one actually spends any time with us when we are there.

4) Their house is dirty. DH cleans the kitchen every time we go. I had to resist the urge to get the hoover out last time I went - it must've been bad for me to even notice, let alone want to do something about it. DS1 kept bringing me bits off the carpet saying "fluff"!

5) 'D'F thinks it's funny to tease us constantly. He doesn't do it so much with me or DB since we moved out but regularly reduces DSis to tears with his 'humour'. I challenged him on it as a teenager & his response was, "If you can't learn to take it from me, how will you cope when the rest of the world does it?" angry Needless to say, I have a few self-esteem issues & have a bit of an 'everyone's out to get me' complex because of him. He genuinely seems to think it's his job to treat us badly so we'll be more resilient. The minute he upsets any of my DC like that is the moment we leave the house for good.

<Ahem> Sorry, got a bit serious there for a moment... The only time we're taken out anywhere with them is when DF has planned a hike through some wilderness or other with his mates. DH is encouraged to tag along. I'm left with the kids. Not really complaining about that though! wink

moondog Wed 04-Sep-13 23:21:02

These are excellent and absolutely fascinating.

Haggischucker Wed 04-Sep-13 23:47:53

Top 5 PIL
1. Tag team chain smoking, literally constantly as one puts one out another starts and a very big deal is made of opening windows so we feel more comfortable. Their house their rules but we honestly need to keep bags in car and take clean underwear per day to limit exposure.

2. The constant passive aggressive digs looking to raise heckles and cause arguments between us and them.

3. No where to put anything (another reason for keeping in car) and single sofa bed for two.

4. The pre-requisite dribbly shower but you need to remove the show towels first so they stay dry, avoid stepping on the bathroom rug so it doesn't get wet and then dry shower completely even if someone going in directly after!

5. The food issues - cans in fridge, no fresh fruit and veg, beef dripping is not actually a vegetarian cooking oil, not being able to cook anything without constant supervision (am chef by trade)

Oh and the late night binge drinking and resulting hangovers mean cannot start the next day with any activity before lunchtime and must tiptoe around house to avoid waking! I do love them but just cannot spend much time with them as they are fundamentally very different from me.

5 things they would say about me

1. Very fussy being vegetarian, should eat what's given, even if meat in a restaurant!
2. That I have no sense of humour or national pride as I don't find racist jokes funny or agree with their stance on immigration
3. That I know nothing about the world as I don't read the mail or sun and I should accept there is no harm in passive smoking and suck it up - their house their rules
4. That I'm a slattern as I do not devote 5-6 cleaning per day
5. That they like me but they wish DH had chosen someone thinner and more attractive - actual quote!

We just let it flow right over heads now smile

PIL don't believe in cleaning their bathroom - every time i stay there I scrub out the bathroom (think MIL got a bit po-faced about that last time, but hey). It was sooooo gross.
Don't wipe down benches or clean kitchen (live in a hot area so flies flock to sticky surfaces ugh)
Don't vacum and complain about DS2 being naughty and undisciplined (at the museum when he's 2 fgs).
MIL spends all day on facebook playing bejewelled blitz.
Going there for a long weekend soon and dreading it. hmm

Parmarella Thu 05-Sep-13 07:00:47

Kiwi that sounds sooooo grim!

.... Hotel?

TheUglyFuckling Thu 05-Sep-13 09:17:59

kiwimumof2boys, now when we visit pils I always take my Marigolds, CIF spray, bleach and a scourer. And before any us use the bathroom I scrub it down. It seriously needs doing because everything is thick with limescale and dribbles of old soap and shampoo. And there's always about half an inch of body-debris in the bottom of the bath [heaves]

I used to be really furtive about it but now I'm just brazen. It's the only time their bathroom gets cleaned, my mil humours me but clearly thinks I'm deranged. Because why would you spend time chipping dried shit off the loo seat when you could be watching Homes Under the Hammer and drinking your 11th cup of tea that morning?

GreetingsFrontBottom Thu 05-Sep-13 09:31:24

Because why would you spend time chipping dried shit off the loo seat when you could be watching Homes Under the Hammer and drinking your 11th cup of tea that morning?


RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 05-Sep-13 16:14:34


Thanks for the Classics nominations; we've moved this one now grin

BogStandardOldWoman Thu 05-Sep-13 18:07:28

Lovely people, but. House stinks of smoke. Sport on constantly. Coffee offered every 10 minutes but never water. No soap or towels to be seen in bathroom to wash hands after loo (must be why DH never does it, was never told to). Conversation consists of going up to Tesco and the weather. We don't stay! However, this is nothing compared to when my parents and PILs get together. Sample of conversation: 'So, who have you lost this year?'!
Thanks - that was cathartic!

WipsGlitter Thu 05-Sep-13 18:12:32

We never stay, but
House an utter bomb site - but DSs s get blamed for making a mess
TV on max volume and not turned down so you end up shouting - I've given up trying to make conversation and just select a paper from the extensive collection on the floor that dates from about 1972

My mum is also in possession of a dribbly shower. House stinks of smoke and she doesn't have her teeth in which drives me mad. She looks about 100 without them.

SockQueen Thu 05-Sep-13 22:40:27

My in-laws are in general very lovely, we get on well and they are in general nice, kind, sane people. However, after a few days I do get the rage! My top 5 are:

1) There is no proper upstairs bathroom. FiL ripped it all out 6 years ago, shortly after my first ever visit to their house, intending to re-plumb it all himself. They have an en-suite so when they don't have guests there is no problem. It's still manageable as there is a spare shower (which does actually work!) and a downstairs toilet, but I swear I'm going to break my leg going to the loo in the dark one night.

2) There are also numerous other DIY projects that FiL has started and not finished. There is no ceiling in the kitchen, half the living room is undecorated, no carpet on the stairs etc. He is a total perfectionist and wouldn't trust anyone else to do the work, so suggestions that they just get an actual qualified tradesperson in to do all the relevant jobs are quickly crushed.

3) No TV and no wifi.

4) They are both retired and have always been morning people. DH and I both work long hours and love our lie-ins when not at work. So the fact that we don't want to be up and raring to go at 9am every day when on holiday means there are lots of grumbles about how the day has been wasted, how we're never going to see xyz properly in the time we have etc. I have tried repeatedly asking what their plans are for the next day, and said that if they want to leave by a particular time, we will be ready, but they always say "Oh no, get up in your own time" and then whinge when we do that.

5) They like wine. Great, I hear you say! But they are very serious about liking their wine. Everything has to be savoured and sipped and commented on at length. They seem to like very sophisticated French wines, especially Bordeaux, which tastes like gravel to me - my definition of nice wine is "something fruity around the £5 mark."

onetiredmummy Fri 06-Sep-13 10:23:35

Hahahaa lesserspottedfuckwit, I'm honoured.

Passes you a steaming cup of milk & sugarless Lapsang Souchong ( which an ex boyfriend once christened 'Lapsapjapcrap') & gets the slideshow ready.

Ledkr Fri 06-Sep-13 10:41:29

Take hours and hours to go anywhere due to there anal procrastinating and endless showers.
Feed us tiny portions of ver basic food, no treats or side dishes.
Never get suitable food in for the children.
Eat like escaped convicts when they come to stay with us.
Polish off any treats we have in then tell us we need to buy more.
I actually don't go anymore and take perverse pleasure in allowing my food to run down just before they visit.

TabbyM Tue 17-Sep-13 15:45:05

Just to balance things, my Dad is a hoarder and frequently says we can't visit as there is "no room". This is in a 3 bed-roomed house.

With my ILs:
1. MIL has a thing about squirrels getting into house. In Summer if you crack open a window a tiny bit there will be a lecture on ninja squirrels coming in. I have tried to reason that they are unlikely to climb in over our sleeping bodies, and offering to remove any if required.
2. MIL will go into the bedroom we use (probably checking windows see above) and tidy stuff or talk when we are In Bed.
3. PILs have a mental combi boiler that means the shower runs cold if the hot is used in kitchen sink. This is very annoying.
4. PILS never ask us to go anywhere / do anything but will bog off to shops or whatever and just leave us. In self defence I go to meet friends if possible.
5. PILS always ask how we take tea / coffee and will whip a cup away if unattended.

Wannabestepfordwife Sun 29-Sep-13 10:53:51

I love my pils to bits they are amazing, kind, generous people but these are a few bits that annoy me

1) we are not allowed to smoke their house their rules but we aren't allowed to smoke when they visit us and we only smoke in the garden anyway. It's fine for dp who's always working when they come down but I end up hiding in the wardrobe puffing on an e cig
2) they have a dribbley shower
3) toiletries do not live in the bathroom even when dp lived there he had to take wash bag and towel under his arm like he's in the army
4) dp had room inspections when he still lived at home and dmil is always cleaning our house so I guess I don't make the grade
5) they have veg with everything nothing wrong with that but leeks and lasagne?

sheeplikessleep Mon 30-Sep-13 13:51:35

1. That mil smokes. Fair enough, it is her house, I just wish she didn't smoke in the kitchen, immediately before a meal and leave dirty ashtrays out of the reach of the kids.

2. Having to look at the floor whilst walking around, to avoid dog or cat poo (likewise, their garden is covered in animal poo, so can't even escape smoke smell by taking kids outside for a kick around)

3. All of the food is out of date and meat is left out

4. In the spare bed, which is really old, both DH and I end up rolling in the middle

5. TV constantly on at full volume, that we can't even have a conversation.

This Christmas, we are staying in a hotel down the road, to try to minimise smoke inhalation at least overnight.

sheeplikessleep Mon 30-Sep-13 13:53:19

Ooh, can I have 6? FIL sits watching tv picking his nose, ears or toes (boak)

CHST Tue 01-Oct-13 18:11:28

I will add my 2c

1. My ILs are from mainland europe. They eat sandwiches with knives and forks because it is "good manners." They try and force my dc to do the same for the above reason yet MIL is known to lick her knife/plate at the table.

They shower at most once a week and wear the same clothes so stink a lot of the time. They visited us once in a heatwave and put a fan on. I was pregnant at the
time so this lovely smell being wafted round made me vomit.

They make a pot of tea with one teabag. It tastes like dishwater

MIL used to rearrange my kitchen cupboard contents exactly how things were at her house.

They are also hoarders. FIL wears hand me downs from dh when he was a young adult. They penny pinch day to day yet go on several extravagant holidays a year.

Whenever they come to us, they look at every nook and cranny to be nosey and see what is different.

I'm sure more will come to me but they are very odd. I've had quite a few shouts at MIL

chibi Tue 01-Oct-13 18:23:26

mine used to argue over whether i was fatter or thinner since the last time i saw them (FIL:thinner MIL:fatter) hmm grin

sittinginthesun Tue 01-Oct-13 18:34:51

Reading these, I am amazingly starting to realise that my ILs' place is like a 5 star hotel!

Power shower. Three course meal of restaurant quality on arrival. Comfy, clean beds. 24 hour baby sitting service. Lots to do locally.

Only downside is that I am expected to produce similar when they visit. After 2 days, I've run out of steam and want to lock myself in my bedroom.

weebarra Tue 01-Oct-13 19:50:51

I do love my pils and having read many threads on here I know how lucky I am, but
1. MIL uses so much fabric softener that her towels have the absorbent qualities of plastic.
2. She is a very good cook (rarely consumes anything herself) but insists on getting in loads of shite for the DCs, then I look bad when I try to limit consumption of said shite.
3. They have recently moved house and replaced the spare mattress. Prior to that, we slept on a mattress which was more spring than mattress.
4. Their house contains no books.
5. DH and I have been together since we were 18. Now 36. Before we met, DH had a party and the house got a bit messy. We have occasionally had friends over when pils are away. Despite the fact we always leave the place spotless, we are reminded about the party...

Their shower is good though, unlike my parents where you have to run the cold bath tap to get the shower to work!

Op have you been staying at my gran's?
Other than the hoarding everything is identical.

We live too near my in laws to stay but five things that irritate me...hmm..

1. Ds's bedroom at their house is full of crap like stacks of fabric conditioner and crisps
2. MIL can only cook three meals even tho they are really nice
3. FIL and MIL treat SIL like a kid and have to be home to make her tea, take her to work etc. SIL is 19.
4. I can't think of anymore. I'm very lucky they are a lovely family and fab grandparents.

lifesgreatquestions Tue 01-Oct-13 20:07:07

As we are just about to visit MY family and I will feel appropriately guilty, I will take this opportunity to talk about HIS family.

1) Dribbly shower? Pfft. My ILS DO NOT HAVE a shower. Furthermore, they have a small boiler so I have to wash in a few inches of water.

2) They have twin beds of DIFFERENT heights pushed up against each other for us, and the lower one is sunken and the higher up one is super firm. We both cuddle fiercely in the night on the higher up bed trying not to fall out, under SINGLE sized blankets.

3) Although the house is clean, they are old, and I come across things they've missed, a hair in something, a smudge on my glass. I'm squeamish about this stuff. I am well behaved about it but I usually end up losing some weight because of not being hungry or wanting a further drink.

4) I'm not that educated about wine but I know how to choose something I'll enjoy, and it's more often than not NOT stuff from the 70's. They in turn are very kind and try to buy what I like, they get it wrong, and then we sit there drinking something none of us likes out of politeness. It took me years to get them back to buying the 70's stuff that they at least will enjoy and meanwhile I have turned to pale ales!

But can I really complain? My family? Hell, some are religious zealots who are similar to Mennonites and speak to OH about going to hell. Others are, perhaps unsurprisingly, Hell's Angels. The ones in the middle are ok but we have to sleep on the floor. Luckily the dog with the weak bladder has died since we were last there.

NooMyx Wed 02-Oct-13 17:31:13

I'm stuck home with a cold today and this thread has entertained me no end. grin Might as well add my own gripes...

My MIL is quite a feisty, opinionated old hippie type. Quite an interesting person, really, though totally different from me. We've always got along fine, but I think that's because of a mutual "must get along with this person!" kind of attitude and lots of polite talk about weather etc. These days we go to a B&B when we go over, but from past visits and daytime visits my issues are...

1. Smoking in the house. Not just cigarettes either, but weed. hmm This is actually my only big issue. I have asthma so I can't stand it from the health point of view, and I really really don't want our clothes and stuff to stink of weed!

2. MIL is a vegetarian who never learnt to cook veggies. When she's by herself she lives on tea and toast, and when she cooks a dinner it's usually just a "soup" of water and overboiled, unseasoned veggies. I don't understand how she doesn't starve, the poor thing. We get sneaky 2nd dinners later after one of hers.

3. Constant moaning about how everything in the world is horrible, especially politics and capitalism and the establishment etc. Everything is out to get you and we're all doomed. It just gets a bit tiring after a while. Smile and nod...

4. She's not very hygienic and there's a lot of general grime, dust, cat hair and ash everywhere at her place. She also doesn't allow anyone else to help with washing up or tidying. I'm resigned to it and bring my inhaler and just try not to think about it.

5. Just to continue the tea theme. I don't really like tea, which MIL can't get her head around at all. It's all very Mrs. Doyle with the fecking tea. I always end up drinking gallons of the stuff just to be nice.

Really she's actually very nice and I feel a bit guilty moaning. I'm sure she'd have a long list of things that annoy her about me and our house, too. We're just so different.

Pawprint Sat 05-Oct-13 06:16:50

1. FIL won't eat fruit or veg and likes everything cooked to a cinder.

2. House smells of cigarettes.

3. FIL v tactile and I am not - hate it when he hugs me. My problem, not his.

Can't think of anything else, they are lovely smile

Pawprint Sat 05-Oct-13 06:31:44

My parents:

Refuse to admit they are going deaf and TV always at top volume.

My mother is a cleaning obsessive and had endless, inflexible routines. She once demanded I get out of bed at 7 am, despite me having flu, so she could put my sheets in the wash. She would not take "No" for an answer.

My dad still treats me like a child, even though I am 45. He tells me off for such crimes as walking too loudly, for example.

They go to bed vv early and demand we do the same. One New Year's eve, they demanded we turn in at 7.30 pm.

northender Sat 05-Oct-13 08:01:52

1. The smell of smoke
2. The bathroom window opens into the conservatory hmm so any relaxing in the conservatory is punctuated with noises!
3. Their right wing rantings about immigration, the death penalty, gay marriage to name but a couple
4. The house is kept clean almost OCD style but open any drawer or cupboard and they are full to overflowing with rubbish so we have nowhere to put anything
5. Mil's "cooking". Gammon or beef in gravy with dissolve in the mouth veg. That's it, every time we stay
I could go on..........grin

loisb22 Wed 09-Oct-13 11:48:31

Oh my I'm bracing myself to visit the PILs at christmas. Fortunately SIL and her family live right next door so I'm working on hubby to stay with them!

1 - MIL believes that it is HER house and therefore she's free to go into the room we're in, looking at our belongings and shutting any windows I've opened (cos we both prefer it cooler).

2 - MIL believes that nobody could possibly be happy sitting reading by themselves. Oh No. They need to be "spoken to". Actually, make that "spoken AT".

3 - MIL is snappy and snarly and argumentative when she's stressed (which is all the time, cos FIL has Parkinsons and heart problems) and ends up driving us out of the house to get away from her, instead of letting us help her.

4 - Life revolves around cups of tea, buttered rolls and inedible meat and two veg type meals.

5 - Woe betide you if you crush a cushion, ruck a mat or drop a crumb on the floor. And books should always be kept on the shelf, even the one you're currently reading. Put it down to go for a wee, and it's on the shelf in seconds.

6 - MIL is, when relaxed, fun and funny and I hate seeing her stressed, but honestly, her behaviour was so bad last time we visited I almost came home alone after 2 days.

loisb22 Wed 09-Oct-13 11:53:43

When PILs used to visit us (it's too far now that FIL is ill) we also had problems.

1 - We have an old back boiler in our old house. MIL would regularly empty the hot water tank (at least once a day) for a bath. Fine, but it was a bath that she'd stay in for less than 5 minutes. Grrrrrrrr. Eventually had to tell her that she couldn't do that and she'd have to shower like the rest of us, cos it was costing us a flaming fortune.

2 - They'd borrow my car when they were here (travelled by train here) and every single time, it would need work done afterwards. They'd burned out the brakes, or knocked the alignment out by bouncing of kerbs, or the windscreen wipers would suddenly not work. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

3 - They were equally rough with our furniture and fittings. They broke our built-in fridge. Now this was inherited with the house and I'd never do it myself, but we can't afford to change it and they broke the door off the thing!! Grrrrrrr.

4 - FIL would commandeer the telly and have it on sports. All the time. Thank goodness for Sky + so I could record what WE wanted to see and watch it when they'd gone.

Lets face it, I neither like being a visitor nor a host. I'm antisocial!

MrsRajeshKoothrappali Sat 09-Nov-13 15:53:03

When I visit MiL and SiL:

1) MiL smokes weed. I don't really care. However, when you choose to get stoned on Christmas Day then go to bed just before Christmas dinner is being served and then call down half-way through dinner for a ham sandwich your 'habit' becomes rather rude.

2) Being asked to lend them money within 2 hours of arriving. Every time.

3) Being fussy eaters. I can actually deal with that. What winds me up is assuming it's a family trait and telling me what the man I've lived with for 9 years does or doesn't eat and moaning at me for 'forcing' him to eat something which I know he likes but they think he doesn't because they don't.

4) Telly on all of the time. Sky + rules the roost. If you're enjoying a program but Sky + needs to record a different channel what you're enjoying is turned off and we all have to watch what's recording. confused

5) Having a go at me each time I give DS some fruit. It's really bad for his stomach, don't you know?


LittleAprilShowers Sun 10-Nov-13 07:07:50

These are fab!

My in laws are lovely an they're local so we don't really stay over, however I could write a book about staying at my own mums. Top 5 gripes are -

1. She goes to bed at 9pm, which means she wakes up at 6am (despite having no job) and doesn't make an effort to be quiet. We stay in her extension when we go and she does housework first thing so were often awoken by the Hoover going at 6.30am. I've asked her to do it later so we can sleep and she pretty much says if we weren't so lazy and got up earlier it wouldn't be a problem.

2. Her dog is an arsehole. Hes mums henchman and he rule the roost, he has his own chair in the living room which were not allowed to kick him off (we have actually sat on the floor before when there's no seats and he's on the chair). He also gets fed steak most nights whilst mum eats beans on toast. And he's very whiny an clingy, me and DH joke that if he could talk he'd suck up to my mum and tell tales on us all the time like a little snitch! Lol!

3. Mum is utterly obsessed with what time we get up on a morning. Due to her habit in point 1 she considers anything past 8am a lie-in. She lives abroad so when were there we very much consider it a holiday and so we don't get up before we're ready. Usually no later than 9am, and we'll walk through to the main house and she'll sarcastically pipe up "good afternoon!". Once, years ago, we decided to have a long lie-in, then we laid in bed shagging talking before we had showers and watched a bit of TV. So it was 1pm by the time we went to the main house and mum was extremely pissed off. The best thing was the henchman dog was also in a mood too and refused to even look at me for the rest of the day!

4. There's a tradition in my family where, if you make a mistake once, they'll assume you'll make the mistake again forevermore. So I was once late for a family do aged 17 and now with absolutely everything I'm told "don't be late again like LAST TIME because it's very rude you know!". Were always ready on time and my mum and stepdad are still faffing on. They when the faffing finally stops they say "come on, we need to go you know!"

5. Mum is very into etiquette and her and her faux-posh mates throw dinner parties and similar contrived events which we have to go to when were there. If we don't get the etiquette right - such as the amount of kisses on cheeks (really is one kiss even necessary with strangers?!) - she gives me the "disappointed" look. She has friends who were pen pushers in the navy and there's a tradition that Navy folk have about port (the drink) - something about passing it around the table. I was meant to be psychic apparently and know the rules of this tradition as when someone passed me the port I placed it back down after pouring myself a glass (rather than giving it to the next person). For the way mum banged on about it you'd think I'd taken a dump in the middle of the table.

Just as an aside my MIL has a shit shower too. Maybe in the UK when your son marries your shower naturally knackers???

TheEarlOfDoncaster1963 Thu 14-Nov-13 21:26:37

My ILs have to do everything together. Need some bread for breakfast? FIL about to get in the car to pop to the shop and get some, when MIL says "ooh, wait for me to have a shower, and I'll come with you". Really??? We just want some flipping bread and now we have to wait while you have a shower before you even go to the shop? Does he really need accompaniment to go the Co-op?!

sandiy Fri 15-Nov-13 19:18:01

Now ex mil canno literally cannot go any where outside the home for longer than an hour without stopping for a "little sandwich" She's a slave to her diabetes,which is type two,tablet only diabetes then proceeds to embarrass us in resteraunts by insisting on diabetic pudding then fucking eats all everyone else's sugar laden concoctions in front of the poor waiting staff that she has harangued for a good ten minutes about her special bloody diet.
Tiny meals and I mean tiny.Ive had food poisoning twice from the muck she has reserected from the depths of the freezer and served.
Oh and her cat is neurotic god help you if you upset the cat.
My children when they visit with their dad come home starving and laden down with charity shop shite.
Oh and she gives the children one pound pocket money and can t understand why they are puzzled.She is loaded and very very careful about spending money on anyone but herself.

Diamondsareagirls Sun 17-Nov-13 14:11:01

I love this thread! Just one to add from me:

You are only allowed a drink at the allotted times. It doesn't matter if you are thirsty and have just driven 2 hours to see them, you need to wait another 45 minutes until FIL is putting the kettle on again which means you will then have another 30 minute wait whilst he carried out the most long winded routine of making a cup of tea ever!

thiswayto Mon 10-Mar-14 19:06:16

You lot are talking about rubbish showers my pil didnt have a bathroom ,when we visited it was a quick wash in the kitchen sink and if i wanted a pee i had to ask fil to move out of the garage so i could us the toilolt he wasnt happy about this -he was a misserable old git

Kerosene Tue 11-Mar-14 10:44:27

I think she buys her furniture from those dealers who do undersized stuff to make a room look bigger in photos. This is fine for her - she's under 5 foot tall. I'm 6ft, and DH is 6 6. It's like spending a week on primary school furniture, you've always got your knees around your ears.

Shower - I'd get wetter by going out in a light drizzle.

Tea - there is only one sort of tea, and only one way to make it - stewed to all hell, enough milk to make it the same colour as my pasty winter skin, and three sweeteners. Not sugar, sugar is evil and more deadly than heroin. Aspartame is fine though. No water, only poor people drink tap water, and bottled water is a rip-off. The alternative to tea is (really bad) red wine. I leave her house with either a raging hangover, or massive dehydration.

Goose fat potatoes are vegetarian, aren't they?

I habitually wake at 6am. I can't get up, move, or anything of that sort, or I'll wake the dog. The massively, massively, overindulged dog.

I love her dearly and I'm lucky to have her in my life!

CountessOfRule Tue 11-Mar-14 11:26:54

::nods at dehydration::

Coffee, beer or wine only, and Fruit Shoots hmm or possibly very strong and cheap NAS squash for the DC. If you're very lucky there might be a half-empty bottle of diet lemonade that's a bit flat, to make shandy with.

Nowadays I've learned to take several bottles of fizzy water, Schloer, etc with us otherwise I get a banging headache.

PunkrockerGirl Sun 16-Mar-14 12:43:36

My pils are lovely but there are 3
things which drive me mad when we go to stay (I know I'm lucky it's only 3)!
1. Telly on full blast - they are both quite deaf but won't admit it.
2. Decaf coffee. Each to their own but frankly it tastes like shit!
3. Gas fire on highest setting from the time they get up till bedtime in both the main reception rooms. Plus central heating. Apart from maybe a couple of days weeks in July. Even then it still goes on in the evenings.

slithytove Mon 17-Mar-14 10:40:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cletterthedishes Sat 22-Mar-14 19:23:52

My in-laws are absolute angels. I am deeply embarrassed that DH has my DF for an in-law, though.

1. House hotter than the inside of the sun. Central heating AND TWO GAS FIRES on at once. Sitting room door must be kept closed in order to conserve heat, turning sitting room into Phantom of the Opera-style killer oven trap. On arrival the first thing we have to do is go to the spare room we'll be sleeping in, turn the radiator off (careful not to touch the metal, it'll take your skin off) and open a window.

2. Kitchen unspeakably filthy. Hob top coated in months of grease and food bits; pride of place in centre of hob taken by batchelor's skillet with half an inch of congealed animal fat in the bottom. That's what your breakfast's going to be cooked in.

3. Fishing maggots in the fridge. Just hope he's got the thermostat down low enough or they hatch.

4. Meals are dumped on the table without ceremony and devoured by DF in a symphony of snorting, open-mouthed chewing and jaw clicks. Any effort at presentation or table manners is seen as hysterical fussing, as is any attempt to clear up. Manky remains of dinner must be left scattered over the table whilst you return to the Oven of Death.

5. Bathroom resembles crematorium. DF likes to burn scented candles but never cleans the walls, meaning they are covered in thick black sooty deposits, apart from the smeary patch above the bath where leans his hand against the wall whilst getting out.

Catsmamma Sat 22-Mar-14 20:10:13

My ILs have a lovely power shower, but no one is allowed to use it for longer than 20seconds for fear of using all the hot water. The shower screen is minute, as are the towels, and people sharing the bathroom is frowned upon.

The aim of a family dinner is to get the table set, meal served and eaten, table cleared and folded down, and all the washing up done,, preferably in under five minutes. Then you have a cup of tea, and a slice of cake or biscuits. I am not allowed to help in any way as I am on holidays

MIL has a mortal fear of undercooked veg, this fear of raw food does not extend to chicken....that's fine pink AND bloody.
She also gets in a mucksweat about cooking for any more than two people, but will not accept any assistance whatsoever

Wine will be served, but not with the meal....after eight thirty only. And just the one glass.

Doors are all shut at every available opportunity. Ditto curtains after five pm. Ideally all windows must be closed too, lest any fresh air get in.

I haven't been there for years, I send dh and the children and stay at home because it is impossible to get time off work. a blatant lie

they really are lovely lovely people but so stuck in therr old people routines it drives me to insanity.

PunkrockerGirl Sat 22-Mar-14 20:38:55

Boiled potatoes with every main meal. Every sodding day. Rice, pasta etc very much frowned upon.

ToriaPumpkin Wed 26-Mar-14 16:09:25

When MIL decides she's going to bed everyone must go to bed. This year my parents stayed with them for Christmas. After Downton she turned the tv off and said 'night then!' leaving my Mum and step dad staring about in bewilderment (I was already in bed due to being pregnant and knackered)

Wine is offered, one glass with a meal. After 11 years I'm now confident enough to help myself but nobody thinks to offer any other guests another drink (even a soft one, even when we've all been talked into playing board games for hours)

The shower is fine but I like long, hot baths. Especially after a few days. Invariably after twenty minutes there comes a knock on the door and 'Are you ok in there?' this is then repeated at regular intervals. They have two other bathrooms so it's not like they're subtley trying to tell me they need the loo.

All veg is boiled until it resembles thick soup. All meat, even very good cuts of venison that she gets from a local butcher, are cooked until charcoaled.

I am constantly offered parenting advice. I am mainly able to ignore it but that doesn't stop it being bloody irritating.

They've recently moved so they're only 15 minutes away so no more overnight visits. I am very pleased grin

I'm sure my parents have their moments that DH would just love to complain about as well though!

peachybums Mon 31-Mar-14 14:58:45

I'm unlucky lucky e nought to have 2 sets if in laws as his mum and dad divorced and remarried when he was young. They are not as bad as some but ..

At fil and smil house -

1) Their house isn't messy but its quite lived in, except for washing up, fil has OCD when it comes to washing up! You cannot finish a cup of tea without it being whisked out of your hand, scrubbed to death and put away. He doesn't trust dishwashers to clean things properly.

2) in the summer he likes to sunbathe in his y fronts. He claims they are just like swimming trunks and there's nothing wrong with it.

3) the dog loves to hump everything, they don't seem to notice. The DC don't even sit on the floor or he will hump them.

4) smil likes to wear semi see through tops and no bra

5) fil is right about everything.... Full stop!! Smil is totally lovely and I don't know how she puts up with it!

At mil and sfil house

1) the shower is too powerful!!! Yes that's right I'm the opposite. It's one of those digital ones that squirt from all angles and my skin is red raw when I get out.

2) sfil is convinced I don't drink hot drinks so I never get offered a coffee, ever. Nor any other drink for that matter.

3) mil always moans abut me being vegan and how DP needs to remind her I'm a funny eater as she forgets. Usually I'm sat with various veg on my plate and some kind of fruit chutney.

4) the cats sit at the table at dinner... Nuff said

5) the house is over 400 years old and a death trap but mil thought it was a good idea to remove all hand rails from steps. Because its in the country it's pitch black at night. Don't even think about getting up for a drink of water because you will fall and a&e is miles away!

Marvintheparanoid Fri 04-Apr-14 17:45:18

Oh I totally get the water thing. I'm the only one who will drink water at ILs, its wine or juice, and the sight of me with my glass of water apparently moves DMIL to tears. She tries to spice it up with bubbly water, and just won't believe that I actually prefer the taste of plain water to other things. There was a while they thought I was angry with them because I drank water at their house. I started drinking wine every now and then just so the discussion about water would stop. Even so every sodding time I ask for a glass of water I get a dramatic sigh, then a list of all the other things I could have instead. sad

Yes, lots of those things, hoarding to ridiculous extent- like empty soap powder boxes stacked like lego all around the cooker which ought to catch fire but never does.

But the worst (after being expected to KISS everyone every time you enter or leave their company) is MIL little groppy hands. I do not mind a hand on my back and I can put up with the toddler style tugs on my arm but GET YOUR CLUTCHES OFF MY BUM.

(And stop going through my bags.)

kentishgirl Tue 08-Apr-14 16:55:44

Mine are really lovely, with a few quirks

FIL is very garden proud and you are only allowed on the patio and must NEVER walk on the lawn.

Lovely power showery thing in massive glass cubicle. Which must be squeegied and dried off with a special towel, in a special way. And you mustn't get the mat next to the shower damp when you stand on it. I go first and let OH deal with it after me. By the time he's finished he's all sweaty and needs another shower.

Bathroom is full of carefully arranged toiletries, bowls of wrapped soaps, rolled flannels arranged in colour patterns in baskets. I'm terrified of moving any of it a millimetre, let alone using it.

When Mil asks how much I want of any food item I now half the quantity as she always doubles it. ie if she asks how many roast potatoes I want and I say 3 please, I get 5 or 6. If I want 2 yorkies, I get at least 3. I'm a size 16 so don't need feeding up.

Nothing but sport on TV. Last time FIL watched football in the evening and was watching football in morning too. I got a deja vu feeling - yes he was watching the repeat of the match he'd watched the night before.

MIL loves a good gossip chat about what her friends have been up to. I do not know these friends. I will probably never meet these friends. I'm definitely unlikely to meet the neighbour of the daughter of her friend, the one who is thinking of going on holiday to Turkey but can't decide whether to buy new suitcases or not. And if I do ever meet the unfortunate friend whose partner left her last year - but never mind because he was awful - and she had to have a hysterectomy before Christmas, and she's had some complications (blanked details from my mind) so she's feeling a bit depressed about it all, I won't know where to look.

LuluJakey1 Sun 27-Apr-14 21:53:05

Mine are lovely but they have a really close relationship with their children - DH and SIL- and I am just not used to this- my parents were lovely but older and I am an only child and it was just different. PIL live 130 miles from us so if we go we go for a few days.
We sleep in an attic room that has an ensuite with a big shower which is very nice. MIL comes into our room every morning with tea- knocks as she opens the. door. DH sleeps naked (I don't there, ever), and she will sit on the bed and chat to us for 5 mins- even if she comes in and we are asleep and cuddled up. He doesn't mind at all but I find it a bit awkward.
Football is a major topic of conversation- with the whole family, grandmas included). I know next to nothing about it and anyway it isn't football in general, it is Bradford City.
There are set things we have to do when we are there- have tea at one grandma's, both grandmas come to lunch with whole family, go out for a meal with PIL and SIL. Even if we only go for two days.
They all think DH is goldenballs. He is lovely mainly but they just adore him and he loves it all- how funny he is, what a tease, how kind, how loving, how thoughtful, clever, how proud they are. I have to keep our usual sarky banter under control a bit and bite my tongue about the bits they never see.
They ask us all the time about when we are going to have a baby. DH just grins and says we are practising. PIL ask, SIL asks, grandma1 asks, grandma2 asks. Actually, we are thinking about it and he really wants to, it's me who want to wait a bit longer. Grandma1 asked if there is something wrong with us.
Me being a vegetarian is a constant source of puzzlement to them. Do I eat fish? Do I eat chicken? No they are animals. Do I eat things like bacon which 'aren't proper meat'? No. MIL served prawn cocktails last time.

They are lovely though; liberal people, kind, generous, warm hearted and funny and they have made me feel part of the family. When my mum died earlier this year, MIL was amazing.

WitchWay Thu 22-May-14 17:49:29

We have only stayed at my ILs once, just after we got married in 1990! Back then we were in twin beds surrounded by clutter. The clutter is much too bad for visitors these days.

When they come to us they bring their own breakfast cereal (All Bran) as it keeps them regular & they won't try anything else.

1wokeuplikethis Thu 18-Sep-14 09:44:38

I like this. I've only read a bit of the thread but as a previous babycentre-er I like how the op hasn't been browbeaten (by the point I read up to) with something bitchy like 'if you hate them so much then why stay, they'd probably be happy to be shot of such a miserable cow like you', 'I bet your house is perfect', 'sorry, are you the queen?', and definitely 'you said they love our children, isn't that enough? You're such a horrible person' etc.

So! I will add mine- tongue in cheek obvs because they DOOO love our child...

A) they always wear fleeces, I've never seen them out of a fleece.

B) the house is always freezing - refer to A

C) everything is covered in dog hairs- bed, bath, sofas, my child's gob after 2 mins if being there

D) FIL always gets squiffy and repeats the same boring old stories I have heard every time I've seen them which is approximately 1000 times

E) FIL enjoys squiffily holding court and you are not permitted to participate in his -rambley boring stories/views on politics and the government- conversations

F) I get bellowingly accused of drinking all the wine every time we stay. Which may be true given the circumstances (see points A to E)

Ahhh that feels better!

ColdCottage Tue 23-Sep-14 20:01:51

178 replies to this thread, surely MN can add a few more for my entertainment. smile

ColdCottage Tue 23-Sep-14 22:56:27

Maybe not hmm

Momagain1 Mon 29-Sep-14 21:48:03

Really glad my MIL lives in a tiny pensioners cottage. My SIL is too house proud to actually have guests. We have always stayed in a hotel. But the only one 'in' the village (actually a couple miles down the main road) closed, unsurprisingly. The next nearest is a 45 min drive. I discovered there are holiday lets right in the village, so that's my future plan. Except i bet they are all booked up for Vhristmas already, damnit.

AndyWarholsOrange Tue 07-Oct-14 11:12:11

I swear Mrs Doyle was based on my Irish MIL. At home, I tend to skip breakfast, have a small lunch and then a bigger evening meal. However, I make an effort to eat breakfast when staying at MIL's so as not to seem rude. Conversation will go:
MIL: So what would you like Andy?
Me: I'll just have a couple of slices of toast please.
MIL: With a wee sausage and a bit of bacon?
Me: No thanks, just toast is fine thank you.
MIL: Just with the sausage then?
Me: No really, toast is fine, I'm not really one for big breakfasts.
MIL: What about a wee bit of scrambled egg?
Me: No really, I'll just stick to toast.
MIL: A wee tomato?
Me: (counts to ten under breath) No, honestly, I really am fine with toast.
MIL: I could fry you some mushrooms?

5 minutes later...

MIL: More toast Andy?
Me: No really, I'm fine thank you.
MIL: Just one wee slice?

One hour later...

MIL: Cup of tea and a wee slice of cake?
Me: Oh tea would be lovely but no cake thanks, I'm still a bit full.
MIL: How about a wee biscuit?
Me: No really, I'm fine
MIL: A wee bun?
ME: Not right now thank you., maybe in a little bit.
MIL: A crumpet?

And on and on and on.....

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