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Things my MIL sees as a sign of 'good character'

(116 Posts)
RickSanchez Mon 20-Jan-20 18:13:25

Knowing how to get somewhere. I'm not just talking roughly how to get from A to B, but needing to know ALL the roads between and all the local areas, service station stops, landmarks, and knowledge. Not for her the use of the Sat Nav. She could read a map all day. People who don't innately 'know' the 'correct' journey to follow are Flibberty Gibbetts of the highest order. As are people who travel somewhere and don't constantly watch the roads and signs to help them understand exactly where they are at any given time.

Not sitting down during the day. There is ALWAYS something to do and you better believe that if you're NOT doing it then you bloody should be! The only exception to this is if you have 'a programme' in the evening. In which case you are permitted to briefly alight on a chair and watch it but only if it's a programme you have expressed prior interest in. Channel surfing in the hope of finding something to watch is definitely Not On.

Not using things that are designed for comfort or convenience. You may own a dishwasher for example, but you should never have occasion to use it. Surely that is evidence that you are slacking off and not Keeping Busy (see point 2). Equally, you may own a tumble drier that you have had since the 50s but why would you need to use it when you can hang your washing out in minus four temperatures and bring it in to air in the afternoon? Anything else would be Very Slack Indeed "there's only Margaret over the back who pegs out, everyone else simply can't be bothered!"

*disclaimer- this is lighthearted. My MIL is a good sort at heart but we are very, very different. I, sadly am not of 'good character' grin

Bubs101 Mon 20-Jan-20 18:16:53

Lol i found this funny. But I don't take much notice of the opinions of people much older than me, they've lived in a different world.

RickSanchez Mon 20-Jan-20 18:25:59

I guess when she was my age, if you couldn't read a map, you probably couldn't travel very far by car. And the not sitting down thing and pegging everything out harks back to a time when there were fewer home conveniences e.g disposable nappies etc so keeping busy was a necessity really. It's just funny how she really places moral values on these things, as if you're a good person only if you do them.

whatisheupto Mon 20-Jan-20 18:33:17

🤣🤣 sounds like my dear mum!! She comments on my (sparing) use of my tumble driver every time she comes to stay. And maps are her life. And she Never Sits Down (well she does a bit now she's 72!). And yes "programmes" are a guilty pleasure. When we were kids, watching TV,or God forbid, going to the cinema, in the daytime was the work of the devil!

RickSanchez Mon 20-Jan-20 18:36:44

Whatissheupto your dear mum is the same age as my MIL so they must be cut from the same cloth!

She will only watch programmes that she has identified from the TV guide as being fit to watch (these are often programmes about places in the UK which fits with her obsession with where things are!) She would never ever just flick through and see what's on. The idea wouldn't enter her head.

OccasionalNachos Mon 20-Jan-20 18:38:25

Sounds like my nana, especially the pegging out (even though she is 90 & washing only goes on the line when her cleaner or my parents can do it for her as she’s not confident to do it herself any more...)

I’m on maternity leave at the moment (pre baby) and she called me for a chat. I was lying on the sofa watching Netflix and she was aghast that I wasn’t making a casserole for DP’s dinner grin

MsTSwift Mon 20-Jan-20 18:39:19

My MIL far prefers my sil (dh brothers wife). She like MiL is also an avid Strictly fan (bores me rigid) and likes to tut about things. I hate tutting. Dh and I also do wild things like going on non package holidays. They both ask gleefully if anything went wrong on our trips and both seen abit disappointed when they pass off without disaster grin

WeeMadArthur Mon 20-Jan-20 18:40:53

Are you my SIL? My DM always likes to emphasise to me what a good day it is for <insert housekeeping task here> in the hope that I take the hint and stop disappointing her with my unreasonable use of modern conveniences.

Her standards for good character also include bringing in your bin, and your neighbours bin, as soon as the bin men have been; washing your own windows, even the upstairs ones; always having polished shoes, clean nails and tidy hair; getting your washing out for a good blow in the mornings; always opening blinds and curtains ( unless there has been a death in the family); not swearing ( sorry Mum); never sleeping past 9 in the morning and being dressed to eat breakfast.

I do my best.

BernadetteRostankowskiWolowitz Mon 20-Jan-20 18:41:05

My work colleague is of your MILs sort. I do wonder what her own dc and daughter in laws think.

It's improper to close your curtains at 7pm. It's improper to have takeaways delivered. It's improper to have a supermarket shop delivered.

skiptheskip Mon 20-Jan-20 18:43:04

Sounds like my DH nan and grandad.

They turn the TV on to watch a specific programme and as soon as it's finished they turn it off. It's never on in the background and they wouldn't dream of flicking through the channels to see if there's anything else that tickles their pickle.

woodhill Mon 20-Jan-20 18:43:25

My dm can be a bit like this.

She is retired and feels guilty:for sitting down.

She is always rushing.

Sometimes she pressurises me subtlety. W hen I had a major Op,and wanted to rest, she suggested I could sort out paperwork 😕

DerbyshireGirly Mon 20-Jan-20 18:43:37

Some people are oddly obsessed with road names. Small scale are the nan types who know every street name in town and must drop them in whenever possible. National scale is usually men, often those who have driven white vans for work at some point in life, who must reel off each and every A-road used to get to any other part of the country.

Formermousemat Mon 20-Jan-20 18:44:44

@BernadetteRostankowskiWolowitz , I'm curious to know, what is the appropriate time in her opinion to close the curtains?

Frenchw1fe Mon 20-Jan-20 18:48:02

My friends dm was horrified if people ate in the street, she didn't have a tv until my friend bought her one and when I took my firstborn round she pulled his dummy out and said 'he doesn't need that.'
Me, my friend and our dh's got very tipsy one Xmas, she wasn't impressed.

Davros Mon 20-Jan-20 18:49:08

I'm all in favour of a map when we go to the countryside and can take different routes, try out different locations along the way and don't have a set idea of where we're going to end up. Day-to-day this must depend on your husband doing the driving in a car coat, drivers' gloves and a trilby! She couldn't use a map if she was the driver. As long as he gets her home in time to put the stew in the oven she prepared in the morning grin

legodisasterzone Mon 20-Jan-20 18:49:32

You have no idea how relieved I am to read these 😆
I thought it was only my Mam who saw sitting down as a character flaw!

I've had years of her trying to guilt me into doing stuff round the house until I'm ready to drop!

She actually looks for things to do when her 'jobs' are done - such as cleaning out the airing cupboard or tidying my Dad's shed.

Last year, after 3 solid weeks of me painting and decorating the living room, she came to see it. My back was killing me (chronic back condition) and I was exhausted.
She admired it, then said, "When you starting on the kitchen, then?" confused

legodisasterzone Mon 20-Jan-20 18:51:12

Oh and other character flaw is eating all of the food on your plate or having dessert when out for a meal.
Apparently, denying yourself 'treats' is a good thing. Really??

user1471453601 Mon 20-Jan-20 18:51:38

I'm not sure it's an age thing. I'm 70, I sit down far more than is good for me. My dishwasher is my dearest "gadget" and I'm adept at scrolling through to find a programme that interests me, I probably hang washing out twice, maybe three times a year.

And I never, ever read a map. Why would i? DD has say nav.

Old folk, like all folk, are all different

iklboo Mon 20-Jan-20 18:52:44

MIL is a 'doer'. She took 'the old lady over the road' to hospital the other week. 'Old Lady' is only two years MIL's senior grin

Fishflame Mon 20-Jan-20 18:54:03

My mother (aged 73) is the original 50s housewife.

She was SHOCKED that my husband does all the laundry... both dh and I work full time, but dm expects me to do all the housework.

LolaSmiles Mon 20-Jan-20 18:54:31

DM is like this about the washing.

She also thinks opening the windows in all weather is the done thing and don't you dare have the heating on because "people are too soft and need to just put a bigger jumper on". I'm all for fresh air and I dislike houses heated too hot, but there's no gain by opening windows when it's 3 degrees outside.

Given how many of us have mentioned DMs, maybe it will come to all of us in time. grin

whyamidoingthis Mon 20-Jan-20 18:55:43

Dh and all his extended family have a weird map obsession. I really upset his uncle, his 2 cousins, his sister and his brother at a recent family gathering. God knows how the topic of maps came up, but I mentioned that the first thing dh does when we go somewhere new is get a map. They all nodded away as obviously only an insane person wouldn't want a map.

Then I told them that dh slags me about the fact I turn the map in the direction I'm heading, rather than keeping it north up. You would think I had suggested murdering kittens from the gasps and looks of shock on their faces. There were mutterings about the right way to do things. I thought it best to change the subject at that stage.

katy1213 Mon 20-Jan-20 18:56:55

Curtains are closed at the faintest promise of dusk as "people can see in."
I am of irredeemably bad character as I had a cleaner in my 20s - with all my limbs intact, too - as soon as I could afford one. Cleaners are only acceptable if provided by Help the Aged.
I can say, hand on heart, though, that I have never in my life watched morning TV.

eggandonion Mon 20-Jan-20 18:57:48

For years my MIL sighed a lot and announced that she hadn't sat down all day. I assumed she was very busy.
Then I discovered it was a euphemism for not having done any number twos (as she calls it).
Why would other people want to know?
I am a terrible specimen, I peg out my washing BUT leave my pegs on the line instead of putting them in a special basket.

FadedRed Mon 20-Jan-20 18:58:06

Let’s have yet another lighthearted thread about the funny little ways of older females.
Nothing ageist or sexist here, just amusing little stories.

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