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Five irritating things about staying with my inlaws

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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.

HorryIsUpduffed Tue 03-Sep-13 18:53:39

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.

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