Sunday, November 16, 2008

Martha Stewart I Am Not

Well, we got rid of the fleas finally.

The mother-in-law, not so much.

She arrived two days later than planned due to a train derailment that delayed her connection. My husband even looked at me funny when he heard that news and I assure you all, I DID NOT have anything to do with that. I did look at him funny when he informed me that his mother would not be smoking while she was here because she'd told him she'd quit months ago. Weird, but the weekly letters she mails stink up our mailbox. Maybe it's the postman? But she's his MOM, she would never lie to him!

She was here a whole hour before she approached ME, away from HIM, to beg pitifully and pull the sick old woman card ask if she could smoke because how dare I assume she could go so long without one? The husband grinned at me beside his grill through the kitchen windows and I figured they'd concocted that one.

"I don't care if you smoke, Mom, but you need to ask Andria because her head will spin and she will rake my privates over these coals if I say it's okay. Make her feel like shit about it. Go ahead."

And that's when I started calculating just how much I'd have to make to afford this mortgage all on my own. And, well, I can't.

So I smiled, told her how I felt about my kids and secondhand smoke, told her I really didn't want her too, but if she really had to, we had a patio. And a park across the street. And I left it at that while my blood boiled.

That's how Martha Stewart would've handled it. Right?

And WOW, that was the first time I'd seen the monster-in-law smile since she walked through our doors. Oh, the joy over slowly feeding us nicotine and tar! So she went outside to smoke. And I swear, my husband's head started to spin.

"But Mom, you said you'd quit. You said you wouldn't smoke AT ALL. You swore this would not be an issue. Where did those cigarettes come from? Did you just buy them or did you BRING THEM WITH YOU?"

Because, duh, she totally brought them with her. Because, you know, she doesn't smoke anymore. You're the one who fell for that one, man.

Tell her NO! NO, you won't allow our children to be exposed to the carcinogens! Tell her she can stay at a motel if she insists on smoking! She LIED to you! You're not going to put up with that are you????

But no, she's smoking on the porch. And lucky me, because I can't tolerate the smell of smoke, she's been very kind to cover it up with three different scents of perfume. I know it's just coincidental that two of them trigger migraines for me, but surely she can't remember that little conversation we had when she bought the crap last year.

After two solid days of the migraine from hell, the husband did finally ask her to lay off the drugstore cologne, but it's too late. It's in our furniture, our carpet, Adam's room and his closet full of clothes. I found an old bottle of Fe*reeze in the garage and that has helped, but now when you open the door instead of that lovely new house smell, you're hit with White Diamonds Avec Smoky Air Freshener and you swear you're at the bingo hall down the street.

Martha Stewart probably wouldn't tell her guest to quit their perfume would she?

What burns me the most, though, is that EVERY time she wants to smoke she shuffles right on over to ME, right in front of her perfect son, and looks me right in the eye and asks me if it's okay if she has a cigarette. And she always adds how she's gone as long as she possibly can without one and she wouldn't ask if she weren't about to be sick without it. And it's always up to me. Isn't that polite and considerate? Her son looks at me as if to say, "I dare you. I dare you to tell MY MOTHER that she can't do something that she so obviously needs to do. Go ahead. Let me watch you try." To which I have to reply, "Sure, L, go right ahead. Would you like to snuff it out in my open hand when you're done, too? And everyone smiles and everyone's happy and life is good again in our home sweet home.

Until last night when she went out at 1 a.m. setting off the alarm and my husband thought we were being burglarized.

She can thank me later for keeping the husband from getting his gun.

And for being considerate and polite about her feelings and not shoving that lighter up her ass for waking us all up like that. How nice it was for her to be able to go right to sleep after that while I was up until 5 a.m. with my adrenaline pumping and getting kids back to sleep.

But, you know, I'm a bad hostess for not indulging my guest's addiction to cigarettes. I should be more tolerant and accepting and truly understand her need to light up twenty times a day, because, you know, I've never walked a mile in her shoes, yada, yada, yada. Nevermind that she totally LIED about her freaking cigarette addiction before she got here. Nevermind that she agreed without hesitation to NOT. SMOKE. AT. ALL.

Yeah, I am no Martha Stewart. I'm not that nice.

But the fleas are gone. So, YEAH!


Tracey said...

Dude, it's too bad the fleas left. Maybe they would have chased her away earlier...

Hang in there. Be glad she lives so far away and take notes on what NOT to do when your kids marry and invite you over for a visit!!

Sherry said...

Tell her no. I know it is hard, but it is totally wrong of her to do this to you. When she asks you if she can have a cigarette say, "I would rather you not." She's just asking you to push your buttons. And it is working. I'm pulling for you!

Dana said...

Andria, it sounds like you're being FAR more patient than I would be. It's your house, you have every right to tell her no. Don't feel bad about! As I type this, I'm looking at your Nice Matter Award.....well, nice matters but it doesn't always give you the desired result. She sounds like a real gem!

Crazed Mom said...

Get her one of those electric collars that BUZZES her every time she smokes. Just a suggestion.

ChupieandJ'smama said...

My mom smokes in the garage when she comes over. It reeks. Badly. I feel your pain. Hang in there, the month is half gone.

Mommy Daisy said...

Fleas? Mother-in-law? Fleas? Mother-in-law? Tough choice. ;)

Lynanne said...

I hear smoke clears out fleas. Somehow, I think they mean the campfire kind, though.

While we were dating, my MIL did the whole "I quit smoking" routine with my husband also. I saw her sneaking one here and there and finally brought it up with my husband. He said she just smokes "socially." Funny...he says the same about her drinking too. :)

Then I got to thinking... "Do I really care if my MIL brings about her own untimely (and very painful) death from lung cancer?" Ooooooo, so mean. No, I didn't ever think that because she quit smoking for real. She still hasn't given up drinking though.

Lynanne said...

while I was dating my HUSBAND...yikes. Terrible, terrible typo. Though, it's probably no accident that I married many of my MIL's bad habits when I married my husband :)

Leslie said...

I thought my MIL was bad.... but wow, you definitly take the prize!! I don't think I could be that tolerant. I don't allow the MIL's yappy untrained dog in my house, and that has effectivly stopped her from coming to visit!

Leslie said...

I thought my MIL was bad.... but wow, you definitly take the prize!! I don't think I could be that tolerant. I don't allow the MIL's yappy untrained dog in my house, and that has effectivly stopped her from coming to visit!

I am Boymom said...

What is it with manipulative MILs? Mine does not drink or smoke, but she works every angle she can to try to control every family function and to make you like her. It's sad that she only succeeds in pushing us further away from her. It's too much drama. The good news for me is that my husband recognizes her weirdness and has less patience for her than I do! Bless your sweet heart for tolerating yours, I hope the last few days just fly by for you!