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Frequent Fry HerTM
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Age: 30    MIL Age: 45

The Beginning...

frequent fry her - Violet Frequent Fry Her TM - Violet/Posted: 17-APR-03
I figured that I'd share a story about my MIL and Valentine's Day.  My MIL is a holiday nut.  Many people are, and it's sweet, but MIL uses holidays in a creepy way.  MIL has special decorations for all holidays; tablecloths, shower curtains, guest towels, window sticker things, hanging lights, candles - the works.  She always sends cards for each holiday.  For the first few years of my marriage with DH, she never sent anything for Valentine's Day.  I thought that this was the one small measure of sanity that she had.  I was actually grateful that she just decorated her home and left us alone.  DH and I had been married for about 4 years when, out of the blue on Valentines Day, we got a call from SIL (DH's sister).  SIL is just as jealous, possessive and manipulative as MIL.  It took me by surprise that SIL would be calling on V-Day, since I figured that she and her DH would be doing something special.  After DH got off the phone, he told me what it was all about.  SIL called to TELL DH that he'd better hurry to MIL's house to get his Valentine's Day cookies, and MIL was freaking out that he hadn't called or shown up.  DH told SIL that it was "too bad" and he didn't plan on it.  By this time, DH was beginning to see how messed up his mom is.  SIL called again later to tell him the same thing, and to ask when he'd be there.  Again, he said that he wouldn't be there, and ended the call.  Nothing else was ever said.  It was like some dark little secret that nobody ever talked about.  We don't know if MIL put SIL up to the call, or if SIL just took it upon herself to "set her brother straight".  SIL often calls to do that where her mother is concerned, but I'm pretty sure that she is speaking for herself as well.  MIL never mentioned it, but a curious thing did develop that year.  MIL started thinking up new family holiday gatherings.  Ancient and previously uncelebrated holidays suddenly became a way for her to try to get DH "home" for more events.  Suddenly, we were asked to attend gatherings for the May Day/May Pole shin dig, the Winter Solstice, St Patrick's Day, and others that I can't even remember the name of.  It may not have been so unsettling if she was also interested in the religions attached to the holidays, but she always has scathing remarks about other religions (the one I was brought up with included).  The *Holiday Pushing*, as I call it, slowed down after about two years of us not attending.  I wonder if her other kids notice that the gathering just isn't as important if my DH, MIL's precious little boy, isn't there.

        Signed - MIL and Valentine's Day

( I want my own Frequent Fry Her TM Page )

frequent fry her - Violet, 1 of 4 needed Frequent Fry Her TM - Violet, 1 of 4 needed/Posted: 18-MAR-03
Within a month of DH and I moving out of state, MIL was calling and asking when she could come for a visit.  She would whine about missing her son, ask if he was homesick, and if it was terrible to live there.  At the time, DH didn't think it was weird and didn't see a problem with it.  I told him that it was understandable for her to miss her son, but that she was going to have to learn to let go.  We stalled her for a few months, and then she called to TELL us when she'd be there.  We had 3 weeks to get ready.  When she arrived, she clung to him as if he'd just come back to life.  It was really quite creepy.  It's not like she hadn't talked with him on the phone several times a week.  She said "Hi" to me, walked into the apartment, and put her stuff in our room.  We only had one bedroom, so we let her have it.  We slept in the living room.  The visit that first evening went pretty well.  She and DH visited.  She fawned over him, and I kept the coffee brewing.  The next day, DH had class, and I was left to entertain MIL.  It was the beginning of the worst week in my memory.  According to my MIL, everything was all wrong.  The kitchen was set up in a weird way (how can you stand to have that there?!?).  I didn't have the right foods.  The place was a mess.  I had too much soda pop around.  I didn't play a card game the right way.  My job was only part time.  Oh, and of course, "You've gotten heavier."  I hadn't, but I got the feeling that she'd actually have liked it if I had.  Then, she'd look even smaller in comparison.  This went on all week while DH was at class, never when he could witness it.  I was making dinner the second night, and asked her if she'd like what I planned to serve.  She said that it was fine.  At the table, she proceeded to pick it apart, because she was allergic to an ingredient.  She didn't bother to tell me.  I asked her why she didn't tell me that she would be allergic to dinner, and she said that it wasn't any bother to pick out the bad stuff.  DH thought it was kind of her to not trouble me with a special request.  I thought it would have been kind of her to help me make dinner pleasant, instead of dangerous to her.  The rest of the week is a blur of walking on eggshells, dodging veiled insults, and trying to defend myself.  I went to work, and would then go to a friend's house for a while, just to avoid the MIL glares and sneers.  I remember joining a conversation and getting that "intruder alert" look from her.  I remember that look from junior high school - a lot about my MIL reminds me of Jr. High.  I thought that when she finally left, it would all go back to normal and we'd be fine.  That wasn't to be.  It turned out that my MIL had a few complaints about me that she shared with DH while I was at work her last night there.  I had apparently been terribly rude and distant all week.  I clammed up when she tried to "get to know me".  I told hubby that I didn't think trying to rearrange the kitchen, and grocery shopping for good food, was getting to know one another.  He told me her side of that story.  She was helping me with the kitchen.  Oh, silly me, LOL.  We argued off and on for a couple of weeks about the littlest details of MIL's visit.  It really caused a stir.  When we were finally ready to go back to our home state, I had mixed feelings.  I wanted to be back home and see our friends and family - just not my MIL.  I was really dreading living near her, and we had a place all lined up - only 30 minutes away.  The job DH had lined up was only 10 minutes from her house, and that would start a whole other problem.

        Signed - Violet

( I want my own Frequent Fry Her TM Page )

frequent fry her - Violet, 2 of 4 needed Frequent Fry Her TM - Violet, 2 of 4 needed/Posted: 20-MAR-03
A friend of mine has a wonderful friendship with her own MIL.  I told her the story of my MIL getting all worked up over DH complimenting my cooking and baking, and asked her what she thought of it.  My friend said that MIL might feel appreciated if she could teach me something, and suggested that I ask for a recipe.  It sounded like a good idea.  And, with a less freaky MIL, it may well have worked.  There is a great dish that MIL makes often, and we all look forward to it.  The whole family was there for dinner one night.  I thanked her for the fine meal, and asked for the recipe.  She got really uptight and asked, "What for?"  I said, "Well, to make it at home once in a while, why else?"  She tensed up even more, and with a very defensive tone said that I didn't need the recipe, as it's a dish that she makes especially for her children.  The way she said it made me a bit surprised that I was allowed to have a serving of it when we were there.  She made some weird puffing noises and went into the kitchen to slam things around.  When she came out, calm again, we politely ignored each other.  Obviously, cooking was a subject that we weren't going to share.  It's funny, MIL and I have a love of cooking in common and we can't talk about it.  I share recipes with people all the time.  I truly don't understand why she couldn't take my asking for a recipe as the compliment it was intended to be.

        Signed - We Can't Talk About It

( I want my own Frequent Fry Her TM Page )

frequent fry her - Violet, 3 of 4 needed Frequent Fry Her TM - Violet, 3 of 4 needed/Posted: 5-APR-03
When my husband and I moved back near our families, it seemed like MIL was getting a grip on things.  She was pretty friendly to me, and enjoyed when we'd visit.  We saw MIL, FIL and the SILs about once a week or so.  The BILs were all out of the house, so we'd only see them about once a month.  All the BILs and FIL liked me just fine, but I still wasn't comfortable with MIL and SIL.  I was getting more uncomfortable with every visit.  As they got used to me being around, they weren't as careful about how they acted or what they said.  MIL would make snide comments and SIL would get a few digs in as well.  They gossiped about family that wasn't present, especially the other DILs.  If I called them on it in some way, they'd say things like, "Well, I love her, you know, just not the way she ---".  After several months, I finally talked to DH about it.  Of course, at the time, he didn't think that there was any reason to be uncomfortable.  He thought we just needed to get to know one another better.  Later, MIL and SIL would show their true colors, and DH would understand that it had little to do with knowing me, and everything to do with him not living for them that was the problem.  Anyway, DH took it upon himself to show MIL that I was great, and also that we had something in common.  We're both good cooks.  I had no idea that it was coming, and as soon as he said it I knew that it was a mistake.  We were at the PIL's for dinner.  SILs and BILs were there with some of their significant others.  DH said, "This dish is great mom.  You know, DW made the best (favorite dish) I've ever had the other night.  It was wonderful, and when I took the leftovers to work, the guys just went crazy over it."  MIL went a little nuts over that.  She tensed up and got a pinched look on her face.  DH didn't see it because she was standing behind him, as usual.  The two of us (DILs) looked at each other with the same question in our eyes - how is this going to go play out?  The MIL forced herself to say, "Isn't that nice?", and then she went into the kitchen and started doing the dishes.  This may not seem strange, but MIL always waits until after her boys are gone to clean up.  There was a lot of noise coming from the kitchen, lots of things slamming on the counter and banging together and such.  It only lasted a minute, then MIL came out to get a few things off the table.  DH couldn't see her face, but SIL and us two DILs could, and it was still all pinched up.  DH was still going on and on, but now it wasn't about the favorite dish.  Now it was about the cake that I made from scratch.  She heard that and ran back into the kitchen.  By now, the other DIL and I were just listening to the water running full blast and the bashing of pots and pans.  DH was now just telling SIL all about it.  MIL came back out after a couple of minutes as the cake conversation was winding down.  She looked like someone had smacked her, and that she was about to cry.  She raised her voice so the other brothers and FIL in the living room could hear, and she said that she didn't like homemade cake because it was way too heavy and took too much time.  The rest was said directly towards me, and was something like, "There is no point in wasting time on cake when there are so many things to be done around a house."  DH still has no idea how hard his mom took it when he replied with, "Well, I sure like what DW cooks and bakes.  It's sweet."  We left soon after.  In the car, DH wondered out loud what was up with his mom.  He said that she seemed mad about something.  I couldn't help laughing when I told him what he'd missed.

        Signed - Couldn't Help Laughing When I Told Him

( I want my own Frequent Fry Her TM Page )

frequent fry her - Violet, 4 of 4 needed Frequent Fry Her TM - Violet, 4 of 4 needed/Posted: 7-APR-03
My husband had the day off from work and was running some errands in the morning.  We usually do our weekly running around together, but I had stayed home that day to get a few things done so that we could have the rest of the day free.  DH had called to let me know that he'd be home in about and hour, and to ask if there was anything I'd like him to stop for on his way home.  There was something I asked him to stop for, and I thanked him for calling.  He'd now be home in an hour and 15 minutes.  About 15 minutes later, MIL called.  She asked for DH.  I told her that he was out for a bit and asked, 'What's up?'  She said that she was nearby and was wondering if we were home so that she could stop in for a visit.  I said that was cool.  I was home and, DH would be home in about an hour.  So, I asked her how soon she'd be here.  She said, "Well, if DH isn't home, never mind, maybe another day."  So, I explained to her that I had heard from DH just a little bit ago and he was on his way.  He'd be home in about an hour.  Depending on how far she was from the house, she wouldn't have to wait long.  I'd make some coffee and maybe we could all go out to lunch.  She still said no, nevermind.  If DH wasn't there, she'd just call him later.  I was confused, disappointed, and hurt.  I said, "Okay, have a good day, good-bye," and we hung up.  By the time DH got home (an hour later), I was really upset, but I wasn't crying.  I was fuming mad!  I had never been anything but kind and respectful to MIL, and DH knew it.  He asked what was wrong, and I told him that his mother had called and wanted to stop by.  He asked when she'd be here, and I had to say that she wouldn't be coming over, she'd be calling him later.  When he asked why, I was able to tell him the whole conversation.  DH and I discussed every possibility.  MIL didn't have a regular job.  She made her own hours.  If she had been nearby, she wasn't doing anything for work.  The only thing she ever came to our town for was shopping.  And if she called for a visit, she had plenty of time.  I asked her to come by, made it clear that it wasn't an imposition at all in case that's what she feared, and even suggested she share the afternoon with us by going to lunch.  It was obvious to DH and me that there was only one explanation - she wouldn't come to our home and be alone with me for any length of time.  This was the first time DH saw for himself that his mom just plain didn't like me, and never would.  We'd been married for 5 years, and she couldn't stand to be alone with me in my home for a mere 30 minutes or so.  DH had already come to realize that she was clingy with him, but this was when he really saw the true colors of MIL.  He was really mad, and I think a bit embarrassed.  He even raised his voice, which is rare, wondering out loud what was his mom's problem, why won't she come to our home, and what does she have against his wife.  Even though I had been waiting for him to have that kind of light bulb moment, I felt badly for him.  It wasn't pleasant to come to the realization that his mom is a clingy, needy nut who can't stand that her son has his own home, life, and a loving wife.  After it all calmed down, we went about our day.  We went out to lunch, shopping, and a movie.  When we came home and checked the caller ID and messages we got the kicker - not only did she refuse to come by that morning, she didn't call later either.  She didn't call for about 2 weeks.  I've since come to be grateful that she won't come to our house for whatever reason she has.

        Signed - I've Since Come To Be Grateful

( I want my ownFrequent Fry Her TM Page )


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