I had an inkling I was marrying into crazy 20 years ago, but when wedding is rapidly approaching the bride is thinking of important things like what lingerie to wear under the wedding dress (don’t go for too tight corset things, because they’re a pain in the ass to get out of after a few hundred wedding toasts). The bride is in no way thinking that she’ll once the get to know you period with the new in-laws is over, they will quite happily bring on mountains of insanity. (big disclaimer: most of my in-laws are normal; it the crazy ones that stand out)
1. They talk over people. I can’t even say a simple one syllable word like “hi” without having it interrupted halfway through. They make Jill, LuAnn, and Kelly from Real Housewives of NYC look like the best listeners every, and anyone who watches that show knows that none of them can let another person speak ever unless it’s one of their trio, and even that’s iffy. I actually have to leave the room when the husband talks to one person in particular on the phone, because she does her talking over him very loudly. It makes me cringe and want to rip the phone away from his face and smash it into the ground with my heel while screaming obscenities.
2. They have an obsession with all things medical. A person can’t just get the common cold, because any sneeze or sniffle is possible an alien bacterial-induced super-disease that will cause a new form of elephantitis and anal leakage. Don’t say “how are you” to people with this brand of crazy unless you are fully prepared to spend the next 14 hours hearing about nipple fungus they went to 87 doctors for before finding out it was just bra lint and that time they hiccupped and their left lung shot upward and nearly pierced their brain. Definitely don’t say that your kid stubbed his toe, because not only will they pin him down and drown him with tetanus vaccines, but they’ll amputate the toe with any readily available kitchen utensil. Then they’ll want to talk about it in horrifying detail.
3. Food. Food brings out the mega craziness. One lives almost exclusively on potato chips and chardonnay claiming that after doing two week of the Atkin’s diet a few years ago her digestive system can not longer handle other things. She’s sometimes eat something else, like a Lean Cuisine or a real meal, but I’m betting those are pretty rare. Another one eats all the fucking time. A herd of cows spends less time grazing, but it’s okay, because she buys the Lite version of everything, because you know the rules of life state that if you buy the lite ice cream, you can eat the whole half gallon container in one sitting without feeling guilty. Plus, it’s incredibly important to know that portion size is crucial. A good way to judge a portion is to measure your head. As long as your food is the size of your head, you’re good. The best part of the food thing is that they all complain about being overweight. Too bad pointing out the obvious is useless.
4. It’s all about them all the time. During giant family vacations, only they get to decide what activities should be enjoyed. Should I choose to do something different, like walk to the lake for 5 minutes instead of sitting on my ass complaining about the loud tourists, the world will end. Since these vacation always involve a birthday or two, food comes into play again. You don’t take an extra tiny piece of cake unless you want to hear about how you’re depriving the person that needs a head-sized piece. Plus, if I buy something sweet, I am required to share it with everyone, even if that means cutting up a Twix into 20 pieces, but if the Eaters buy something, it’s theirs because they bought it with their own money. I guess I got mine by whoring or theft.
5. There’s all sorts of racism and homophobia. One of them freaked when their kid dated a hispanic girl because that is not acceptable. Doesn’t he know that he can only date white girls? There’s also always a few comments about gay marriage being “icky.” Um, isn’t straight marriage into in the crazies icky too? And I don’t even want to think about the crazies and their own marriages, because there is so much co-dependency going on between a couple of them that their marriages are total three-ways between mom, daughter, and their husbands. Excuse me while I go throw up until that image goes out of my head.
6. Double-standards. They are allowed to talk about me behind my back (and they’re not commenting on my beauty, wit, and charm), and say rude things about me to my kids, but if i defend myself I’m being meeeeeeean, (you have to say that with a huge wine like a kindergartener) because when I confront them about their asshattery it’s hurts their witty bitty feewings. It’s fucking awesome! I think my goal in life is to become the queen of mean and show them how it’s really done, because I can play their games even better than they can, because I have #7.
7. They don’t understand sarcasm. Seriously. They are so clueless to sarcasm, that every time I say something to them, I feel like I’m stabbing poor, innocent, blind puppies. That pretty much sucks all the fun out of being a more intelligent life form.
It’s not all bad, though. Every single endless overnight visit is accompanied by enough beer to make my liver weep, so I can ignore almost everything. And if I can’t ignore it and start going off on their craziness, I can plead drunk the next morning as I’m shooing them out of my house, and it will guarantee a couple of crazy people free years while they’re not speaking to me (ancient family tradition).