Paul’s mom and I clash a lot–sort of. We never openly dispute each other or complain about each other to each other, we just kind of both stick Paul in the middle or complain to other people. Obviously, this kind of thing is what leads to even more drama, but it’s also the kind of thing pretty much everyone does anyway. Sometimes, I don’t say anything directly to her because I’m so caught off-guard by her that I don’t know what to say. Sometimes, it’s not really my battle to fight.
Here’s a list of those battles that I can remember to date.
- I don’t think she dislikes me outright–not at all–but I always have felt she’d prefer to see Paul dating someone else, especially as we’re now 2 1/2 years and marriage is a very obvious future step. I’ll probably always feel that she feels I’m not good enough for him. That said, I don’t think anyone would be good enough for him in her opinion.
- She got mad that I sat on Paul’s lap in a “What will everyone say!?” sort of way. As in, lap-sitting is a tiny a step down from having sex in public.
- When I was unemployed, she lectured to Paul for about a half hour about said unemployment. Note that at the time, I was regularly looking and applying on top of writing for two websites, a newspaper, maintaining two blogs, and doing whatever the hell else that was important that I had time for. Also note that I secured a job within the following two weeks and Paul remained unemployed a few months longer than I did after his graduation. However, lack of employment always seems to be the fault of the unemployed, no matter how hard he or she tries.
- She can be quite judgmental while simultaneously fearing being judged.
- She has very strong opinions on things she knows little to nothing about, including but not limited to politics, a drunk-driving accident my mom’s coworker’s son was killed in almost two years ago, my friends, random people, and me. (I actually divulge very little information about myself to her.)
- She’s very hypocritical. Example: she once told off a stranger who was sort of rambling to her at a doctor’s office about how her grandkids fell in with a bad crowd and their troubles weren’t the fault of her daughter/their mother. She told the woman it was her fault. Not too long after, she told me about her aunt’s problem children and how the children just fell in with a bad crowd and it wasn’t her aunt’s fault.
- She thinks zombie movies and Magic the Gathering go against Catholicism.
- She thinks Magic the Gathering is for children and a waste of money.
- She says she has no problem with Magic the Gathering.
- She got rid of their cable after Paul was watching a special on sharks.
- She told me I hung out with Terra too much and she needed time to be alone with Scott before he left for Navy training because I talked to her a lot and had seen her about two times since she and Scott got married.
- She told me Terra and Scott’s marriage would fail because Terra didn’t go with Scott to visit his family for Christmas. Note that Terra didn’t go because she couldn’t get off work and his mother’s terrible anyway. If Terra had chosen not to go, I wouldn’t have blamed her. I managed to avoid Paul’s mom for weeks after the last time she pissed me off, and I still haven’t been in his house since for various reasons. This is keeping with my aim to remove myself from people who have a severely negative impact on me.
- She complains about people behind their backs regularly, including complaining about her kids’ girlfriends to each other.
- She once admitted to being jealous of said girlfriends.
- When Paul’s brother Jacob spent Christmas with his girlfriend, she said it ruined her Christmas.
- She told Paul he needs to be the man in our relationship because I’m the one that makes all the plans. Note that most of the reason for that is I have the car, I had more money than him at the time, and I’m more likely to find fun things to do.
- She told him we needed to have serious discussions about things we had already seriously discussed (we just don’t tell her everything we do).
- She said we’re “too rational” when we have disagreements because we don’t yell.
- She’s expressed concern for my lack of physical affection towards Paul in public. Note that when I sat on his lap, it was morally reprehensible.
- She implied we were fucking in her house because we were alone in it for about 20 minutes.
- She claims she stays out of her kids’ relationships.
- Paul once lost a free hat and told me not to mention it to her after we’d found it because he’d get a lecture about responsibility and how he’ll never survive on his own.
- Paul has shitty self-esteem.
- She got mad that he stayed with me for a few nights during the week because it was during the week. He was unemployed at the time, and his presence did not interfere with my work schedule.
- She’s very critical of the rich, despite seemingly wanting to be rich.
- She’s very critical of people on welfare, despite having once used it.
- The entire family is uninsured.
- She’s critical and sort of rude and condescending about how Paul and I spend my money and time. We get lots of “must be nice”-type comments if we go to dinner somewhere nice or go to the theater.
I know I’m missing some, but you get the point. You get what had me so frustrated by Thanksgiving that I told Paul she had to butt out, leave me alone, be quiet, and generally cut the shit or we’d be taking a break with no possibility of reuniting until he moved out.
Obviously, we still have hang-ups with her, but she at least apologized to me for he most recent nonsense and has attempted to try to watch her mouth. We’ll see if it lasts.