My MiL is a strange woman. She’s very self-centred and very woe-is-me. I mean, I know I’m a miserable pessimistic sod, but she takes the biscuit.
Today we popped over to enjoy a spot of lunch
[Blokey to me, out of earshot of MiL: Fish! I come over here knowing that she’ll make us something naughty to eat and she does fish! Without batter! This is your fault for telling her we need to change our eating habits!]
with her, and she mentioned Belgium.
Belgium is a fluffy subject. My MiL smokes like a chimney and, because cigarettes are cheaper in Belgium, we take her over there every so often so that she can spend copious amounts of our inheritence money. I don’t actually mind because I enjoy getting out of England for a few hours and watching Blokey get into driving fights with foreign drivers. My Mumsy thinks we’re nuts and grumbles lots about my MiL. Sometimes I tend to agree with her. I got very angry at one point last year because she said she needed some ciggies and she was going to book the channel tunnel for such-and-such a date. She didn’t ask, she just presumed.
I didn’t let her know I was angry, I simply bit my tongue and grumbled behind her back. Blokey will do it because he feels he has to and that just because he’s not as well as he was when we started taking her (after my FiL died in 2007) he shouldn’t shirk his ‘responsibility’. We had a similar issue last summer. My MiL has a very close cousin living in Australia and she took my BiL and his girlfriend over there for a few weeks. Before Blokey became really ill he had said that he would drive them to the airport, a good four hour drive from our house. Then he began dialysis and was absolutely zonked at weekends, yet she still thought he was going to drive them all. So I got a tad shirty and asked my BiL (by email; I’m not very brave) to find alternative arrangements, even researching these alternative arrangements for them. His reply was quite vitriolic, so I responded simply by asking what sort of wife I would be if I wasn’t selfish when it came to the wellbeing of my husband. He didn’t reply to that, and it didn’t affect our relationship, thankfully. I do wonder if that helped him realise that Blokey IS ill. I also wonder if Blokey has a little inkling that the sudden change in plans was down to me; if he does he hasn’t mentioned it.
Today my MiL completely stumped me.
I need to go to Belgium soon for some cigarettes, she said. Will you be able to take me? It’s ok if you can’t.
*katiefinger’s mouth drops open in amazement*
I can imagine that this might sound incredibly trivial, but this is a Big Thing for us me. It’s as though (after a whole year) she suddenly realises that her son might need to spend his weekends relaxing rather than driving across south-east England and the northern tip of France in order to satisfy her nicotine cravings. Perhaps it’s dawned on her that by presuming that he’ll take her she’s adding to his burden and the worries he lives with daily.
However, I’m actually going to assume that somebody has had a little word in her ear. I don’t know who, but I don’t believe she’s really suddenly come to this conclusion on her own. I hate to say it – because I do love her dearly – but she’s too selfish to empathise with other people.
Still, let’s hope it lasts.