Sunday, November 20, 2005

Self-portrait Sunday

I've given my mother-in-law a lot of play on this blog, particularly of late. She's a nut, that woman, real blog fodder. A real laugh riot.

She makes me think of a story I read once, written by a college student with a prosthetic leg. This victim of childhood bone cancer had made it through junior high and high school by being the funny girl, laughing her ass off about her hilarious wooden leg fueled mishaps; her leg falling off at the skating rink, that kind of thing. Then, as a sophomore in college, she found herself suddenly bawling like a baby in the middle of reciting a formerly funny lost-leg anecdote to her Speech class. She'd realized that the story wasn't funny anymore. And furthermore, a big part of the story had never been funny at all.

My mother-in-law is crazy. But she's rich, and when you're crazy and rich that makes you merely eccentric. Her own mother is a diagnosed schizophrenic, with the interesting sub-diagnosis of hypergraphia or compulsive writing. If my MIL could only tap into the hypergraphia, maybe she'd finish the dissertation that will finally give her an official PhD in Psychology. She currently works as a therapist, although her clients keep leaving her as she diagnoses them with cases of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy, or whatever she happened to see on the Discovery Channel the night before. She's dangerously engaging. She can talk a good talk. But make no mistake, she's crazy.

Some actor once gave a definition of tragedy versus comedy; Dutch probably knows who it was. When someone else slams his hand in a car door, it's comedy. When you slam yours in a car door, it's tragedy. My MIL recently learned that my brother-in-law Jeff, her eldest son, has taken out a life insurance policy to protect his wife and daughter in case of his early demise. She consequently jumped to the conclusion that his wife, Laurie, was going to hire a hit man and have him knocked off for the cash. That was comedy. My parents left yesterday after a week-long visit, and my MIL took Cedra for an overnight stay on cuckoo's nest row today. As she left I gave her a tube of Aquaphor and carefully explained the treatment for the diaper rash that Cedra has developed as the result of her mother forcing her to wear fashion tights seven days a week. She called me two hours later to inform me that she suspected my father of sexually abusing Cedra. No, I'm not laughing. That's a fucking tragedy.

I've been crying for two hours. I opened a cheap bottle of wine to console myself, and that's been a little more cathartic. I think I've hinted before that this blog, begun in January of this year, was actually a therapy assignment. I was supposed to keep a journal. But a journal requires introspection, honest feeling, sincere expulsion of heartfelt sentiment onto a written page. Hell if I was going to do that. It was much safer to compose a public blog, with the requisite expectation of providing entertainment, humor, comedy to the reader. I've been prone to depressive episodes lately without the help of this type of cruel catalyst. I don't need this shit. She's not funny anymore, and I don't think she's ever really been funny at all. Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen. I'll be here rocking back and forth in a puddle of my own piss all week.


At 8:15 PM, Blogger posthipchick said...

i am so sorry.
my MIL is a therapist, too.
it's truly a nightmare.

ignore the crazies.

At 11:12 PM, Blogger Apartment Number One said...

That's so not cool of your MIL. Please do ignore her or throw the craziness right back at her.

Genetics are rough--prozac saves my life everyday too.

p.s. Two buck chuck can have diminishing returns on the consoling factor...hope you're ok.

At 1:18 AM, Anonymous irene said...


my MIL is a pathological liar. and still mouth feeds my husband who is now 33.

really, I hope you feel better today. the last thing to do is let her invade and infect your sanity. don't let her do that.

At 1:50 PM, Blogger Dutch said...

fuck that, I'd have a bottle of two-buck chuck smashed in half with the jagged edge under my mother-in-law's motherfucking chin if she ever said anything like that to me. she'd get the message to shut the fuck up real quick.

you're a saint. . .

At 1:57 PM, Blogger Dutch said...

my guess on that quote is mel brooks. but he's not an actor.

At 4:00 PM, Anonymous mombo from cl said...

Are you fucking kidding me ? That is so totally and completely out of line. I am really sorry that you are so upset. How ironic, you are the one on meds. SHE needs meds, or at least some kind of drastic mind altering operation. If you would like me to perform one, e-mail me. I think that I have some rusty tools out in the garage...

At 4:13 PM, Blogger kristenL said...

Ugh I am really sorry to hear that. Child molestation is not something to casually toss around. Especially when it involves your dad and your daughter.

MIL = nightmare.

At 5:08 PM, Anonymous Wood said...

how horrible. I can kinda see my stepmom saying something fucked up like that. last weekend when we were hanging out with my brother, dutch and I were telling crazy stepmom anecdotes, and my brother was like, hey, I have to see her all the time, it's not even funny to me. It's just real.

good luck with everything. sorry to hear it's been so rough.

At 5:28 PM, Blogger L. said...

Nothing lasts forever, good or bad, although you may feel shitty today (with good reason). It`s your MIL`s problem -- don`t let it control your life. Wow, she sounds like a piece of work, though.

Maybe all of your blog pals should gather around her house with pitchforks, chanting, "Ogre, get thee be gone!"

At 6:40 PM, Blogger Alisyn said...

kim, hang in there. so sorry you are feeling so down.

i know she's your MIL, so you can't just cut her out of your life forever, but you can, and have every right to, tell her to go fuck herself, and why. i mean, honestly, on some level, she must know what a shitty thing that is to say, to toss around, to think! she sounds like a freak.

you, on the other hand, sound lovely. splurge on a good bottle for yourself tonight.


At 12:35 PM, Blogger llamaschool said...

Thank you to all for the kind comments. I assumed I'd open this entry and find ten pieces of blog spam. I'm really touched.

Let me add that I believe my depression is under control. This kind of episode only happens under extreme duress.

By the way, my husband told the MIL off and she swore to him that she'd make ammends with me when I went to pick up Sabra the following day. I was dreading the hell out of it. As it turns out, she didn't even mention it. Crazy bitch. I don't know whether to address it with her again or not.

Oh, and Mombo--WTF, woman! Glad to see you!


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