Way back a fortnight last Monday we took the m-i-l to the doctors for the results of her blood test. We had to take her because when the receptionist had asked delicately whether she was capable of taking the results over the phone and I had to say no. The doctor apologised for this but it’s not his fault she doesn’t listen unless it involves a pie or cup of tea!
Basically her platelets are a little low, well within normal range but a little bit lower than the previously constant level so they want to keep their eye on this.
While we were in the waiting room we discovered a way to keep the m-i-l relatively quiet. Someone she didn’t want to talk to came in and she only spoke twice the whole time he was in the waiting room with us. Unfortunately it wasn’t that long. A gentleman brought the visiting priest in for his dressing changed and the m-i-l commented ‘Ohh, he’s big isn’t he?’ (This was after being informed that he was normally in Rome – which intrigued even me as a non-believer – but I didn’t get to enquire further as the priest was ‘big’.) This comment was fielded exceptionally well by the companion ‘Yes, he is tall!’ Even though we all knew that’s not what she meant!
Whilst waiting the m-i-l announced she had a cold and sneezed. I shot further up the bench and gave B a piercing look. This is the second time she’s done this to me.
Me: ‘Mary, why didn’t you say you thought you’d got a cold before.’
m-i-l: ‘Well I haven’t really my nose is just running and I haven’t got a hanky.’ Wiping nose with hand after second sneeze – I nearly pass out!
B went and got tissue from receptionist whilst Mary found a hanky in her pocket!
m-i-l: ‘Are you better now?’
m-i-l: ‘Yes or no?’
Me: ‘Is not that simple!’
m-i-l: ‘Oh. Isn’t it?’ In well you look fine, so I think it must be that simple tone of voice. Well no, it isn’t and I’m not prepared to talk about it in front of people I don’t know from Adam at shouting level and then have you cut me off with something like ‘Do they know we’re here?’ when you get bored or don’t understand what I’m saying!
The doctor that we saw is young, cheerful and broad – not in a ‘big’ way but in his accent – which for some reason always makes me speak broader too! A bit ‘eee by eek as pies cum’ – even though I’m not from Wigan! Here’s a little Wigan joke, that may get lost in translation
‘A fitness instructor says to a group of women in Wigan ‘Hands on thighs’ and they all cover their eyes.’ Boom, boom.
When we get back to the m-i-l’s B offers to make a cup of tea. Whilst he’s doing this I take a look at the phone, because although Mary is notorious for not putting it down correctly it has been engaged a bit more than normal. To the extent that my eldest nephew sent me a message on facebook from South Africa saying they’d not been able to get through. They’d manage to speak to Mary once in the first week but as far as she was concerned this constituted not having spoken to them!
So I messed about with the portable phone and determined that the Careline connection seemed to be causing some problem with this so plugged the old fashioned traditional wired phone in and it worked fine. To enable the m-i-l to sit down using this phone I moved one of the little stacking tables next to the closest chair, which required explanation whilst she oversaw the job from the settee. ‘There’s a plug there not plugged in.’ ‘It’s for the lamp.’ ‘I don’t use that, it doesn’t need plugging in.’ In the process of putting the portable phone in a safe place I kicked my cup of tea which splashed the carpet generously.
The amount of kitchen roll I used to soak it up became an issue. I’d stopped B scrubbing at it with the paper towel and was quietly soaking it up…
m-i-l: ‘That looks fine from here.’
Me: ‘It’s still wet’.
m-i-l: ‘It will be fine when it dries.’
Me: ‘It will leave a mark.’
m-i-l churning: ‘…using all the kitchen roll.’ (Because kitchen roll is worth so much more than a carpet!)
Me: ‘Fine, if you’re happy with with.’ Getting up and going into the kitchen. Okay it wasn’t that short – I put up a bit of resistance to stopping but in the end thought ‘Sod it, it’s not my carpet.’
m-i-l: ‘Well it looks okay from here come and have a look.’
Me: ‘As long as you’re happy with it, that’s fine.’
m-i-l: ‘No, it does!’
B then insisted on making me another cup of tea as he’d thrown the remainder of the other one away.
I collapse into the chair as I am now breathless and NEED a sit down as she seems to suck the energy from me at the best of times, I think it’s partly because I have to raise my voice as she can’t hear me. I’m sure she does this to wind me up because as B pointed out she heard some women in the doctor’s no problem.
m-i-l: ‘That chair’s too far back.’ The one I’m sitting in.
Me: ‘I didn’t move the chair.’
m-i-l: ‘It’s not normally there. There’s stuff behind it I need to get to.’
Me: ‘Fine I’ll take a look when I get my breath back.’ I hate admitting that I couldn’t get my breath but otherwise she wouldn’t let up. As it turned out she still didn’t let up.
What felt like 20 minutes later, it was probably five, she was still on about the chair. I would have got up in a strop and checked the chair but I just didn’t have the energy. At this point B raised his voice and she sulked – for all of a minute and then carried on.
When I finally got up to check the chair it was exactly where it normally was with its casters snugly in the indentations in the carpet.
Then she started about having her hair done. She’d been two weeks ago but now she’d decided her legs weren’t up to it and she was going to go round the corner. B mentioned the mobile hairdresser that she’d refused a few months ago, but still no!
On the journey home I found the energy to moan a few times about how she zapped my energy. B said he was embarrassed by his mother once while in with the doctor. She had complained about the doctor running late whilst we were in the waiting room and other people going in before her, including the priest, even though they were going to see the nurse. She asked the doctor how come he’d been so long with the previous patient, he told her it was because they were discussing their holidays! The m-i-l said ‘Were you?’ She’s never done this type of humour well. There used to be an advert with a ‘panda’ doing some tricks and when I said that it was amazing that they could train a panda to do that sort of thing, she informed me, quite seriously, that it was a man in a panda suit!
Don’t miss Daughter of Cujo part II – where I discover the ultimate mother in law deterrent!
Just a quick question: why do YOU have to go to the doctor’s with your MIL? Let B take her. By himself. For one thing, you could pick up a bug…for another, you could pick up a bug. Case closed. 😉
And how about MILRSF, or MIL-related stress factor? Not worth it. Stay away from her, that is my advice.
Even though being with her does provide some entertaining post fodder. 😉
I got the Wigan joke but now will have to look up what Wigan is.
Wigan has a pier and loses football matches to teams called “The Tangerines”!!!! 😉
WHOSE mother is she?
That’s all I have to say.
I’m with Margaret… and wiping her nose on her hand…. gross! She sounds like she’s advancing into senility/dementia, but she should NOT be allowed to drag you along with her!
I think I would need at least 2 stiff drinks to handle a visit with your mother-in-law and I don’t even drink. Wow. she is something. My younger sister has a doozy of one herself. She used to make a blender full of margaritas everytime her mother-in-law came for a visit just to get through it. Lucky the woman only visited a few times a year or my sis would be a lush by now.