My Mother-In-Law Is A Moron. My Wife Agrees.

My wife’s mother has never been a particularly easy person to live with, but that’s not what this post is about. It’s about her desire to become computer-literate and join the world.

We were there in June, and she had recently started to use her son’s laptop. She got a NetZero e-mail account. Well, she could not resist the temptation to fuck with the workings of the computer. She uninstalled and deleted a couple of things, one of which was the boot .ini file. She wanted a new computer. So we took a bunch of time to take her to Best Buy and look at what they had. She came out of there with $1000 worth of new computer, flat screen monitor, the works.

By the second week, she had sent it back to the manufacturer because she couldn’t get the modem to recognize a dial tone. They sent it back to her, very likely unchanged. It worked. My wife gets a call tonight. What it boils down to is that NetZero offered some kind of antivirus protection, so she uninstalled the supplied Norton AV program. Now she can’t find any of her e-mail, and is convinced that it was in the Norton program or some such shit.

Rather than try to learn something about computers, rather than asking questions or reading books, heeding our repeated advice not to put anything on or take anything off, or any other thing, just “get it out of my sight!” She could not resist messing with something she did not know anything about, and when it failed to work as she mistakenly assumed, it’s a stupid piece of machinery and she can’t handle it. She doesn’t want to deal with it anymore.

Bottom line is that we are getting that computer for Xmas.

We are so glad that she does not live within driving distance. We don’t understand a lot of things concerning her…my wife never has. Whatever else about her that’s nice, underneath it all, she is a freaking moron, and continues to prove it. No wonder her husband is on Prozac.

Anybody else here have a relative like that?

Uh huh.

My second cousin called my father (the computer geek) over to her house because her keyboard wasn’t working. He plugged it into her tower and came home. She told everyone that he wasn’t really as good with computers as everyone says he is. After all, he didn’t even take her computer apart to fix it. Okay…
A week later she sold her computer. She didn’t want it anymore. When we asked her why, she said that someone had tried to sell her a horse.

Don’t look at me, I didn’t understand it, either. :confused:

Just be happy she gave up instead of trying to find her way here. :smiley:

I have the opposite. My mother had a lovely basic Gateway pc. She only used it to e-mail a few people and do a very simple newsletter for her dance group. I had to search for anything she needed to find on the web because she said she would try for *ten whole minutes * to find a recipe or whatever, and it was just too hard.

A few months ago she sold it. Because it had too many features. I asked why she didn’t just ignore the things she didn’t use and she said it seemed a waste and she wanted a simpler computer. Any simpler and it would be an abacus.

Now she wants a computer again, but she doesn’t want to spend more than two hundred dollars. New.

Hahahah!! :smiley:

For some reason I find that hilarious.

Was she maybe trying in her own little way to say she had recieved a ‘trojan horse’ type virus and the complications following became too much for her to continue?


My grandparents are a little like this, but thankfully, not too annoying. My uncle bought them a (really neat) computer a few years ago and he and I have spent countless hours since trying to help them use it. One thing I’ve noticed is I must be careful not to use too many physical gestures. For instance, when my grandmother asked what it means to ‘save’ a file - I explained that it meant the computer would store the information in her document (they were only really using Word) in it’s hard drive made vague hand gesture to cpu tower so that she could then re-open and return to it later without it having been changed. Etc etc. ‘oooooh, right.’

Next day, my uncle tells me, she tried to take the tower apart to ‘retrieve’ her saved file. :smack:

I don’t know what she thought she was going to do once she got in there.

Same thing happens if I point to the screen for any reason, the exact place I pointed to on the screen is their point of reference for whatever I was talking about when I pointed.

My granddad is just as bad, he thinks every single function is going have an individual button, rather than a series of actions/whatever and forgets the mouse even exists. Our instruction ‘Select this icon’ gives the action of ‘press random keys to see if they do that.’

My boss’s mother literally put white out on a computer monitor once. I am not joking. I saw it with my own two peepers.

My husbands brother, gave their parents his old computer and offered to show them how to use it. My mother-in-law was adamant about not wanting it connected to the internet. She had heard horrible things about it, and was afraid if she wandered around in it, something would happen. Like it was a bad neighborhood, or something.
The rest of the family, was kind of hoping that if she had email, it would cut down on some of her phone calls. But instead, we started calling her to see why she hadn’t answered our emails. She always used the excuse that the mouse made her hand hurt. Nevermind the fact that she could totally kick ass on the Playstation we gave them.

A mouse can make your hand hurt in ways that a Playstation controller does not. If her hand actually does hurt, then she’s smart to stop using the mouse. RSI is not a good thing.

None of my relatives seem to be stupid. In fact, at times I seem to be the dumbest person in my family. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad, given that I consider myself pretty bright.

The best story I have is of a man who my divorced grandmother ended up marrying. Upon first visiting my parents’ home, he said “Well gol darn, do you own all these books?”
He ended up taking Greyhound back home early, and I don’t think anyone regretted the brevity of his visit.

XP Restore didn’t work?

Can I just say that my MIL buys most of the infomercial products out there? Or use too since she has run out of space to store all of it. (To be honest, I am pretty sure since their accident in 91 that due to her head injury, she cannot control the impulse that causes her to collect and store stuff.)

You seriously think someone like that would know how to use XP Restore?

My inlaws are like this as well. I think it’s only recently that they figured out how to set the VCR after the power goes out, otherwise they’d call my husband to come over and do it. Whenever one of his siblings gets the bright idea of “let’s get our parents a computer for Christmas,” he vehemently argues against the idea - any little problem would result in a tech support call to our house. It’s better to put up with them coming over a few times a year to get him to check airplane ticket and car rental costs online for them.

I thought my mother was bad. She never put White-Out on the monitor, but when I was teaching her how to use the word processor, she kept hitting “Enter” when she’d get to the end of a line, rather than just let it wrap. She also got nervous about not being able to “see” the end of the page. What was going to happen when the page was full? Did she have to ask it for a second page?
I had to explain over and over that it wasn’t a typewriter and it did all those things automatically.

You can bet the rent and anything else you like that she would not have the first idea that it exists. But thanks for the hint. I didn’t know, either, not having worked in XP yet (Win2K is my platform of choice). I’ll look into that whenever we go to their house next.

Not a relative, but still a good story.

My brother in law Sam is, and has always has been, one of those “good with machines” types. Even when he was growing up, the somewhat-elderly couple (mid 60’s these days) who lived next door would ask him over to help set the VCR and whatnot. This is a recent story however.

A while back they lost their remote control, and had Sam over to help them program the new universal remote they had bought. So he gets over, and its still in the box. They haven’t even tried to set the thing. So he says, “you know, these aren’t that hard to work; you should read the instruction manual.” So the old lady says, “oh no! The only book I ever read is the bible!” :eek: I mean, is Satan going to get you through the freakin instruction book?!? If she’s that isolated, why even watch TV?? So then, reading the box, he realizes they’ve bought the wrong remote or somesuch, and tells them they’ll have to do something else (not sure on the details of this part). So before he leaves they ask him to set it to their favorite channel (Fox News, of course) and adjust the volume to a level they like. He was like, “The buttons are right here in the front of the TV.” And they said, “oh, we’re no good with techonology! Just set it for us.” It says VOLUME and CHANNEL right on there!!! WTF!? I really wonder how they’ve survived this long being that dumb.

My in-laws live with us. I could write a book. However, I’ll spare you my useless whinging on a message board about them. I’ll just call Ms. D_Odds and complain.

My mother is kind of like this. And the really sad thing is that she’s had a computer for a long time - longer than I have (her first computer was an Apple IIe). In all that time, she has not got one iota more computer-savvy and pretty much has to hire someone whenever she needs an installation/upgrade/repair/you name it.

Pretty please? I love idiot in-law stories.

Sometimes you gotta be kind. And humble.

One of my best friends called me a while back and said her computer was definitely fried, ruined, broken, this time. When she turned it on it just made a couple of beeps and then sat there doing nothing. Would I come over and take just one look at it before she cried and threw it in the trash? Sure.

On my way over it occurred to me what the two beeps were that she was describing. When I got there, I moved the book off the corner of the keyboard, where it had been weighting down the ESC key, turned over the keyboard and shook it out just to be sure there were no other obstructions. My friend thinks I’m a genius now.

Whoever it was probably just didn’t want the horse after they spent that year in college.

FiL can barely walk, and has little stamina. He’d be lucky to make 50 yards in a single walk.

We had a sick tree in our yard that needed to come down.

We called someone to remove the tree.

FiL overheard.

The next day, when everyone was out (he knew better than to try when someone with a smidgen of common sense would stop him), he climbs the tree and starts trying to cut it down. Hours later, MiL returns home, Ms. D_Odds gets frantic call about FiL napping precariously up in tree, and several neighbors have to help him get down (didn’t want to call the fire department, that would be too ‘embarassing’). He actually managed to remove a large limb, surprisingly without hurting himself or anyone else. He insisted he would finish and we wouldn’t have to pay to take the tree down. I wanted to let him. I figured, given enough time, Darwinism would win out. Ms. D_Odds was torn - she agreed with me, but didn’t want to have to deal with MiL (whose normal mode of speaking is whinging and goes downhill from there). Plus she figured, given her luck, he’d just incapacitate himself even more than he already was and be even harder to care for.

My FIL tries with computers and does pretty good for being a technophobe. Sometimes he’ll call my husband who is the family computer genius and my husband will talk him through things. Most of the time he gets it working although he has no clue what he did.

My MIL won’t go near computers. It hasn’t stopped her from buying one. She just never turned it on.

Before my husband joined the Navy he lived with her. When he left for bootcamp he left everything he had at her place including his computer. While he was gone his brothers had turned it on to mess around with it but neglected to completely turn it off. My MIL had called me much later and said that she didn’t know how to turn it off and that she was bothered by it using so much electricity. I told her just hold down the power switch.

Last year we went to a movie with her. Her cell phone went off three times during the movie. Afterwards she told us that she didn’t know how to turn her phone off.

And speaking of horses and inlaws… My MIL is rather frivilous with her money. She recently bought a horse. She got no paperwork on it. The people she bought it from are still keeping it only now my MIL is paying them to board it. She has no idea how old the horse is, but it is pregnant. She has no idea if she keeps that too.

My dad, bless his heart, got a new laptop to take with him on his RVing adventures, where he would e-mail us stories from the road.

He showed us all the bells and whistles and then put it away.

Later, I asked if they had gotten an e-mail I had sent them, and suggested we power up my step-mom’s Mac to check their e-mail.

“Oh, we can’t,” my dad says. “I didn’t set up the e-mail address on that computer.”


“Sweet father,” I began, explaining how e-mail works…

Now, he’s sending stories with picture attachments and everything!!