Figured the thread was a bit too old to bump, so I linked it. Mr. Rilch and I were on a flying visit this weekend, so my parents could finally meet his dad and dad’s wife. Saturday night, we went out to eat with my parents, and my mom told it again.
It was the oddest trigger, too. Mr. Rilch mentioned someplace where his dad used to live, and that reminded my mom that my niece’s grandfather lived there briefly, which led directly into The Anecdote. :dubious: This time, I tried the Miss Manners suggestion: “Why do you insist on telling that anecdote when you know it upsets me?” and was told, “Well, you can leave the table if you don’t want to hear it.”
I didn’t, of course. But what killed me was that, the whole time she was telling it, it was not “Rilchie did this; Rilchie said that,” addressed to RilchDad and Mr. Rilch. It was “YOU did this; YOU did that,” addressed to me, as if I’d never heard it before.
But I think a lot of this has to do with her simply being a Cranky Old Woman. She also, during the meal, explicitly called my dad a bad husband. :eek: I countered that he had always been a good provider, and that they’d had a nice house, and some other stuff I don’t want to go into. She did concede to that. Still, :eek:
The next morning was the In-Laws Brunch. Well, sort of, because as I said, it was FIL and his wife; MIL has yet to meet my parents. Per Mr. Rilch’s suggestion, I said to my mom, before we went in, “Let’s present a unified front.” Well, she either didn’t hear me, didn’t care, forgot or didn’t know what I meant. The meal went well for the most part, but RilchMom:
—Noted, when we were being seated, that there was one space left on RilchDad’s side of the booth, and said, “Oh, do I have to sit with HIM?” So I took that spot.
—Noted, when FILWife was introduced, that although she and I share a name, I was “the first RilchWife!” FILWife, who is not noted for her sense of humor, replied, “No, actually, I was the first.” Hoo boy. Well, she is older than I am, so she had the first name before I did. I was, wedded to Mr. Rilch before the nuptials of FIL and FILWife, but it was still tacky of RilchMom to bring it up.
—Amended, “Forever!” to RilchDad’s admission that he was retired.
“But he teaches at the community college occasionally,” I said, though I knew what she was getting at.
“No, I mean, forever! I want him OUT of the house!”
“Hey, I got a joke for you guys! [Rilch tells joke that ends with “It’s better to quit when you’re a head,” which ties in with RilchDad’s earlier observations about people who dig themselves into a hole in the casinos because they won’t quit when they’re ahead.]”
—Also, it’s a minor thing, but although we’d told her that FIL’s name is Federico*, not Frederick, she still called him Frederick before he, or Mr. Rilch, or myself, could give his name. I covered that one by mentioning RilchDad’s cousins Albert and Alfred**, who are distinguished as a) Pennsylvania Al and Ohio Al, b) Rose’s Al and Lucy’s Al, c)Al the Dentist and Al the Plumber or simply d) Al Lastname and Al OtherLastname.
All in all, I think it went well, but I really wish she’d left her dirty laundry at home. I mean, RilchDad didn’t go off on a computer tangent, nor did FIL go off on a golf tangent, so why couldn’t she have played nice.
*Okay, it’s not even Federico. But it’s a traditional Italian name, not to be confused with the similiar-sounding American name.
**Also not their names, but you get the idea.