At least he wasn’t nekkid at Thanksgiving.

So while I’m waiting to hear back from the emergency vet, let’s have a little Thanksgiving recap, shall we?

There was turkey. There were 2 turkeys, actually: the one we ate, and the one who sired my husband.

Oh, snap!

My FIL has social skills that can best be described as “limited.” He is divorced, and he doesn’t communicate with his 5 kids unless he’s describing his health issues. When My Guy and I visited him in the hospital last spring, after he’d had back surgery? He was euphoric. Not because of painkillers, but because he loves being in the hospital, being the center of attention. He also tends to exaggerate his symptoms and take liberties with information. For example, “We need to watch this med – it might impact your kidneys” becomes “I’m in full renal failure.”


Instead of coming to Thanksgiving dinner, FIL went to the emergency room. They declined to admit him, so he called for 1 of his kids to come pick him up.

My Guy and I drove 45 minutes to the hospital. We spent a solid 20 minutes looking for FIL, and had 3 different hospital staff assisting in the search. Then, we got a text: FIL had called someone from his church to take him home. He’d been home for an hour. He did not think this warranted a phone call, and didn’t think anything about how his entire family had delayed dinner so that he could be ferried about.

Now, I love my sweet husband. His reaction to all of this was to laugh manically. He was so angry, he couldn’t stop laughing. Me? I wanted to cry. I wanted to cry, because I saw the expression on his face.

It’s easy for me to be all, “What the fuuuuuuuuck?” But for my husband and his siblings? This is their dad. They’re adults, but they still need a dad. They understand that there is some truth to his health concerns … but they also know when they’re being played. It would be nice to have a dad who has a tiny bit of concern for someone other than himself.

This is the guy who once knew our arrival was imminent, but was nekkid in his kitchen when we got to his house.

It’s not often that I have no clue how to deal with someone because they are just that irrational. But I’m clueless here. Short of running over him with my car, I’m just not sure what to do. And really? Since I’ve backed into My Guy’s truckasaurus not once but twice? A little more body damage to my 10-year-old Honda is not going to upset me. I have nothing to lose!

Any experience dealing with a similar person? Any words of wisdom?

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  • Reply Jenny Hart Boren December 2, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    Thank you for making me grateful that all MY relatives are wonderful; and my more peripheral relatives–like, my children's step-family and various in-and-out-laws, may be pretty awful but are not quite THAT awful.

    Interestingly, aside from being a decent cook who always brings homemade candy to holiday events, I'm pretty sure the reason I get invited to things is that when I'm there the stinkers realize how ghastly they are, and they straighten up considerably (if temporarily.) (You're welcome, Annie.)

    On the other hand, now I really miss my far-flung siblings! Now let's go have the last of that pie.

  • Reply Common Household Mom December 3, 2013 at 3:27 am

    That's pretty irrational. My MIL is irrational, rude, and inconsiderate, but not quite as bad as what you describe here. I'm guessing that the only way to deal with it and stay sane yourselves is to laugh.

  • Reply Holly @ The Grass is Always Greener December 3, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    I've never had a good/sane in-law. But I can say I've never seen any of them naked. You totally have me beat on that one.

  • Reply Green Girl in Wisconsin December 3, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    That was a good turkey joke.
    We have insane people in my family–I keep 'em at arm's length and try to avoid all unnecessary contact.
    Your poor husband.

  • Reply Cassi Renee December 3, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    Wow. I have been blessed with perfectly woderful MIL and FIL. We avoid the SIL, but that's just because she's obnoxious, not naked in the kitchen!

    I'm thinking the only thing you can do is wait. Time will eventually solve the problem.

  • Reply Kelley December 4, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    I really do think we should set up your FIL and my MIL. It probably wouldn't last though; they would fight constantly over who was the sickest or closest do death. I think really all you can do is just laugh. And maybe drink.

  • Reply Karen (formerly kcinnova) December 9, 2013 at 5:14 am

    You have my sympathy for the latter of the two turkeys. A local friend's mother sounds just like your FIL — self-centered to an extreme and unable to actually be a parent. I've seen how complicated it is to be the adult child of such a person.

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