Cast of Characters--My Mother in Law

A guy takes his wife and mother in law to Jerusalem for a family vacation. They are having a great time and seeing all the holy places. Shortly after arriving though the mother in law dies and their trip is going to have to be cut short. There are arrangements to be made. The local priest comes up to the man and explains his options to him. He can either pay 5000 dollars to have his mother in law flown back to the states and buried or he can arrange for his mother in law to buried in the holy land for free.

The man stops and thinks, deep lines of thought outline is his forehead. He informs the priest that he will pay the 5000 dollars to fly his mother in law’s body home from burial.

The priest is a little shocked and says “but sir, we can bury her here, in the land that the savior belonged to”. The man listens to this argument but again insists that his mother in law be flown home. The priest can’t understand this, why would the man choose this when the option of burying her, in the holy land, is at hand? So the priest asks “why sir do you choose this.”

The man looks at him and then says

“Well father, 2000 years ago a man here was raised from the dead to once again be amoung us. And, well father, I just can’t take that chance.”

That is hands down my favorite mother in law joke. The even funnier part is, my mother in law loves it to. I think that it is because we love being a walking cliché—the son in law that won’t listen and the mother in law that can’t stop giving advice.

So let’s get right into it: My mother in law can drive me up a fucking wall. There are exactly two people in the world that know exactly how to push my buttons. My wife and my mother in law. No two people in the world can drive me crazier than that duo. Usually I’m pretty much detached and am a very calm person.

I have been chased up three flights of stairs by a perpetrator with a cane wanting to do nothing more than beat my ass. No big deal, I remained calm and as cool as ice. My mother can drive me a little crazy, but it doesn’t really get to me that much.

Put my mother in law and my wife in the passenger seat and the back seat when I’m driving and I want to go right over the fucking bridge.

Why you ask? Because they each have a unique insight into me and know where to go. And usually it’s not all at once, it’s like guerilla warfare, it’s shots behind the 10 foot tall weeds in my backyard garden. .

Why haven’t you mowed the lawn? Your house needs more repair, when are you getting on that. Hmm, you are a slob. If I were you, I would save 10% of your paycheck every month, are you doing that? How much did this chair cost?

When it’s rapid fire, it’s brutal. But I think what really gets her going is because I don’t talk about in any real depth about myself or my family. This seems odd given that I routinely splash the Hossman Family across these pages every day. Chances are, if you call me on the phone, I’m just going to tell you that everyone is fine and thanks for calling. I’ve never been comfortable discussing my personal feelings or the motivations for why we do things. In fact, this is the way my entire family is. We are very private.

I know that this drives my mother in law crazy because this is not how their family is. They discuss everything to death and are excellent debaters. They can spend until 3 in the morning discussing the pros and cons of different topics. This is what I don’t want to do. I lose so many debates in this family because I am just tired of talking. It’s winning by embargo. 2 hours in and I’ll feel drained and exhausted. I haven’t eaten, the ships carrying refreshments can’t make it through the blockade and the citizens are getting restless. It’s a complete give up, you win, screw it can I go to bed now?

I think that my low point came when I told my mother in law to shut up. This is very unnatural for me, you don’t tell the women in your life to shut up. My wife and I were buying a new house and my wife had fallen in love with a particular house. However, we got outbid on the house. So I told my wife that we would bid more than the house was actually worth and we would get that house that she wanted. That’s when my mother in law chimed in that this was not a smart move and the debate started.

I didn’t even let this one get off the ground. I told her to shut up almost from the get go. This is very disturbing. I was not raised like that. My father insisted that every thing was yes maam and no maam. You open doors for women and if you don’t, you might as well go out to the switch tree and pick out the instrument of your destruction. I wouldn’t even call my mother in law by her first name because it was disrespectful and here I am telling her shut up. That’s shames me even now.

Family Therepy soon followed. That’s right, I’m putting this right out there. Hossman has been to therapy. Make all the fun of it you want, we went. The thing that I didn’t want to do most was what I was being forced to do. I had to talk about feelings. I had to talk about how I felt. It was like going to your own hanging and tying your own knot. The only thing going through your head is “Awww shit” because you so don’t want to be there.

It turned into a huge family affair, everyone came. We all “talked it out” and got things in the open. Granted, it was very weird and very uncomfortable. Yes, I would like to order some gayness as I talk about how it feels inside. Go ahead and chop up some sensitivity and sprinkle that in my testosterone while you are at it, hold the mayo.

So how do I feel about my mother in law now? She’s an angel on this earth. Did it have anything to do with the 3 months of family therepy? Not really, not for me anyway.

I had never held a grudge against my mother in law. That’s not how I am. I can get in a fight with you then be completely ok ten minutes later.

This is what happened though. My wife and I had Little Hoss. At the hospital, we had just about everyone there. After the hospital, it’s like everyone disappeared. Where are the brothers, sisters, brother in laws, sister in laws? Don’t they realize that I have no fucking clue what the hell I’m doing? That first month is tough. You don’t sleep, you haven’t had a hot meal in 4 days, the house is dirty, breast feeding is stressing your wife out. It gets to the point that in the middle of the night you are laying there looking up thinking you are totally and utterly alone with this and no one is going to help.

Before the baby I thought I had my shit together, that I could handle it. I even set visiting hours so we could have some quite time. I say it now, I was a fucking idiot and I take full credit and responsibility for that asshole statement. It was all me, now attach my blind fold before you shoot me. No one came to help, to offer advice. We had one friend that dropped off a hot soup thing and I have never been more grateful in my life. Everyone else? I honestly don’t know.

Except my mother and my mother in law. Despite some of the things that I said and how I shut a lot of people out, she showed up anyway. She cooked, cleaned and spent a great deal of time with my wife comforting her about the breast feeding. I actually took a nap, the sweetest nap I have ever taken in my life.

Loyalty is a big thing in the Hossman Principles. And my mother in law was there when we needed her most. She didn’t even hold any of the other shit over my head. She let it all go knowing that I was paying the price for my massive stupidity. I love my mother in law for the same reasons I love my wife, she’s smart, loyal and independent and I wouldn’t want another one in the world.

So sure, she can give me the digs about the house and money and how I choose to do things. I don’t fucking care. When she is with my daughter and they are playing, that’s what I care about.

But I swear to god, when my mother in law, my wife, and when my daughter learns to talk and they are all in the car, I am refusing to drive. I’ll take a cab.

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